A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Sunday, March 13, 2005


Another EcoBlogIT virgin pops his cherry - I saw an article on IPTV on the BBC News Technology site and thought I would share it with you.


Apparently IPTV is a similar idea to VoIP services, both use broadband net connections to carry information, like video and voice, in packets of data instead of conventional means. You can have TV services delivered direct to your PC or laptop, this helps those people like me who live in an area where there is a poor TV reception. IPTV would also aid the 30% of Europe that cannot access satellite or digital TV.

It does raise questions of TV licensing too - in theory I would be able to receive BBC channels without paying any license fee (as proposed for overseas users). Although, the government are one step ahead already with plans to introduce a "PC Tax" for those without a TV but with a PC/laptop that is used to watch TV.

Apparently Net TV will not really take off until Broadband speeds are well over the current 2Mbps level; it is estimated that 4.5 million homes in Europe will have net TV services by 2008.

One note of caution: Microsoft has signed up several telecoms companies already; such as SBC Communications, BellSouth and Telecom Italia, to help build a system using its own software to deliver IPTV to people.............
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This is interesting. What I would like to see though is the ability to "get" any channels the user wants, apart from BBC and Sky. Despite the plethora of ways to get TV that are increasingly becoming available, Television reception in the UK is grossly limited unless you know how to install(and can afford, and get Council permission) a satellite dish that can tune in anything in Europe.
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