Soon It Will Be Cheaper to Compute Than to Cache

At the NewTeeVee Live conference in San Francisco yesterday, I interviewed Sam Blackman, co-founder and CEO of Elemental Technologies, about trends on computing and storage costs. Elemental makes software that takes advantage of graphics processors to provide super fast transcoding, which is the process by which video content is formatted for different devices. The idea of storing one copy of a piece of content and formatting it on the fly makes intuitive sense when compared to storing four or five copies of that content and then delivering it only when needed.

But for now the cost of storing multiple copies is actually cheaper than doing the transcoding in real time. That difference in cost has been a barrier keeping some service providers from buying products that offer capabilities such as those of Elemental’s new server, which launched yesterday. However, Blackman believes that will change within the next three years as prices for processing fall faster than the price of storage. A similar trend is enabling people to store more of their data online, rather than on their hard drives. The cost of bandwidth is so low that folks don’t mind either streaming content or looking it up online rather than downloading it and keeping it on their computers. Check out Blackman’s comments in the video below.