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Cloud video

Amazon has joined Netflix in offering video programming via the I’net. is happy because Ubuntu & Linux Mint Compatible Amazon Prime Unlimited Instant Video Streaming Now Available!.

Amazon is not only a bit cheaper, they use standard Flash so any browser with a functioning Flash plugin will do to utilize the service. This is an additional benefit to Amazon’s Prime membership which also gets free two day shipping on many Amazon purchases.

I am using a 1 Mb/sec basic cable I’net service and the Amazon video feed comes across at standard definition at about 140 kB/s. I won’t get high def at this speed but the standard stuff looks decent.

The biggest problem is trying to figure out what to watch. At least, with all the free stuff, you can browse and sample without much risk.

Now to see if UPS will deliver some emergency winter supplies – tire chains for the Honda – today. It is snowing pretty good and I see road controls in place on US395 north of Reno. (Safetravel Nevada – this site is getting more interesting as it not only shows road controls but also temperatures, wind speeds, and radar).

Anyway, the transition to cloud video is in progress. The networks are struggling to deal with the additional traffic demands. 1 Mbs speeds are readily available (e.g. from Charter for about $20/mo) but higher speeds. A typical $20 network access in 1990 at dialup speeds (56 kb/s) would be equal to a $34 per month cost now (CPI inflation calculator) So I guess the $50 to $80 monthly fee for 10 Mb/s or better access isn’t too far out of line, historically speaking. Charter costs this much because its higher speed I’net is bundled with cable TV. Only the basic 1 Mb/s can be had without a bundle. DSL only supports up to about 3 Mb/s for $30/mo or so. 3G is about 1 Mb/s for $50/mo with traffic caps.

It’s getting there. Being in the middle of the transition makes it seem slow and awkward and expensive but when you step back to look at the big picture, it really is rather amazing how fast the transition to cloud video access happening.

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