Thursday, June 08, 2006

IPTV in India - Interactive TV Viewing

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IPTV might make its presence in India sooner than later if one is to go by the buzz in the market.

What is IPTV?

IPTV is short for Internet Protocol TeleVision. It is a service wherein digital television service is delivered using the Internet Protocol over a network infrastructure, which may include delivery by a broadband connection. In simple Internet is used to supply TV signals too. So that means that either your cable operator packs his bags or upgrade himself to double up as your internet provider too.

Why the hoopla surrounding it?

That is because of the amazing possibilities that are created when you fuse TV and Internet.

  • On Demand Video: The most talked about possibility. You feel all mushy and would like to spend a romantic evening with your spouse or girlfriend watching a King Khan lovey-dovey movie. Just switch on your IPTV and select the movie from a list and you watch it at your own leisure. You can re-play your favorite songs umpteen times before you decide to let the story continue. Or even better, pause the TV for now and continue another time.
  • Spot Interaction: Hate the nasal vocalist Himesh Reshammaiya and want to do something to voice your opinion. Pen your opinion on the channel's website by switching to Internet mode.
  • Dual mode: Use your TV's split screen feature to watch your favorite soap and check your e-mails simultaneously.
  • Triple Play and Quad Play Services**: IPTV can also be bundled with Voice over IP (VOIP) phone services that allow cheap call world wide, Web Access, Video on Demand and in some cases mobile VOIP too.

From whom can I get IPTV in India?

Hold on...hold on... don't dump your current TV and Computer just yet. The first player on the scene is promising IPTV only by the year end. Reliance Communications is still announcing plans to target five million IPTV customers in 200 cities across India. However, the plan is backed up by the 80,000 km of fiber optic network for IPTV services that has been laid by RCoVL and support from other major industry players like Microsoft, Juniper and Motorola. Each company has major stakes, as the benefits are numerous. However going by past trends, it won't take too much time for the initial trickle to turn into a deluge. It won't be long before BSNL and Tata Indicom announce their initiatives in this key region of technology. Each of them is backed by huge infrastructure of Optical Fiber Cables that they have laid across the country.

TRAI ( Telecom Regulatory Authority of India ) too has been quick to publish the recommendations for IPTV.

Foot Notes

**Triple play is an expression used by service operators describing a package including telephony, data and video. Quad play is an expression used by service operators describing a package including both fixed line and mobile telephony, data and video.

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