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Report: Alternative IPTV approaches may help drive the market

Thu, 06/08/2006 - 7:56am
Brian Santo, CED

The potential of entirely new programming approaches enabled by IPTV should help the IPTV market to expand rapidly within a few short years, according to a new report from the New Millennium Research Council. 

The working definition for IPTV for this report appears to be video provided over broadband networks; the NMRC studiously avoids reference to FTTx-based networks from the Baby Bells. The killer app for IPTV, the NMRC said, could be programming for vertical interests -professional groups and organizations of allied individuals, such as senior citizens, hobbyists and trade association members.

The NMRC's report, "The State of IPTV 2006: The Advent of Personalized Programming," was inspired by and focuses on two niche IPTV providers, Interactive Television Networks and Communication Technologies (COMTek), which NMRC places "in the vanguard of IPTV."

ITVN uses a broadband connection and a proprietary set-top to deliver programming. COMTek PowerTV is distributed over the firm's private, hybrid, global IP network that integrates fiber, wireless, broadband-over-power-lines (BPL) and satellite distribution.

Both currently lack access to program channels, which leads them into having to develop creative programming approaches. Based on the success of sites such as YouTube and Google Video, the NMRC believes that alternative programming from alternative IPTV providers could help fuel the expansion of IPTV.

Findings in the report include:
* Market forecasts for IPTV are enthusiastic; the NMRC quotes Insight Research, Deloitte TMT; The Multimedia Research Group, and others projecting rapid growth for IPTV.
* The "iPod-ization" of video is creating on-demand culture ripe for IPTV. 
* The strongest market potential for IPTV is among younger consumers.
* Obstacles remain, including regulatory hurdles and the resolution of digital rights management (DRM) issues.

Another not unimportant concern is that online content will not compare favorably with traditional television in the near term and consumers will not be interested.

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