Saturday, September 09, 2006

IBC 2006 Day 2

There are 2 themes that dominate the IBC this year... but when I say dominate... it's almost in a subversive way. The IBC website highlights the first of them - IPTV. Only to be expected. The strange case of the mature industry without consumers continues to ravel and unravel. There are ever more solutions, capabilities, products and technologies coming through and maturing. I attended a demo by Espial, and walked through the stalls of Scientific Atlanta and about 20 others. Same story. Impressive offerings, no consumers. Sting sang "heavy clouds but no rain" - this should be the current theme of the IPTV industry. Amidst the hundreds (over a thousand) exhibitors, permit me the awful pun of suggesting we need to focus on the "inhibitors". The first of these probably is my oft repeated moan that there are no real consumer facing innovations beyond VOD and some games. And no killer app that will swing a few million user suddenly. The second is probably that the biggest Telcos are dragging their feet on significant roll out of services, while smaller ones lack impact. Major broadcasters haven't swung yet, understandably, holding firmly onto their traditional advertising revenues. Finally the real economics, infrastructure and rights issues are being resolved slowly.

But the second key theme, announced with less fanfare up front, is the sudden emergence of DVB as a viable platform with a real agreement on the adoptions standard, which was signed this June. Although just like other emerging platforms, you would expect a lot of mis-adventures and the occasional stop-start, the DVBH (Mobile TV) engines are beginning to rev. Time to start thinking about yor mobile TV offering, if you haven't done so already.


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