Tuesday, February 21, 2006

VOD versus IPTV

ISP Planet profiles Matrix Stream, a video-on-demand player. After talking with SES Global about the facilities for IPTV, I can agree that VOD is much cheaper than IPTV and probably much friendlier to your network.

"IPTV is a tough nut to crack for small and medium-size ISPs. It requires a big capital investment and the acquisitions of lots of new skills. Entertainment is a whole different industry, a whole different world. But there is one relatively easy way in: start by offering video on demand (VOD) services rather than full-bore, 100 channel IPTV. MatrixStream Technologies Inc., a San Mateo, California company, has a complete end-to-end solution for VOD that it claims will let service providers offer high-definition video on demand over networks with limited bandwidth and no quality of service (QoS) provisions. MatrixStream says its technology will work over WiMAX wireless networks too. The price tag? Less than $250,000 for a system capable of supporting 10,000 viewers—and service providers shouldn't have to upgrade their network infrastructure."

But is there really enough demand for it? Does CinemaNow, MovieLink, iFilm, Starz on Demand, or even JumpTV have enough paying customers to warrent a $250k investment? (And does that include the content rights?)

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