Or perhaps that should read over-selling. Either way, I’ve noticed a recent, semi-subliminal message from Telstra. The mantra they are getting us to chant is “I need really fast broadband, 4 to 6 megabits. Otherwise I won’t be able to watch new things, like TV, over the Internet”
Given that the fastest home ADSL connection is currently ‘only’ 1.5 megabits, it’s a bit of a jump to 6. And not cheap either.
But I’m now starting to:
- question their assumptions, and
- question their motives.
Seems like they are basing this 4 to 6 figure on using MPEG-2 technology; as currently used in DVDs and Digital TV.
But, but, but. Why MPEG-2? What about the more modern MPEG-4? This would seem to be the way of the future; scheduled to be part of the DVD follow-on products like Blu-ray and HD-DVD.
I can speak from my own tests with MPEG-4 that a 50 minute digital TV show can be compressed to 440 MB (Megabyte). This is standard definition (DVD quality) picture. Yes, the picture looks just like a DVD.
Everyone I’ve shown it to cannot pick the difference between in image quality between this MPEG-4 file and DVD.
If you work it out, my MPEG4′s are 8.8 megabyte per minute. Even with timing and protocol overheard, that’s nowhere near the “4 to 6 megabits per second“.
My media player reports a bit rate (total) of 1226 k Bits/sec for this file. My ADSL link is about 1500 k Bits/sec.
Therefore: I could probably stream this MPEG-4 file over current ADSL 1.5 megabit link (!)
Also, these are open source codecs (XviD) with open (public) compression matrices. Maybe proprietary systems can achieve even greater MPEG-4 quality at lower rates and therefore needing less speed lines.
So, back to their possible motives for this apparent up-selling. Wouldn’t be to take advantage of consumer ignorance and charge more money for the 4 to 6 megabit links? Surely not. No way.