Opinion: The Current State of IPTV

This is an “opinion piece” from your friendly, neighborhood Doctor about the current “state” of IPTV. As I have told you before, “IPTV” is the delivery of TV content over “TCP/IP”, or the Internet. Now, there are many views of just what IPTV actually is. I recently heard on the “Cranky Geeks” netcast from Ziff-Davis (which some folks would call “IPTV”) that John C. Dvorak said that IPTV would be “real” only when it was available via a set-top box and not through a computer interface of any type. That day is coming as well. Here’s a Press Release that I was sent recently by Aaron Keogh, of Matrixstream, due to the Computer Curmudgeon Podcast being such an advocate of IPTV:

“MyTVPal.com is ready to launch a new video on demand service for TV starting with ‘North America’s Best Independent Animated Shorts.’ The 84 minute animated short compilation feature film will be made available free for a limited time via user paid targeted advertising starting on January 1st 2007. MyTVPAL.com delivers DVD and HD quality streaming movies instantly on demand via a high definition IMX 1020 HD set top box directly to a television set. No downloading or PC is required in this process.

Unlike most movie download service providers that only offer sub-DVD quality picture and sound not compatible with most home theater receivers, MyTVPal.com will provide full DVD 720 x 480 resolution for standard definition video with AC3 sound – thus delivering the DVD home theater experience over the Internet. This service is currently being made available in North America to anyone with a broadband connection.

MyTVPAL.com is now also making available 100 movie trailers prior to the release of its movie subscription package offering coming in January 2007. Titles include Born To Win staring Robert De Niro, If Tomorrow Comes starring James Franco, Wake starring Martin Landau and Gale Harold, and classic thrillers like Night of the Living Dead, and Corrupt Lieutenant staring Harvey Keitel. These films along with many other titles can be viewed for a low monthly subscription fee.

MyTVPal.com is aiming to be the largest video service provider in North America with a goal of obtaining up to 100,000 DVD quality and High Definition video titles and producing a channel line-up that will range from 700 to 1000 plus channels. This will include sports, news, music, entertainment, film, and other programming genres from around the world. On the backend, MyTVPal.com is planning to scale service to millions of users by using MatrixStream’s patent pending xms video on demand technology in 34 data centers across the US connected via a fiber network.

Those interested in taking a test run may download a free PC Player at www.mytvpal.com.”

Matrixstream UnitNow this exciting stuff… and I have provided a photo of the set-top box to illustrate where we are heading… but the other side of this is that the IPTV phenomenon is growing “organically” as more and more people “get into” the field across the Internet! Just as Podcasts have been growing exponentially since there inception in 2004, I see “VODcasts” (Video-On-Demand,) or “VIDcasts” (Videocasts) growing as well! Our old friend “The Ninja” on “Ask a Ninja” has a funny compelling videocast. And, many such funny, or other “special interest” content is coming out regularly on the ‘net! This is an exciting and growing area! I am excited about the future! Perhaps it IS time to take Leo LaPorte’s advice and call “Podcasts”, “VODcasts”, AND “Vidcasts” the “generic” term “Netcasts!”

Either way, whether a subscription service for “high end” content is your thing, or “freebie” content from Internet denizens is what you are looking for, there is already a lot of IPTV to be had, and more is coming… expect to hear a LOT about this in the coming year! 2007 may be the “Year of IPTV!”

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