STS-133 NASA Tweet-up Bandwidth Discussions
So today a few things began to cook in terms of the NASA Tweetup for STS-133. Most of the day saw growing traffic discussions about bandwidth at the Tweet-up site itself. It was probably started by more than a few people discussing plans to broadcast through their mobile devices to the internet. The technology has grown rapidly over the past few years and now it is very possible to send a video signal to the web from your phone.
Of course that assumes that you have enough bandwidth to send out the signal. And even with compressed video, this is still a considerable amount of data. So in the right situation, it can seem magical and futuristic to go live from your video phone. But in most situations, things are still not quite there. So what evolved was a discussion of how 3G and WiFi work and what kinds of experiences people had at prior NASA Tweet-ups. Fortunately this is a good and experienced group of people willing to share information and so pretty quickly a reality check spread around.
There should be connectivity, but not likely enough for a lot of individual streams. And with that in mind, some people warned that if too many of us stream video, the data headroom available for others will drop off a lot. Some people are also bringing MiFi devices, which will make for an interesting mix of options in the room. At a minimum, I am certain I will be able to post text, and that's probably all that matters. The other thing to keep in mind is the lack of 3G signal on launch day itself. Because of the hundreds of thousands of expected viewers in the Cocoa Beach area, there might be limited 3G data for all mobile communications. Should be an interesting social media and technical challenge.