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TVOD and VOIP can our accounts handle it?

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,817
Thanks: 11
Registered: 30-07-2007

TVOD and VOIP can our accounts handle it?

What will happend to plusnets service when TVOD becomes reality?

When TV On Demand finally becomes reality and the multicasting with BBC and ITV are actually restored will the Plusnet service be able to suport customers who wish to use these new advances. The news of LEGIT DVD downloads also brings in the sutability of the new servies to meet these demands in to question.

To watch and hour of TV over for a even a few nights a week would prbably mean that a user would be very close to their 15gb 4pm to 12pm limit.

I would use the plustalk service which will be automatically added to my premier account but if I do it could tip me over the 1st 10gb threshold. I have know where near any idea how much an hr of VOIP would use of my download limit but I'm not willing to try it incase I end up with reduced use of the net becaseu I let the wife talk for too long.


I for one don't really wish to move from plusnet as I am impressed by the majority of the service but if the service is not able to allow me to use these features then I may be forced to look elsewhere. I know plusnet have thought about this as it has been mentioned in previous public postings but I'm not sure just how much a 10gb connection followed a 5 gb connection at 512 can offer.

Am I the only one starting to get concerned. Can someone reasure me that the packages service will be able to adapt and acommodate these new emerging uses of the net to reasonable useable/not merely just sustainable levels.

A
11 REPLIES
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

TVOD and VOIP can our accounts handle it?

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but I'm not sure just how much a 10gb connection followed a 5 gb connection at 512 can offer.


Let me first clear this part up 10GB across all traffic at up to line speed then after that everything bar P2P/Usenet/FTP runs at up to 2Mbps between 10 and 12.5GB, up to 1Mbps between 12.5 and 15GB and up to 512kbps between 15 and 30GB across our network during peak hours. Stay under 30GB at peak and off peak speeds are unaffected.

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To watch and hour of TV over for a even a few nights a week would prbably mean that a user would be very close to their 15gb 4pm to 12pm limit.


If you are streaming an hour of TV every day at peak time to watch at peak time then yes you'd be up towards the 15GB, but a few things to consider. First it isn't going to be overnight that lots of people are going to be doing this. Further down the line 2007-2008 then yeah I can see it happening as more people have TV's that connect to the Internet and more services become available. What will also happen is that the way that people use these services will be influenced with how the ISP's can deliver the services in a way. So when using a TV catch-up type service people will select the show they want to watch and it might download off peak ready to watch the next evening. For example, you could have a Sky+ type service where you can select the shows to watch 7 days in advance and it would receive them via the dish, or you can select shows from 7 days in the past and it would download them via broadband. You'd likely have a choice of "watch now" or "watch later" with the watch now coming down straight away and the watch later coming down off peak.

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I would use the plustalk service which will be automatically added to my premier account but if I do it could tip me over the 1st 10gb threshold. I have know where near any idea how much an hr of VOIP would use of my download limit but I'm not willing to try it incase I end up with reduced use of the net becaseu I let the wife talk for too long.


PlusTalk uses about 80-100MB per hour so shouldn't make too much of an impact on the total usage.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,817
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Registered: 30-07-2007

TVOD and VOIP can our accounts handle it?

Thanks for taking the time Dave. Esp liked the simple explanation of the gradual speed restrictions, much appreciated. The support that plusnet provide is one of the main reasons I wish to stay.

If I ever do reach the 15gb peak limit and the speed of everything drops to 512 would this allow the use of web and voip at the same time or would one suffer for the other.

I'm considering the voip service but not if it it'll affect the web.

Cheers

A
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TVOD and VOIP can our accounts handle it?

Its a good point since Sky now offer free legit DVD downloads for their subscribers and the software does not come with a built in download timer like uTorrent.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
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Registered: 04-04-2007

TVOD and VOIP can our accounts handle it?

Quote
If I ever do reach the 15gb peak limit and the speed of everything drops to 512 would this allow the use of web and voip at the same time or would one suffer for the other.


They should both work fine together, PlusTalk doesn't max out your bandwidth so normal browsing should work fine. VoIP is prioritised above web browsing so if do max out your line for a few seconds the VoIP traffic would take the priority so wouldn't stutter or break up.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,817
Thanks: 11
Registered: 30-07-2007

TVOD and VOIP can our accounts handle it?

Cheers, Once again Dave.

I'll try it when I've been paid. 5 Week months are a pain.

If I sign up to PAYG now will it automatically change to anytime at my next billing date or is best to wait.

Just checked two places

14th March Posting to Forums states Premier to Get Plustalk Anytime
21st March Service notice states 240 inclusive minutes. I Take it its the most recent posting of 240 mins which is correct.

A
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

TVOD and VOIP can our accounts handle it?

Quote
Its a good point since Sky now offer free legit DVD downloads for their subscribers and the software does not come with a built in download timer like uTorrent.


Feedback from people that are using these new services as well as from the ISP's is what will allow the content providers like Sky to shape the products they want to offer.

At the moment Sky by Broadband is very much in its infancy but it wouldn't surprise if as the product evolved and became more popular that things like a scheduler would be included.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

TVOD and VOIP can our accounts handle it?

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If I sign up to PAYG now will it automatically change to anytime at my next billing date or is best to wait.


I don't think it will automatically change over as such, but rather on your first billing date after 30th March there will be a button in the portal to change it over/activate it yourself.

Once you've activated it you'll 240 minutes of calls per month at anytime of the day to UK 01 and 02 numbers. SIP to SIP calls are free and not counted in the 240 minutes (e.g. PlusTalk to PlusTalk), calls to mobiles and international numbers are chargeable.
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TVOD and VOIP can our accounts handle it?

I don't use plustalk (a mix of Babble and a couple of other providers) but do use VOIP heavily and don't have a single problem with the service (once I forced my voip phone to use the correct codec)...

And given the wife spends alot of time on the phone our useage of voip isn't light but it hasn't made a noticeable difference to my traffic useage...
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TVOD and VOIP can our accounts handle it?

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and it might download off peak ready to watch the next evening.


Or it may not...

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You'd likely have a choice of "watch now" or "watch later" with the watch now coming down straight away and the watch later coming down off peak.


Which means that with PlusNet, regardless of wether you are a customer who stays within overall sustainable limits, you can't use the 'watch now' feature of a product you pay for because PlusNet's product which you pay for cannot cope with the peak time usage. Then there's trials like iMP from the BBC, which use.. P2P, so the user is rather stuck there. The convenience is gone for the customer.

We simply don't know what form future VoD products will come in and cannot cover all possible eventualities and offerings. No offence Dave, but trying to convince people that everything is and will be fine just doesn't cut it IMHO. Feedback will be used to help form products, but what if that feedback is impacted by current inadequacies with an ISP? Oh yeh, the ISP wins.. and the customer loses.

Much larger networks will be needed for the future of media distribution of IP, which is one of the major reasons why BSkyB snapped up EasyNet. NTL/Telewest already have an extensive cable network.

I've used VoD, I've lived in countries where TV over DSL has been around for a couple of years. Where watching hours of realtime streamed high quality content is the norm, not planning ahead off-peak downloads. I don't think that PlusNet's current system allows will allow users to fairly and freely use all video over IP services that appear.

As for VoIP, assuming that PlusNet can get the overall latency and packetloss issues sorted and keep the profiles correct for all VoIP applications and protocols, there should be no problems. VoIP is very very low bandwidth.
JonathanW
Grafter
Posts: 2,648
Registered: 02-10-2007

TVOD and VOIP can our accounts handle it?

There should be nothing stopping a customer from using streaming video during peak times, providing of course that they're within the overall sustainable usage level for their account.

Things like iMP and the similar offering from Sky run on p2p, which means that you're most likely not going to sit there and wait for it to download during peak times. But rather download it whilst you're not there and then watch it when you get home from work. Its entirely possible for you to get up in the morning and start a download from iMP going before you leave for work.

But as you've said a lot of this is just speculation, but I think its fairly safe to say that the newer technologies will take a while for your average user to pick up. There's always going to be your more tech aware people who pick up on things like this first.
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TVOD and VOIP can our accounts handle it?

There should be nothing stopping the customer, but there is. I've had problems with audio and video and have always been well within any limits set, just as I've had problems with Usenet, HTTP, gaming and so on when I shouldn't in theory have any. The combination of not being able to get a decent speed a lot of the time and the spikes/packetloss mean that streaming ends up being slower (longer buffering) and at a lower quality than it could be, with dropouts. Not all of the time, but it's not a clear cut 'it works fine' situation.

As for iMP/Sky Broadband, yes there is nothing stopping people from going out of their way to schedule when they download things, but there is plenty stopping them from just starting a download when they want. The convenience is gone. A user will worry about clicking to download something the moment they see it during their evening surfing, because they fear (and often don't understand) the consequences. I know this isn't what PlusNet are trying to do, but it is an obvious side-effect.

But yes, for the most part this is speculation, and a few months, let alone a year, is a long time in this area. By the time more users are using this types of services I'm sure that they will have moved on and evolved, as will have PlusNet.