& cplSiteName &

TW Cable Slams Netflix's 'Super HD' Policy

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Netflix Inc.'s decision to offer access to a new library of "Super HD" content only to ISPs that hook into its private content delivery network is rapidly evolving into a scrum over network neutrality and peering relationships.

As reported by Multichannel News, Time Warner Cable Inc. is in talks to join Netflix's "Open Connect" initiative, but the operator at the same time complained that the Netflix policy is a ploy to gain special treatment from ISPs.

Here's TW Cable's full statement, also provided to Light Reading Cable:

"Time Warner Cable is currently in discussions with Netflix regarding acceptable commercial terms for its delivery network. While they call it 'Open Connect,' Netflix is actually closing off access to some of its content while seeking unprecedented preferential treatment from ISPs. We believe it is wrong for Netflix to withhold any content formats from our subscribers and the subscribers of many other ISPs. Time Warner Cable's network is more than capable of delivering this content to Netflix subscribers today."

Netflix has not yet responded to TW Cable's claims.

Netflix has already claimed that any ISP that wants to deliver its new Super HD format "can do so easily and for free."

Netflix's Super HD slate, encoded in 1080p, also includes titles offered in 3-D format. According to Netflix data, Super HD requires downstream speeds of at least 5 Mbit/s, and 7 Mbit/s "for our highest available video quality." Netflix currently offers Super HD to the following devices: the Sony Corp. PlayStation 3; Apple TV with 1080p; Roku Inc. boxes with 1080p; the Nintendo Wii U; PCs running Windows 8; and Blu-ray players and smart TVs with Netflix 1080p support.

Several ISPs, including Cablevision Systems Corp., Virgin Media Inc., BT Group plc and Telus Corp., have joined Netflix Open Connect.

Cablevision announced its membership during this month's Consumer Electronics Show, stating that it gives the MSO a competitive edge against Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., which do not yet have a direct local connection with Netflix or access to the Super HD library. (See Netflix Connects With Cablevision.)

Netflix, meanwhile, has been publishing a monthly ranking of major U.S. ISPs based on their streaming quality. In Netflix's December 2012 post, TW Cable ranked seventh, with an average speed of 2.05 Mbit/s for Netflix streams. Google Fiber, at 2.57 Mbit/s, was tops.

This isn't the first time Netflix and the cable industry have sparred over network neutrality concerns. Netflix earlier complained that Comcast gives special treatment to video streams that are delivered to the Xbox 360 via the MSO's own Xfinity TV app. (See Comcast Denies It's Prioritizing Xbox Video and Netflix CEO Keeps Whining About Comcast.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/18/2013 | 12:26:23 AM
re: TW Cable Slams Netflix's 'Super HD' Policy
ISPs have to get the Netflix content from somewhere. ISPs making content providers pay for access to their users hasn't really worked, and I think it will continue to not work. Netflix has a large enough vocal user base they can't really demand payment from Netflix which is what they want,. Netflix obviously doesn't want to pay their existing CDNs storage and bandwidth costs especially for the superhd content so they built their own network, nothing wrong with that. Netflix wants settlement free peering, TW wants them to pay, not going to happen. There are ISPs that haven't really popularized the fact they are connected to OpenConnect, my Charter connection at home is enabled for SuperHD, I didn't see any Charter press release...
User Rank: Light Beer
1/17/2013 | 6:05:01 PM
re: TW Cable Slams Netflix's 'Super HD' Policy
When Cablevision and Netflix announced the deal last week I suspected Netflix saw it as a bargaining chip for its peering disputes.


JEFF- you raise a good question about who Netflix subscribers should blame if they can't get the premium offering - I could argue it either way
Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/17/2013 | 2:31:49 PM
re: TW Cable Slams Netflix's 'Super HD' Policy
This also isn't the first time Netflix has found itself in the middle of a peering-related issue.-á Back in 2010, Comcast and Level 3 were at odds after Level 3 claimed the MSO was demanding a stipend for Web video traffic after Level 3 struck a CDN deal with Netflix.-á http://www.lightreading.com/co...

Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/17/2013 | 12:41:50 PM
re: TW Cable Slams Netflix's 'Super HD' Policy
I'll have a bit more to say about this in a blog post...but both sides have good reasons for what they're doing here... Netflix obviously wants to save on CDN costs for higher-bit rate streams, while TW Cable thinks its customers are being discriminated against if it doesn't join Open Connect. But what about Netflix subscribers?-á Who should they be mad at?-áNetflix for a policy that shuts them out from some content that other customers are getting or their ISP, if the ISP isn't part of the Netflix CDN club? JB
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
Wednesday, October 26, 1:00PM EDT
Security: Tackling DDoS
Gary Sockrider, Principal Security Technologist, Arbor Networks
Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
SDN & Open Source
Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cliff Grossner on Cloud & Network Synergy From Carrier Service

10|18|16   |     |   (0) comments

Local carriers offer the collaborated cloud and network service that benefits from their understanding of the regulations operating in different vertical markets.
In this interview, Cliff Grossner from IHS Technology talks about how this advanced service can support business agility and flexibility.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live from SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Cyrille Morelle, VeEX's President and CEO, talks with Light Reading's Alan Breznick live from the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016. They discuss DOCSIS 3.1 technology, deployments and early lessons learned. New products on display include the CX350s-D3.1, CX380s-D3.1, CX310, AT2500-3G, FX150 OTDR and MTT WiFI Air Expert.
LRTV Custom TV
Smith Micro's Carrier-Grade WiFi Component

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Carol Wilson of Light Reading as she interviews the CTO of Smith Micro, Dave Sperling.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
WiCipedia: Grace Hopper Promotes Diversity, Girl Scouts Code & How to Thrive
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 10/21/2016
Layer3 TV Comes to Town, Hints at Future
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/21/2016
Telecom Italia Plots Digital 'Overlay,' Not Transformation
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/17/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.