IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) is a method of distributing television content material over broadband that enables a more customised and interactive end user experience. IPTV will mean a fundamental change in viewing habits. Visitors will be able to watch what they want, when they want to. Interactive TELEVISION FOR COMPUTER services will be a key differentiator for the multitude of IPTV promotions that are emerging. Interactivity via a fast two-way connection is going to lift IPTV ahead of today’s television.
IPTV brings together the telly, internet and telephone. Much like cable or satellite television, IPTV uses a set-top box (STB) that allows viewers to watch a huge selection of channels and order movies through video-on-demand (VOD). IPTV uses broadband ADSL, the same technology that delivers dangerously fast Internet to the computer. This opens the door to much more interactivity and the potential for thousands, as opposed to hundreds, of channels.
Get What’s On
All IPTV services will offer basic interactivity to support navigation and search of the vast amounts of articles. An electronic programme guide (EPG) will allow viewers to investigate linear and on-demand content that is available.
EPGs are likely to let viewers to look at programme listings up to two weeks in advance, plus look back over programmes from the previous seven days broadcast timetable. A powerful search facility will allow viewers to look for programmes by simply title, genre and keywords. Filters will allow viewers to produce lists of movies, music, pay-per-view events and high definition courses.
The EPG will be customisable by viewers, who will be capable of create their own line-up of favourite channels and written content. As well as full-screen layouts, EPGs will have a mini-overlay method which will allow the viewer to keep watching the current programme when browsing the schedule.
Personal Video Recorder
Many IPTV UK set top boxes will incorporate a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) that will allow programmes and interactive content to be noted. Viewers will be able to watch one programme while recording yet another. They’ll also be able to use interactive services or online video on demand while recording in the background. While watching linear TV ON PC programming, viewers will be able to pause and rewind live hdtv.
The PVR will be programmed via the Electronic System Guide. Intelligent series linking will allow programme episodes being recorded based on preferences; first-runs, repeats, or all events. Programme and movie trailers will contain interactive back links that can be selected to schedule a recording. Remote scheduling involving recording will also be possible using a mobile phone or the web.
With IPTV, viewers will be able to watch a lot more video at the same time. Sports fans will be able to keep an eye on six games at a time, on the same screen, or study one game from various camera angles. Viewer involvement will be encouraged through voting, competitions and messaging services.
Interactive advertising definitely will extend traditional linear advertising. It will allow advertisers to present product information in the form of an on-screen interactive brochure. This may re-enforce the brand messages and encourage viewer involvement while using product. It will also allow a direct element to be added to just about any TV campaign, with responses being captured from visitors.
The two-way nature of an IPTV interconnection makes it ideal for providing person-to-person communication services. Instant messaging companies will allow viewers to ‘chat’ via text messages while carrying on to watch TV. Video conferencing over television will allow electronic family gatherings when family members are spread across the world.
Companies will be used both as stand-alone applications, and as add-ons for you to programming. Friends will be able to chat while watching a programme ‘together’ in different locations. Phone-in shows will be able to display callers, joined directly from their home.
IPTV will provide many enters of news, entertainment and information. Viewers will be able to personalise their ‘feed reader’ to match their particular interests. This will then collect updated information such as news headlines, sports results, share price ranges and travel updates in a single place.