IP Television – The Value of Cautious Optimism

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Findings from The Diffusion Group released in January 2005 find early validation from recent industry IPTV press attention.

As the IPTV market begins to take shape, and as vendors and equipment makers position themselves to leverage market expansion, diligence will be required in order to avoid costly mistakes. Research released in January by technology “think-tank” The Diffusion Group found that telco operators are more likely to use hybrid IPTV technologies and platforms to enable initial TV service rollouts in line with budget restrictions and network limitations.

A number of recent industry announcements and press reports have validated two of TDG’s primary IPTV insights:

•    Hybrid IPTV deployments will dominate – as predicted in TDG’s report, telco operators will refine their aggressive IPTV launch strategies and employ hybrid topologies. For example, instead of rolling out full end-to-end IPTV services, SBC has decided to combine satellite TV service with on-demand video access supplied over SBC’s DSL network using 2Wire’s hybrid satellite/IPTV set-top box. Equipment vendors such as GlobeCast are also using satellite-based infrastructure to reduce the delivery cost of IPTV services.

•    Network system stability is lacking – at issue is the end-the-end quality of service for an IPTV service in large volume deployments and at high concurrency rates. As the Wall Street Journal reported this week, system stability for leading IPTV platform vendors and service operators like Microsoft and SBC, while making great strides, still has much room for improvement.

"The most difficult problems facing volume IPTV deployments are end-to-end system scalability, stability and quality-of-service issues," said Hervé Utheza, digital television expert and consulting analyst with The Diffusion Group. "Such problems are part of the normal learning and deployment curve for launching large scale digital TV service. While there is little doubt these problems will be addressed, it will be at least a couple of years before IPTV systems are tested, deployed and stable in millions of consumer households."

TDG’s latest IPTV report, "IP Television: Business Case Analysis & Global Forecasts," is the most comprehensive treatment of global IP-video opportunities available today. The analysis combines a critical examination of the business of IPTV, deconstructing more than fifteen existing IPTV service vendors and the economics of various network and CPE configurations, as well as offering detailed forecasts for 28 countries in North America, Europe, and AsiaPac through 2010. The report also includes provisional profit/loss analyses using three different incumbent PayTV and broadband penetration models.

About TDG Research –

TDG Research is a “think tank” of consumer technology analysts charged with providing timely, actionable intelligence designed to best position new consumer technologies for rapid diffusion. Our team is committed to providing market research and strategic consulting services based on conservative, real-world analysis and market forecasts grounded in consumer research. For more information about TDG Research, visit our website at http://www.tdgresearch.com or email info@tdgresearch.com.


Andy Tarczon



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