The more I use WMP secure Internet streaming, the more impressed I become. The empowering technology is obviously very slick and smart. I discovered that the bit rate for streaming is adaptive and adjusts to your connection speed. While I don’t have any technical details or white papers that explain the inner workings, I sense that on the host end, the connection type and speed is auto detected and the bit rate set accordingly.
So far, I’ve determined that on a host that is hard wired to my home router, the bit rate is 2000 and if the host is wireless 802.11n, the rate is 1200. Note that I am streaming no DRM’d HD content recorded using a Digital Cable Tuner and a CableCard. The client was my ASUS EeePC netbook, connected via 802.11n wireless. This means that most broadband users should have a wonderful experience. Comcast’s flagship speed is 12/2, so certainly the experience will be a good one for Comcast customers, especially considering that most will have standard definition Media Center recordings. (Disclaimer, I work for Comcast and this does not in any way represent any official statement or endorsement.). Given my own experience with these HD recordings, anyone streaming HD recordings or HD Videos will have a great experience as well. I’m not easily impressed, but this stuff is amazing.
The bit rate is shown in the upper left corner of Windows Media Player when you first start streaming a TV Show.
Here are some screen captures showing this data.
Above is the bitrate between a host connected via 802.11n wireless to a client also running 802.11n.
Above shows a host machine wired (GigE) to a wireless 802.11n client
My conclusion is that real soon now, there will be people slinging content over the Internet from their homes to their laptops and netbooks. And they will all be having as much fun as I am!