Strong UK interest in paid broadband lPTV services

Findings from a survey carried out by ISP information website ISPreview reveal that 57 per cent of the 590 respondents are “interested” (29 per cent are “Very” interested and 28 per cent have “Average” interest) in the new generation of broadband ISP-based television services (IPTV), which are slated to be launched in 2012. Furthermore, 47.2 per cent admitted to already having some form of ‘pay-TV’ service such as Sky. The site nevertheless warns of hurdles that could hamper such services.

On being advised that ‘Several ISPs plan to launch broadband TV (IPTV) products in 2012’, 42.5 per cent were “Not Interested”; 29.3 per cent were “Very Interested”, with 28.1 per cent expressing “Average Interest”.

In terms of the most important factor for any new broadband IPTV product, “Affordable Price” came out top with 35.9 per cent, followed by “Good Content” scoring 28.1 per cent, followed by “Service Performance / Support” with 17.9 per cent and Video Quality on 17.9 per cent

According to ISPreview, the news is good for ISPs with plans to offer commercial IPTV products in 2012 such as Talk Talk TV, although it suggests the UK’s broadband infrastructure is currently far from ideal for such a service. “Any new IPTV product is bound to require a good Internet connection, which is something that a significant portion of consumers simply do not have,” says ISPreview.

“Related services will also eat a lot of bandwidth and any ISP offering such a product will need to ensure that they have adequate capacity and can provide an exception for IPTV traffic. Customers should never be penalised for using a service that the ISP itself promotes,” says the website.

ISPreview highlights another problem being that many devices, such as Internet-connected TVs and games consoles already come with limited video and TV streaming solutions built in. “This could make it far harder for IPTV operators to deliver an attractive proposition. Not to mention the fierce competition from established rivals like Sky and Virgin Media,” it observes.

The good news is that the country’s broadband infrastructure is on a path of improvement but there’s still a long way to go. Getting the price and content of IPTV right is only half the battle,” it concludes.

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