Page Impressions Ltd Blogcetera: Internet TV - Is it a viable alternative to Satellite?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Internet TV - Is it a viable alternative to Satellite?

With the advent of 20Mb Broadband service, Internet TV is beginning to look like a viable offering compared to costly satellite services such as Sky or Cable alternatives such as Virgin. 

In my definition of Internet television, the combination of digital TV and seamless Internet based TV services such as on-demand Internet services such as the BBC’s iPlayer or web based sites such as Joost, offer a credible alternative to the competitive products allowing viewers to choose the show they want to watch from a library of shows as well as a broad range of conventional TV.  With the fall in PC and TV prices the opportunity to join the two together to make a credible entertainment package with a relatively low investment.  The Internet TV service can ride on the back of existing infrastructure including broadband, ADSL, Wi-Fi, cable and satellite.

The primary models for Internet television are streaming Internet TV or selectable video on an Internet location, typically a website. The video can also be broadcast with a peer-to-peer network (P2PTV), which doesn't rely on a single website's streaming.

It differs from IPTV in that IPTV offerings, while also based on the IP protocol stacks, are typically offered on discrete service provider networks such as that from Tiscali in the UK or BT Vision.

Specialised PC/TV solutions like that offered by the  Sony VGF-HS1E, an all-in-one home server for total control of your multimedia entertainment.  Alternatively, there are a range of downloadable solutions which offer the opportunity to run a menu of services on a diverse range of equipment such as PS3 PlayTV  and Wii Games stations or even via your iPhone (see my blogcetera comment).

As we see traditional TV viewing habits fragment, the opportunity to create your own schedule to fit your life style will undoubtedly see the rise of a broad range of both equipment and software solutions that will drive new media options.  The key issue for content providers will be - how they make money from the punters of these new usage models?  Nintendo reckon that 18 million of their 40 million Wii are connected to the Internet and they can create a viable TV channel and delivered credible internet based advertising.  The key will be creating a viable programmable programme guide which the users can set-up and is easy to use and allow simple navigation both of digital TV offerings with Internet offerings.  We shall be following these developments in the Internet TV space, which clearly offer the user huge potential offerings from a boundless Internet and a powerful competitor to expensive satellite and cable services.  Whatever method you choose to view your TV content, the Government will still expect you to pay the licence fee!