In my earlier write ups on IPTV, I have mentioned about the metamorphosis of the telecom companies from mere voice carriers to entertainment delivery platforms. Content for mobiles is woefully inadequate and it does represent a huge untapped market for value added services.
However, IPTV or Internet Protocol Television would call for massive investments in the hardware/ delivery channels. At current speeds of 256k, it’s a no brainer give away that BSNL’s rat infested exchanges would collapse like nine pins.
There has been some movement on ground earlier on. This is mentioned here. Given the current scenario, I was wondering whether the content would choke the existing lines. At present, Reliance is the only company that has firm plans for IPTV roll out.
Dr. Ramesh Jain writes:
When Video on Demand first appeared, it was considered to be a vehicle for providing a time shifted TV for popular video content so people can watch any movie or a popular program at their convenience in the comfort of their home…It was clear that the cost of the infrastructure was too high compared to the demand. In place of VoD becoming a big buzz world, it slowly became dormant.
IPTV is in simple terms video on internet….This in fact is the convergence of communication, computing, and content.IPTV is a real transformation in the society. IPTV brings TV media to masses not only as a consumer but also as a producer.
Robert Cringely has something else to write: ( My comments in the brackets)
The Internet television story, even as written here in columns going back as far as the late 1990s, pushed the idea of enabling the aggregation of widely-dispersed viewing audiences, allowing programming to thrive that might not be successful on any local station, much less on the national network. ( A locally produced TV show though having national relevance may not log in many viewers; for a wider platform like Internet, it can have a mass appeal, because of the sheer size of the people accessing the content).
Robert further writes:
My reasoning came down to the price differential between Internet bandwidth and intranet bandwidth, the latter being that bandwidth entirely within the ISPs local point of presence or data center. There is a lot more of this intranet bandwidth, for one thing. Depending on how their network is segmented, a local provider of cable Internet or DSL service may have gigabits of aggregate customer bandwidth attached to a much smaller Internet pipe. A 100-to-one ratio of internal to external bandwith is typical, meaning the effective cost of internal bandwidth is 100 times lower…The advantages of this strategy are profound. Bandwidth costs go away completely, which not only frees up money for more programming or better servers, it becomes much more practical to display video with larger frame sizes, faster frame rates, and higher resolutions, creating a better viewing experience.
What’s in this for the phone and cable companies is revenue sharing for advertising, as well as reducing demand on the ISP’s own Internet connection. They’ll understand instantly and see the revenue and cost-saving potential.
This means that a local cache of the content would serve the IPTV better. This seems to be BSNL’s strategy; the promised IBM servers would be installed by this month end.
This does open up the possibility to work around with the content, deliver the latest Rakhi Sawant videos to the consumers. No, none of the Techwhack guys are any big fans of Rakhi Sawant; though, I am sure there would be many eager beavers to lap her pelvic thrusts online. Porn, perhaps, would find itself here too. Time Shift TV may be a reality soon. For all those who missed the wardrobe malfunction in Bombay’s Fashion Mela, you can rewind it and view it as many times as you wish. Or Baba Ramdev may be crooning with Mallika Sherawat soon on your Yoga channel delivered via Internet.
This is the future I am talking of.