fast pipes to the house Re: [Beowulf] HDTV video file sizes

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at
Tue May 29 16:56:01 PDT 2007

At 03:11 PM 5/29/2007, Robert G. Brown wrote:
>On Tue, 29 May 2007, Jim Lux wrote:
>>So how's Verizon going to amortize the $900 installation cost of my FiOS?
>As an investment.  So that they "win".  Because if they don't, others
>will and they'll lose.  And yeah, ultimately YOU will pay for it, but
>maybe not all at once and up front.
>Speaking of your other issues -- one possible solution is media
>replication and media servers.  OK, so to be able to deliver (say) the
>2000 top DVD titles on demand requires 10-20 TB of storage.  That's a
>trivial investment, really.  Disk (even RAID disk) is perhaps $0.25/GB.
>Storing a movie costs at MOST $5-10 -- small compared to the capital
>investment required to sell them or rent them on physical media.  And
>disk is ever cheaper, servers ever faster.

I suspect the problems are not technological, but business.  Say you 
put a movie cache in a vault at the end of every block (or with 
whatever density is needed).  Who owns the vault? Who owns the 
content stored in the vault?  Does Verizon charge Sony Entertainment 
to store Sony's movies for future distribution? Who gets to bill the 
customer? Is Sony reimbursed when the customer actually watches it, 
when Verizon issues the invoice, when Verizon gets paid, or 
speculatively, up front. (The cable TV model has cable companies 
paying, essentially in advance, for the channels they carry, with a 
lot of bundling and package deals from vendor to cable co, who then 
repackages to the consumer.. e.g. We'll sell you ESPN, but you also 
have to carry Midnight Preschool channel and the Paint Drying 
channel, so you burn 3 channels worth of bandwidth to carry the most 
customers want to pay for.)  Who's responsible for authenticating the 
users of the content in that vault?

>So if one locates "stores" of basically all the titles one might wish to
>deliver that auto-replicate on demand while solving an "interesting"
>problem in provisioning and optimization throughout communities (with a
>suitable tree structure or network) one can avoid a lot of resource
>contention on the aggregate backbone.  There are already companies
>trying to move into this space using the limited bw already available --
>however, centralized distribution models probably will not scale.

Distributed stores do work (e.g. Google) but have challenging 
non-technical aspects as described above.

James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875 

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