Here's some examples using Comcast's 250GB cap:
Microsoft just announced 1080p streaming over Xbox Live. The required minimum for this service is 8Mbps
. So with highly compressed 1080p content, you get 74.5 hours of TV each month.
Blu-Ray's maximum is 40Mbps
, so under a worst-case-scenario, you would would have only 15 hours
of viewing pleasure each month, (currently Netflix streams at 2.2Mbps).
OTA HD is about 15Mbps
OTA SD is about 2.5Mbps
DVD is about 5Mbps
Now add on internet usage, and multiple TVs (ouch!). Then realize, "The average American watches approximately 153 hours of TV every month at home."
So if you pay for cable TV, you can watch all day every day worry free. If you try to stream, you get low limits. The cable companies are starting to cap bandwidth now to protect their future tv incomes.
Of course, if Cogeco actually keeps their extreme policy of high speeds, low caps, and stiff overages, they may be trying to boost short term income too.
(All my bitrates came from google, they should be pretty close. I used base 10 for streaming speeds. 153 hour/month figure is according to Nielsen.)