Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Screwed. Again.

From how many differnet directions - at once! - can you be screwed over?

So I have a movie, or a TV show, back at home on my iMac and I want to watch it here in Coolum (just down from Noosa Heads, can't miss it) or maybe next Thursday in Hobart I'll feel like watching it (Cheeeerist, I will be in Hobart, like there's anything to do?) Whatever reason. I have set up this iMac as a server for the brilliant Plexapp which gives me access to all those files when I am traveling. Log on, play, anywhere. Right, ya with me?

Obviously (at least now it is obvious) I need to have my iMac at home turned on for this to work. On this business trip (another G&T please, I'll be by the pool) I am away from home for five (5, count 'em) weeks, therefore in the interests of fire safety, yada yada, I have turned my iMac off. But the point remains…

It costs me $AUD29 for 3GB of download data on my pre-paid SIM card here in Australia Vodaphone - the only carrier at Brisbane airport.

My MyPlex server (i.e. my home computer, the iMac) is in Singapore. The movie I want to watch is 1.3GB. If I want to watch this show now, here in in Australia, ostensibly for free, that is to say, I want to watch my "own" (like it was a pirate, huh!) movie from the computer that is in my home via a free service (Plex is currently free) it therefore is going to cost me, um, in terms of data I am using here in Australia, three divided by one point three, OK roughtly $AUD13. That's $SGD15 to watch a show that I already own and have on my HDD at home. Would I pay that to iTunes to watch the same show, or pay it at the cinema - not a hope in hell.

I am sure could buy it on iTunes for less (however they would stilll own it and could take it from me on a legal whim!) but I would still have to pay the data rates for the Gbs when/if I downloaded it from iTunes. Ya can't win.


Fear not intrepid fellow travellers, to avoid these type of fascist limitations I have brought my back-up HDD with me and everything (not the porn, let's leave the porn out of this) is there on this $SGD40 1GB HDD. Size of a pack of tarot cards.

But, even so, I managed to hit a 2GB data limit of some kind (I had to top up) after four (4, count 'em) days, as everything had locked up. I must say though, but… but it was only because I was streaming extreme porn Youtube TED talks and other intellectual stuff..

I coulda avoided being screwed, but hey, they got me, I was screwed.


4G. LTE. Brilliant, fast, and like I said, brilliant. Download a 1.3GB movie in nanoseconds. Awesome.

Data limits for your next plan (includes 4G) plan? Coming DOWN. The maximum limit for new data services is coming doooooooooooown.

Current maximum data load for the top Singtel plan is 30GB/month. In Australia, with Telstra it is 20GB. Coming down. People aren't using that much data the companies say. Average person uses less than 500MB per month, so we ae only adjusting to out customers usage patterns (i.e.this was your idea) but dropping these maxima to 12Gb is only fair, and makes sense, ya?

Hang on. I'm goin to PPT this thought -

1. Data speed is about to go up with as more devices utilize 4G/LTE.
2. Data limits are about to go down as people (before LTE) were allegedly not using all their allocation.

Supply / Demand?

If you use 4G/LTE your data is usage is going to skyrocket. Your plan however is going to have less data for the same price that it had before. Result: bill shock.

Yep, a) You are going to hit your data limit very quickly and b) you will start paying those extra charges per GB lot sooner than you have been in the past. You are going to be screwed.

Screwed as me.



Dan Owen said...

I think plex is clever when it comes to serving films streamed to a phone, and an N Mb film shouldn't translate directly to N Mb downloaded. I think it (should) optimize the quality of what it streams based on where you are and what you're watching it on.

would have to test to see if I'm right though.

expat@large said...

There's an N Mb file on the server, and the server sends the N Mb file to wherever in the world that it is requested. What choice does it have? The display unit (phone, laptop, iTab, HDMI TV attached to laptop or iTab, etc...) then chooses the output format of said file according to its screen size display limitations. Surely. It's just a file.

Dan Owen said...

If plex were clever (and I've yet to check this), I think it would know what device is requesting the file, and downsample what it streams accordingly.

expat@large said...

That's a wishful "if", I think. I am a bit of a cynic when it comes to the intelligence of software. Unless it were a program to destroy animated cells in 3D I wouldn't trust it.

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