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App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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March 2007 Archives

March 19, 2007 6:06 AM

Like Shrimp, It's All About the Tail

Welcome to the beginning of AppRising, a blog that mines the intersection of networks and applications. Keep up to date on the latest trends and better informed about where they point for the future as we continue to find new ways to leverage the power of broadband.

Join me as I explore the nexus of supply and demand created by evermore abundant broadband connectivity and bandwidth-hungry applications.


In the latest episode of my ongoing quest to wed good food with all my professional relationships, I had the opportunity to chat with Bill Hornbeck, CEO of StreamerNet, over a plate of fantastic Black Pepper Shrimp at the Taste of Saigon in McLean, VA recently.

StreamerNet's sweetspot is enabling smaller scale events like concerts and lectures to stream video live or on-demand using nothing more than a camera, a broadband-enabled computer, and their desktop application called Mobile Video Producer. In particular, StreamerNet is focused on providing the tools necessary to monetize this content, so you can sell more tickets than a physical venue could hold and expand your audience to those who couldn't be in attendance.

You can look forward to an article on KillerApp.com about them soon, and we're excited to have Bill on board as a presenter at the Killer App Expo -- the only place to experience firsthand the full impact of broadband on all facets of society.

But back to my conversation with Bill. As we traded histories he made an interesting comment about how the trouble with being a futurist is that the market often isn't ready to buy into whatever you're trying to sell them. He continued on to cite that the biggest issues he faces when trying to grow his business involve educating potential customers about the value of online video and that not everyone who does online video is trying to be YouTube.

These thoughts got me thinking about where we're at with our adoption of the Internet as a whole.

The Internet is undoubtedly the fastest growing medium in the history of man, with broadband speeds and availability on the rise and a bevy of proven and practical applications standing at the ready.

Yet, much of the Internet's growth to date has been limited to early adopters, especially when it comes to more bandwidth-intensive applications. Many people still don't use the Internet at all, let alone things like videoconferencing and peer-to-peer filesharing. And confusion reigns in mainstream America about what this whole Internet thing is all about.

But the day when mainstream adoption of these more bandwidth-intensive applications is fast approaching. The meteoric rise of YouTube offers a perfect example of just how quickly this adoption can be realized once consumers become aware of an easy-to-use application that offers a clear value proposition.

What this all leads me to is that while much of what you'll find in this blog will deal with the newest, most bandwidth-intensive applications and what they need from the networks they run over, the trend that's arguably more important to keep an eye on when trying to understand future demand for bandwidth is consumer awareness and adoption of technology rather than the technology itself.

A pretty basic assertion, but one that too often gets lost amidst the excitement around new technology. And one that needs a brighter light shone on it as only by driving adoption across the Long Tail of users -- to usurp a defining analogy most often used in relation to the infinitely expandable library of content the Internet makes possible -- will we realize the ultimate goal of an economy and a country fully empowered by broadband and prepared to compete in the flattened world of the Digital Age.

March 26, 2007 8:02 PM

The Perfect Storm of Internet Video to the TV

I've watched in amazement over the past twelve months as the TV industry's attitude towards Internet distribution has run from an uncertain decade-old cold to an unbridled hot.

It arguably started about this time last year with the success of CBS streaming March Madness live, then on through ABC’s summer ’06 trial of offering free ad-supported full-length first-run shows like Desperate Housewives, to the recently announced partnership between NBC and NewsCorp to develop a YouTube competitor seeded with TV shows from NBC and Fox. The dams have burst and TV content is flooding online.

Now, we’re straddling the threshold of another revolution in the distribution of Internet video: the tumbling walls between PC and TV. I’m talking about watching TV on your TV but through the Internet not the traditional broadcast/cable/satellite.

While we’re a LONG ways away from any sort of widespread adoption of the Internet as a cable replacement, the number of new ways to experience TV on your TV through the Internet has exploded, opening up the possibility to some seriously significant audiences.

Apple and BitTorrent both boast more than 100 million users, and have recently made major new releases in this space – Apple TV and the BitTorrent Entertainment Network respectively. Microsoft has seen its Xbox Live Marketplace grow in a year to six million registered users, many of which are downloading and watching TV shows through their Xbox 360s. AT&T;’s HomeZone will eventually be available to more than thirty million of its broadband customers, enabling the delivery of premium movies and deep libraries of Internet video on-demand over the Internet to the TV.

I wanted to shine a light on this particular area of Internet video for several reasons:

For one, the lean-back TV viewing experience is still the dominant way to watch video, especially longer videos, meaning that screen has the biggest audiences who watch for the longest amount of time.

Two, when watching TV people have higher expectations for the video quality, something that’s only heightened by the availability of high definition televisions, which will put additional upward pressure on the size of the video files that need to be transferred.

And three, the Internet holds distinct advantages over broadcast/cable/satellite technologies in that there are no limits to how much content can and will be made available through the system.

Combine the increase in eyeballs watching long-form Internet video on TV with the increasingly higher quality of those videos and the endlessly expandable amount of content that can be accessible and you have the perfect storm for massive new bandwidth demands on networks.

Sure Internet video to a computer is and will continue to be a big, big deal and not one to take lightly, but keep an eye on Internet video to a TV set as it may prove to be the biggest deal of all.