The celestial jukebox. Cloud gaming. On-demand movies on your mobile phone. The dream of having all the entertainment you want as soon as you want it, has never been so close. There’s just one catch: network contention. You know it by many forms: A spinning hourglass; a “Buffering” window; a stuttering video. Though full of promise, cloud-based, streaming entertainment is still a long way from the seamless, instant response we’ve come to expect from a DVD player or a console game system.
Why the slow-down? Part of it has to do with delays on the open Internet. But a surprising amount of it has to do with technology embedded in our TVs, home networks and set-top boxes. The explosion in entertainment is stressing our home networking technology to its limits. Every application wants all your bandwidth at the same time. It’s the “tragedy of the commons” right in your living room.
But help is on the way. In this panel, leading experts on home networking and media distribution will reveal the sometimes surprising causes of streaming media hiccups in the home, and technologies that could make buffering delays a thing of the past.
9th–13th March 2012