San Leandro, CA

Redefining TV

Redefining TV

Residential customers ask if or when we’ll reach into the neighborhoods. It’s a long way off, given the small size of our organization. Meanwhile, technology continues its pace forward with more reasons to have faster access and questions about how today’s business models will evolve in the future.

First, What’s up with 4K Video? helps us understand how many more pixels we’ll need to pull through our cable or Internet connections:

4K video is defined by the Consumer Electronics Association as a video stream that has at least 3,840 X 2,160 pixels. This contrasts to existing high definition (HD) video that has 1,920 X 1,080 pixels and standard definition video (SD) that has 720 X 480 pixels.

A quick back of the napkin estimation for a regular 8-bit color (256 colors) 72 dpi picture, the Standard Definition (SD) video requires .33 Mb for a static picture, or (not using compression, but let’s say 24 frames/second) 7.9 Mb/second. Contrast this with 4K video, estimating, we’re looking at 7.9 Mb per frame or 189.6 Mb/second.[source]

residential speedtestOne of our residential neighbors with a cable modem ran a quick speed test. It showed A) a good download speed (40 Mb/second) relative to other cities, B) at that download speed, we’re not ready for 4K TVs in town, and C) at this upload speed (6.06 Mb/sec), the level of interaction from this house to the Internet (talking on VoIP phones, Skype or Google Hangouts, sending email attachments, uploading to YouTube, etc.) is perhaps not as great as we’d like.

Second, a Study: Half of Adults Under 32 Won’t Pay for Cable TV by 2025. This is interesting because it shows the pay-TV model will need to adjust to this evolving market.

The survey of 35,000 adults found that 76% subscribe to traditional cable. Of the 24% who don’t pay for cable, 18% are “cord-nevers” or people who’ve never had cable and don’t much care.

And they’re not all just kids, as the narrative often goes. Most of these cord nevers are now 32 and older, with about 7% of them ranging between 18 and 31.

Forrester notes that this year, these cord nevers surpassed cord cutters for the first time and now represent “the next stage of evolution in TV viewing.” The segment is expected to grow rapidly as Internet video a la carte options increase.

We live in interesting times.