WSJ Very Sincerely Doesn't Understand Bandwidth Or Monitor Resolution

Tl;dr The WSJ performs some truly sloppy reporting when it states that the new MacBook Pro, with Retina display, will bring corporate networks to a halt, as they require more bandwidth.

The Wall Street Journal, today, had this to say:
CIOs with loose bring-your-own-device policies might find their corporate networks clogged should employees bring the just-announced Macbook Pro computers to work. Introduced at Apple’s developer conference Monday, the new Macbook Pro is fitted with a Retina display, whose resolution of 2880-by-1800 pixels packed into a 15.4-inch screen is the crispest screen for a computer yet, clearer than Apple’s newest iPad.

But it may also wreak havoc on CIOs’ networks and connectivity budgets — better quality displays require more network bandwidth, which allows users to increase data consumption. Consider that experts told CIO Journal earlier this year that the new iPad, which includes a Retina display of 2048-by-1536 resolution with 3.1 million pixels, would slow enterprise networks to a crawl and increase data costs from carriers. Now imagine how a Macbook with 5.1 million pixels — two million more than the new iPad — will increase data traffic in office networks.
Notice the bolded text. The technical term for this statement is "poppycock."

While it is true that if websites start to offer higher resolution images for consumption on retina displays, this may increase bandwidth demands, the simple act of hooking up a large monitor to your network has precisely zero impact on your bandwidth requirement. None, nadda, {Ø}. If you increase monitor resolution, but the website you are viewing does not serve larger images, the website simply appears smaller on your monitor, or you decrease your monitor resolution to compensate. Increasing your monitor resolution does not magically 'add pixels' to the images you download from the internet.

The above assertion by the WSJ is so flagrantly incorrect that even bothering to explaining why it is wrong is deeply frustrating. One may as well assert, as one redditor put it:
More pixels = more bandwidth It's similar to why my Ipod weighs a ton after I fill it with music.

One may argue that, as more websites seek to offer rich media experiences that are native to the retina display, bandwidth consumption will increase... but again, this has nothing to do with the settings on your local machine (one can argue that websites may auto-detect such settings, but then just instruct your employees to lower their monitor resolution /thread). In fact, at work, I have two 21" wide screen displays, both at 1920x1080, for a total of 4,915,200 pixels. Which is basically the same as the above Macbook. Nearly everyone at my office has this same configuration, and our network is utterly unaffected by this.

No matter what resolution I set my local computer to function on, the internet still serves up the same connection. You can test this, right now: go to your system preferences, and mess around with your display resolution. Then go here: Spoiler: resolution changes nothing. Okay, I've kicked this horse enough.

Suffice it to say, this is just pathetic reporting on the part of WSJ and hopefully will get a retraction and/or correction. It's absurd nonsense.


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