The software company I work for designs portals or what we seem to be calling e-hubs.
A co-worker and I are attempting, from our position low down in the chain of command, to push towards greater multimedia capability. Not video-conferencing so to speak, or anything along the lines of the Real System G2, but, hopefully, a less expensive simpler feature that would compliemnt what we already make, which is largely a web publishing product.
Now we all know if you're running on a corporate network or an ethernet of some kind "streaming" works great, or there is a neglible amount of quality disparity. And we also know that eventually they'll be giga-something cpability in the home user connection. (Whatever Moore's Law is about chips it's probably about the same regarding wires, right.) So with that mind we're thinking we should go for this. It'll take quite a while to implement anyway.
What we would like to know, to help make our argument, is the specifics about new technologies Cisco is offering to make high speed multimedia a widespread consumer reality and not just a corporate reality. Do you believe broadband in every home that now has an Internet connection is a possibility? Within the next five years? The comments of anyone intelligent on these matters would be greatly appreciated.
Well, I cant say Im an expert on this subject but I think that natural progression of technology will ultimately bring us more and more bandwidth into the home. As the prices come down for broadband well start to see it become a household necessity. Keep in mind though that the dial-up market is still very much alive and still growing. I havent read anything in the trades that suggests DSL or cable modems are hitting that market to heavily, yet. I think the Internet itself is still such a baby as we learn more and more about what the market wants. I think Cisco is taking an aggressive approach to making the necessary changes happen. Look at http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/779/consumer/internet_home/internet_home.html and http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/779/consumer/faqs.html for starters. I think youll see the corporate infrastructure being duplicated on a much smaller basis in the home of the future and as more and more homes have their own internal network, users will want a high speed connection to the Internet to tap all of its capabilities. Im sure there are others out here that have thoughts on this one?
I only have a fractional T1 frame relay circuit into my home office because of DSL distance limitations. The ISP's and LEC's are pushing as much fiber as they can across the US.(Global as well) I have been working with my local LEC and will soon be able to change my access from 224KB frame to we hope/think 6 MEG. My office to home is fiber and I have 100 meg switched to 4 PC's(kids and mom) and 1 HP-UX server. The 3 printers are at 10 Meg , my DMARK is 12 pair copper not fiber and the plan for my LEC is to push fiber to minnie DSL pops to allow them to concentrate on high speed internet access for the consumer. The local schools, parents and kids will be allowed access to the students files, plus once you have the pipes people find ways to fill them up. IP telephony and video streaming, teens doing local internet radio/TV shows... When LEC's build it CPE's sign up! - later joe
Consumer streaming reality may be closer than you might think. Cisco is doing their part by creating multicast which they hype to great extent, but is by no means the only technology that makes streaming media possible.
Pseudo HTTP Mpeg-4 video packets that are cacheable with standard HTTP proxy servers are an interim solution to full fledged multicast network. Realnetworks is hyping their RealProxy, Microsoft their own WMV/ASF/ASX media encoders and proxies, and Apple Quicktime has theirs.
For myself at a consumer level (but being a video systems integrator by trade) with a considerable amount of knowledge and slightly above average bandwidth, video streaming is possible for the consumer today.
mms://126.96.36.199:8080 The live encoder & server I have running out of my house as I type. (Requires windows media player, cut and paste into your URL address line) This live rebroadcast of a local TV station is running off a typical @ Home connection (Calgary Canada), using standard PC components (Celeron 400, 128MB ram, ATI rage pro with capture ability, etc) and off the shelf software.
The quality of the video and audio that can be squeezed into 119kbits is amazing if setup properly.
While broadband bandwidth grows exponentially, compression algorithms and technologies like multicast/Psuedo HTTP proxies/new protocols exponentially reduce the need for higher bandwidth.
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