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IPTV/VoD – Let's inject a little rock 'n' roll

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I want VideoMail. I want all my messaging available and overlaid on my screen. When I'm watching a movie, I want a discrete Outlook-style alert that I can respond to when I receive a new picture message or voicemail. When I do, my movie should pause automatically and overlay my messaging centre. I don't want to send anything, I just want to sit back, listen to my voicemail, open my VideoMail, read my text messages and laugh at the absurd MMS messages people send me. When I finish and close the overlaid screen, the movie should restart where it left off. I'll turn the alert off if it's too annoying.

Give me TV BitTorrent so I can browse simple lists from torrent search engines with my remote to illegally download pirated movies and TV programmes onto my PVR’s hard drive. Alert me when they're finished downloading and let me share them illegally with other people using the same type of P2P mechanisms I have on my PC. Let me screw with other networks and watch 24 before I'm meant to be able to. Let me make playlists to send to the beautiful girl I like who will think it's romantic that I've taken the time to make her a VoD mix tape. Liberate me.

Then give me a free piece of software I can set up on my PC that streams the illegal files directly to the living room in the right codec and aspect ratio for my TV, so I don't have to watch them on the PC or burn a disc. While we're there, give me network DVD so video on-demand isn't so boring and I can justify spending the money on something that resembles what I'd find in an over-priced Blockbuster. I want to browse the special features and look behind the movie.

I want true reality TV, so rig up all the CCTV cameras in my neighbourhood as live streams I can tune into. Let me stalk my ex-girlfriend and take incriminating snapshots when she falls out of the pub at midnight on a Friday. Let me see if the Indian takeaway is still open and whether there is any coffee on the shelf at Mr Patel's store. I want to stream what's playing on my TV elsewhere in the house, like to my PC or to another TV in another room. In fact, I want it streamed over the internet so I can waste time in the office watching it or show my friends in Canada.

I don't want to go to the cinema on a cold winter evening. Do a deal with Odeon and bring the cinema to my house so I can watch the movie on my spanking new plasma HDTV screen with my girlfriend. When I'm bored I want to watch the popular rubbish on YouTube, so FlashVideo would stream directly onto my TV, using the PC as a decoding/relaying proxy if needs be. Tell me what's good and what everyone else thinks is good, so I don't have to bother working it out and can stroke my stomach on the couch like Bart Simpson.

But most of all, I want to know that what I've got is way beyond Sky Plus and far better than any of the other packaged me-too services you're forced to buy on the high street because there's nothing else. I want to rave about it in the pub and tell everyone how cool it is. I want to know I have all the same things they have and more. I want to be excited. I want to do things differently and in the way I want to. I want you to blow me away and stir my imagination. I don't want to have to get used to it, as I want it to just work out of the box, and be very easy and natural.

And when I connect the scart cable, it needs to be playing Purple Haze at full volume.

© Digital TX Ltd

Digital TX Limited is a London-based provider of technology and consultancy solutions for interactive digital television and broadband media. Alexander Cameron can be reached at alex.cameron@digitaltx.tv.

Digital TX is now offering a great value one-day workshop course on IPTV and Video On-Demand (VoD) specifically for web and media professionals. It can help you get up to speed on the latest technologies, content deals, operators and applications across the world, and offer immense value in identifying both new opportunities and threats for your business and personal career.

If you would like more information, call Alex on 07986 37317, email iptvworkshop@digitaltx.tv or visit www.iptvworkshop.co.uk. Readers who quote The Register as their source will receive a 10 per cent discount on the course fees.

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