20100104 - OnLive Notes


Notes from an OnLive Video Demonstration and Talk ...

LATENCY
=======
They target 80ms round trip interactive latency 
 for 1000 mile range from data center. 
From rough numbers given in talk and other estimation,

11 ms - Round trip of 2000 miles (speed of light).
21 ms - Round trip, in practice.

25 ms - Round trip (+DSL/Cable provider overhead).
01 ms - Encode frame.
08 ms - Decode frame (example from laptop).
33 ms - Maxed out 30Hz frame in game.
12 ms - Client side input latency and misc.
-----
80 ms - Total.

VIDEO COMPRESSION
=================
About 1 ms to compress a frame: 1.5 Mbps SDTV, 5 Mbps HDTV. 
In comparison DVD maximum rate for audio+video is 10 Mbps and Blu-ray is 48 Mbps. 
The 5 Mbps seems like really low quality from the numbers alone. 
No GOP, probably just I and P without B frames. 
Comments from Dark Shikari suggests OnLive is simply splitting encoding 
 into 16 independent rectangular tiles and using H.264 
 as the method to bring encoding latency down.

NETWORK ROUTING
===============
Problems with home internet include jitter, packet loss, reordering, 
 and routers delaying packets to check for exploits. 
They have deals with ISPs to provide direct routes on internet to minimize latency 
 and have tree structured ip-multicast to enable efficient 100K spectators 
 (1000 per multicast stream).

BREAKDOWN OF TYPICAL GAME COST
==============================
From the talk (they also include extra costs: $12/game piracy, $12/game used game sales):

$15 - Retail margin.
$18 - Wholesale ($7 returns, $4 COGS, $7 platform royalty).
$27 - Publisher gross margin.
---
$60 - Total.