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Suggestion for reducing Vudu bandwith usage (to prepare for impending bandwidth caps)

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    Suggestion for reducing Vudu bandwith usage (to prepare for impending bandwidth caps)

    The following report in Business Week should alarm all of those streaming video via Time Warner Cable's Road Runner internet service. The proposed 40GB bandwidth cap trial is now being extended to service areas outside of Texas, and as a resident of NC, this extension is pretty close to home.

    http://www.businessweek.com/technolo...331_726397.htm

    I have closely monitored the bandwidth utilization of my Vudu box since installing it in Dec 2008, and estimate that it is downloading somewhere between 25-35GB of data per month while idle. This would push me up to the proposed 40GB limit with no movies watched.

    I have a 10MB Powerboost connection with TWC. Instant HD starts up very quickly on my Netflix service, so my question is this. Why does the Vudu box need to buffer 30secs of every movie, plus a multitude of previews?

    So, here is what I propose: I would like the option of disabling the preview and 30s buffer downloads to reduce my network usage. I am quite willing to wait for a few seconds for a movie to start during instant watch. This option could be achieved simply by adding a check box to the system info, indicating that I have "unlimited bandwidth" or a "limited metered bandwidth", in the metered case the background downloads of the previews and movie headers would be disabled.

    I really think that Vudu should pre-empt the impending threat by making this change. It would be detrimental to us all if people started unplugging their Vudu boxes from the network because they fear swingeing excess charges from their ISPs.

    #2
    Re: Suggestion for reducing Vudu bandwith usage (to prepare for impending bandwidth c

    You can pretty much already do what you've asked for. Go into Info&Settings and set your download bandwidth for 1MB (instead of 4MB instant HD). If you don't mind the delays, you can cut down your bandwidth quite easily.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Suggestion for reducing Vudu bandwith usage (to prepare for impending bandwidth c

      Originally posted by Nded View Post
      You can pretty much already do what you've asked for. Go into Info&Settings and set your download bandwidth for 1MB (instead of 4MB instant HD). If you don't mind the delays, you can cut down your bandwidth quite easily.
      Hi Ed,

      Thank you for your suggestion. To be a "good citizen" of the Internet, I have actually already made this setting change. I normally have the box set to 1MB, and just crank it up to 4MB when I am ready to watch a movie. Even in the 1MB restricted mode the box is still downloading ~8GB per week (in the background). So, as a simple alternative to my previous suggestion, perhaps the 1MB setting should introduce an even more restrictive download of background data?

      If TWC introduce the 40GB cap in my service area, which it now seems they are likely to do, then I am worried that I will have no choice but to turn off the device and only power it up as needed.

      Cheers,

      -Graham

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Suggestion for reducing Vudu bandwith usage (to prepare for impending bandwidth c

        Do you have any competition for broadband in your area? I don't think TWC will attempt this in a market where users can jump ship and get a different service.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Suggestion for reducing Vudu bandwith usage (to prepare for impending bandwidth c

          Originally posted by Nded View Post
          Do you have any competition for broadband in your area? I don't think TWC will attempt this in a market where users can jump ship and get a different service.
          In most of the RTP area where I live, TWC is the best choice for speed, but we also have access to Verizon DSL (3-4MB/s) and Clearwire WiMax. Greensboro is mentioned in the Business Week article; this area is also I believe, served by both TWC and Verizon DSL. So, while educated, I don't think your premise is true and respectfully disagree.

          I can see that this approach of TWC is a gamble and I am not sure how it will play out in the long run; but my real point is that Vudu can future proof their product to some degree by ensuring that not only can it operate in a low bandwidth environment (as they already do), but also that it can limit its bandwidth usage when the GB/month is limited by an ISP usage cap.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Suggestion for reducing Vudu bandwith usage (to prepare for impending bandwidth c

            I have to believe that overall per capita bandwidth usage will increase over the next few years. This 40 GB nonsense makes Comcast seem like the good guy in all this. After all, their cap is 250 GB. Geez, if I used TWC and used what the Comcast residential limit is, I'd end up paying an extra $210 over the monthly charge for overage fees. That's just absurd.

            I don't totally disagree that heavy users should pay more than light users. After all we pay extra for extra speed so paying more for more bandwidth isn't totally crazy. The crazy part is that they create an artificial limit and then implicitly define everyone who goes past that as some sort of "hog" and charge punitive rates. Just make a tier that's got unlimited bandwidth and charge reasonable non-punitive rates for those who want that. Problem solved!

            I'm glad I switched to Comcast business class. Now I have no cap and 22/5 speed for $99/month. 40 GB/month? Ridiculous.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Suggestion for reducing Vudu bandwith usage (to prepare for impending bandwidth c

              Originally posted by redwein View Post
              I'm glad I switched to Comcast business class. Now I have no cap and 22/5 speed for $99/month. 40 GB/month? Ridiculous.
              What is ridiculous is that Comcast doesn't advertise their 250GB limitation when you purchase their internet service. What is more odd, is that it is not even under the terms and conditions. Which would seem to imply that is it unlimited. Go figure.

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Suggestion for reducing Vudu bandwith usage (to prepare for impending bandwidth c

                I am OK with paying more to use more. But the rates should be a reasonable per unit rate.

                Today I pay ~$60/month for 16/3 from Comcast with a soft cap of 250GB. If I were to do the math, consumers version, I would come up with something like this:

                Administration Fees (billing, etc): $5
                Per account technology base fee (Portal site, McAfee sub, customer svc): $5
                Provisioned speed fee (what I pay to get 16/3 vs 5/.5 or something): $30
                Bandwidth fee: $20 for up to 250GB

                So, the $20 ends up being $.08/GB.

                I would be fine if they just left out the $20 fee and charged me $.08/GB with no min. and no cap. I pay for what I use.


                Originally posted by redwein View Post
                I have to believe that overall per capita bandwidth usage will increase over the next few years. This 40 GB nonsense makes Comcast seem like the good guy in all this. After all, their cap is 250 GB. Geez, if I used TWC and used what the Comcast residential limit is, I'd end up paying an extra $210 over the monthly charge for overage fees. That's just absurd.

                I don't totally disagree that heavy users should pay more than light users. After all we pay extra for extra speed so paying more for more bandwidth isn't totally crazy. The crazy part is that they create an artificial limit and then implicitly define everyone who goes past that as some sort of "hog" and charge punitive rates. Just make a tier that's got unlimited bandwidth and charge reasonable non-punitive rates for those who want that. Problem solved!

                I'm glad I switched to Comcast business class. Now I have no cap and 22/5 speed for $99/month. 40 GB/month? Ridiculous.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Suggestion for reducing Vudu bandwith usage (to prepare for impending bandwidth c

                  Originally posted by deparson View Post
                  I would be fine if they just left out the $20 fee and charged me $.08/GB with no min. and no cap. I pay for what I use.
                  That would be fine with me too. Though I'd prefer for them to also have an unlimited tier where I just didn't need to think about it at all and my bill was the same every month.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Suggestion for reducing Vudu bandwith usage (to prepare for impending bandwidth c

                    I'd rather keep my $90 a month for 50/20 from FIOS and keep using 1TB to 2TB of bandwidth(up/down) a month.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Suggestion for reducing Vudu bandwith usage (to prepare for impending bandwidth c

                      Originally posted by redwein View Post
                      That would be fine with me too. Though I'd prefer for them to also have an unlimited tier where I just didn't need to think about it at all and my bill was the same every month.
                      Get the business account. No caps.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Suggestion for reducing Vudu bandwith usage (to prepare for impending bandwidth c

                        Originally posted by rstone View Post
                        What is ridiculous is that Comcast doesn't advertise their 250GB limitation when you purchase their internet service. What is more odd, is that it is not even under the terms and conditions. Which would seem to imply that is it unlimited. Go figure.
                        There is a lot of things Comcast doesn't tell you and doesn't even properly train their support staff on. Just try to get correct information on Cable Cards!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Suggestion for reducing Vudu bandwith usage (to prepare for impending bandwidth c

                          Originally posted by NA9D View Post
                          Get the business account. No caps.
                          I did. I was just talking about what I thought companies should offer their customers.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Suggestion for reducing Vudu bandwith usage (to prepare for impending bandwidth c

                            Originally posted by NA9D View Post
                            There is a lot of things Comcast doesn't tell you and doesn't even properly train their support staff on. Just try to get correct information on Cable Cards!
                            I have 4 series 3 Tivos and, in the beginning, they insisted that they come out to install the cable cards. It turned out that I had to show them how to do it and they thanked me for it. Thankfully, now you can go to the service center and pick up/install the cards yourself.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Suggestion for reducing Vudu bandwith usage (to prepare for impending bandwidth c

                              Originally posted by Nded View Post
                              You can pretty much already do what you've asked for. Go into Info&Settings and set your download bandwidth for 1MB (instead of 4MB instant HD). If you don't mind the delays, you can cut down your bandwidth quite easily.
                              I think that is just transfer speed? That is, it may slow your transfer rate, but over the course of a full month on a 24x7 basis, it probably does not cut down on your overall consumption.

                              I think he's saying he wants to cut out unneeded downloads such as all the previews and the initial few minutes of each movie. He would be willing to sacrafice instant starting and waiting a few minutes to watch a movie or preview and not come so close to the consumption limit.

                              I actually like that idea. Though I could see how it might impact the peer to peer architecture approach.

                              Comment

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