Discussion:
Netflix and Comcast reach an agreement
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Thad Floryan
2014-02-23 22:45:50 UTC
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I was amazed to read the following:

Netflix had 33 million U.S. streaming subscribers at the start of
the year and accounts for about one third of all traffic at peak
times on the Internet

1/3 of the entire Internet just to serve Netflix -- what a waste of
resources.

Here's the SFgate article:

http://www.sfgate.com/business/technology/article/Netflix-reaches-deal-with-Comcast-5260557.php

NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix has reached a deal with Comcast to ensure that
its TV shows and movies are streamed smoothly to households, the first
deal the online video streaming service has reached with an Internet
service provider.

The two companies said in a joint statement Sunday they're establishing
a more direct connection to provide a better service to customers that
will also allow for future growth in Netflix traffic. The companies say
the arrangement is already giving customers a better experience.

Netflix had 33 million U.S. streaming subscribers at the start of the
year and accounts for about one third of all traffic at peak times on
the Internet, according to research firm Sandvine. As the video
steaming company has grown, Internet service providers like Comcast have
pushed the company for more structured deals to enable its content to be
transmitted smoothly and reduce the strain on their networks.

While the companies did not disclose the terms of the deal, Netflix
investors will want to know how much this deal will affect the company's
bottom line and whether the costs will be passed on customers. Netflix
has been resisting paying fees to Internet companies and this deal could
open the door to similar agreements with other providers.

Netflix is already experimenting with different rate plans that charge
slightly more for households that want to stream its shows and movies on
four different screens simultaneously.

The deal comes after months of collaboration with Comcast though Netflix
will receive no preferential network treatment under the multi-year
deal, the statement said.

Comcast was ranked as the 14th fastest Internet service provider in
January, according to a table on Netflix's website. By connecting
directly to Comcast's network, Netflix should be able to boost the
quality and speed of its video streaming as it adds more customers and
prepares to start streaming its content in the ultra high definition
format this spring.

Other large Internet companies such as Google already pay broadband
providers a fee to enable more direct connections.

Comcast is the nation's number-one pay TV and Internet provider under
its XFINITY brand. The company said earlier this month that it had
agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable for $42.5 billion in stock.
Marcus Allen
2014-02-24 00:12:29 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
Netflix had 33 million U.S. streaming subscribers at the start of
the year and accounts for about one third of all traffic at peak
times on the Internet
1/3 of the entire Internet just to serve Netflix -- what a waste of
resources.
Probably not considered such a waste by the people who are watching
something from Netflix. (Besides, it says 1/3 of the traffic, not 1/3 of the
Internet, but I know what you mean.)

I'd be much more interested in seeing the cable companies, Comcast for
starters, stop carrying 500+ channels into the homes they serve and use that
bandwidth to provide better Internet access. Now that everyone is forced to
have a STB, what's the holdup in moving to Switched Digital Video? Talk
about a waste of resources.
Thad Floryan
2014-02-24 01:22:42 UTC
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Post by Marcus Allen
Post by Thad Floryan
Netflix had 33 million U.S. streaming subscribers at the start of
the year and accounts for about one third of all traffic at peak
times on the Internet
1/3 of the entire Internet just to serve Netflix -- what a waste of
resources.
Probably not considered such a waste by the people who are watching
something from Netflix. (Besides, it says 1/3 of the traffic, not 1/3 of the
Internet, but I know what you mean.)
Hi Marcus,

I consider it a bandwidth waste from the point of view of having used
networks since the 1960s (Tymnet, IT&T, et al) then ARPANET, then PPS*NET
(PacBell's 'Public Packet Switching NET' which was really good), dialups,
Sprint Broadband, etc.

BTW, 'IT&T' is not a typo of 'AT&T'. I was working at the Electronic
Defense Labs in Mountain View during the 1960s and IT&T was yet another
defense contractor providing remote-access computing services I used at
EDL. IT&T is seemingly not well known nowadays:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITT_Corporation

I've given up going to theaters due to too many unpleasant experiences
and though I have 3 DTV setups I really only use them a few times a year
(mostly for the Superbowl). I can't tolerate Over The Air (OTA) broadcasts
due to the incredible amount of commercials and annoying "data" peppering
the margins of the screen.

So how do I watch "recommended" (by friends) TV shows and movies?

Nowadays I wait for TV series/shows to appear on DVD and the same for all
movies. I used to "collect" them on VHS (and I still have about 1500 of
those), then laserdiscs (still have about 4000 of them), and then DVD of
which I have about 4000 also that I'm presently catching up on -- I'd buy
5-20 DVDs every Tuesday when I was working but I didn't have time to watch
them then. Last week I picked up the DVDs of ELYSIUM, CARRIE, and CAPTAIN
PHILLIPS and I'll be watching ELYSIUM tonight with dinner.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1535108/ ELYSIUM
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1939659/ CARRIE
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1535109/ CAPTAIN PHILLIPS

Heh, I watched one movie 7 times in one week, THE FIFTH ELEMENT, because I
enjoyed it so much. ARMAGEDDON has been watched many times and I have
likely watched FORBIDDEN PLANET 20+ times since that made an impression on
me when I first read the book (which explains a lot not seen in the movie)
and then when I later saw the movie on its theatrical debut in 1956.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049223/ FORBIDDEN PLANET
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119116/ THE FIFTH ELEMENT
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120591/ ARMAGEDDON

Oddly interesting, there are series I've watched more than once on DVD:
TWIN PEAKS, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, all the Star Treks, FIREFLY (and its
SERENITY movie), UFO, ROCKFORD FILES (I'm up to season 5 this month as of
Friday night), and more.

So I really don't care about Netflix or streaming TV video and if they
were to be banned from the Internet I wouldn't shed a tear. :-)
Post by Marcus Allen
I'd be much more interested in seeing the cable companies, Comcast for
starters, stop carrying 500+ channels into the homes they serve and use that
bandwidth to provide better Internet access. Now that everyone is forced to
have a STB, what's the holdup in moving to Switched Digital Video? Talk
about a waste of resources.
Very, VERY true. I get Comcast flyers in the postal mail and also morphed
with each month's electronic bill and it boggles my mind to see so many TV
channels being offered -- no one can watch that many in a month let alone
daily -- which is clearly a massive waste of bandwidth.

FWIW, I only have Comcast Internet (aka XFINITY per one of the bills).

Thad
Thad Floryan
2014-02-24 01:53:27 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
[...]
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1939659/ CARRIE
[...]
There was an incredible video short featuring the HOW of some of
the special effects that's here:

http://todaysflicks.com/coolest-and-most-terrifying-hidden-camera-prank/

runtime 2:23

It's incredible how many people believed what they saw. :-)

The prank was very well engineered.

Thad
Keith Keller
2014-02-24 03:33:41 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
I consider it a bandwidth waste from the point of view of having used
networks since the 1960s (Tymnet, IT&T, et al) then ARPANET, then PPS*NET
(PacBell's 'Public Packet Switching NET' which was really good), dialups,
Sprint Broadband, etc.
What would we do with the bandwidth otherwise? Or, more likely, that
bandwidth wouldn't exist if it didn't have streaming media like Netflix
driving it.

As you and others have said, the bigger waste is Comcast and other
providers trying to force us to pay for stations we will never watch.
Why should I pay for Soap Opera Network when all I want to watch is
hockey?

--keith
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Thad Floryan
2014-02-24 04:56:48 UTC
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Post by Keith Keller
Post by Thad Floryan
I consider it a bandwidth waste from the point of view of having used
networks since the 1960s (Tymnet, IT&T, et al) then ARPANET, then PPS*NET
(PacBell's 'Public Packet Switching NET' which was really good), dialups,
Sprint Broadband, etc.
What would we do with the bandwidth otherwise? Or, more likely, that
bandwidth wouldn't exist if it didn't have streaming media like Netflix
driving it.
As you and others have said, the bigger waste is Comcast and other
providers trying to force us to pay for stations we will never watch.
Why should I pay for Soap Opera Network when all I want to watch is
hockey?
Hi Keith,

That would be an excellent reason to offer à la carte services where the
subscriber chooses only several program choices instead of the eleventy-
seven bazillion ones the service provider provides and rams down one's
throat at a high price.

In other words, pick and choose. If the option was available, I might
even subscribe to be able to (finally) see, say, the Discover(y) shows
(e.g., Mythbusters (since Discover seems to have ceased DVD production
after the series' Season Seven DVD). I would NOT subscribe to, say, a
oountry hoedown foot stompin' show like RMS (Stallman) would watch. :-)

Thad
Keith Keller
2014-02-24 05:28:38 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
That would be an excellent reason to offer à la carte services where the
subscriber chooses only several program choices instead of the eleventy-
seven bazillion ones the service provider provides and rams down one's
throat at a high price.
Well, everyone knows this except the television providers, apparently.

Actually, it's more likely they do know it, and think they would lose
money if they offered a la carte services. I wonder, though, if they've
actually done the numbers on this. I for one would become a subscriber
again if I could pay for only what I want. In fact I might even pay as
much as I was paying previously, $60/month, if I felt like I could
actually get $60/month worth of television.

In fact, let's break it down:

==$10/month connection (they'll have to add some sort of base fee to
discourage abuse)
==$10/month for local broadcast networks
==$10/month for national sports package (maybe $15)
==$15/month for NHL Center Ice (this is usually a one-time charge but
I'm spreading it out just to calculate one monthly charge)
==$10/month for a bunch of other channels I'd probably want

That's already $55 a month I'd be willing to pay that I'm not because
putting together the above package is currently not possible. (OTOH, it
saves me $55 a month, so perhaps I shouldn't want television providers
to offer a la carte options!)

While we're complaining about TV providers, why do they think that it's
okay to charge $10/month for HD service, or $10/month for DVR service?
My a la carte options above would be for HD only; I wouldn't want to
have to pay extra and be forced to receive both SD and HD.

--keith
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Keith Keller
2014-02-24 03:44:32 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1939659/ CARRIE
There's a third freaking Carrie movie? I hope you've made room in your
collection for the original:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074285/

--keith
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Thad Floryan
2014-02-24 05:07:16 UTC
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Post by Keith Keller
Post by Thad Floryan
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1939659/ CARRIE
There's a third freaking Carrie movie? I hope you've made room in your
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074285/
Hi Keith,

I have the original one on laserdisc (and also the original BUFFY THE
VAMPIRE SLAYER). The CARRIE I bought last week had a 2013 theatrical
release as mentioned in this short video:

http://todaysflicks.com/coolest-and-most-terrifying-hidden-camera-prank/

The IMDb actually cites 4 versions with a similar theme:

1976 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074285/ Carrie

1999 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0144814/ The Rage: Carrie 2

2002 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0319970/ Carrie (TV movie)

2013 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1939659/ Carrie

The 1952 CARRIE http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044486/ is a completely-
different-themed story starring Laurence Olivier, et al.

Thad
Keith Keller
2014-02-24 05:36:41 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
1976 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074285/ Carrie
1999 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0144814/ The Rage: Carrie 2
2002 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0319970/ Carrie (TV movie)
2013 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1939659/ Carrie
The 1952 CARRIE http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044486/ is a completely-
different-themed story starring Laurence Olivier, et al.
Well, the 1999 entry is a ''sequel'' not based on the original King
novel, so it shouldn't count either. (Though to be sure, even the
original De Palma film different quite a bit from the novel.)

--keith
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Thad Floryan
2014-02-24 05:48:27 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
[...]
and I have
likely watched FORBIDDEN PLANET 20+ times since that made an impression on
me when I first read the book (which explains a lot not seen in the movie)
and then when I later saw the movie on its theatrical debut in 1956.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049223/ FORBIDDEN PLANET
[...]
A wee bit of trivia that most people don't know about the Krell creation
machine is that it creates exactly as the "creator" conjures it up to be.

That fact was in the book and was a scene missing from the actual movie
where one of the soldiers ran over and killed a "monkey" with the utility
vehicle. The monkey was autopsied and it had no internal organs -- just a
bunch of fluffy stuffing. That was the clue that Dr. Morbius had created
the monkey (and, of course, the tiger) without knowing what's supposed to
be inside each creature -- note his doctorate was philology (the study of
languages which is how he was able to eventually read the Krell encyclopedia
of the Universe) and neither biology nor medicine -- such as a heart, stomach,
intestines, and other organs so his thought creations were solely based on
their outward appearances and it was the Krell machine that continuously kept
them "alive" as if they were real creatures.

Details, details, details, ... :-)

It was still a great movie and I hope they don't junk things up with some
remake because the original 1956 movie had special effects exceeding a lot
of what's seen in today's movies thanks to Disney's "magic".

Thad
Bhairitu
2014-02-25 19:43:14 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
Netflix had 33 million U.S. streaming subscribers at the start of
the year and accounts for about one third of all traffic at peak
times on the Internet
1/3 of the entire Internet just to serve Netflix -- what a waste of
resources.
Not a waste if you don't want to waste $100+ on Comcast cable. I
dropped them last fall and haven't looked back. I watch stuff via
Netflix and Hulu+ and some network cable shows I buy on Amazon, VUDU or
Google Play. And contrary to the popular geek myth I am not paying
anything near my cable bill. Take for instance buying episodes of FX's
"Justify" for $2.63 an episode in HD. This month there were only 3
episodes not 4. And in December-January there may often not be any
episodes for shows I watch meaning I was paying on cable for channels I
wouldn't be looking at.

And of course the cable companies don't like this cutting the cable
model because TV was a gravy train for them. Too bad. Times change but
not cable executives brains.

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