If you attended last year’s  TelcoTV conference, you might recall my references to a variety of new consumer devices during the “Dumb Pipe Strategy: Does it Have Merit?” panel. The panel discussion centered on OTT and discussions around placeshifting of a home entertainment experience and how broadband providers will have to respond.

One of the devices I mentioned during the panel is the Spawn HD-720 from Spawn Labs of Austin, Texas. The quick summary of Spawn Labs has been “Slingbox for gaming”.

Essentially, by connecting a Spawn appliance to a gaming console on a broadband network, you can then play that gaming console from anywhere else on the Internet. So, how does it work? View the demo below, which was offered at a recent Game Developers Conference:

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Of course, any OTT or placeshifting device will have bandwidth requirements. According to the Spawn Labs website, your subscribers will have to be in a broadband tier that supports the following:

  • 500kbps per remote player (minimum)
  • 1Mbps per remote player (recommended)

To take advantage of a high definition experience?

  • 3Mbps per remote player (minimum)
  • 5Mbps per remote player (recommended)

The Spawn Labs support site goes on to say:

“in our experience, you will need Internet service that is marketed by your service provider of 1.5Mbps to really get sustained bandwidth of 1Mbps”

From the TelcoTV panel, the consensus was that placeshifting consumer devices puts the crosshairs on ISP uplink bandwidth. I went so far as to say the notion of highly asymmetric broadband will fall out of favor over time.

I’m very curious about how Telecompetitor readers view this type of consumer device.

Is your network engineering and marketing team thinking about how placeshifting will bandwidth demands?

Do you have plans to offer these placeshifting devices as part of a larger strategy to guide consumer purchasing to compliment broadband offerings?