Internet Served TV versus Cable and Satellite TV

Internet TV versus TV Kabel dan TV via Satelite

I've been using Dish Network for quite a few years now. Recently, I went through a forced upgrade to their latest ViP 722 high definition DVR. (I say "forced" because the older ViP 622 I had died, and Dish no longer supported the older unit. I didn't have to extend my contract, though.)

I haven't paid a great deal of attention to how rapidly IPTV services have been coming to the living room, built into consumer electronics devices. I've certainly used Hulu, plus the dedicated streaming services from individual "legacy" networks -- NBC and the like. I've also watched shows on Revision 3 and others of the new generation of Internet-only video.

About the only regular IPTV viewing we do here at the Case House as a family is the Netflix Watch Instantly service through the Xbox 360. Overall, that's been a pretty positive experience. We did have a couple of burbs, however. A few months ago, we transitioned from Comcast consumer broadband to Comcast Business. I mostly wanted faster upstream bandwidth, but we also encountered the dreaded bandwidth cap when using the Consumer service. What happened when we hit the cap was watching videos through Netflix in highly compressed, worse-than-standard def mode. Ugh.

But most of my internet TV viewing has been through the PC. Watching videos on a high performance PC is necessarily different than watching on a TV in the living room. PC users tend to be more forgiving than your average TV watcher. If you get a momentary pause as more data is buffered on the PC, you'll tend to accept it as routine. When that happens in the living room, there's usually a chorus of groans.

Nevertheless, we've seen a whole bunch of IPTV services integrated into consumer electronics devices in the last 18 months or so. Netflix Watch Instantly and Youtube have been the most common, but's service has garnered a few wins.

At the recent CES 2010 show, even more devices had Internet video services integrated -- even networks, like CBS, CNN, ESPN and others were integrated directly into devices. Companies like Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, Sherwood and others now have IPTV right in the box.

From what I can see, users will encounter a number of different problems. Network configuration issues will probably become a major problem. Most of these devices purport to work wirelessly, over 802.11n. My brother-in-law can't keep his run-of-the-mill Linksys router working. I can just imagine him struggling with streaming services on his TV.

There will also be the inevitable security issues, though no one seems to know what form that will take.

Internet TV services are also struggling with their business models. Hulu is already poised to start charging for their service. Will a TV owner with Hulu built in pony up the subscription fee?

On the other hand, these are very early services, and as the infrastructure becomes more robust, delivery and networking issues will gradually subside, though I suspect that will take years. What will happen to the cable and satellite delivery services then? One thing they do offer is content aggregation -- users pay one company for access to a variety of networks. Will customers want to manage a variety of different payments to different services?

Nevertheless, delivering video services over the Internet will gradually become one of the accepted delivery vehicles. Whether the cables and satellite companies can adapt will be interesting to watch.

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About Loenbun Saja

Ulayat Adalah Organisasi Non Pemerintah yang didirikan pada tanggal 26 januari 2000 di Bengkulu. Aktivitas utama Ulayat meliputi pelayanan masyarakat di dalam dan sekitar hutan, melakukan pemantauan kasus-kasus kehutanan dan perkebunan, melakukan inventarisasi model-model pengelolaan sumberdaya alam berbasis rakyat dan advokasi kebijakan lingkungan di Indonesia.
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