Thursday, July 08, 2004

Snail Mail Still Winning The Bandwidth War

This is an old bit of news from Slashdot, but it's still relevant:

Posted by timothy on Mon Sep 23, '02 04:18 PM

LR_none writes "Today's New York Times has this short piece suggesting snail mail is the leading broadband technology, at least for video movies on demand. The article states that the 8 to 9 gigs of data on a DVD would take two weeks to download at 56kb, making Netflix' three-day distribution by mail seem speedy. (Since they can send three or more movies at once, Netflix compares favorably with DSL download speeds, too.) The author estimates Netflix alone distributes 1,500 terabytes a day, which is impressive considering the Internet carries 2,000TB a day (by estimates cited in the article). The 'immediate gratification' aspect of Internet consumerism has given a huge boost to companies like FedEx and UPS, but it's surprising to think of the post office as being the leading infrastructure provider for digital entertainment, in terms of market share and efficiency, for the forseeable future. (Disclaimer: I don't work for Netflix or the post office.)"


  1. The day the US Post Office is faster than ANYTHING is the day I....oh wait, hang on, postman is here...

  2. VOD is really overhyped and not a mature distribution system. i don't know what it is; seems like people are always hyping internet services before the bandwidth is really there.

  3. Why hasn't anyone mentioned EZ-Ds yet? You know, the 48 hour disposable DVDs that are on limited trial by Buena Vista/Walt Disney? They should overcome a lot of the problems you folks have brought up here.

  4. I am a 5 disc NetFlix guy, but I use up movies so fast that I still watch one or two a week from MovieLink ( stream/download ). I have also subscribed to CinemaNow, but their selection of basic movies is really poor so I cancelled it. Then there is MovieFlix -- they have some great stuff, almost all old, from classics to B-movies and it's only $6.95 a month. Plus I can play it on RealPlayer which means I can use my preferred OS -- Suse Linux. The only glitch is they use a 300K stream which is not very high quality.

    I find that 700K is more than enough and with my Earthlink DSL I can watch almost any stream without problem and have it look quite nice.