Cabin John, MD
reply to FBGuy
Re: the report defines an HD stream as 2 Mbps Bluray isn't perfect, but it is a valid reference point for semi-high-quality 1080p24 HD video.
Put your Bluray player into info/diag mode, play a bluray movie and watch the data rate. A simple movie like Blazing Saddles is encoded VC-1 (very compact, similar to h.264/Mpeg4-part10). It shows sustained data rate of 20 to 24Mbps, with peaks to 40.
Imagine a movie containing scenes with high entropy (some of the exciting moments in Event Horizon?).
There's no magic. Lossy encoding throws away information. If you want high quality, you pay the price: high data rate. Cable&Sat providers transmit low BW because it saves them money on distribution and it relegates any pirated copies to inferior quality.
Now imagine the future: 48 frame per second content. 4K video. Data rates SHOULD go up to maintain fidelity. Only last-mile systems with very small node sizes (and lots of aggregate capacity), such as XGPON or point-to-point FTTH will be able to service lots of viewers streaming OTT video at very high data rates. Coaxial-based providers (cable companies) are just stalling, trying to delay rebuilding their OSP. (Deferring an expense puts more money in their executive bonus checks.)