It was presumed that with fiber, dark or not, that the use of satellite would be phased out for most of the First World. It seemed a logical idea with fiber to every home and backbones in the Tb range that orbital links would dwindle. But that is not proving true. There are still enough folks even in the hinterlands of the first world that need these services –
Eutelsat says that its KA-SAT multi-spotbeam satellite – which was built for the company by Astrium – is the world’s most powerful spotbeam satellite. Ten ground stations using ViaSat’s SurfBeam 2 technology have 82 narrow spotbeams aimed at them in a configuration that’s claimed to be capable of handling a total throughput of 70Gbps. The broadband internet by satellite service is being offered to consumers and business users via Tooway, operated by Skylogic.
The bird was launched last year and went into service this month. More are planned in Africa, South America, etc.
There is a new kid on the broadband block and it could end up shaking the industry up by the knees. The company is ivi and their singular product is streaming on air programming from the likes of ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, etc. All for $4.99/mo.
Why the shaking at the knees? Because ivi is essentially a reflection of the cable industry itself. ivi is doing what started the whole cable industry to begin with — provide on air signals to those individuals who would not have normally had access to them based on geographic restraints. The conundrum comes that for a Comcast to moan about ivi as a competitor is to moan about itself, at least in a statutory sense. ivi in any future fight with the big boys essentially has a big mirror to shine at their detractors in a court of law.
ivi is doing nothing that the cable cos aren’t doing. Fact all the way to the point of including the commercials, PSA’s, etc. The whole ball of wax. All for $4.99/mo. What’s worse? If I were the likes of ABC and CBS (NBC is owned by Comcast now) I would snuggle up to these guys and work some deals to cut my backend transport costs. A managed service deal. They make a deal; the content free in exchange ivi operate as a third party service agent for all our streams for us and our affiliates. We the networks, can then turn around and fire a whole bunch of backoffice staff. (Sorry that’s my MBA talking.)
For the consumer is ivi a good deal? It all depends on your cable co. If you already get on-air service as part of your base rate probably not. Provided of course that is all. But many cable co’s wrap such access up with a bundle making it impossible to get without it. In that situation, you cut your vid channels, keep the data, lower your base charge and subscribe to ivi. You do save money and for those that lack the skills for operating a Boxee box it maybe the way to go.
I wish ivi luck in their endeavor. There is a need for this. But they have an Achilles heel that is held by their competitors. ivi could be wiped out in a moment by the likes of Comcast and TWC offering ABC/NBC/CBS free on a data channel gratis. No company ever beats free.
Today marks the official start of a new relationship: the launch of ABC content on Hulu. Things kick off with five episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, the primetime drama set at Seattle Grace Hospital, where surgical interns try to navigate the challenges of romance and friendship as they scrub in for complicated medical cases. The videos posted on Hulu will mirror the episodes most recently aired on TV, which includes the two-part Season 5 opener, two episodes from the middle of the season, and another pair that lead up to the heart-wrenching finale.We have more ABC titles on the way, too.
Check our Hulu Days of Summer calendar to see what’s new each day this week; we’ll also post clues to the next day’s content each weekday on our Twitter and Facebook pages. (You can also check the Twitter feed on the main Hulu Blog page for clues if you’re not on Twitter or Facebook.
Here’s the iteresting tidbit. Advertising onair the going rate is $20/thousand on average. On Hulu its $60 per. Why the disparity? Less competition for eyeballs means that the advertising that is viewed isn’t sandwiched between the shamwow guy and a Billy Mays tribute. Even at the higher pay rate the advertising is more effective.
But Hulu is not alone. Less fanfare of course but YouTube now has their shows category up and running as well. Fact when my granddaughter was here she and I watched old mickey mouse cartoons together on YouTube.
Digital conversion was to have happened back in February. Congress delayed it to 6/12. Some areas like Hawaii went ahead and did the switch anyway (as the law permitted). But did extending the date clear up the problem? Nooooo –
Michael J. Copps, the acting head of the Federal Communications Commission, said that the people most likely to lose reception are society’s most vulnerable — lower-income families, the elderly, the handicapped and homes where little or no English is spoken. The transition will also hit inner-city and rural areas hardest, he said.
“We are much better prepared than we were in February, when the original transition was to have occurred, but there will nonetheless be significant disruptions,” Mr. Copps said in an interview. “In the past five months we’ve tried to accomplish what should have been done over the last four years.”
More than three million homes that do not subscribe to cable or satellite services are totally unprepared for the transition and will lose their reception, according to Nielsen. Another nine million homes that subscribe to cable or satellite services but that have spare television sets — typically in bedrooms and kitchens — that are not connected to any service are also expected to lose reception. The conversion does not affect cable or satellite distribution.
Sorry but this is the typical sob story we get from the NYT all the time. Oh woe for the weak, the poor, the uneducated. I am not heartless but folks lets face some reality shall we — this is TV we are talking about! Not access to health care or the voting booth. Freaking entertainment. As I recall I never saw in film a banner on the Normandy beaches saying — “Give me DTV, or give me death”.
I would also like to know what Americorps is doing spending my tax dollars installing converter boxes? Let the private sector handle it. Or the consumer. Were dealing with a power cord and 2 cables that need to be hooked up.
To the 3m. Tough. Get with the program.
Orange Guinea Conakry and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) are deploying more than 100 base stations fully powered by solar energy, connecting remote parts of rural Africa. Using Ericsson’s energy-efficient base stations, a hybrid diesel-battery solution and solar panels, Orange is increasing mobile coverage in rural and urban areas, while taking concrete steps towards its target of reducing CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020. This enables remote areas without an established power grid to get access mobile communications.
Alassane Diene, CEO of Orange-Guinea Conakry, says: “We are reducing our energy bill. These base stations are also easier to install and require less maintenance than the traditional site. They also offer greater reliability and therefore considerably improved quality of service”
Jan Embro, President of Ericsson for sub-Saharan Africa, says: “It is extremely exciting to be able to run sites on alternative energy sources. Limiting dependency on fossil fuels brings many advantages, but the greatest is the ability to offer sustainable connectivity to low-income users in remote areas across Africa”
Ericsson’s hybrid diesel-battery energy solution replaces one of a site’s diesel generators with a bank of specially designed batteries that can handle a large amount of charging and discharging. This self-contained power solution can be set to meet the batteries’ optimal charging and discharging levels, extending the lifetime of the battery and the generator, and reducing energy-related costs by about 50 percent.
The Ericsson BTS 2111 radio base station is a main-remote solution without any active moving parts such as cooling fans. It reduces energy consumption up to 50 percent, allowing the site to be fully powered by solar energy, supported by a battery bank for 24/7 operation.
This is from an Ericsson press release — here.
First a marker. Kudos to all involved in moving forward with this project. Even the green aspects. Using solar reduces fuel costs and hence trucking and labor to keep the diesel plant going. That helps reduce overall subscriber rates.
Now for the rant. While even Africa moves forward with what appears to be a disjointed country by country deploy of wireless. We here in the US, a contiguous land and political mass are stuck in bureaucratic wrangling, antiquated mindsets and duopoly follies that hold back any serious attempt at a wireless deployment. Hell our own government has delayed the 700mhz deploy by its foolish delay of the DTV transition.
Question is, who is living in what Third World Country? Right now I don’t see a difference.