My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: LIME TV and Broadcasting - The Andromeda Strain and My Science Project

Monday, November 15, 2010

LIME TV and Broadcasting - The Andromeda Strain and My Science Project

In the lexicon of youth, which Fate reserves
For a bright manhood, there is no such word
As – fail!

Bulwer-Lytton, Richelieu, III, 1

A long drive back in from an interview in Kingston is my proffered excuse for being a tad late in clanking on my steam punk-seque designed PC, another letter of my angst against technology, this time it is Television Jamaica and the Emergence of LIME TV, as I do need to sleep, being as it is Sabbath. That and my chocolate pipe have to cool and harden so I can chew on it while thinking, wearing my Sherlock Holmes hat before I get going on the keyboard, Sherlock Holmes (2009) Style.

It seems that this may the possible pronouncement on the wonder that is Television Jamaica's renewed offering of not only streaming, but programming backed up in the cloud on Television Jamaica's shielded servers for later viewing, effectively giving into the trend of time shifting shaking up the American and Local Cable companies as stated in the article “Survey of viewers shows extent of TV time shifting”, published Tuesday August 17 2010, 6:53 am ET by DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer, Yahoo News.

Thus, they unwittingly acknowledge the generally held consensus that not a lot of Jamaican’s watch Smile Jamaica, the hit morning program on Television Jamaica, despite Carletta Deleon aka The Pet Tales Chick aka “Dilly” (In tights???!! At forty (40) years old!!!??) and Neville Bell (now seventeen (17) years old (?), based on the number of candles on his birthday cake) on Wednesday November 10 2010 episode) burying the hatchet in each other backs on Smile Jamaica, aired Thursday November 11th 2010, Television Jamaica.

Still waiting for an apology to all “mongrel” dogs in Jamaica, whose proper name is Canis Mixup-ius Jamaicanus (Jamaica Mixed Breed Dogs), as the howls of displeasure among dogs (woof, woof), regular viewers of Pet Tales are indubitably rancor.

So I guess the latest news which confirms the usage of mobile tower handover enabled DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcast – Handheld) protocol as stated in the article “The people and ideas behind Mobile TV”, published Friday, November 12, 2010 BY EDWARD TAYLOR, The Jamaica Observer in what I and many Jamaicans may consider the equivalent of the “bees knees”, that being LIME TV from the Telecom Provider LIME and content Provider DC Digital partnership, was not a concern?

Is this The Andromeda Strain the Michael Crichton novel turned into movie The Andromeda Strain (1971), set to kill off Broadcast Radio and Television as well as the first sign of the coming of Digital TV or will it, as the poem above suggests, fail?

Surely, the concept of “TV-Anywhere” and possibly On-Demand Television, giving the viewer control that LIME TV portends in both a Mobile TV version as stated in the article “LIME goes Mobile TV”, published Saturday August 28th by Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner and possibly a set top box version as per the article “LIME TV on the Horizon”, published Sunday, September 19, 2010 by ALICIA ROACHE Sunday Finance reporter, The Jamaica Observer must be a scary prospect for Local Cable Operators, both licensed such as Triple Play Provider FLOW and unlicensed Cable Operators.

Television Jamaica and the Big Three (3) Broadcasters are still yet to begin a rollout or announce testing of its own HDTV broadcast facility for its Radio and Television Stations as stated in the article as stated in the article “Slow road to digital switch-over  - Cable groups mum; Flow ahead but network coverage behind”, published: Saturday  August 15, 2009 by Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner. But it is not so scary.

The spare spectrum from going DSO (Digital Switch Over) would be sold off to Local and Foreign Telecom Providers and (fingers crossed!!) the “White” Space Frequencies going to Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Network providers such as Dekal Wireless and Nubian-1- Tech Services Limited license free akin to the actions of FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Chairman Julius Genachowski as stated in the article “FCC to open up vacant TV airwaves for Broadband”, published Monday September 13, 12:35 am ET By JOELLE TESSLER, AP Technology Writer, Yahoo News and now officially confirmed in the article “FCC officially frees TV white space spectrum”, published Thursday September 23 2010, CNET News.

Like the Americans, if the news coming out of North America is anything to go by, we too will soon face our own Spectrum Crisis as stated in the article “FCC crunches numbers on spectrum crisis”, published October 25, 2010 2:37 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength.

This action by Television Jamaica is a response to user queries and demands and the above news as much as it is a response to the changing dynamics brought onto Jamaica by Telecom Provider Digicel and their Broadband 4G, which has a direct impact on their advertising dollar. Digicel Broadband 4G, which claims to be offering 10MBps (switch to higher capacity Microwave Radios or Fiber Optic in their backhaul; WiMax 2 upgrade imminent!).

The unnecessarily fast Internet offering of 100MBps from Triple Play Provider FLOW as stated in the article “FLOW to bring 100Mbs to Jamaican homes”, published Saturday October 16 2010, The Jamaica Observer. Telecom Provider CLARO’s subsequent announcement of its intention to go LTE (Long Term Evolution) with possible theoretical speeds in the range of 176MBps, also unnecessarily fast as stated in the article “Game on!”, published Friday October 22, 2010 by Mark Titus, The Jamaica Gleaner.

All merely adding fuel to a slowly growing fire of “demand” for High Speed Broadband Internet. I do sincerely hope that Telecom Provider CLARO realizes that they have provide QoS (Quality of Service), the outward sign of which is ISO9001 Certification, as anything less would result in Business Customers, the bread-and-butter of High Bandwidth and High Speed Data Services and only feasible direct users of 100MBps Wired or Wireless Broadband, rejecting their offers.

This is especially as Business Customers have had a bad experience with Digicel 4G Broadband, and thus any future interaction would demand ISO9001 Certification and full Enterprise Ready solutions, as Telecom Provider LIME currently is offering with RIM (Research in Motion), before entering into any long term commitments. Effectively they would be competing with Telecom Provider LIME’s MetroNet which offers dedicated Frame Relay Services to Business Customers.

Realistically thought, Customers may not be able to afford these abnormally High Business centric speeds as 10MBps is just fine for streaming and downloading, the main Bandwidth hogging applications feared on Telecom Provider’s Networks. Most likely, the 100MBps, similar to Triple Play Provider FLOW’s offer in Trinidad and Tobago to Residential and Business Customers as stated in the article “Internet penetration lagging Broadband speed”, published Wednesday, September 22, 2010 by CAMILO THAME Business co-ordinator, The Jamaica Observer.

This 100MBPS service may be used as a kind of Wireless Broadband “backhaul”, repackaged and utilized as a Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Network with both a Static (fixed Remote Base Stations or Node B’s) such as hosted atop buildings or as CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) for Residential and Business Customers, as is the case with Dekal Wireless and Nubian-1- Tech Services Limited or Dynamic (Moving Remote Base Stations or Node B’s) such as mounted inside of Taxis, JUTC Buses, Individual Motor Cars, with Solar Power Supply, of course, otherwise called Rolling Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n).

The Bus and Taxi Operators, if they are legitimately licensed, certified and properly attired, preferably wearing shirts emblazoned with the Telecom Providers Logo, may be reaping the benefits of hosting Telecom Provider CLARO advertisements atop their taxis or buses, which can now double as a Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Hotspot, most likely powered using Lithium-Ion batteries augmented with Solar Power.

My super sexy Indian Telecom Provider CLARO Customer Care friend in Mandeville effectively confirmed the influence of Wayne Chen and Lee’s Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Network Dekal Wireless as stated in the article “Wayne Chen, Lees enter Wireless Broadband Market”, published Friday July 30th 2010 by Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner, The Jamaica Gleaner and upstart Nubian-1- Tech Services Limited [Princess Amidala’s Royal starship] as stated in the article “Another small player emerges in the wireless Broadband market”, published Friday August 2 2010 by Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner.

The Big Three (3) Telecom Broadband Providers, are slowly feeling the heat of the cheaper pricing point of Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Network as per my blog article entitled “Dekal Wireless - Broadband for the Masses” on Administrator Kirk’s of the Geezam blog.

So what does all this Broadband frenzy in Jamaica mean for the Big Three (3) Broadcasters, suffering from the effects of Time Shifting for quite a while as stated in the article “Survey of viewers shows extent of TV time shifting”, published Tuesday August 17 2010, 6:53 am ET by DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer, Yahoo News?

It means, quite simply, the “TV Anywhere” and On-Demand concept with viewers selecting from a set of fifteen (15) or more that you can watch will soon catch on in Jamaica and akin to our North American cousins, make rushing home to catch the news or your favorite program unnecessary. LIME TV’s offerings are inclusive of Television Jamaica and CVM TV.

This as LIME Mobile TV will broadcast these Local Stations as per stipulation of their DVB-H license as well as the select few cable channels. It means that people ditching their “premium” Cable Services with their bloated program offerings of a hundred channels or more that no-one watches “live” or as-broadcasted going the way of the dinosaurs may become a more common phenomenon.

It means that the Apple iTV, Roku, Boxee and SlingBox IPTV players may be becoming commonplace in Jamaica as Subscribers of Triple Play Provider Services such as Comcast and Cox in the USA and Triple Play Provider FLOW here in Jamaica opt to keep the Broadband Internet and use it to stream their TV content as opined by CNET News Reporter, Marguerite Reardon in the article “With Internet TV, cable wins even if it loses”, published October 29, 2010 4:00 AM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength.

Maybe that was the “demand” that Triple Play Provider FLOW CEO Michelle English is talking about, partially influenced by Telecom Provider CLARO transition to LTE, slated to come on-stream by the Christmas of 2010 or as early as the Summer of 2011 as per my last blog article entitled “LIME vs Digicel - The Truth about Charlie”.

I just hope that Telecom Provider LIME improves the Customer Care, the allocated T1 capacity as well as the mobile phones offering the service improves upon the lackluster Nokia 5330, N96 and ZTE N290 (ZTE?? LIME has done lost their mind!), as techies and the general public, though not as tech savvy, are dreaming of 4” AMOLED (Amorphous Organic Light Emitting Diode), 720p HD (High Definition) or Retina Display, Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) or Wi-Fi Direct, support for HDMI (High Definition Media Interface) and an optional fiber optic port to connect to a bigger HDTV, like the Samsung Galaxy S and the Motorola Droid series of smart phones.

I am curious to see how DVB-H will be streamed to Blackberry, Apple iPhone and Google Android based smart phones, as that would require an app with a codec that would utilize the phone’s Antenna to receive the DVB-H and decode the Digital Video for display.

Despite the distinction between “live” broadcast and LIME TV, John Public is still a bit skeptical as to how this will fare against watching Hulu and their US$9.99 (approximately JA$1000) for a thirty (30) day premium streaming service as stated in the article “Hulu launches US$10 video subscription”, published June 6 2010 by RYAN NAKASHIMA, AP Business Writer, Yahoo News, Netflix and YouTube, which is free – and streamable over 3G and 4G.

To quote the Jamaican parlance, if this is not A1 quality it “nah go mek it”, muchless make anyone, despite the crazy spending of Christmas, want to shell out JA$2500 for a thirty (30) day subscription that they will have to sober up to come New Year – an unpleasant thought.

Look out for the Young and the Restless in Jamaica to be the initial guinea pigs of this technology and the price drops after six (6) months on the market so the rest of us mere mortals can partake in this wonder of technology visited upon our Land of Wood and Water.

By then, Telecom Provider Digicel should have improved their Broadband 4G offering to offer their much advertised streaming 10MBps speeds and handsets that have the WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) protocol embedded and Telecom Provider CLARO should have launched their LTE Network with 100MBps LTE handsets to match both Telecom Providers capable of streaming content on mobile handsets.

Thus this would necessitate Telecom Provider LIME hastening the development of a means of provisioning the service on regular Blackberry, Apple iPhone and Google Android based smart phones, as no-one, aside from the Young and the Restless in Jamaica, is crazy enough to buy a smart phone just for watching TV.

Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 801.11n), the fly in the ointment, still threatens to undo all of these elaborate proprietary GSMA (Global Systems Mobile Alliance) 3GPP and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) based Networks

This is because streaming over Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) using smart phones enabled with Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n), tablets such as the Apple iPad Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) and their sole competitor for the Christmas, Samsung Galaxy Tablet as per my blog article entitled “Samsung Galaxy - Apple iPad contender for the Christmas” on Administrator Kirk’s of the Geezam blog, may beat out these mobile devices. A worthy debate for the tech geeks wondering what to spend their hard earned dough on this Christmas of 2010 AD.

Did I really, really forget that the prevalence of Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) would make it more feasible for Local entrepreneurs interested in getting into Web TV, YouTube and Hulu style? Television Jamaica will never be the same again, possibly following Hulu and their US$9.99 for a thirty (30) day premium streaming service as stated in the article “Hulu launches US$10 video subscription”, published June 6 2010 by RYAN NAKASHIMA, AP Business Writer, Yahoo News.

LIME TV in necessary in a YouTube and Netflix dominated future to stay afloat in a world where “TV-Anywhere” and On-Demand Content make the Jamaican Customer feel like he or she has control over his viewing pleasure. This is instead of being forced to watch what is not of interest to him, with benefits for Broadcasters in terms of metrics collected by the Broadcasters to make their Services better.

LIME TV, if done right, will be a game changer for the Big Three (3) Broadcasters, licensed Triple Play Providers and Unlicensed Cable Operators, shaking up the Broadcasting game and would have already won before launching this Christmas of 2010 AD, “TV-Anywhere” and On-Demand being the ultimate Time Machine for viewable content, including Television Jamaica as per the hit movie My Science Project (1985). Throw in support for online gaming, thus setting up the stage for an all-island frag fest and I am sold!
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