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Monday, June 18, 2007

IPTV Should Be Loss Leader

Delivering TV services through an internet connection should be the biggest shift to hit TV since cable, but so far it's just a blip on the screen.

Telcos need IPTV to fend off the bundled options from cable TV providers such as Comcast. Marguerite Reardon at CNet details the state of IPTV today and reveals that so far the coverage is minimal and the services don't stand out.

IPTV should put cable/satellite to shame because of the marketing possibilities and integration of consumer services. If done right, the set-top would be the gatekeeper of all of your digital media content and shopping services.

The age of truly interactive TV is long overdue. Commercials should be targeted to the consumer, who can pause TV to see more about an offer, make a purchase, and then resume what they are doing. Product placement tie-ins are unlimited, and every channel has the potential to become a home shopping network. Programs would like to their websites for consumers to get behind the scenes content or immediately comment on the show to enhance their fans' ardor.

For consumers, being able to record up to four programs at a time and watch them on any TV or online at any time (like Slingbox) would be huge. Remote programming of DVRs is a helpful feature, as is being able to listen to your music collection anywhere at any time. Adding a browser to the set-top would give instant access to YouTube and the plethora of online video.

Telecommunication companies should bundle IPTV at cost to win over cable subscribers and introduce the entire world to the beauty of DVRs. I'm looking forward to true open competition that will prevent the cable companies from jacking up their prices on a whim.

By John Gartner at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)

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