The dividing lines between Netflix and its cable competitors were blurred even further when Comcast, the largest cable operator, announced it will begin testing an IPTV service, a method of delivering content through the Internet.
Comcast announced on May 25 that it will start testing IPTV, an acronym for Internet Protocol Television, at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, MIT, in the coming months.
IPTV can be used for Live Video, On-Demand Video (VOD) and delayed programming like a DVR. The technology is already in use today. Netflix, Hulu Plus, Roku, live-streaming services like U-Stream and Live Stream, as well as AT&T‘s U-Verse TV, are all using the Internet to deliver video content straight to our television sets.
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association held its 60th annual Cable Show last week in Chicago’s McCormick Place. The Cable Show is a three-day event that displays the latest technology and innovations in cable. From delivery methods, to content, to advertising and promotions.
Comcast displayed its Xcalibur guide — which uses the cloud and features a comprehensive search engine and social media components — through an IPTV connection.
Comcast also recently announced a partnership with Internet-video-conferencing service Skype, again utilizing IPTV. More on that in a future post, but here’s a quick video from NCTA, showing Skype on Xfinity TV:
If it wasn’t obvious before, it should be now: the future of television is through the Internet. And Comcast is proving it won’t sit back and let other Internet services push it aside.
Comcast is fighting back with the introduction of its own IPTV delivery and partnership with Skype in an attempt to fend off rivals like Netflix and maintain its position as one of the largest media conglomerates in the world.
“We want to deliver video everywhere people want to watch it,” Comcast’s president of converged products Sam Schwartz was quoted in The Wall Street Journal. “We have to do a better job getting people to realize what they are paying us for.”