Thursday, August 24, 2006

What is IPTV?

IPTV or Internet Protocol Television, is a service that delivers over internet connection rather than the regular cable connection. It has services integrated like Video on demand, voice over IP (VoIP), and digital phones. There are currently some 1600 free IPTV channels available gloabally.

IPTV connection will need a subscription, a broadband internet connection and a set top box.

Since IPTV will be delivered mostly over existing telephone networks, it will be more cost effective for carriers as well as subscribers. See the image below for more clarity on the technology used.

One of the advantages of IPTV is the ability for digital video recorders (DVRs) to record multiple broadcasts at once. According to Alcatel, one leading provider, it will also be easier to find favorite programs by using "custom view guides." IPTV even allows for picture-in-picture viewing without the need for multiple tuners. You can watch one show, while using picture-in-picture to channel surf!

IPTV viewers will have full control over functionality such as rewind, fast-forward, pause, and so on. Using a cell phone or PDA, a subscriber might even utilize remote programming for IPTV. For example, if a dinner function runs longer than expected, you don't have to miss your favorite program. Just call home and remotely set the IPTV box to record it.

IPTV enables interaction for TV viewers. For example, in a reality show, for the TV audience to give in their vote or opinion, they have to send a SMS or phone. Using IPTV, the communicate mode will be 2-way and the audience will be able to cast their vote or voice their opinion from their TV itself.

One can also receive Web service notifications while watching IPTV for things such as incoming email and instant messages. If you IPTV is packaged with digital phone, Caller ID might pop up on screen as your telephone rings.

IPTV is already growing in the international market, with providers in many countries including Japan, Hong Kong, Italy, France, Spain, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. In the United States SBC, reportedly purchased a software delivery system for IPTV services from Microsoft in 2004 for $400 million dollars. Alcatel is working with Microsoft to develop a "global solution" for IPTV services, and Verizon has also made a deal with Microsoft for IPTV software.


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10:58 PM  
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8:24 AM  

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