Reader Comment: Too Much IPTV?

I realize that the content on your site is available for free, but I must register my displeasure with all the coverage of IPTV. It is still in its infancy and tends to require special access or software or permission. I don’t think that a site that is named HDTVprofessor should spend so much time covering nearly every attempt by some one to generate or transmit IPTV video. Budweiser would be a classic example of marketing by whatever medium they think is the next hot thing and I seriously don’t that useful content would be there. Plus it’s not HDTV. Maybe you should change the site name to allvideoprofessor.
Mike Garner

Thanks for the feedback, Mike. It’s very helpful.

I do hesitate before I put up yet another IPTV story, but here’s my reasoning behind it. First, my stated mission for HDTV Almanac is ‘daily news and commentary about HDTV and related home entertainment topics.” The way I see it, there is a fair amount of HD content available, but it is tiny compared with all the other video content out there. And people choose what they watch based on the content, not whether it is HD. Given the choice between yet another tour of a coral reef in HD, and a bluegrass concert in SD that I haven’t seen yet, I’ll probably choose the concert.

Next, this whole field is moving fast. Already, DVRs have had a major impact on all forms of video content pubishing and delivery. Have you noticed that some prime time shows on the major networks no longer start and end at the top of the hour? I’m convinced that they are intentionally overlapping with other shows to make it more difficult for viewers to record shows and time shift them (and then skip the commercials).

Yes, almost all of the IPTV content is not in HD, but with the rapid growth of fiber optic and other broadband systems, plus the improved compression efficiency of MPEG4 (and its variants), there’s no reason that they can’t crank up the resolution if and when the viewing audience demands it. All of this is moving very rapidly, and within a few years, I expect that the entire “broadcast” landscape will be very different. I don’t know what that landscape will look like — if I did, I probably wouldn’t be writing the Almanac — and I believe that it will benefit the Almanac readers to be aware of some of these developments so that they can be ready to adjust. For example, I don’t think anyone with broadband should think about setting up a new HDTV without including plans for a Media Center PC or equivalent with access to the Internet as part of the total configuration. Services such as Joost (formerly the Venice Project) just have too much potential to be ignored at this point.

So I assure you that I will add your voice to the chorus in the back of my mind that groans whenever I go off on yet another IPTV tangent, and that these voices have killed more than one story in the past, and will probably spike many more in the future. I hope that there will still be enough items of interest that will keep you reading the Almanac, and that you’ll keep sending me feedback about what you like and don’t like. It does make a difference.

If you have a comment or question, please write to me at alfred@hdtvprofessor.com. I do my best to answer every email I receive.