We Want Broadband TV

A report from The Diffusion Group (TDG) summarizes the results the company got from a survey that asked 2,000 broadband users about whether they are interested in getting video content over the Internet. If you’re a frequent reader of the HDTV Almanac, you know that I’m bullish on the subject, and believe in the appeal of watching what you want, when you want, where you want. This will lead to major changes in how video entertainment content — including the traditional “television” programming and movies — is produced, funded, and distributed.

I was surprised by the results from TDG. 17% of those surveyed said that they were interested in adding Internet video content to their existing subscription-based TV service (presumably cable or satellite). Another 21% said that they were interested in replacing subscription TV services completely with some broadband video service. And another 29% were interested in either supplementing or replacing their pay TV with Web-based video services. Add those together and you get a combined two-thirds of all those surveyed who would be interested in watching at least some of their video entertainment content over the Web.

That’s a big share of the market, and I expect that these people will start to drive some major changes in the near term. If you have broadband Internet service in your home, and you have not yet tried watching services like Hulu on your main television set, I encourage you to start experimenting with it. It’s not perfect yet, and there’s a lot of details to be settled such as whether the services should be pay-per-view, subscription, or supported by advertising. There are some good options already, including plenty of HD content, and it may be worth your while to start exploring what’s out there.