Video is breaking the web

News | Thoughts By 5 years ago

Two things happened to me this week, Telstra told me the ADSL DSLAM I am connected to is congested, and I ran out of space on my iPad downloading 12Gb of Community (the tv show)

Entertainment is breaking the Internet. And by entertainment I’m referring to YouTube and iTunes video.

As Apple and Samsung release new retina and high pixel density displays, we demand super high clarity video. With this HD video delivered on the Internet, file sizes increase in many cases over 400% which puts Stress on my home Internet, congesting my DSLAM and making low bandwidth tasks (like Googling) impossibly slow for everyone else.

Video is massively inefficient when it’s demanded in high quality. We can blame YouTube, Apple and Google for giving consumers the option to get 1080P. The reality is we will not be less entertained with a little more compression or loss in quality. Secondly it’s impossible to tell the difference on a mobile device. Most people wouldn’t even know they are accessing HD by default.

The Solution?
Improve video, make it smarter. Take a lesson from Apple who manufacture the least powerful devices, and pressure developers to improve their code. The result is device performance that exceeds Samsung with chips 2X the power. Don’t make the Internet more powerful, pressure the codec and companies that encode video for the web.

An example
I was paying close attention to “how” I was watching video on me flight today. I downloaded my community episodes in SD at 350MB a piece. I really only watch specific bits of the screen at any one time.

Compress the outside areas around the centre of focus, this could be more than 50% of the screen. And keep the centre of focus HD. Bingo we just got the same visual effect of HD saving 400% bandwidth.

Also I don’t really care for widescreen, I double tap my videos to fit the whole screen. That’s 25% of my video unnecessarily downloaded. Give me the option not to have it.

The result
Entertainment now reduces my bandwidth and space requirements, the load on my DSLAM lightens, government can save billions on NBN. Then our focus can be on improving the capability of 4G, speeds capable of 100Mbp/s. It is mobile and considering PC sales are diminishing, tablets are flourishing this is where our focus needs to be. Make entertainment smarter and deliver it on mobile.