Saturday, June 12, 2010

BE (UK): World Cup Without Buffering

It seems that major sporting events are good for ISP marketing. After we saw Airtel's (India) "Cricket without Buffering" (here) we get now a new, a bit confusing I must say, campaign from BE (UK) to "end buffering, because it’s going to hinder you from making the most out of your online viewing experience".

This is announced in connection to the 2010 World Cup opened yesterday. See BE's blog post "BE’S CAMPAIGN TO BANISH BUFFERING" (here). The post mixes several issues related to Over the Top Video services: speed, throughput, traffic shaping and byte-cap (quota) trying to show that BE is has superior QoE compared to other ISPs.

So why it is sp confisuing?

For once, BE says that "For example, the average UK broadband speed is 3.6mbps, but streaming video needs an average of 9mbps of bandwidth to avoid buffering" - buffering is used to overcome the jitter (variance in throughput). You cannot stream 9 Mbps (if this is what you need) over 3.6 for 90 minutes football ("soccer") match ... (or buffering will take you almost 90 minutes). Buffering maybe needed with any connection speed, to overcome temporary congestion conditions anywhere between the subscriber and the streaming server.

BE's bottom line is "With no traffic shaping in place, you can be sure that you’ll never be “buffering about” ever again" (!). Actually, traffic shaping is the tool to grant higher (or highest) priority to streaming video .. traffic shaping is an effective toos to minimize buffering!

Related post - "Apple TV Goes Streaming, HD and to the Clouds" - here

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