I’ve thought a lot about what’s going to drive downstream bandwidth use over the next few years. There are several applications on the horizon – 3D television, 3D video modeling, and video telephony, to name a view – but what about the near term?
I think there are two answers as far as video is concerned. First, multi-room TV. We’re watching more HDTV in more rooms, and trends like multi-room DVR and multi-room VOD will only accelerate that trend. Second, multi-stream video. I’ve noticed multi-stream applications gaining traction online. The NBCOlympics.com site includes a feature for watching four Olympic video streams simultaneously. Meanwhile Verizon and the NFL Network have announced that once again this year subscribers will be able to view certain football games from multiple camera angles, picking and choosing camera feeds at will.
We may be several years out from 3D TV, but multi-room and multi-stream are here today, taking up bandwidth on video and data networks.