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back to article Time Warner Cable to Netflix: We want your 3D films, not your network

Internet video service Netflix is apparently refusing to provide HD content - which includes its 3D and Super HD movies - to networks which refuse to be a part of its Open Connect content delivery network, prompting cries of partiality as private networks spread. Netflix doesn't charge for interconnection of Open Connect; …

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Ask Time Warner if they have a peering arrangement with Google.

Ask Time Warner if they have peering arrangements with anyone else, including Google.

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For much of non urban USA

It won't matter a jot as there is usually only a single broadband provider available.

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Re: For much of non urban USA

Even in sprawling urban areas there is often only one other choice. Right now I can pick TWC or Verizon but if I moved a few blocks I could pick TWC or AT&T and about one street can pick any of the three. I'd wager, after suffering for months with them, that TWC aren't able to provide the service anyway because the ISDN speeds they offer simply isn't up to the job unless you want to watch at 2:30 AM when it rockets up to nearly 640 kbits/s. Now if I could just get Verizon to fix the jitter problem so I could have decent VOIP service. The whole exercise is a bit like saying they're renting you a Ferrari that can go "up to" 200 mph but giving you pothole and boulder strewn concrete roadway that runs through downtown LA at rush hour.

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Facepalm

TWC, sir, your proctologist called, they found your head

The reality is TWC is looking for a way to argue that their cable service is somehow worth paying for rather then just paying them for transit and on-demanding from NFLX.

NFLX is being unbelievably nice here. "OK, ISPs, we know you are oversubscribed, and we know we totally break your model, so we are going to offer you free peering to us. Our customers get better service, you can contenue to make money hand over fist by not paying for enough bandwidth for what your selling, and your customers think you actually give a shit about their service."

"Well, one minor problem for us at TWC, we make fat stacks of cash by offering video service, so we really don't like that arrangement."

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Re: TWC, sir, your proctologist called, they found your head

This should be settled in the true American way. Patents at six paces.

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Anonymous Coward

mmm

"What's interesting is how that will affect end users. Netflix customers already see different film lists, based their previous viewing, but all have access to the same content if they search for it. How they'll react when they discover the content available differs depending on the ISP supplying the connectivity will be interesting to see, assuming they notice at all."

I don't think this has anything to do with the Netflix you access over the internet but instead the netflix provided storage for a ISPs IPTV offering...

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Anonymous Coward

FFS why can't we edit our posts?

"I don't think this has anything to do with the Netflix you access over the internet but instead the netflix provided storage for a ISPs IPTV offering.."

"I don't think this has anything to do with the Netflix you access over the internet but instead the netflix provided service for an ISP's IPTV offering.."

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FFS why can't we edit our posts?

Try using a handle rather than posting anonymously, and providing enough consistent commentary that you're considered a valuable poster.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/27/el_reg_commentard_badges/

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Re: FFS why can't we edit our posts?

"Try using a handle rather than posting anonymously, and providing enough consistent commentary that you're considered a valuable poster."

That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life. Even basic places have the "EDIT" function.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: FFS why can't we edit our posts?

No longer posting as anything but anon since ElReg screwed up and displayed my name once instead of the handle.

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Re: FFS why can't we edit our posts?

So just don't use your real name? I understand the anon thing to a degree but I think instead of anon it should be an alternate handle as frankly its damn confusing trying to read and reply to 20 or 30 anon posts from various or possibly the same person. Thankfully my parents gave me an appropriate name ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: FFS why can't we edit our posts?

What a silly argument - I once met a rude user and it hasn't put me off.....oh hang on.......

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Anonymous Coward

Re: FFS why can't we edit our posts?

@Steve Knox

My 3646 upvotes don't need a name to validate themselves. Nor do the 675 Downvotes. I just want to be able to edit my post when I make a simple mistake or think of something new, or change my mind, it seems all you needed to do to become a silver member was being a pompous arse.

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probably won't notice

netflix's streaming content catalog was always lacking, missing a few more titles here and there won't make much difference.

Increase the catalog by 10x and I'd be happy to pay 10x the cost (I probably pay 6-7x the cost/yearly buying physical media already). Also the licensing should be perpetual - titles should not be able to just disappear because the license agreement expired. Should include porn too, obviously. Before I forget time to go spent another $50 on two more seasons of a TV show I just started watching..

I spoke with my sister about Netflix over the holidays (I gave her a blu ray player which has a bit fat netflix button), she said she too wouldn't use Netflix because the catalog doesn't have enough stuff. She's much less of a techie than me and far less disposable income.

When Netflix jacked up their prices the first time was it in 2011 ? I think so, I went back and looked and I had not streamed a full title end to end in over a year (since it emailed me every time to ask me about the quality). Normally I'd get 5 mins into something and get bored and stop. I was renting DVDs from them at a rate of about 1 every 2 months (just took me a while to get around to watching them and then returning them, there was plenty of DVDs I was interested in seeing that they had). So I cancelled.

When I first signed up there was quite a bit of stuff to watch but I blew through it pretty quick. Ever since I loosely follow what others say about the quality of the catalog of Netflix, also they are talked a lot about in the financial news(which I track very closely - highly entertaining for me), and I haven't seen anything that would make me interested in signing up for them (or any other similar streaming service - the others have even a worse selection).

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JDX
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Re: probably won't notice

They seem to be adding lots of stuff all the time, many things are annoying absent here but we've not run out of things to watch and have discovered new shows through it. Also loads of older shows I would never pay to own, but are nice to watch once... in fact a way to watch 4OD content without adverts and at decent quality is possibly worth the fee.

The US content is way ahead but since Netflix has established dominance and online streaming is clearly the future, I'm confident it will eventually end up with just about everything.

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Holmes

Re: probably won't notice

I guess it really depends on how you go into it.

If you go in with a bullet point list of things you want to watch, you are going to be disappointed in any of the all-you-can-eat streaming providers (I am excluding Apple / Amazon here as most things are available through them, however it'll cost you dearly for any significant amount of content).

However if you go in expecting quality entertainment without pretext and are willing to experiment a bit, you will struggle to find enough to watch.

I dropped cable and picked up a unthrottled/uncapped commercial internet connection and both hulu/netflix maybe 6 months ago.

I don't watch the same shows anymore (or at least, very many of them) but at last count have over 500 episodes of content waiting to be watched, all of which is very, very good.

A different way of getting content (OTT/streaming/ondemand) also, at least for the moment, necessitates a different strategy for consuming content. If someone isn't prepared to make that leap, then they really shouldn't be dropping their cable/satellite connections.

Karl P

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FAIL

Re: probably won't notice

"online streaming is clearly the future"

But is it? How many instances of items you've "bought" suddenly being withdrawn will it take for enough people to realise that having your own copy is the only "safe" way to the future of media consumption?

At least the T&Cs with a DVD/BD mean that you can watch the content for as long as the media survives and you have the technology to play it. That's likely to be many more years than the likes of Netflix are going to be around.

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Re: probably won't notice

My wife constantly buys DVDs - most of which are only ever watched once (and sometimes not even that much!), and then they gather dust. Maybe if we had kids who watched the same thing over and over again, but we'd be financially far better off if I could just get her to "rent" what she wants to watch, even if it meant paying 2 or 3 times for stuff that she theoretically wants to watch again (but never does).

I'm not entirely innocent - I have a couple of dozen movies that I've recorded because "Oh that was a good movie, I should watch that again", or "That movie got good reviews - I should watch it some time". But we needed a new hard drive in the DVR anyway :-)

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FAIL

Time Warner Cable

But Time Warner Cable doesn't feel that way and is publicly complaining that it is being blackmailed into interconnections it doesn't want.

This from the same company that won't offer consumers internet access unless they also buy into their antiquated cable television service!?

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Re: Time Warner Cable

As much as I despise my ISP (TWC) they do allow you to have internet only without cable TV in this area.

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Re: Time Warner Cable

Not here, they don't. They also won't tell you their baseline prices. Those are two of the several reasons they're no longer my ISP.

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h3
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If you are going to use Netflix might as well use the hack to get the US catalog.

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WTF?

You can get HD NetFlix just fine over TWC Net Connections

I have TWC hi-speed, and receive HD content from NetFlix all the time. The limitations are on the new super-duper HD and 3D. The existing HD content is still received at the same resolution its always been at.

And Netflix has never filtered search selections based on which resolution you can receive or which provider you have. (Although it might be different for 3D.)

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I don't get why TWC are complaining

Not sure I get this. Under most BGP routing arrangements, it's "hot potato". You hand off to a peer/transit connection as soon as you can. If TWC have a nationwide backbone, then TWC will carry the content to their customer from the peering point where they got the traffic. I fail to see why arranging an interconnect with NetFlix changes that, unless TWC are playing games with their BGP announcements to shot cut hot potato routing and force the sender to carry the traffic to a point closer to the end customer.

And to my mind, direct peering and not needing such hefty transit links, is a good thing. For both NetFlix and TWC.

The only scam I can see is TWC potentially trying to get NetFlix to pay for access to the TWC eyeballs. Good luck with that.

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Pirate

Re: I don't get why TWC are complaining

"Not sure I get this. Under most BGP routing arrangements, it's "hot potato". You hand off to a peer/transit connection as soon as you can."

That works for Netflix. Build out a CDN to peering exchanges. Take advantage of low cost, bulk bandwidth to those peering exchanges. Make the ISPs an offer they can't refuse, ie peer with us or your transit gets it. ISP refuses to peer and their route to Netflix is via a transit provider which costs the ISP ££. Cost per bit for Netflix is much cheaper than cost to ISP for their access networks. Netflix charges their customer £5.99/month and contributes nothing to any of the ISP's capacity costs. So basically it's a lopsided economics problem where costs and revenues are misaligned. Which is nothing new on the Internet.

For CATV networks like TWC there are more economic arguments, ie they may have been used to charging content providers for carriage on the TV, or paid for channels and the Internet and OTT services like Netflix have broken that model.

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FAIL

Time Warner Cable: User Abuse, Insincerity, Stupid As Hell

I'd enjoy learning what EXACTLY is Time Warner Cable's problem here. It is my experience, over and over, that TWC is Stupid As Hell. I seriously can't think of a company more adverse to adequately and respectfully providing their service to their customers. When I see this behavior I don't think of 'evil company'. I think of 'STUPID company'.

TWC are literally doing their best to destroy themselves. This fiasco with NetFlix is entirely in line with typical TWC behavior. Their management requires not just a major enema. it requires firing and replacement with tech savvy and sincere executives. From what I'm reading here, I applaud NetFlix and bitterly laugh at the TWC.

I've written a series of documentation articles about TWC USER ABUSE, available here:

http://zunipus.blogspot.com

Please TWC! Hurry your suicide so we can swiftly progress into a user-friendly Internet future.

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Joke

Re: Their management requires not just a major enema. it requires firing and replacement ....

I could start a long list of companies that could benefit from a major enema performed on top manage manglement.

To start off, let's suggest:

Microsoft

HP

Bank of America

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Anonymous Coward

bunch of Netflix baloney

Instead of blaming TWC for what they are or aren't doing or providing, perhaps Netflix should explain the scarcity of their titles and their cap at 720p regardless of ISP and bandwidth. In my particular case, the ISP in question is not TWC, and I have plenty of bandwidth to accomodate 1080p. As proven by the fact that I can stream 1080p from Amazon or VUDU.

And I am not talking about some obscure movie titles. For example:

- Three Days of the Condor - not available for streaming

- The Good Shepherd - not available for streaming

- Syriana - not available for streaming

Guess what, Netflix: Walmart and Amazon beat you. Walmart has VUDU. Yes, both are pay-per-view, but both of them can stream at 1080p. I'll pay $3.99 for a 1080p movie before deciding if I really want to buy the Blu-ray or not.

Surely you don't believe that Netflix will keep their subscription pricing at USD $7/month for 1080p streaming. This whole whining about TWC not providing access to OpenConnect reeks of pre-emptive whining to justify a Netflix subscription price increase. Given the quality of their service - more precisely lack thereof - I wonder how many customers will they be left with.

Not to defend TWC. They are over-priced compared to the competition, and they offer no discounts at all. But I can stream 1080p from Amazon Video or VUDU at reasonable prices over TWC internet.

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Anonymous Coward

If TWC doesn't want to peer, not like their customers will notice. The last time I saw HD on TWC, it looked awful.

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While I cant see the logic in saying no.

I think "Forcing" this is a horrible idea. What about the small carriers out there, If you have only a few hundred customers does that mean that you cant use Netflix HD?... This really pushes Big content back to the Big Content providers.

Sure, Open it up, but dont force it.

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Peering: no money.

TWC just want money from netflix.. final point.

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Boffin

perhaps a pedantic point, perhaps not

"2Gb/sec of Netflix traffic most of the time (95th percentile)"

Not exactly. 95th percentile is actually the figure *below* which 95% of samples fall. The samples are 5 minute averages, so the 95P figure represents the busy hour usage. ie. not "most of the time"

If you take the numbers 1, 2, 3 ... 20. The 95P figure is 19.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burstable_billing

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"Plugging in" is perhaps the wrong image

It implies getting to a place to do some work, perhaps even getting stuck in traffic.

In fact it's probably just some minor configuration change, adding another peer is probably a routine operation at those ISPs.

I still wonder why they don't simply peer with other people. I mean surely can't be a cost issue. I can understand them not wanting to peer with hundreds of thousands of peers, but if even if every "Netflix" of the world would join, it shouldn't be to much effort.

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Re: "Plugging in" is perhaps the wrong image

This is weird: I can certainly understand Netflix wanting settlement-free peering, rather than having to pay for transit into heavy customers like TWC; offering Akamai-style colocated edge cache nodes also makes a lot of sense for both parties.

Are TW currently charging Netflix for transit? That would explain their resistance to moving to settlement-free peering or edge caching; "better service for your customers who use our services" versus "revenue stream" is all too easy a choice for most cable outfits!

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