The Future Of Web Video

Solarflare CommunicationsScanning the news feeds late last night on my new Blackberry 8330 Curve (it’s a GREAT device) and I came across this piece of news that could stand to significantly change the way we watch TV and VIDEO.

VCRs were great, you could record what you want when you want – but the problem was that shows needed to be watched sequentially, unless you fast-forwarded through the various sections.  At the time it was all we needed.  Fast forward (excuse the pun) and we have RW DVD and DVRs where we can jump where we want to, the biggest advantage is is that we are slowly being unglued from the TV and have the ability to view video AND TV on the PC now.  You can already purchase on-demand programming from most cable companies and the digital universe is expanding.

Now comes news that SolarFlare Communications has secured $26 million in new funding.  Yes, that is TWENTY SIX MILLION DOLLARS.

Solarflare Communications has raised $26 million in venture capital for its high-speed networking chip business as part of an effort to create more energy-efficient data centers.

The Irvine, Calif.-based company is creating 10GBASE-T chips, which can transfer data at 10 gigabits a second over the Ethernet protocol. Such chips are used in servers and switches inside data centers to boost the transfer of data from one piece of hardware to another with the lowest power consumption.

The company is in a good spot because it is the first to capitalize on a generational shift in networking, as network speeds move from 1-gigabit-per-second to 10-gigabits, said Russell Stern, chief executive of Solarflare.


With so much money being poured into faster chips, and as the costs come down we should see more ISPs offering higher speeds on our broadband connections so that we can watch videos/tv at full screen and in HD instead of the tiny 320×200 windows we currently have.

For home use you an already purchase laptops equipped Wireless N and you can purchase Wireless N access points from various manufacturers.

Here is an older article from TechRepublic on Wireless N –  Something more recent –

Couple of excerpts from the article at Network World:

What we found was consistent with our previous 802.11b and 802.11g testing: Actual throughput was far lower than theoretical maximums. While 802.11n promises 300Mbps, the top performance in our TCP performance test was 129Mbps when we paired a Linksys access point and a Linksys client. The top UDP performance was 123Mbps with an SMC router and client.


Of course, 802.11b promised 10Mbps and delivers less than 5; while 802.11g offered a theoretical maximum of 54Mbps, and delivered around 20. So, even if MIMO only delivers throughput in the range of 100Mbps, that’s still a huge leap forward.

Unfortunately my laptop doesn’t have Wireless N – it’s a bit pricier for laptops, but that’s the cost you pay for staying on the leading edge… or as close as you can without falling.

While the connection speeds from the wall jack to the router are set by your provider, if you can push that information faster to your PC the experience is that much more enjoyable. 

At times when I need to work on my laptop by connecting directly to the router I get fantastic speeds and hate untethering myself from that hardwired connection – but the flexability that wireless offers can not be traded in for the tether.

We’ll talk all about wireless security in a future post.  No doubt security is on everyones mind.

The other aspect of Wireless N is better coverage.  At times, I am unable to connect to my wireless router if I am in the bedroom – the router is on the main floor in a very accessible area.  So being able to work in the bedroom, or outside only 10-20 feet away without any degredation in speed and increased stability (not loosing the wireless connection to the access poing) is a huge plus for me and for others that rely on their wireless network.

…so I sorta drifed from SolarFlare to Wireless N – but it’s all the same.  Users are demanding faster access to the web and video.  The newer technologies also need better ways of delivering intensive content.  SolarFlare, along with other companies are are leading the way.

oibo dot org




About Rob 'n Mo

I'm a man of mystery. I like anonymity, but on the WWW there is not much of it...
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