Timeshifting IPTV

Dave Ely puts forward a pretty convincing argument against SBC’s IPTV plans. The data pipe won’t be big enough and other technologies available today are already better. Plus $99 is an outrageous price point.

On a related point, Ely makes a comment that “I don’t see live TV as ever fully going away,” well, neither do it, except, of course, the last time I watched a state of the union, I timeshifted it. I watch most sports timeshifted — there are a lot of events that are better saved for later. There’s nothing magical about live, and once you realize that, then timeshifting seems perfectly natural. For example, we didn’t watch the Oscars in real time tonight.

I’m not looking for any IP delivery, regardless of the size of the data line, to much more than deliver timeshifted content. The only reason to deliver real-time content, I think, is for interactive purposes where audience responses only hold value in real time, but BSkyB in England is already doing that with a combo of satillite and landlines. I’m sure DirecTV will offer a similar service within a year or so.

Maybe IPTV isn’t it, but the day is coming when lots of people will download a whole feast of video content over IP and watch it on regular their living room teevees. That just strikes me as inevitable. And if SBC’s price point is $99 per month, the product is doomed.

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