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[ NNSquad ] Video-on-demand vs. bandwidth caps -- Example

Greetings.  My OCAP cable box failed yesterday the same way as the
previous one some months ago -- getting stuck at one of the seemingly
endless boot phase countdown steps (there must be logos and trademarks
that appear during boot for a dozen different firms with IP
entanglements in those boxes, including the official Java logo).

After Time Warner's remote signaling antics couldn't restore the box,
they wanted to roll a truck.  I told them to hold off, and this
evening performed my own incantations and got the sucker going again.

The first image I was treated to from the recovered box was a promo
for Time Warner's new "Primetime on Demand" service -- which a little
research suggests arrived on the system about 10 days ago or so.

PoD allows -- as you would expect from the name -- viewing of various
network television programs through the TW video-on-demand system.

What's particularly interesting is that included in PoD are some
of the same programs that are also available on (for example) Hulu.

The big difference -- watch via cable VOD and you're never eating into
any bandwidth cap.  Watch via Hulu and you are.  

For systems with smaller caps (such as the one that TW has been
talking about, though some systems appear to be planning even stingier
ones) the decision as to which way to watch a show is going to be a
pretty easy one for most persons.

Keeping in mind that the cable or other ISP is deciding which programs
to put on their VOD system, how much of their systems to devote to
Internet data, the levels of bandwidth caps that will apply for any
particular service tiers, and all of the other relevant parameters
associated with their users -- the potential for anticompetitive
behavior in the current largely unregulated environment seems
obvious to say the least.

NNSquad Moderator