Staggercast

Shakespeare used to introduce a few hundred new words in each of his plays, many of which were never heard of again, odsbodkins!

It’s the same these days in the technology business. Staggercast is the means whereby subscribers can preregister their interest in a TV programme. This programme is then downloaded in advance ready for local delivery at the published time.  This allows content delivery over an IP network but avoids the over use of a connection at peak times of day.

This was one of the options being discussed by Simon Orme, BT’s new GM for Content Delivery. In London today Orme presented the Consult21 meeting with an overview of the BT trial plans for multicast using PTA. Notionally this will allow ISPs to deliver TV over DSL at much more economic rates.

Don’t get too excited though. This is very much experimental engineering work with no immediate plans to productise. The idea is that an ISP would be able to add premium rate TV as a bundled product. It would also provide a low cost delivery vehicle for small regional TV channels as the focus of the established media moves to national and global content. 

What is clear is that this is one of the early steps BT is taking in preparing itself for the business case challenge that is Fibre To The Home.

The BT FTTH trials were also discussed. They seem to have gone well with the 50 BT employees given 100Mbps internet access and ordered to stay at home all day and play online games. Gaming is one of the few current uses of internet technology that benefits from really high speed access. The faster you are on the draw the better.

Whether Staggercast enters the Oxford English Dictionary remains to be seen. What is clear is that both in the fiercely competitive field of online gaming and in the international competitive broadband stakes he who has the fastest connection will be the winner.

Published by Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of trefor.net, writer, poet, philosopherontap.com

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  1. Trefor Davies

2 Comments

  1. The term staggercast is jargon used in the media industry to refer to channels that broadcast the same content as another channel with a fixed delay. For example channel 4 + 1 is a staggercast variant of channel 4.
    We also use the term simulcast for two or more channels broadcasting the same content at the same time and rebroadcast as a more general term covering both repeats and simulcasts.
    What you are describing here as staggercast is generally called VOD (video on demand)
    or IPTV (internet protocol television).

    Regards,

    Bruce.

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