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Johkal
Cool Cat
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-13
Happy Valley
kudos:10
reply to egeek84

Re: Comcast Xfinity for Xbox launching soon (possibly next week)

said by egeek84:

»xbox.comcast.net/index.html

»www.engadget.com/2012/03/23/comc···deo-app/

What's very interesting to me though is that any video viewed through the app won't count against the 250GB data cap Comcast has in place. Anyone else shocked by this?

Not surprising if you want to compete with Netflix.
--
In God we trust; all others bring data!


GTFan

join:2004-12-03
said by Johkal:

said by egeek84:

»xbox.comcast.net/index.html

»www.engadget.com/2012/03/23/comc···deo-app/

What's very interesting to me though is that any video viewed through the app won't count against the 250GB data cap Comcast has in place. Anyone else shocked by this?

Not surprising if you want to compete with Netflix.

This could invite FCC or FTC scrutiny, if Netflix or someone else wanted to pursue it. This is an obvious anti-competitive action and is exactly what they should be concerned about.


Johkal
Cool Cat
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-13
Happy Valley
kudos:10
I don't agree with that. This wouldn't be any different than VoiP providers competing against Comcast's CDV which doesn't share your HSI bandwidth; hence it won't count against your 250Gb cap.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
Latest info on this in today's "cable news snapshot" on the Light Reading Cable site:

Comcast Won't Cap Xbox 360 Streaming
Light Reading Cable - March 26, 2012
»www.lightreading.com/document.as···r_cable&

"Video-on-demand (VoD) content streamed to the Microsoft Corp. Xbox 360 won't count against Comcast Corp.'s monthly 250GB broadband usage caps, the MSO revealed in new FAQ (»xbox.comcast.net/faqs.html). It is getting ready to launch its Xfinity TV app on the popular gaming console in the next week or so, according to Engadget. Comcast's reasoning: The MSO is piping VoD to the console using its private IP network and not the public Internet. The MSO's XfinityTV.com site and Xfinity TV app for devices such as the iPad are streamed via the public Internet, so usage for those does count toward the bandwidth cap.

To be eligible for the Xbox 360 app, Comcast customers must subscribe to the MSO's Internet and digital video service, take Microsoft's Xbox Gold Live package and have a cable box or CableCARD-enabled retail device connected to at least one TV in the house. Comcast won't let customers access Xfinity TV on the Xbox 360 from another Internet provider, but says it's working on a way to allow that. Comcast's FAQ adds that it "will evaluate" whether to add linear channels and transactional VoD titles (Verizon Communications Inc., for example, offers a subset of live channels via the Xbox 360)."

AndyDufresne
Premium
join:2010-10-30
Chanhassen, MN
reply to GTFan

Not really since the xbox is being treated just like another stb.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
Looks like Public Knowledge has a "Net Neutrality Issue" with this not counting against the 250GB data cap:

From: Comcast Won't 'Cap' Xbox 360 Access (Updated with Objections)
The Philadelphia Inquirer - March 26, 2012
»www.philly.com/philly/business/t···256.html

"Update: Just received a statement this afternoon from the Washington, D.C. based communications watchdog group Public Knowledge, suggesting that Comcast's favored nation treatment for streaming Xfinity TV runs counter to the principals of "net neutrality." Here it is:

------------------------------------------

Public Knowledge Sees Net Neutrality Issue With Comcast Product

The following is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and CEO of Public Knowledge:

"The reports that Comcast is offering a video product through the Xbox 360 without the data counting toward the customer's data cap raises questions not only of the justification for the caps but, more importantly, of the survival of an Open Internet.

"This type of arrangement is exactly the type of situation the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) rules on the Open Internet were designed to prevent -- that an Internet Service Provider juggles the rules to give itself an advantage over a competitor.

"The Xbox 360 provides a number of video services to compete for customer dollars, yet only one service is not counted against the data cap -- the one provided by Comcast.

"This is nothing less than a wake-up call to the Commission to show it is serious about protecting the Open Internet. It also shows, once again, that the Commission should take the first steps toward understanding data caps."

###"


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
OK, I can see why use of CDV does not use up any of your HSI service's 250GB data cap, as it is a separate service and uses separate QAM carriers than the HSI service.

However, doesn't the XBox 360 VoD service utilize the same downstream QAM carriers as the HSI service?

If so, then why it it OK for someone to "hog" the neighborhood HSI bandwidth by constantly streaming videos through their XBox 360, but not if they're streaming videos from Netflix?

kmax

join:2009-03-27
Was never really about the bandwidth, but the content.

With that said, Comcast has smart people. They know that the majority have STB's that can access on demand services much easier than a Xbox 360 user.

At the same time they know they can't become irrelevant in the online game in regards to streaming. Hulu, Netflix, etc. This is from a customer retention or attraction perspective.

In short, a value add that probably won't measure a blip on their bandwidth radar yet will be quite an attraction for many customers...even though many will never utilize it.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
said by kmax:

Was never really about the bandwidth, but the content.

Yes, most of us are aware of that, it's just that Comcast says that they only impose the data cap so that data hogs don't disproportionately consume network resources, cause congestion and impact internet performance for their other customers.

A good article on this is:

Are bandwidth caps about easing congestion, or protecting television?
Digital Trends - February 16, 2012
»www.digitaltrends.com/computing/···evision/


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
PC Magazine has an article tonight on this XBox 360 VoD issue:

Comcast's Xfinity-on-Xbox Plans Draw Net Neutrality Fire
PC Magazine - March 26, 2012
»www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2402149,00.asp

"Comcast has indicated that customers who subscribe to its upcoming Xfinity TV service for the Xbox 360 won't be charged for the service's data use against their cap, which one agency has criticized as a violation of network neutrality laws.

In a FAQ, Comcast said that the Xfinity TV data service on the Xbox 360 will move data on a private IP network, and will not count against the Comcast acceptable usage policy, which caps residential customers at 250 Gbytes of data per month.

"No, since the content is being delivered over our private IP network and not the public Internet, it does not count against a customer's bandwidth cap," according to the FAQ (»xbox.comcast.net/faqs.html). "XFINITYTV.com and the XFINITY TV app stream content over the public Internet and count toward the customer's bandwidth cap."

According to Comcast, just 1 percent of its customers bump up against the cap, with most of its customers downloading and uploading content at 10 Gbytes or less per month.

Comcast's Xfinity TV service was announced last October with both Comcast, Verizon FiOS service, and a host of content providers including HBO. Although it's live on Verizon, the Xbox 360/Comcast partnership has yet to launch, so Comcast has yet to actually route content over its IP network to the service. So far, both services have emphasized prerecorded, on-demand content, rather than live streaming.

But some are already calling Comcast's actions a violation of the net neutrality laws.

"Comcast tries to justify preferred treatment for its own video on the Xbox 360 by claiming that the content is delivered over a private IP network rather than the public Internet," Free Press policy director Matt Wood said in a statement. "But not counting this video against a Comcast customer's monthly data limit gives the Comcast product an unfair advantage against other Internet video services. Unfortunately, such anti-competitive tricks may be allowed by loopholes in the FCC's Open Internet rules, proving once again that the FCC failed to deliver on the promise of real Net Neutrality."

The FCC approved its net neutrality rules in December. The concept argues that no one ISP, site, or service, should be favored over any other. After Comcast was accused of blocking P2P sites, however, the FCC decided to craft rules that would ban ISPs from discriminating based on content as well.

Comcast requires Xfinity TV customers who wish to use its Xbox service to subscribe to both television and Internet data services. Comcast doesn't allow a customer to use DSL in conjunction with Comcast video services, as the data modem is used to identify that the customer is in the home, the FAQ said.

"We are working on a solution that will enable customers to receive the content without an XFINITY Internet subscription, but can't comment on timing yet," Comcast added.

The Xfinity app will also work with the Microsoft Kinect peripheral.

Comcast will also roll out a Comcast-enabled TiVo box in the coming months, first launching in the Bay Area."


88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
reply to Johkal
said by Johkal:

said by egeek84:

»xbox.comcast.net/index.html

»www.engadget.com/2012/03/23/comc···deo-app/

What's very interesting to me though is that any video viewed through the app won't count against the 250GB data cap Comcast has in place. Anyone else shocked by this?

Not surprising if you want to compete with Netflix.

This is not competition for Netflix. One has nothing to do with the other.

GTFan

join:2004-12-03
Of course they do - one can provide all you can eat content without a cap, the other cannot. The video content overlaps for both shows and movies. They are both VOD services.

Agree with telcodad that it's very interesting that Comcast can say you can eat all you want on your local node with an Xbox, but not on Netflix. This would completely invalidate any argument they make in future about caps helping to prevent congestion on the local nodes.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
An item on this controversy from Gizmodo:

Comcast Says Its Xbox TV Streaming Doesn’t Have to Play by Its Own Rules
Gizmodo - March 26, 2012
»gizmodo.com/5896560/comcast-says···wn-rules

"Here's what happens without concrete net neutrality policy in place: Comcast's impending video on demand service for Xbox 360 won't count against your monthly data cap. Which is great for your data cap! But an awful, awful precedent.

Ars Technica says Comcast's Xfinity streaming powers—which, admittedly, will be pretty great if you're a cable subscriber and own an Xbox—will make zero dent against the 250 gigabytes customers are allotted every month. This makes some sense, as you're getting TV shows delivered to your Xbox that you're already paying for on your TV. But by blatantly favoring your own service against rivals—Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, et al.—Comcast is wielding an unfair grapple against the rest of the internet. Even if Netflix provides a superior service, hypothetically, Comcast is pushing its customers into using the in-house stuff to avoid going over the perilous data cap.

Strangely, streaming Comcast's media onto your computer will still count against your cap, says Ars, which belies its claim that the Xbox exemption is fair, since those videos are "being delivered over our private IP network and not the public Internet." Whatever that means. [Ars Technica (»arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2012···caps.ars )]"


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
reply to telcodad
said by telcodad:

OK, I can see why use of CDV does not use up any of your HSI service's 250GB data cap, as it is a separate service and uses separate QAM carriers than the HSI service.

However, doesn't the XBox 360 VoD service utilize the same downstream QAM carriers as the HSI service?

If so, then why it it OK for someone to "hog" the neighborhood HSI bandwidth by constantly streaming videos through their XBox 360, but not if they're streaming videos from Netflix?

OK, Todd Spangler, in his blog today on the Multichannel News site (»www.multichannel.com/blog/BIT_RA···ork_.php), states:

"Comcast is delivering VOD to Xboxes over its own network (not the Internet), and its using IP instead of [a VoD video] QAM as the transport mechanism."

So, then that confirms to me that Comcast is using their HSI downstream QAMs to deliver this service. Therefore, all the XBox 360 VoD users in my neighborhood will be "hogging" the HSI bandwidth I need for my own mundane web-surfing, emailing, etc. activities!

The statements of "Comcast is delivering VOD to Xboxes over its own network (not the Internet)" don't jive with Comcast's statements that that they only impose the data cap so that data hogs don't disproportionately consume network resources, cause congestion and impact internet performance for their other customers, on their own internal HFC networks.

Comcast never implied that the problem with the "Netflix data hogs" was with them getting the data off the internet.


tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
They could be selling this over differnt IP channels than either resi. or Biz HSI uses, not so different than voice using private/non-public channels

GTFan

join:2004-12-03
There are no 'different IP channels', so I have no idea what you're talking about. They're streaming from Comcast's internal servers yes, but everything comes down the same QAM channels to your modem (and then to your LAN-attached Xbox and PCs) whether it's from Netflix or Comcast.

I am very glad to see that this is getting the attention it deserves - I hope the FCC gets interested too. I certainly expect Netflix to take action if they don't.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
reply to tshirt
said by tshirt:

They could be selling this over differnt IP channels than either resi. or Biz HSI uses, not so different than voice using private/non-public channels

I didn't think so - doesn't the XBox just get connected to your home network, just like any other IP device you might have?

GTFan

join:2004-12-03
yes, exactly.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
OK, so how does Comcast discriminate between the XBox bits and your other IP device bits, so as not to count the XBox ones against the 250GB/mo cap?

Do they meter the capacity used from the "XBox VoD app" server and just subtract that figure from your total HSI data usage?

GTFan

join:2004-12-03
said by telcodad:

OK, so how does Comcast discriminate between the XBox bits and your other IP device bits, so as not to count the XBox ones against the 250GB/mo cap?

Because it's hitting designated Comcast internal IPs, which they will whitelist in the cap (i.e. not count).


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
Jeff Baumgartner on the Light Reading Cable site had this comment on the issue:

From: Comcast's Xbox App Raises Net Neutrality Concerns
Light Reading Cable - March 27, 2012
»www.lightreading.com/document.as···r_cable&

"So, at what point do these groups start pointing the finger at any SP that delivers video over a managed IP network and doesn't apply those services toward any sort of data cap? Might as well toss AT&T into that group, along with a bunch of other telcos that are offering managed IPTV services. Though they'd be wrong to do so.

The other interesting aspect here is that MSOs like Comcast will have to embrace IP video if they are to get their services, including linear TV, onto more CE platforms like Roku and the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii, not to mention connected TVs. So if managed IP video is the vehicle to get cable services available on more retail devices without an MSO-supplied set-top, it seems a tad ironic that PK and Free Press are trying to lump net neutrality into this when they have been among those pushing for cable to do a better job at supporting services on retail CE devices.

If Comcast reversed course and said it was going to start applying data from managed IP video toward a cap, I think there would be an absolute uproar. After the P2P fiasco from awhile back, I would think Free Press and PK would give Comcast some credit here for being transparent about its policy for Xfinity TV on the Xbox 360, though I am certainly interested in hearing more about how Comcast is going about it, technically speaking.

But I'll admit that this will cause some confusion for customers, who are now supposed to figure out which apps on the Xbox 360 count against a usage cap (ie. Netflix) and which ones don't. I doubt that the average consumer knows the difference between OTT and managed IP video, or would even care to know."


EG
The wings of love
Premium
join:2006-11-18
Union, NJ
kudos:10
Check out what one CC employee is saying about this in their Help Forums. Specifically message #5;

»forums.comcast.com/t5/Customer-S···3#M20882


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
So, the question is - at what point is the problem where frequent Netflix users "cause congestion and impact internet performance for [Comcast's] other customers" requiring the imposition of a monthly data cap?

Is it somewhere inside the local HFC plant, or where Comcast interfaces to the public internet?


JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
said by telcodad:

So, the question is - at what point is the problem where frequent Netflix users "cause congestion and impact internet performance for [Comcast's] other customers" requiring the imposition of a monthly data cap?

Is it somewhere inside the local HFC plant, or where Comcast interfaces to the public internet?

It is where the CDN dumps the Netflix traffic onto the comcast network. Like I said, easy to explain to anyone who knows how networks work.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us


tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to telcodad
Couldn't the xbox request program 12983 be sent specific IP and port, while this is via IP I don't think CC(or any other ISP) has ever said ALL their available IP bandwidth will be dedicated to HSI delivery.
The network neutrality "pledge"* only applies to the 250GB's included in your residential package with various prices based on the speed you want to use it.

You might have a better case if you are a biz HSI and TV user where your HSI doesn't currently have a cap (keep pushing, they'll change that) and the ToS is different (not sure biz TV includes ON demand products)

CC and the rest of the industry spent a lot increasing total capacity via D3 upgrades (and other emerging tech), and they don't intend to just give it away.
They will continue to find other services (voice, home security, etc) to pay back and even profit from that investment, and many of them will be via the "private IP space".


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
reply to JohnInSJ
said by JohnInSJ:

It is where the CDN dumps the Netflix traffic onto the comcast network. Like I said, easy to explain to anyone who knows how networks work.

OK, so if that is truly where Comcast's HSI data bandwidth bottleneck is, then yes, Netflix video streaming IP traffic could be a problem, while internally-sourced Comcast VoD IP traffic would be fine.

In that case, applying the 250GB/mo cap to only the non-Comcast-originated VoD IP content would make sense.


JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
reply to tshirt
said by tshirt:


You might have a better case if you are a biz HSI and TV user where your HSI doesn't currently have a cap (keep pushing, they'll change that) and the ToS is different (not sure biz TV includes ON demand products)

It was my understanding (I am not sure, so take it for what its worth) that xfinity xbox app/service was only available for residential vid + res HSI customers.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
reply to telcodad
said by telcodad:

OK, Todd Spangler, in his blog today on the Multichannel News site (»www.multichannel.com/blog/BIT_RA···ork_.php), states:

"Comcast is delivering VOD to Xboxes over its own network (not the Internet), and its using IP instead of [a VoD video] QAM as the transport mechanism."

So, then that confirms to me that Comcast is using their HSI downstream QAMs to deliver this service. Therefore, all the XBox 360 VoD users in my neighborhood will be "hogging" the HSI bandwidth I need for my own mundane web-surfing, emailing, etc. activities!

The statements of "Comcast is delivering VOD to Xboxes over its own network (not the Internet)" don't jive with Comcast's statements that that they only impose the data cap so that data hogs don't disproportionately consume network resources, cause congestion and impact internet performance for their other customers, on their own internal HFC networks.

Comcast never implied that the problem with the "Netflix data hogs" was with them getting the data off the internet.

A comment posted tonight by Phillip Dampier of Stopthecap.com, in response to Todd Spangler's blog post:

"I don't see a whole lot of opposition to Comcast not capping Xbox content. What consumer groups like ours are opposed to is the fact they are still capping everyone else. Comcast is the same company that complained pre-DOCSIS 3 its 250GB cap was to maintain an even customer experience for its shared broadband network and to prevent last mile congestion.

DOCSIS 3 solved that problem, and Comcast has no problem finding unlimited capacity for its Xbox service. But somehow, mysteriously, they still need a 250GB cap on residential broadband service? Amazing that. Apparently last mile congestion is only a problem when you want it to be. Data is data is data. How you treat it and how much capacity you make available to handle it makes all the difference, and that is where the problem is. Plenty of space for Xbox, last mile congestion threat for broadband. It doesn't add up.'

Comcast can solve this PR dilemma in a second by simply removing its 250GB usage cap. It can then do whatever it wants with its network and not have a thing to worry about from consumer advocates like ourselves who see right through the Swiss Cheese holes in their logic for a usage cap they just proved they don't actually need."

Phillip Dampier
Stopthecap.com

GTFan

join:2004-12-03
Nail hit on head.


JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
said by GTFan:

Nail hit on head.

With a fish. Since comcast pays peering charges to receive netflix traffic, and pays itself $0 to stream video inside its own network, this is a great apples to guppies comparison.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us