Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What Comes Down Must Go Up

Offering broadband Internet service to residents has becoming increasingly important in the past decade - NMHC reports that 84% of renters with Internet service have high-speed access. This high-speed connection has always placed a much greater emphasis on download speeds; many people never ask about or even refer to the upload speed. ("It's not bad, I get 5 Megs...") But a host of devices announced last week by companies like Apple, Sony, Sling Media and others intend to change this unbalanced equation, and they're coming soon to a retailer near you. These devices allow users to send digital content from their PC to their TVs, as well as other users or locations. Forbes, InfoWorld

Here's a rough demo of how the Sling system will work in their partnership with CBS:

Sending video and music files over the network like this will require much greater upload speeds that those typically offered by ISPs today. Additionally, the amount of "user-generated" content being produced for YouTube, Revver and other sites has increased exponentially over the past few years. Property managers need to be aware of these trends, and should be looking at opportunities to work with their service providers to increase upload speeds to give residents a better overall user experience, whether they are downloading a file to their email or sending a video clip to a friend.

Once the connection is there, this two-way technology could open the doors to a number of interesting possible applications in a "networked" multifamily community. For instance, if I can send movies to my TV in my unit, why couldn't I send them to the screen in the clubhouse theater room. Maybe I could do the same with movies that I saved on my DVR back upstairs. Providers need to be thinking about ways to protect against piracy, but also enable property networks to offer the much better services and rich experiences that today's networks could easily deliver. But we want to hear from you... what other kinds of services should content providers be offering in the ultimate connected community?

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