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Slumdog: 60% Digital, 40% Film
Wednesday, 04 March 2009 22:09

Anthony_Dod_MantleAnthony Dod Mantle won the Academy Award, although he shot more than half the "film" on a Silicon Imaging camera. The answer to "film or digital" is now yes, whichever is better for wat you're shooting that day. I'm a geek who knows that Moore's Law will constantly improve the digital gear, and bring the price down.

Hit TV series 24 used a $3,000 Sony FX-1 five years ago for scenes in tight places, I found out from an uncle working the show. Nobody noticed. That's the same HDV camera Jennie shoots with, and it certainly isn't as good as a $100,000 camera with a $20,000 lens.  But Moore's Law will constantly bring down the price and improve the quality of digital. The 4K Red camera at about $30,000 for the kit including a lense draws rave reviews.

Slumdog was shot in conditions no one would envy. It was "an orgy of bad light," Mantle tells Marcelo Lewin of EXPOZed. "The film versus digital debate as been like a war zone," he adds.

Time for a truce, I say.



Cable modems fast enough for HDTV. Yes.
Thursday, 11 September 2008 15:37

TV folk: Brian Roberts of Comcast changed the Internet in June, 2008. He's going to offer 50 megabit service to his 50M customers by 2010.  That's fast enough for 4 HD channels and much more. 60% of the U.S. will be able to get that speed in 2010-2011, and 80% soon after. Quickly, far more people will be able to watch quality TV, especially if the cablecos price reasonably.


Randall on AT&T blocking the net
Thursday, 11 September 2008 14:38
SBC Clamps Down on Outside Video
Randall Stephenson, now CEO of AT&T, controls Internet connection across the U.S.  In case anyone doubts their talk of caps, here's an excerpt about what he said in several years ago. 
“Oh no,” SBC's #2, Randall Stephenson answered me on whether his DSL customers could watch live video beyond what SBC is selling. “We‘re going to control the video on our network. The content guys will have to make a deal with us.” Around the same time, Al Gore, a man who might be President, had to come hat in hand to Marilyn O'Connell of Verizon, seeking carriage of his Current TV channel on FIOS. She found it interesting, so the odds are good.

Something is inherently wrong if the crucial innovators on the net need to beg the carriers for basic freedom of speech.
Obama Proves 2M to 10M Net Viewers Practical. 7-8M Watched
Monday, 16 February 2009 20:14

Obama's inauguration reached a peak of 7-8M simultaneous viewers, Dan Rayburn calculates, including 3.8M at Akamai alone. Adding a few assumptions to Dan's figure, I'd estimate CDNs can currently deliver 20M streams at low bandwidth and perhaps 2M at digital cable quality. traffic_throughout_the_day_akamaiAkamai had to ration their customers' bandwidth and turn away some; the North American content networks were close to saturation, with heavy traffic in Europe and Asia as well.

"TV" can range from the 100-200K of that day's inauguration to 400K YouTube lousy to 6 megabit good HD, so there's no single figure possible

Bandwidth Demand, AT&T 2008
Thursday, 11 September 2008 15:00

AT&T traffic is growing 25%-30%/year/customer, with a dramatic shift from p2p to YouTube and Hulu like video. Easily a third of AT&T's downstream traffic is now “web audio-video,” far more than p2p and the gap is widening rapidly.

DVD Movies: 25 cents to stream 2006
Thursday, 11 September 2008 14:36

$0.25 To Stream a DVD Quality Movie, $0.80 for HD. Those low costs in 2006 inspired the web video boom now transforming TV.

OFCOM Threatens $150M ITV Penalties And Loss Of License
Monday, 20 October 2008 04:10

ITV UK Chairman Lew Grade is threatening to cancel news and other public service broadcasts in part of the country.  He's playing a game of chicken with OFCOM. Ed Richards has just upped the stakes,  threatening to pull ITV's licences and reminding ITV penalties could be as high as eighty million pounds. The Guardian's Maggie Brown also called Richards "toothless" and "bloodless." Government is particularly sensitive about cutting news, the Times suggests, because it "is a big deal at Westminster because this is where MPs can actually get on air."  ITV has different ideas: increasing the advertising... and product placement - getting paid to include branded items in shows."

    Grade clearly believes Richards is bluffing, and is cutting a thousand jobs already. Richards allocated ITV HD spectrum anyway. From the Guardian, the OFCOM statement:  "OFCOM would prefer that ITV retains its licence and provides a continuing public service based on the remaining value of the free spectrum it is gifted. To ensure audience demands are met, we have outlined a way forward for this in our latest PSB proposals. If ITV decides to hand back its licences that is entirely a matter for the company, and we are ready for such an eventuality."

Bandwidth 10 cents/gig, 2005
Thursday, 11 September 2008 14:42

In 2005, UPC Cable's CTO estimated his bandwidth cost at 10 cents/gigabyte. That's less than $1/per at the three gigabytes Comcast and most other U.S. carriers estimate. That's 1-3% of the $30-50 price customers pay.

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