The Fat Pipe’s Probably Not so Fat After All, Why Internet TV Will Not be Replacing TV Anytime Soon

Think the Internet will replace TV ? Think again – Blog Maverick – _ Mark Cuban is out with a post on Internet TV and his opinion that Internet TV will not be replacing regular TV for quite some time.

“The last mile into our homes wont have enough bandwidth to support all that we will want to do via our internet connections at home. There is no moores law for bandwidth to the home. THere is a huge misconception that bandwidth will just continue to experience unlimited expansion for every broadband household. Its what we are used to with hard drives, processors, all technology. It gets faster, cheaper, bigger. Thats not the case for the next decade with bandwidth
The net result is that TV is going to be TV, delivered like TV for a long time to come. (I consider IPTV to be regular TV). There wont be enough bandwidth for it to be any other way.”

Unfortunately, Cuban is probably right. As much as the dream of all of this amazing HDTV microcontent at our fingertips is worth salivating for, getting it into your home economically is probably unfeasable for the near future.

While we still will mostly likely continue to see low res stuff the likes of Google Video, YouTube and iTunes, you probably will not be watching HDTV via download anytime soon.


Update: Mark Cuban adds in the comments: “Personally, i think we are going to ship around hard drives, or people will go to Hollywood Video and just pay to load up the hard drive with movies. Walking or driving to the video store and loading up is faster, cheaper, better and will be for the next 5 years or so. Particularly as users start expecting HD.”

Cool. Sneakernet.

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  1. FFSTV says:

    The likes of YouTube and Google Video is aiming pretty low don’t you think? HDTV content may be a challenge, I admit. But, the 480 lines of NTSC resolution that we have accepted for so many years is very acceptable in terms of bandwidth behind a non-lossy codec.

  2. Dave says:

    Technically, I’m already watching HDTV via download, thanks to the gang at MariposaHD. I also agree that 480p would be perfectly acceptable for downloadable video, though I think there will always be a market for live video, and it will always be distributed the way TV is distributed now. There’s no way I could watch NCAA Tournament games as video podcasts, but post-game commentary would work very well in an RSS feed.

  3. Duncan says:

    I wonder if Korea has this problem? 😉

  4. Wonderful article. Cuban has a gift for finding and exposing the technological elephant in the room.

  5. Steve says:

    Where’s the obligatory line about how Apple should still be offering HDTV downloads on iTunes, even though it would create significant delivery issues to the majority of their customer base?

  6. Jeremiah says:

    I think HD may just be Blockbuster’s saving grace – if they get into the business of renting HD devices (they used to rent VCR’s) it could be their lease on life, so to speak. I know plenty of early-adopters with HD capable TV’s but no content. 1st company in this space will make a wide impression, IMHO.

  7. Kevin Cannon says:

    Yea, Korea certainly won’t have that problem.

    Also, there are many countries that are laying down full fiber networks to the curb in ubran areas that will facilitate net TV.

    It might not be HiDef, but seriously, if you had a choice of TV on Demand or Hi Def, which would you choose?