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IPTV set for £1bn future

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Broadband TV could become a billion pound industry in the UK if providers get it right, according to research outfit GfK NOP.

A survey of 1,600 people found that one in three UK broadband users would be interested in downloading content. However, IPTV providers need to remember that viewers won't be prepared to pay through the nose for such a service, with £25 a month the top price people would be prepared to fork out.

But price isn't the only issue. Any IPTV service needs to be idiot-proof and content has to compelling. Selling the service on the basis that it's "TV over broadband" as opposed to "TV" would be a real turn-off for consumers.

"Our research undoubtedly points to good demand for broadband TV, so the outlook for providers in this area is extremely positive," GfK NOP spokesman Niall Rae said. "It is key, however, that pricing, usability and marketing strategies are at the centre of this emerging market in order to ensure it doesn't become yet another over-hyped technology which fails to reach its potential."

Earlier this month, consulting firm Frost & Sullivan published its own take on IPTV declaring that while broadband TV is likely to become "a valid alternative to cable and satellite TV over time", it warned that "IPTV may not be an immediate success throughout Europe". ®

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