What recession?

So here’s your recession-proof business, ladies and gentlemen:

Netflix, the company which mails out DVD rentals and also offers streamed programming via the internet, saw a 45% jump in profits and 26% rise in consumers to 9.4 million in the fourth quarter.

This was the quarter in which Netflix released Watch Instantly on non-PC platforms. It’s so ubiquitous now I have it on three platforms: a home theater PC, TivoHD, and a Samsung BD-P2500 Blu-Ray player. It looks best on the Samsung, thanks to its HQV video enhancement chip.

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8 Responses to What recession?

  1. George Ou says:

    Netflix uses up to 4 Mbps if your broadband connection supports it.

    9 simultaneous Netflix watchers equals one DOCSIS 1.1 virtual node split or an upgrade to DOCSIS 3.0. Either way, it will require a minimum of two channels per node. Any way we slice it, only nine 4 Mbps streams fit on one 6 MHz channel.

  2. George Ou says:

    Sorry, I thought my point was obvious. Netflix will really force a huge build-out of capacity sooner than later.

  3. I think we all understand that broadband Internet access networks need to have more capacity as they transition from web-oriented to video-oriented systems. Netflix, like most video delivery systems, is engineered to do the best it can with available bandwidth, and to do best when a lot is available.

    And yes, it is true that DOCSIS, whether it’s of the 3.0 variety or any other, has lower limits for per-subscriber constant stream than other technologies. Some of that bottleneck can be alleviated by virtual node splits, but at some point we’re going to see lower populations per node than we see today.

  4. George Ou says:

    Yes of course, but there is a cost to virtual node splits or DOCSIS 3.0 in the form of more channels taken up. Those channels would have to be diverted from lucrative video on demand feeds or other channels.

    They can certainly get a lot of channels back from switched video, but that is no small investment.

  5. Brett Glass says:

    As a wireless ISP, we have the ability to add more access points, so the last mile capacity can be provided (though at a cost). But unless prices to end users increase, where will we get the money to buy the additional bandwidth at $100 per Mbps per month? None of the upstream providers are dropping their prices.

  6. George Ou says:

    Adding access points is similar to doing physical node splits. You’re adding more physical nodes occupying less space.

    The exponential growth in bandwidth will no doubt pose a challenge to all ISPs (especially smaller ones).

  7. Eddy Jawed says:

    I hope I’m recession-proof! blah

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