TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Disney Bringing Back MovieBeam Set-Top Box

Re: Disney Bringing Back MovieBeam Set-Top Box
Thu, 23 Feb 2006 20:32:59 UTC

Koos van den Hout <> wrote:

> wrote in <>:

>> I think it would be neat if datacasting could be used for say Windows
>> Update in conjunction with a low cost USB-attached receiver. That
>> would be a godsend to those on slow dialup or satellite connections.

> Sounds like a rehash of the usenet/fidonet via satellite services that
> sprung up in the 90s. See
> for more info.

As the former assignee of fidonet 1:101/435 I remember quite well the
controversies which in conjunction of the general availability of
public Internet access led to the virtual death of FidoNet in the USA.

Namely when EchoMail got going which in turn led to many BBSes hooking
up to FidoNet, most of the actual telecom cost was picked up by those
with "deep pockets" or low/no cost access to the long distance phone

With the severe economic contraction in the late 80s, many of these
"Sugar Daddies" simply couldn't do it any more.

Thus various Cost Recovery schemes came into being. Satellite
Echomail distribution was seen as more cost effective alternative to
dial up - I recall many Regional Echomail hubs spending over $200 a
month in long distance charges, even with 14.4 kbps (the fastest you
could go over dialup back then.

However satellite involves some fairly substantial up-front costs for
a dish and a receiver, plus a dialup back channel to feed echomail
replies back to the network.

In my neck of the woods there were two factions who wanted to be the
only source for echomail -- the conflict this caused caused the whole
Fidonet around Metro Boston to quickly implode; many SYSOPS didn't
want to have to take sides in this.

I'm sure this situation occured in many other places too.

[ re: datacasting]

> Not wanting to be negative about the idea: I think it would be
> fantastic to use cheap data-broadcasting in some way to distribute
> data to a lot of people want (such as windows updates) for a low
> price.

I think some sticky points of datacasting is what the owners of the TV
and radio stations consider is the value of their bandwidth coupled
with the lack of technical standards needed to make receivers
inexpensive enough that they could become standard equipment for all

Herb Oxley
From: address IS Valid.

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