This isn’t the Usage Based Billing post I promised a friend recently; that’s on its way. This one is just some math.
An uncompressed 720p HDTV signal is about 740 megabits per second of information. That’s a 720px by 1280px image, 12 bits per pixel, sixty times per second. Around 80 megabytes per second, uncompressed. That’s a lot, but for the most part video compression works pretty well, so over your modern TV cables you’re getting a bit more than a tenth that, between 9 and 12 MB/sec. Let’s call it 10 Megabytes Per Second, just for argument’s sake.
Pretty fast! And it comes out to be about 25 to 30 GB/hr.
Did you know that the average Canadian watches about 16 hours of TV per week? It depends on your demographic, of course. And increasingly people get their TV, and indeed most of their media, from the internet instead of straight from the tube or via PVR.
So If we count television then the average Canadian will hit that 25GB/month bandwidth limit before dinner on the first day of the month, every month. Every hour of TV after that will cost about 50 bucks, and the average Canadian television bill will go up around $3000 every month.
They didn’t mention the three thousand dollar cable bill, did they? Huh. That’s because that won’t actually happen, of course; that data somehow doesn’t count. And, of course, I know the infrastructure is a little different, but when Bell and Rogers will both rent you a PVR so they can sell you pay-per-view services, you have to know they’re not that different. We’re all just going to pretend that the movie-bits over here are Data, and the movie-bits over there aren’t – they’re TV.
Make no mistake, that’s what this is about: preventing you from replacing that cable, or getting your media in any of the myriad ways people can in this networked modern age of ours, from anyone but Bell, and thwarting competition thereby. And it’s great for Bell, but it’s really, really bad for Canadians.
(Updated: corrected some math. Which made the situation worse, not better.)