Consumers, spoiled by the flicker-free channels of pay TV, will not tolerate OTT videos that start-stop and hiccup.
No spinning wheels for them! They’ll quickly go back to watching pay TV.
That sinking feeling
Much has been written in the press about poor broadband speeds holding back the growth of OTT, especially the coming evolution to 4K, but the bigger barrier may be the poor performance of the home’s Wi-Fi.
Everyone is familiar with a mobile phone’s varying performance but tolerates it because there is no other choice.
Consumers have another choice for flickering OTT videos — pay TV.
There are solutions and the OTT companies should be enlightening their subscribers about the problems of Wi-Fi and that there are easy-to-install solutions.
Upgrading to faster broadband won’t solve the problem.
The study of 1,000 US broadband households with a Wi-Fi network showed that nearly 40% have had and/or are currently experiencing problems with their Wi-Fi network.
Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) members propose eliminating Wi-Fi’s problems by using the home’s existing coax wiring, something that already connects most of the frequently used rooms where people use fixed and mobile devices —including in many cases kitchens, bathrooms and patios.
MoCA’s suggested solution: Purchase and install MoCA-to-Wi-Fi-adapters in rooms where Wi-Fi is weak. The adapters allow Wi-Fi-only devices such as tablets and smartphones to connect to a strong Wi-Fi signal. Unlike a few years ago when consumers first needed this solution, there are now a number of such MoCA-to-Wi-Fi adapters available at retail. Amazon.com offers a number of them from equipment makers such as Actiontec, Netgear, ChannelMaster, TrendNet and ReadyNet. However, most consumers are not aware that such solutions exist or are so easy to install.
More details about the survey’s findings are:
– 87% of those experiencing problems have experienced a slow connection or a dead zone
– 63% continue to experience these problems despite efforts to resolve them. The result: about 15 million households that continue to experience dead zones or slow wireless connections despite upgrades to Internet service or in-home equipment such as the purchase of a new router.
– 27% of respondents who experience an issue report that the problem can be attributed, at least in part, to too many devices connected to the Internet at the same time.
More than one-half of respondents experiencing Wi-Fi problems would be “very comfortable” using a wired solution to improve the performance of their network. Which of their home’s existing wires would respondents be comfortable using — in the 5 to 7 range on a scale of 1 to 7.
– Coax 58%
– Electrical 56%
– Ethernet/Cat-5 52%
However, few homes have an Ethernet/Cat 5 network.
Details of the report are at: www.mocalliance.org
How widespread is the Wi-Fi problem? Parks Associates estimates that there are 79 million residences in the States with a home network — 82% of all households with broadband — and that 61 million, or 64%, of broadband households, have a Wi-Fi network.
The problems with Wi-Fi are only going to get worse because the home network’s load will increase as a result of more Internet-connectable devices being used simultaneously and the coming of bandwidth sucking applications such as 4K and telemedicine video streams.
So, what’s the barrier between sellers and their potential buyers? Makers and sellers of wireline network gear — mainly MoCA and HomePlug — have not done an effective job at communicating with consumers that a) they have an affordable solution to Wi-Fi’s problems and that b) consumers can easily use the home’s existing wires.
MoCA president Charles Cerino said, “The willingness by the end user to seek out and use a wired solution for their home network confirms what we have been saying all along—you still need a wire to do the heavy lifting for…
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