IPTV in 21st Century TV


The radio and television networks born and raised in the last century are a consequence of a medium in which broadcasting is the natural way of working. From one to a fickle many it has been a matter of finding material with mass appeal which has occupied generations of commissioners.
Recently, I went to the exhibition of the IPTV World Forum 2008 show. Quite a mouthful but luckily I took my own sandwiches.
What struck me most about the show was how much of what was on offer looked like broadcasting. There were lots of different players there. Some providing end to end solutions and others making components like set top boxes or test equipment. But the common thread was one of providing a walled garden of streaming programmes and video on demand products.
One idea I heard mentioned was that extended services like the ability for your TV to display who's calling you on the phone are bundled with your Internet Access, Phone and TV package. The reason? To lock in customers and to reduce churn. Sounds good from the providers' perspective.
Probably not making many friends I asked about whether consumers would be able to download programmes from other sources like BestFrontSeat.com. It seems that the concept of broadcasting which underpins most IPTV offerings ring fences content so you're probably only going to get material that has mass appeal because the model only works with the economy of scale.
I asked several exhibitors how, as a production company, I could get the films that we make to the consumers of IPTV. The answer was the same as trying to get them on to telly; you have to appeal to a critical mass of that distributor's audience. So it's unlikely that a film that might appeal to only 100,000 people worldwide will get scheduled. Not even if those 100,000 people would pay say £3 to watch it. Shame that, because £300,000 is not a bad budget and profit for a niche documentary maker.
So in a world where economies of scale are just beginning to fall into disfavour and the economies of scope are the rising star how will IPTV's model appeal? My view is that it can't with any but the most sedentary of couch potatoes because it's flawed.
If you want to see successful models for monetising digital assets you have to look at the music and pornography industries. Both have liberated the creators of content by circumventing the distributor, the middleman whom we don't trust much. For books, films and music it's been the middlemen, the distributors, who have made the most money. And we don't trust them because we know how little the authors and musicians get for their labour compared with the distributors' slice of pie. The success of independent bands like Arctic Monkeys and others has shown that if you have good content then the Internet can facilitate you getting it to the consumer with a minimum of friction.
And it appears that someone agrees with me - at least DivX and D-Link appear to. Their take on TV over the Internet is rather clever and quite liberating for the consumer. It's a set top box that connects to your home network either wirelessly or by Ethernet cable and plugs into the TV with a SCART or HDMI cable because it does HD as well as SD. Thus, it effectively turns your PC into the server end of SKY, BBC, Canal+ etc. You load up your PC with songs, pictures, films and point it at YouTube, the BBC or any other source you want and instead of sitting under the stairs watching on a screen designed for one you can enjoy the content on the telly designed to be viewed by the whole family.
And I think they're onto something. If producers can make niche programmes for tiny but global markets cost effectively then this is going to widen choice. It won't hurt the major programme makers or their advertisers either. Maybe you don't get the range of drama, documentary, sports and other fodder of mainstream TV yet but the channel is getting better and the Quality of Service has improved a lot. And it should allow the small producers access to market too.

Tags: iptv | iss020 | iptv world forum | d-link | divx | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • IPTV Digital Signage from VITEC at NAB 2017

    IPTV Digital Signage from VITEC at NAB 2017

  • Elemental Technologies news at IBC 2015

    Elemental Technologies news at IBC 2015

  • Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

    Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

  • BBright at IBC 2014

    BBright at IBC 2014

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2014

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2014

  • Perception at NAB 2014

    Perception at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

  • Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Albis Technologies celebrating ten years at IBC 2013

    Albis Technologies celebrating ten years at IBC 2013

  • Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

    Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

  • Visionary Solutions at NAB 2013

    Visionary Solutions at NAB 2013

  • Telestream Vantage v5 at NAB 2013

    Telestream Vantage v5 at NAB 2013

  • Visionary Solutions at NAB 2012

    Visionary Solutions at NAB 2012


Related Shows
  • Content you want, when you want it: Recommendation Engines

    Content you want, when you want it: Recommendation Engines


Articles
Trade shows and their role in the wired world
Richard Baker Historically trade shows afforded an opportunity to collect the latest brochures relevant to the visitor's chosen industry or career path. Today there seems little reason to store data of any kind, let alone paper brochures, when information is so easily accessible online. Brochure back-packing at exhibitions has become a rare sight, rarer still since the security clampdown on visitor luggage at exhibitions. Today's efficient show delegate need only carry a mobile phone and, in deference to tradition, a bundle of business cards. The phone doubles as a snapshot camera, video camera, dictaphone, email reader, internet browser, Skype communicator, and so on.
Tags: iss133 | finepoint | ibc | nab | kitplus show | bve | Richard Baker
Contributing Author Richard Baker Click to read or download PDF
The Biggest Toy Shop in the World
Emma Morrison When Nigel Woodford started his career at BBC Wood Norton in 1962, television was black and white and BBC Two had not yet been launched. In 2018 Nigel will retire, and Richmond Film Services, the pro-audio equipment rental company set up by Nigel in 1973, can count numerous contributions to iconic moments in British cultural, sporting and film history over this time.
Tags: iss133 | richmond film services | audio rental | auction | liquidity | go-dove | Emma Morrison
Contributing Author Emma Morrison Click to read or download PDF
What is next in OTT
Mary Kay Evans In the past year alone, we’ve seen a substantial increase in the amount of OTT content that’s being streamed. In the first quarter of 2018, there’s been a 114 percent year-over-year growth in streaming video hours, and those numbers are only expected to rise. With OTT revenue predicted to reach $16.6B in 2018, a 40% gain over last year, there’s no question that OTT is booming, and that there’s never been a more critical time to pay attention to the space.
Tags: iss133 | ott | verizon | cisco | Mary Kay Evans
Contributing Author Mary Kay Evans Click to read or download PDF
Ride along on the Tour de Tech at IBC
Lorna Garrett Finding your way through the halls and aisles of the massive IBC can feel a bit like attempting to complete all 21 stages of the Tour de France — but in far fewer days. But have no fear; your team at Garland is all geared up and ready to show you the best on show at this year's exhibition.
Tags: iss133 | garland | liveu | lu600 | media excel | teracue | wisi | broadcast wireless systems | bws | artel | ibc | Lorna Garrett
Contributing Author Lorna Garrett Click to read or download PDF
The Pace of Change
Dick Hobbs - new

The youngest human to stand on the moon (so far) was Charles Moss, the lunar module pilot of Apollo 16. Charlie had a wonderful claim: his father witnessed the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk, and lived to see his son on the moon.

Does anything capture the speed of technological advance better than that? The whole of the history of powered flight in one lifetime.

Tags: iss133 | state of the nation | st2110 | st2110-10 | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF