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[ NNSquad ] Re: [IP] Steve Jobs: Google TV Will Go the Way of TiVo and Roku. And other twisting and winding paths

I was struck by both Jobs and Genachowski's acceptance of the set top box as well as a willingness to suffer ATT. The irony is that the limitations Jobs is imposing on the iPad software mirror the problems with the set top box as a carrier-controlled device. The problem with third party boxes is in getting access to the popular content available only via “cable”. I put “cable” in quote because we’re soon going to using the word for the content and rather than the physical cable. This will cause a lot of confusion.


The problem is with the concept of the set top box itself. After all, why not treat video streams as just streams of bits? Shouldn't we be able to use any device to take a video steam going over IP and connect it to the TV? In fact we're going in that direction with TVE (TV Everywhere) and Over-The-Top (Video over IP). You can get a taste of it with http://hbogo.com. Steve Burke of Comcast spoke about shifting his business to distribution/content and distancing itself from today's pipes (the physical cable).


There was also discussion of the problems of wrought by ATT. The capacity problems seem identical to the capacity problems we faced in the 1990's when the phone network was threatened by too much dial-up modem traffic. We solved that by removing the need for the dial-up modem rather than adding more ports. Given the byte-limits ATT just imposed on iPad traffic and the fact that if you try to update an app that needs more than 20Mb ATT refuses to carry the traffic it's clear that ATT's attitude is to blame the user just like it and the other phone companies did in the 1990's.


The solution is to move away from the constrictions of the today's cellular with its distant towards and artificial distinction between wired and wireless bits. Rather than adding more carrier-controlled femtocells why not just make a smidgen of the capacity to today's access point capacity available as infrastructure? If you look at the aggregate capacity of the Wi-Fi access points you see walking down the street and compare it to the cellular system you'll immediately see orders of magnitude additional capacity. This shouldn’t be a surprise as the access points are equivalent to many million cell towers, at least for data. The marginal cost of the additional traffic is very small since it would use the existing infrastructure and the unused and under-lit fiber that is available in so many places. We could then add additional fungible capacity as needed rather than special purpose cellular gear.


PS: Speaking of twisting winding passages. Verizon just started blocking port 25 so this message didn’t go out till I guessed what was wrong. The problem occurred while I was traveling to All Things Digital! I got a panicked call from my wife saying her email wasn’t going out. So I remoted in to my desktop and thence her machine and corrected the problem.

How do normal people deal with this? Would they even know to see mail stuck in “outgoing”? What about devices that have port 25 wired-in for error reporting? I long ago gave up trying to directly contact with other sites’ port 25. This is another example of challenge in trying to wend ones way through the twisting and winding passages in the hills and valleys of the ancient land of tele-communications.


(Clarification -- Asa's credit here is as photographer not reporter).


-----Original Message-----
From: David Farber [mailto:dave@farber.net]
Sent: Friday, June 04, 2010 10:08
To: ip
Subject: [IP] Steve Jobs: Google TV Will Go the Way of TiVo and Roku



Steve Jobs: Google TV Will Go the Way of TiVo and Roku By Liz Gannes Jun. 1, 2010, 9:30pm


Steve Jobs at D8 by Asa Mathat | All Things Digital


The only way to innovate in the TV industry is to make consumers want to pay full price for set-top boxes versus the ones they get virtually free, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in an interview tonight at D8, as live-blogged by Engadget and All Things D. Ideally, this break-through product wouldn’t be yet another box, but part of the TV. And by those definitions, Jobs’ logic (and his new attitude towards his former ally) says the new Google TV is not innovative.





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