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post #9 of (permalink) Old 2007-04-29, 10:19 AM
SensualPoet
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Downtown Toronto • Toshiba 52XL177 • HD DVD Toshiba • Rogers HDPVR Cisco 8642
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I don't disagree at all - in fact, it's a good statistic to show how much more complicated the technology is, and how little it offers over the existing competition. When satellite came in, many cable systems offered little more than 50 channels; digital hadn't arrived. Satellite could offer more channels and a high quality TV system outside of urban cable areas. Fewer homes had multiple TVs (3 and 4 is not so uncommon these days) so it was less of a hassle to get the home's only set on the system.

The Bell ExpressVu IPTV team are right, in my opinion, to delay their entry into the market until they can offer services that clearly differentiate themselves from cable. The problem is progressive competitors like Rogers are constantly moving the goal posts. People are not going to switch their cable service to IPTV en masse just because "IPTV is a cool idea".

Ultimately it's all about the networks: coax cable, twisted pair copper wire or fibre into the home plus national or extended fibre coverage for business traffic plus the wireless mobile networks. A company which can master all three of these has the ability to provide seamless, efficient service -- like one phone number over multiple devices (a mobile phone on the mobile network switching automatically to your in-home wireless hub and wired network to continue your call giving you cheaper rates and benefits of wireline as long as you are in range) or shared content over multiple devices (pay once for content and be able to view it on your mobile phone, your computer, your large screen TV or manipulate it in different ways depending on the device) -- is going to grow in importance and profits.

A great deal of what we do today was nothing but science fiction earlier in our own lifetimes. So if you think some of the ideas in the paragraph above seem preposterous or unnecessary, think back as recently as 10 years ago when Rogers was first in North America to deliver dedicated Internet service to the home -- who would need "always on" computing? Who really needed computing? Shift back 15 years earlier still to the launch of the cell phone and the home computer -- who would ever need those things?

The Telco IPTV visionaries cannot yet deliver a fraction of what they'd like to: the question is, will they figure out how to do enough of it, soon enough, before like-minded folks find a way to deliver it over cable? We don't need two power grids into the home, one delivering AC, the other DC: the same will play out for the networked home -- will coax be good enough to encourage customers to "cut" their copper wires? In some North American territories, instead of 99% penetration of wireline phone, the rate has dropped to 80% -- as folks make due with cellphones as their only phone service, and use cable for TV and Internet.

It will be an interesting 5 or 10 years ahead of us: I wonder just how MUCH things will change in that period.

Last edited by SensualPoet; 2007-04-29 at 10:27 AM.
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