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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A new model for delivering IPTV

Bob Giddy, CEO of Cambridge-based Amino Communications is very excited about his new set top box. The Aminet 125, based on TI's Da Vinci video processor, now allows a low cost IPTV set top box that can retail for GBP99. Good stuff.
But that's not the reason he is excited. He is talking to the suppliers of websites that have video - not just Youtube, but those like JumpTV that are providing streaming video over the Internet, for example if you like UK TV but live in the US or Japan. At the moment you play these on your PC, and ther is a lot of talk about connecting up that PC with the TV.
Bob's view is the other way around. Teaming up with the likes of JumpTV so that you can sign up and pay for a box on the Website along with your subscription, have UPS ship it from Amino to the customer, who plugs it into the phone socket and the TV and you have IPTV, cutting out all that expensive equipment roll out (as the customer pays for the kit), trials and testing by the telcos who want to provide IPTV. Once the box is in, JumpTV can sell other content services to the customer.
Bob likes this idea, and it makes a lot of sense.

The story gets even better when you think about the ability to insert interactive advertising on a local or individual basis through technology such as PacketVision (see how they can give the kit away below). Because PacketVision still owns the kit and charges on a 'per click' basis, it can sell the services to anyone on that network - the telco providing the line or the website provding the content, and everyone potentially wins. That's when it gets very interesting.

The problems come
a) if you have an HDTV - the pictures from the streaming vidoe won't look very good at all, and
b) if this really gets successful the telcos will kill it stone dead. That's why the DSL provision is on a 'best case' basis - if this got successful you would find that 'best case' really wasn't very good at all.

But here is the opportunity for the telco to team up with websites and share the revenue. Lets hope they see that!

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