In an article announcing Cisco’s acquisition of Arroyo Video solutions, it talked about the growing IPTV market. I had never heard of Arroyo Video Solutions, nor IPTV. Having used Vonage, I’m quite familiar with VOIP so it wasn’t too hard to guess that IPTV was quite similar. It’s the technology to watch TV over the internet.
Computer makers would love to move computers into the living room, but their efforts have been unsuccessful so far. There have been a few inroads, like WebTV and Tivo, but WebTV wasn’t all that successful and while Tivo is a computer, it’s not really used as one in the traditional sense. Perhaps the new approach is to move the things you usually do in the living room (watching TV) onto the computer.
There are three main varieties of internet TV. The first is the one you probably expected. The TV channels are what you’re used to, like ESPN, NBC and CBS, and shows run 24-hours a day. When you connect, it’s just like turning on the TV.
The second shows recorded programs over and over again. This is like taping a show on the VCR and watching it later on (although you don’t get to choose what was recorded).
The third type is video on demand. This is similar to the service many cable providers have by the same name which let you watch certain movies whenever you want. I hadn’t ever thought of YouTube and Google Video as TV, but they fall within the broad definition of IPTV.
The quality of the broadcasts leave much to be desired so if you’re thinking of canceling your cable service and moving your couch into the den, think again. The technology has potential, but for now, regular TV (especially in HD) remains the best way to watch your favorite shows. If you decide to make the switch, the faster your internet connection the better. Oh, and good luck fitting the 65″ Plasma TV onto your desk.
Here are some sites where you can see internet TV for yourself.