Cuban: 'Net Can't Handle Streaming HD

HDNet founder Mark Cuban downplayed the future of live Internet streaming as the Internet is currently configured, a technology he pioneered with, while pitching the future of high-definition television, his latest venture.

In a House Telecommunications Subcommittee hearing Thursday on the future of digital video, Cuban said that the current Internet, relying on the "ancient technology" of copper wires and coaxial cable, would not supply a competitive video experience and also poses a problem to the economy and quality of life.

He said Internet video is only as good as its weakest link, which is "pretty weak." He said that if there were not a bandwidth problem, network neutrality would be a nonissue. He also called the prospect of live Internet-delivered video replacing traditional TV delivery "laughable" and "not even on the radar."

Cuban cited CBS's 300,00 streams of NCAA basketball at less than broadcast quality, which CBS said was all it could do.

He said that was not to say consumers would not watch TV on their PCs, primarily at work, but that it was a secondary, not primary, service.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.