AT&T not responsible for iPad streaming video restrictions over 3G

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
ABC's streaming video application for the iPad will not work over a 3G cellular network such as AT&T, as a result of Apple's rules for HTTP Live Streaming and ABC's development of the application.



When the iPad with 3G launched on Friday in the U.S., many users realized that the ABC Player application, which allows users to view episodes of the network's most popular shows, does not work over the AT&T 3G network. While there were initially rumors that this restriction was due to AT&T -- which in the past has prevented services like streaming, MMS and tethering -- the wireless carrier played no part in the missing feature. While AT&T eventually alloed VoIP calls and MMS over its 3G network, it has not yet allowed tethering.



As noted by Engadget, the restriction in the ABC player was self-imposed, as the developers chose to skip the option of providing a 64 Kbps stream for 3G playback. That decision is why the ABC application does not allow streaming over 3G, while Netflix and YouTube do, albeit with lower bitrates.



"You must include a low quality stream of no more than 64 Kbps for your app to resort to when network conditions demand it, along with the higher quality streams you want to deliver to your customers when the network can support it," Apple's rules in the iPhone OS Reference Library state.



But the restriction may not last for long. Silicon Alley Insider reported Monday that ABC is working on a 3G-compatible version of its popular streaming video application for the iPad. An ABC representative told the publication that the lack of 3G support was "based on a variety of business and technical considerations."







Both the ABC and Netflix applications were released for the iPad when the Wi-Fi model first launched in early April. While both are free to download, the Netflix software requires a subscription to the movie rental service.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    sharktanksharktank Posts: 1member
    it appears ABC does have an app for streaming...



    http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/03/a...pp-on-the-way/
  • Reply 2 of 51
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    Never mind. What it meant was that Netflex can consume as much as 250MB per hour.
  • Reply 3 of 51
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,491member
    Apple's requirements make sense. When network quality goes down, a low quality stream will allow continued consumption. But ABC may have felt it was too low in quality for them to want to do that. Perhaps now they've changed their minds.
  • Reply 4 of 51
    Yes, a solution is indeed on its way:



    http://www.businessinsider.com/abc-i...its-way-2010-5
  • Reply 5 of 51
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Apple's requirements make sense. When network quality goes down, a low quality stream will allow continued consumption. But ABC may have felt it was too low in quality for them to want to do that. Perhaps now they've changed their minds.



    I think the 64 Kbps is fine for the iPhone. I don't think it is suitable for the iPad larger display. Apple should increase it.
  • Reply 6 of 51
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,491member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    I think the 64 Kbps is fine for the iPhone. I don't think it is suitable for the iPad larger display. Apple should increase it.



    This is likely a technical matter. Analyzing network quality to see what could be supported under many adverse conditions. 64 Kbps was likely found to be a compromise between always on, and usability. It's possible that if they raise it a little bit to 96, it might not work under substantially more situations.



    What would most consumers prefer, a baseball game that's visible, but lousy, or none at all? I can tell you what most sports fans would want.
  • Reply 7 of 51
    dm3dm3 Posts: 151member
    Why is this ABC's fault? If its not AT&T, this is clearly Apple's fault.



    Why should Apple be dictating how much AT&T's network can handle.



    Apple should relax this restriction. If its not needed, its not needed. Apple over control again.
  • Reply 8 of 51
    echosonicechosonic Posts: 451member
    For such a magical and revolutionary product, its actual functionality is just...



    ...so half-assed in so many ways...
  • Reply 9 of 51
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    None of this should be confused with the self-imposed lack video out while viewing ABC content. If I'm not mistaken ABC has already gone on record with a reason for that. It boiled down to not wanting to provide playback on 'large screen devices'. Speculation says that ABC doesn't want to unduly ruffle the feathers of cable TV and satellite providers who (are now - lol) forced to pay them a pretty penny to show their programming. Cablevision alone just ponied up .... 25m-ish for the right to retransmit ABC to its 3.1m subscribers... (something like that)



    Anyway, I guess ABC feels its not time to rock that boat any more then they already have...
  • Reply 10 of 51
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Apple's requirements make sense. When network quality goes down, a low quality stream will allow continued consumption. But ABC may have felt it was too low in quality for them to want to do that. Perhaps now they've changed their minds.



    I agree, but, surely the limit reflects in some way on what the AT&T network can (or can't) handle?
  • Reply 11 of 51
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dm3 View Post


    Why is this ABC's fault? If its not AT&T, this is clearly Apple's fault.



    Why should Apple be dictating how much AT&T's network can handle.



    Apple should relax this restriction. If its not needed, its not needed. Apple over control again.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by echosonic View Post


    For such a magical and revolutionary product, its actual functionality is just...



    ...so half-assed in so many ways...



    Did you even read the article?! It was ABC that chose to not stream over 3G. They, meaning ABC, disabled 3G streaming from within their app. Other apps, like Netflex, stream just fine over 3G.
  • Reply 12 of 51
    801801 Posts: 271member
    Improve your mind. Kill your television. Even if it is on the Ipad. Remember, television programing is designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
  • Reply 13 of 51
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,491member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dm3 View Post


    Why is this ABC's fault? If its not AT&T, this is clearly Apple's fault.



    Why should Apple be dictating how much AT&T's network can handle.



    Apple should relax this restriction. If its not needed, its not needed. Apple over control again.



    What is this about "fault"? It's no one's "fault". It was a decision made of a number of factors, which have now been resolved.



    Do you understand anything about networks, and how over-air quality changes? Apple's decision isn't unique, and it's made to facilitate streaming under poor conditions, which most people would prefer.



    ABC possibly didn't want that. Now they decided it's ok.



    Read the link Macfabulous provided instead of running off half cocked.
  • Reply 14 of 51
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,491member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by echosonic View Post


    For such a magical and revolutionary product, its actual functionality is just...



    ...so half-assed in so many ways...



    A lot of what is half assed is people's understanding of how things work, and why.
  • Reply 15 of 51
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


    I agree, but, surely the limit reflects in some way on what the AT&T network can (or can't) handle?



    Sorry to quote myself, but, I've just been thinking further.



    It would be interesting to see if Apple set this limit differently from country to country, depending on what they see as the ability of the carrier - now that would give some fuel to the AT&T attackers!
  • Reply 16 of 51
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by echosonic View Post


    For such a magical and revolutionary product, its actual functionality is just...



    ...so half-assed in so many ways...



    You're right! Apple should have held back until every single one of the developers and content partners (worldwide) were fully ramped up with 100% of their features before Apple started selling the device. This is just deplorable, the ABC app might not offer a 3G quality stream for ... DAYS if not WEEKS after the 3G went on sale! After all... this IS the reason why everyone is buying the iPad right? To stream 3G quality reruns of ABC programming! Right!?!



    Hmm anyone remember what the state of the computing world was like in the 4-8 weeks period just after Microsoft introduced ANY of their Windows 'major' upgrades.... I'm quite positive that EVERYTHING was ready to go on the new system, from 3rd party hardware device drivers to the newest of spyware and viruses oh yea and the 3rd party apps too... almost forgot about those.
  • Reply 17 of 51
    christopher126christopher126 Posts: 4,267member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 801 View Post


    Improve your mind. Kill your television. Even if it is on the Ipad. Remember, television programing is designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator.



    I recently did just that...the only thing I miss is Formula One on Speed!
  • Reply 18 of 51
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,491member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


    I agree, but, surely the limit reflects in some way on what the AT&T network can (or can't) handle?



    Not in the slightest. All networks have problems. Turn a corner and your service can go down. This is just a backup. As I said, Apple isn't unique in requiring this, though others have a slightly higher or lower requirement for the backup stream.
  • Reply 19 of 51
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    This is likely a technical matter. Analyzing network quality to see what could be supported under many adverse conditions. 64 Kbps was likely found to be a compromise between always on, and usability. It's possible that if they raise it a little bit to 96, it might not work under substantially more situations.



    What would most consumers prefer, a baseball game that's visible, but lousy, or none at all? I can tell you what most sports fans would want.



    I agree with you. If I am not mistaken, streaming video using your computer did the same thing few years back. The player determined how much bandwidth you have and adjust the bit rate. I am not sure if it is still done though.
  • Reply 20 of 51
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Not in the slightest. All networks have problems. Turn a corner and your service can go down. This is just a backup. As I said, Apple isn't unique in requiring this, though others have a slightly higher or lower requirement for the backup stream.



    But surely if the AT&T network could handle, say 1Mbps (we can dream!), Apple would set the limit much higher, so the number they have picked must in some way reflect on the networks capability?



    I understand that it's sensible to work with the carrier, but I do wonder if the limit would be different if on a different carrier.
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