Friday, 26 May 2017

The internet of video

Call me old if you will, but I remember a time when the Internet did not even exist - when I was making protocols for file transfer over 300bps modems (for my B.Sc.) at around the same time as IP packets were being dreamt up. I had used computers for many years by them.

I have seen it change over time, and change in many ways.

At the start it was a bit like ham radio - sending packets to each other was what we did - using protocols like TCP on top of that, and I was lucky enough to find Demon for my first home Internet connection with a fixed IP and no filtering. I commend Demon as pioneers of their day.

Times have changed, and the invention of the world wide web, and http, was a major thing. I remember actually going on a course for UI design that mentioned hyperlinking, and a course on web page design (all manually created HTML).

The usage of the Internet really has come a long way and we are now in the video phase of that usage. At each stage the Internet has had its high users. It was text initially, and then images, audio files, and now video.

One of the things I have always said is that there probably are some limits on what consumer Internet will need to provide, and those limits stem from the bandwidth of the person - of the human being. How much data can we, as a person, absorb?

Obviously there are always exceptions, cases where data is transferred for processing by computer systems and not a person, but by far the highest usage of the Internet as a consumer service right now is the video streaming, and that is there to ultimately be fed to the eyes and ears of one or more people.

We have many senses, and even then we have to consider the "resolution" of those senses. The fact we have 4k video now, even at levels perhaps beyond the resolution of our eyes (because we can move our eyes around the screen) is quite amazing. We may go to higher resolutions even, and more 3D and so on. Vision is perhaps the highest bandwidth sense we have, with sound, and smell and touch all taking a back seat.

With consumer Internet connections starting to approach the level where each person in a household is able to receive the video streaming, and the content, at least as much as they as a person can absorb in real time for 24 hours a day - we may start to finally reach limits of consumer Internet connectivity.

Of course there is the uplink side, and that has yet to fully catch up. Internet has been asymmetrical for some time, but even now FTTC offers 20Mb/s uplink if you can get it. We have to consider people creating content, and that content being video. Ratios of content production to content consumption will always be skewed to the consumption so maybe what we have makes sense now.

Personally I am thinking I need to move more to video content - my blog moving to a vlog (or whatever it is called). I have a youtube channel (do subscribe). I will try to learn more about video and multiple cameras, and sound, and so on, and maybe get good at it...

Maybe that will be the new me - the video content generator?

It reminds me a lot of this comic (see image on the right). Well worth reading.

21 comments:

  1. > I need to move more to video content - my blog moving to a vlog

    My heart always sinks when I see someone offering a video instead of textual content, except where video makes more sense. Text can be skimmed easily, or searched (e.g. if looking for historic content), or read in silence on a train. It's likely to be readily available in the future, whereas video codecs come and go.

    Some things work better in video — describing a drone flight is far inferior to showing it on video, for example — and some video enriching posts is always welcome.

    But *replacing* textual content with video? I'm less convinced.

    But, hey, it's not my [b|v]log.

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    1. Indeed, and a very good point, ironically made on a heavily textual and non video blog post :-)

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    2. I'm with Neil - I find most video blog (I hate that term) is poor - drags on, hard to skip like you can with text and there are ultimately many environments and situations where reading something is fine, playing something not so much.

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  2. Please don't move to vlog. Deaf reader here. :)

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    1. Yet another interesting viewpoint - I suspect we can ensure subtitles work and to be honest , but I also expect that the text blog to accompany the video will never quite go away. Thanks for commenting.

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  3. Speaking of the upload side. I'm getting a symmetrical 150mbps FTTH connection next week.

    But yeah, in general, it's a shame it never caught up sooner. ADSL being "good enough for most people, et al.

    Vancouver, BC, Canada

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  4. I wouldn't bother watching a vlog. I watch most of the short videos embedded in your blog, mainly on mute but using the article to fill in what the video is about. A lot of the time I read your blog while on the phone. This wouldn't be compatible with video.

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  5. You know that trouble you had all those years back with ADR? I've just been seen the other face. Virgin Media are refusing to raise a complaint. CISAS won't take a case without a deadlock letter! Isn't there some Ofcom regulation that providers must accept a complaint or at least stick by their complaints policy?

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    1. I think they should have, and follow, a complaints process. CISAS will take after time has passed (8 weeks I think) - deadlock only needed before that.

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    2. Ok, well that's a bit annoying. They owe me some money after I left and they're being extremely woolly about refunding me. 45 days after a disconnection date that's in the future, and by cheque? What century are we living in?

      And then they claim that Ofcom mandates and approves this refund policy. Strange that, BT had no problem refunding me by direct debit 7 days after I left!

      I'm sure you wouldn't mess me around like this... precisely why I switched!

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    3. If you leave us, once the cease has gone through (which is normally a couple of working days) we automatically issue a credit, and if that means a refund of a direct debit it is automatically refunded (which is 2 working days).

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    4. Good customer service right to the end... only A&A do it properly!

      I'm glad I switched to you every day when I have a problem with other suppliers. You don't happen to have plans to be an energy supplier anytime soon, by any chance?

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    5. A friend did try to convince me to do that, but I have spoken to people that work in that industry and it is a nightmare, so I suspect not.

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    6. > They owe me some money after I left and they're being extremely woolly about refunding me. 45 days after a disconnection date that's in the future, and by cheque?

      What does your contract say?

      If nothing, letter to their legal team, recorded delivery, giving them 28 days to pay, failing that, money claim online?

      (Unnecessary and unwanted hassle, of course, and if you claim then you cannot use the Ombudsman, but might be a way forward?)

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    7. Ha, that's the funny part. They never sent me a contract or order confirmation even though I asked them about 7 times. They entered my email address wrong when I signed up on the phone, and their system seemingly can't cope with resending the contract or order confirmation to the updated correct email address. They also claimed to have sent them by post - nothing ever received.

      So as far as I'm concerned there are no specific terms of contract other than those agreed on the phone and those which are implied (eg Consumer Rights Act). I mean their internet service never worked and there's no mobile internet signal at home, how else am I supposed to look up the conditions?!

      Their standard terms say that if they owe me money when I leave they'll be in contact to make arrangements but will not bother if it costs more to administer than it's worth. But I think it's a refund under S56(5) Consumer Rights Act as the service didn't work and they refunded me (partially). So surely it should be refunded within 14 days and the same way I paid (Direct Debit).

      I don't even know myself anymore. The amount they owe is really not that big so it's not worth going to court for, but they're being absolute bellends about the whole thing, from missed appointments to refusing to replace the router to shouting at me on the phone, not sending a contract, refusing to take up a complaint. I feel like writing a sarcastic reply to them if they send me junk mail again.

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    8. If its more than 8 weeks since the last refusal to settle the issue then you can take it straight to ADR.

      Simply quote the reference number given to you by the ISP. I did this more than a decade ago when my CC got ripped off by a Zen employee & Richard Tang basically told me to fuck off because this stuff happens when you pay staff minimum wage (he is - or at least was - a wanker of the highest order IMHO).

      If the company is playing silly buggers then stiff them with the ADR fee at the very least.

      I know Adrian hates that part of the whole process but for people with mainstream ISPs its the only way to get attention a lot of the time.

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    9. Reference number given? No such luck! They refuse to take the complaint at all.

      I very much feel like stiffing them with the ADR fee but I really can't be bothered as it's a hassle, and the amount involved is pretty small. But it just irks me. And I bet they'll be bombarding me with junk mailings soon, inviting me to come back. Ha, not in a lifetime after what I experienced!

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    10. Hi

      I left virgin for AA a few months back. Took them about 30 days from disconnection to raise the cheque (yes, cheque...) then about 5 days for it to arrive with me.

      My guess is a lot of people don't bother to cash a piddly amount (£6.38 for me...)

      They're not going to give you a deadlock letter because odds are it'll solve itself in a few weeks...

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  6. If the bandwidth is there then people will use it.
    First there was mp3 then as bandwidths increased flac for audiofiles.
    Could we get to the point where people start downloading/streaming lossless video if the bandwidth is available?

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    1. Interesting point, but I doubt it to be honest as you are unlikely to be able to see the difference. I may be wrong - but even so, what then. At some point (and maybe we are not even close yet) you get to the bandwidth that a person can absorb...

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    2. Audio streaming is still mostly MP3 with some use of AAC. Lossless audio is still trailing a distant third, despite the bandwidth for it being easily there now.

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