Has anyone been asking any family members or friends if they’ve gotten their IPTV or OTT Video service yet? If you or they have AT&T U-Verse or Verizon FiOS TV services, do you or they know or care that AT&T is a pure IPTV service, or that Verizon is a hybrid Cable/IP TV service – and what the differences are and mean for you as a subscriber? Do you or they know that the way your channel programming is delivered, in a linear fashion, is predicted to become nearly extinct? That you can get many of your favorite series programs on-demand now either through your service provider VOD service option or over the Internet to your PC, and in the latter case networked to your TV? How many of you have become high-definition converts and now just can’t live without “High-Def”? Your established service providers want to deliver all these options and more, and they and their vendors are jockeying to position themselves in support of and to benefit from this new age of TV.
This sea change in TV programs and movie delivery and viewing options have some consumers viewing it as liberating. Due to the time and place-shifting options that are appearing from the incumbent sevice providers, and at the same time the competitive threat of Internet-delivered content (over-the-top, or OTT of service providers' broadband connections), service providers and vendors are scrambling to deliver on the promise of these game-changing offerings. It is boggling the minds of technologists, let alone consumers. The incumbent and “facilities-based” service providers that are the Cable and Satellite TV providers, and the Telephone companies that have become or are becoming video service providers are either investing heavily in their infrastructure to become all-digital, to add content options galore, and to enable two-way interactivity that is as Internet-like as is possible within their pseudo-private networks versus the “open” public Internet options that are already available. They aren’t just sitting and watching as their subscriber numbers decline or they lose out on the Internet-delivered options growth. There are “Triple Play” and "Quad Play” wars occurring; fiber and broadband infrastructure developments, rural stimulus plans in support and debates over un-served and under-served areas; bandwidth metering and capping experiments; TiVo and TiVo-like DVR disruption; Mobile Video and “Three Screens” focus (any-time, any-form factor delivery); Advertising and Consumer opt-in/opt-out paradigm changes; Gaming and “Widget” applications; and ultimately a fluid, creative and warp-speed capable Internet development community that threatens to unseat the incumbents like Obama and the Democrats unseated Bush and the Republicans.
Trender Research is producing a Pay-TV and Internet Video impacts study that will have as a common thread and differentiator just how consumers view all of this, and will propose an optimal subscription and /or ad-supported solution resulting from the research. Look for its availability some time late in May or early June of 2009.