Originally Posted by Don Hills
Shall I count the ways? But so long as the "in the past" remains valid, I won't have to.
May I suggest, instead of "tech companies", that you differentiate between content suppliers and ISPs / carriers? In turn, I'll try to appreciate the difference between record companies and the distributors.
The announcement you referenced is for an Internet enabled DVR. In keeping with a typical ISP's core business, it's a conduit for carrying content supplied by businesses who have streaming content supply as their core business. The value in it for ISPs is that they can sell premium bandwidth to their users and the "service ready" subscriber base to content providers.
Now, a few words on why ISPs see this as a way to make more money:
Normal ISP data traffic is carried as BE (Best Effort) priority. A typical home connection might have a PIR (maximimum data rate) set as high as the "up to xx Mbps" advertised in the sales brochure, but the CIR (guaranteed data rate) is often as low as 32Kbps. This means that during peak usage periods, the bandwidth you experience will become erratic and generally slow. That doesn't matter too much if you're just downloading something to experience later, but it's not suitable for providing a high quality streaming experience. So, for a price, an ISP can up your CIR to a figure high enough to maintain the streaming, and mark the streaming traffic with a higher priority (CoS or QoS) that will be given preference through the network over "best effort" traffic. It costs more because they have to put the hardware in place to support the traffic. (I've explained elsewhere in GS today why they try not to do so, and why they do not actually make money from illegal downloading, contrary to sentiments often expressed here.)
That's an excellent explanation of the way a cable based ISP generally operates. Cable generally advertises blazing fast rates but actually delivers far less most of the time, due to overselling their capacity. Cable is also generally less tolerant of piracy for this reason, as demonstrated in the brouhaha a few years ago over Comcast's throttling of Bittorrent based traffic.
OTOH none of this applies to DSL, which does not share lines in a neighborhood network the way cable does. DSL gives each customer his own line back to the substation.
Note that the company involved in the link Chris posted is a TELCO BASED ISP - that means it's almost certainly a DSL based network.
TELCOs generally have implemented DSL - it goes with their technology.
CABLE TV COMPANIES generally have implemented cable technology, for obvious reasons.
Perhaps we need to differentiate a bit more between ISP technologies.
DSL is better for consistent high bandwidth service, and tends to be more conducive to piracy because overselling is much less of an issue.
Cable is better for separating larger numbers of customers from their cash while delivering a substandard product due to overselling. Since this is exacerbated by high bandwidth pirates, cable tends to be less pirate-friendly.