02 mars 2007

Which digital TV solution did you choose?

As digital tv adoption keeps growing for every year and quarter, the question popping up is:
Which one did you choose and what is your experience from using it so far?

Technical standards (and the lack thereof)
There are currently three ways to receive digital television by the means of common standards: Terrestrial, Cable and Satellite. Here in Europe they have technology definitions for each one of them: Terrestrial is dubbed as DVB-T, digital cable uses DVB-C and finally Satellite which uses DVB-S. Apart from this you can also receive it through what is called IPTV (nicknamed 'Broadband TV' sometimes, for consumer clarity).

IPTV aka Broadband TV - Why no standards yet?
I don't consider the fourth alternative (IPTV) even close to being mature yet, though, because of the inconsistency broadband internet suffers from. Today you cannot compare ADSL2+, fiberoptics and cable internet with each other in terms of IPTV experience since the technologies and flexibilities differ from each other.
So, when someone wants to sell you IPTV, there may be a disappointment if you choose to subscribe and expect a certain quality .. and then you don't get the quality you anticipated.

What will it mean to the future of IPTV if the consumers get different experiences from it depending on what broadband connection they have got, AND they do not understand why their experience is bad when someone living in another part of the city sitting on another connection type is more than pleased over the excellency? Just as "broadband internet" means that the bandwidth (frequency) is broad and not autonomously "ADSL2+ connection", IPTV or Broadband TV shouldn't immediately translate to one way of receiving TV over fastlane internet infrastructure. In my view, on contrary, IPTV should get a set of standards itself to allow consumers to tell a distinct difference between the offerings.

Let's examplify this ...

IPTV over ADSL2+ could be dubbed "Copperlane TV"
IPTV over cable could define itself "IP over cable"
IPTV over fiberoptics could have it's name be "Neighbourhood super-highway TV"

Now follows a translation to consumer language (expected to show up in advertisement):

IPTV with ADSL2+
IPTV Light

IPTV with Cable
IPTV Cable

IPTV with Fiberoptics
IPTV Wideband

Feedback, please! :)