Feeds

Why the world has lost interest in IPTV services

Is it feasible to deliver TV-quality video over IP?

Boost IT visibility and business value

Comment While doing the research for the very first issue of Faultline, one IPTV specialist (who shall remain nameless) told us "you can't send video across the web", and proceeded to lecture us on the finer points of Quality of Service protocols.

In a way he was right, but what he was saying lacked vision. The very next day at Faultline we were watching US made video over the internet, streamed from a German website to us in the UK. It seemed to work fine back then in 2002, and it's working better and better as people apply tiny improvements in technology to make it easier and cheaper to do.

What the IPTV specialist meant was that the reliability, resolution, and all round living room experience, was tough to achieve on the internet, and that IPTV was so much more. But it might not be for much longer.

As we look at predictions of widespread take up of IPTV, along with all other forms of Pay TV, what we've realided is that video delivered across the internet is a valid form of experience, but at the moment it's just a different experience from watching TV in your living room, and it can survive either by improving its quality or by remaining a separate experience living up to different rules. The question is just how far are we going to transition viewing habits that were formed in the living rooms of our families, back when we were kids, into new types of video experiences?

Within the industry we are all constantly arguing over issues like whether or not we will watch TV on a mobile phone, or asking what happens when your screen saver cuts in just as a key scene in a film appears, or how irritating the volume controls are on a PC, when what we should be thinking about is how to join up video experiences so they are a seamless whole, rather than a fragmented jitter of separate experiences.

Certainly, video is here to stay on the PC, YouTube has taught us that, although it is a fairly pointless, aimless, constantly searching, kind of one-off experience, which isn't worth repeating too often. And as Nokia begins a series of advertising pitches showing handsets doing incredible things, including showing TV, which are delivered with the caption "it's what the PC has turned into", it's obvious that we will soon be able to do all of the things on a handset that we only just recently found a PC could do.

The Holy Grail here is the cohesive delivery of programming to those three screens, where each screen has appropriate content in the sense that it is the type of content that viewers will be happy to view on that screen, and also in the sense the it is correctly sized and has the right codec treatment for delivery to that screen. But at the same time, cohesiveness needs to be delivered through some element of common programming, common access to services, both local on perhaps a set top, and remote, at a streaming server.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms firm here
Is goTenna tech a goer? Time to grill CEO, CTO
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.