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Tech Report: Bandwidth Solutions for Ultra HDTV

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LarryMagid01-228 Larry Magid
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safe...
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LAS VEGAS (KCBS) — One of the hot trends at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is ultra high-definition TV’s. But, the new technology is raising questions about whether internet service providers will have the bandwidth to keep up.

Earlier this week, Netflix announced that it would be shooting the new season of House of Cards in the new format, so it’s feasible that many people could experience this issue.

I spoke to the CEO of Akamai Technologies, an internet content delivery network, and part of their strategy is to bring internet content closer to the edge of the network, where the users are.

The problem with getting that content to your computer or mobile device is two-fold. It could be your internet connection from whichever service provider you pay for, or it could be the provider’s ability to provide service to a general area or a neighborhood.

What Akamai is trying to do is they’re trying to store the content in the somewhere in the neighborhood so that it doesn’t have to go through the entire infrastructure of the internet. It could be a Netflix movie for example, if Netflix were one of their customers.

Another strategy is to cache or store the content in your home. Let’s say there’s a show that you watch in ultra high-def— you might program your router to download it in the middle of the night. You could even do this slowly since you’d have the time on your hands; theoretically you’d be asleep. When you wake up the next day it should be on your hard drive or memory.

I think these are reasonable solutions to what I think are going to be a very thorny problem.

To clarify, Akamai is offering their services to providers like Comcast or AT&T, not to the individual consumer.

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