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Streaming or digital TV is likely the future of all television. Recently, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings made such a statement that "apps" are the future of TV, and that today's channels (ABC, NBC, etc.) will be replaced by next-generation channels like: Netflix, Amazon, Google, etc.

With the increased demand on "storage" and "bandwidth," at least two companies are working hard at improving technologies that will affect streaming television.

IBM is working on creating smaller devices that store more data, and Cisco is helping increase WiFi speeds.

These technologies will change home theater TV setups for the better.

World's smallest movie and storage technology

IBM recently created a 242 frame stop-motion film that uses molecules for pixels. The molecules had to be magnified 100 million times in order for the team to be able to position them. To create each frame took about 180 hours, and required the use of a two tonne machine operating at a temperature of negative 268 degrees Celsius, and controlled by a simple computer.

The movie plot is a simple one. A boy named Atom meets a single atom and they play together. They bounce on a trampoline, dance, and play catch. What's more exciting than being declared the world's smallest movie by the Guinness Book of World Records though is the breakthrough the technology of the film brings to electronic data storage.

In accordance with Moore's Law, the technology brings significant enhancements into how electronic data is stored. IBM figured out a way to store a "bit" of information using only 12 atoms, as opposed to the approximate 1 million atoms required to store the same amount of information on electronic storage devices today.

To put this into perspective, rather than being able to store 2 movies on your trusty smart phone, you would now be able to store all movies ever published. Think about that for a minute. Helps you expand your mind a little yeah?

Increased wireless bandwidth

With the increasing number of wireless devices in all sectors demanding data over WiFi: home, hospital, work, public, etc., more and faster wireless bandwidth will be needed to keep up with the data demands.

802.11 g or n is often used in most environments currently, or for some, even 802.11 b. With Internet access at very high speeds, like what is provided by Google Fiber for example, the network, unless wired can bottleneck the potential throughput.

Well, with new technology from Cisco, the 802.11ac WiFi can put the bottleneck back on standard Internet. Next-gen wireless networking will support up to one gigabit per second data transfer speeds.

The WiFi technology, operating in the 5GHz range, will first be used by the University of New South Wales (leading Australian research and teaching university), and The Methodist Hospital System (Houston's third largest health system).

Soon enough, the WiFi technology will be as common as 802.11g is now.

Using it in the home could allow multiple streams of video content to multiple devices on the same WiFi network without any buffering or lag.

With that being said, the "bottleneck" so to speak, might be on your streaming provider, that is, if using Netflix because of their recent move to prevent account sharing.

Premium Member
2,539 Posts
Hummm, considering >99% of streaming content originated and continues to orginate from the "traditional " content providers it seems to me the streaming media businesses should quietly go about improving their infrastructure so 1080p video with high quality 5.1 channel audio streams efficiently without down shifts to lower Res or studdering, or rebuffering.
Instead of chest thumping about what may or may not occur in the future.
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