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IPTV/VoD: The tortoise and the hare

The power of television is undeniable. When gorillas were first introduced to Longleat Zoo's Gorilla Island and had to be quarantined and initially segregated from each other, the wardens came up with the rather smart idea of building TVs in their enclosures to keep them occupied. The gorillas loved it so much that when they …
Alex Cameron, 26 Aug 2007
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IPTV/VoD: Cutting off the air supply

It was a beautiful day when the head of Disney finally came out and admitted piracy (or the "Dark Net" as they call it) is a business model. A bit like a drug addict coming out of rehab, it's hard to admit what you don't want to admit. But we still carry on and on with the same old story like a broken record. HD-DVD's copy …
Alex Cameron, 10 Feb 2007
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IPTV/VoD: Fast forward to Christmas future

It's the Friday before Christmas. The very first thing I hear at 6am is the latest Crazy Frog jingle at full volume that's been remotely programmed into my alarm clock as a hilariously mischievous prank by my girlfriend. I'm tempted to smash the thing, but that would mean buying the fifth one this year. At least it's nice and …
Alex Cameron, 22 Dec 2006
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IPTV/VoD – Let's inject a little rock 'n' roll

Even 10 seconds of the ridiculously over-valued X-Factor and American Idol make me want to vomit. They are so frighteningly mediocre, vacuous, and repetitive that I invariably find myself staring into a worrying abyss of creative bankruptcy that's pumped into millions of people's homes every night through their TV screen. On the …
Alex Cameron, 08 Dec 2006
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IPTV/VoD: How to set up your own home/office system

There's a secret many people in the IPTV/VoD industry don't want you to know. Setting up an IPTV network is actually incredibly easy. In fact, almost anyone can do it. But if you knew that, you'd build your own and no one would make any money by selling you proprietary products with huge mark-ups. IPTV networks are basically …
Alex Cameron, 29 Nov 2006
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IPTV/VoD: Get up to speed

The industry and its technology moves so fast that it is easy for information to become outdated and for people to lose track of all the things they need to know. This document is a typical briefing sheet supplied in the workshop that covers all the main points that are essential for any executive or technician to understand. …
Alex Cameron, 13 Nov 2006
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IPTV/VoD: The world that's on its way

A lot of frustration is levelled at content providers and it's very easy to see why. Dealing with the studios and production companies can be like pulling teeth if the approach isn't correct. Surprisingly, dealing with record labels is actually very easy as they've had five years or so of violent erosion into their sales from …
Alex Cameron, 10 Nov 2006
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IPTV/VoD: The world that's on its way

One of the most common questions operators and analysts are asked is whether IPTV will happen, and if it does, whether if will deliver its promise. The answer is probably not one you'd expect. It already has happened, and is already delivering. IP and internet technologies may not turn up on our doorstep or down our aerial …
Alex Cameron, 05 Nov 2006
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IPTV/VoD: The world that's on its way

Imagine travelling down a motorway at 110 miles per hour, passing hundreds of signs with half of you feeling you just want a leisurely drive and the other half panicking that you're late. Some of the other cars are crashing into the central reservation or veering off the left lane violently never to be seen again, some are just …
Alex Cameron, 31 Oct 2006
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IPTV/VoD: The fall of content's kingdom

The textbook says content is king, and that saying is something every telco and ISP worldwide is contemplating after realising that if they throw enough technical people at the IPTV infrastructure problem they can put a TV network together. But putting the wires in doesn't make people flock to your service like broadband or …
Alex Cameron, 24 Jun 2006
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IPTV/VoD: The open fourth platform

Just when you thought the days of the digital TV "walled garden" were over, this week Sky released its new Sky Net platform, which is almost as imaginatively titled as the new service to be released by the start-up Aggregator this year. It seems the world is taking a giant leap backward to the days of web portals and brand …
Alex Cameron, 05 May 2006
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An action plan for Ofcom

The government had its heart in the right place in consolidating all the major communications agencies into one. Broadly speaking, Ofcom has done relatively well, whether its palace of a reception area cost half its yearly budget or not. LLU lines are growing rapidly, our digital television market is the most developed in the …
Alex Cameron, 25 Apr 2006
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IPTV/VoD: solving the home wiring problem

If you’re a survey junkie, you no doubt love the sheer onslaught of silly press activity that’s been happening recently in technology world. IPTV, the all-healing panacea, is so hot almost everyone wants to do it despite not having given a lot of thought to the real delivery issues that it will involve for them. The most absurd …
Alex Cameron, 28 Mar 2006
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IPTV: killer apps and dead horses

Time and time again, industry talk comes back to what the one "killer app" will be for IPTV as a platform. Most assume it will be video-on-demand (VoD), as the historical business case has always rested on the fact that consumers love being able to have video whenever they want it, and it allows full VCR-like functionality over …
Alex Cameron, 01 Mar 2006
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Don't be scared of Sky

Wherever you go and whoever you talk to in any of the media, telecoms and television industries, people are absolutely terrified of Sky. Not just scared, absolutely terrified. Not that they'd ever admit it, of course. The fear of Murdoch extends further than you'd think was possible for an old man, and no company inspires …
Alex Cameron, 17 Feb 2006
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IPTV and VoD: the great content adventure

"The problem is that they want the world, but they don’t want to pay for it", said the BBC executive sitting opposite me, sipping on his cappuccino. "They are all knocking on our door wanting all our content for free, and it’s so difficult when they don’t understand the costs involved and how this industry operates." The reason …
Alex Cameron, 23 Jan 2006
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Of mass market telco TV

There are more than 300 ISPs in the UK of varying sizes, from VISP resellers to tier 1 backbone carriers – most resell BT Wholesale’s core DSL product, basing their service costs on the deals they can offer on BT Central backhaul, network bandwidth and external connectivity arrangements. They share a common destiny in that it …
Alex Cameron, 17 Oct 2005