Gold'en Rant : IPTV, video streaming and the Olympics = disappointment

Well, it's the eighth day of the eighth month of the eighth year of the new century and it's time for the big opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

Over a cuppa at 0800 this morning I thought I'd check out the video streams that are available. First port of call was the main Olympics site at http://en.beinjing2008.cn where I expected to see loads of introductory videos.

Instead, there are lots of routes to newswire sites such as ABC, the BBC and CNN, where video streams are available.

But hang on a minute. I'm on a shiny ADSL 2 Plus connection with a whacking 16 Mbps downstream and 1.2 Mbps upstream - and these are real-world download and upload speeds as I'm on my own in the office.

On the ABC and CNN sites I'm getting 70,000 bits per second and the BBC's site chugs along at around 150,000 bps, with the supposed video stream falling back to a jerky few frames per second.

It seems that the world and his wife was checking out the Olympics online at 0800 UK time this morning - which, of course, is 0900 Central European Time. Lords knows what is going to happen when America wakes up later today.

Will the Internet video streaming capabilities stand up? I doubt it, although it looks like the various news portals are taking no chances and throttling video streams down to near-dial-up speeds.

Is this the brave new world of IPTV? Don't make me laugh...