IPTV to shake up the market

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IPTV to shake up the market

US playing catch-up as it lags behind in broadband take-up.

IPTV will change the way the market operates and has companies scrambling to be in line for profits, according to an industry analyst.

"IPTV is scaring the hell out of everyone: consumer electronics manufacturers, 'Tellywood', advertisers and consumers who don't know what to watch or where to watch it," said Andy Marken at Marken Communications.

"If we all migrate to IPTV users will have to deal with MPEG 4 decoders, new formats and TV sets that are just large monitors."

Marken claimed that Sony, Panasonic and other manufacturers plan to release internet TV sets early next year to take advantage of the IPTV phenomenon. 

Figures from the Arbitron rating service show that internet TV viewing is increasing steadily in the US, from seven percent of users in January 2004 to eight percent in 2005 and 12 percent in 2006. 

However, Marken believes that the US is lagging behind the rest of the world because of its relatively low uptake of broadband services.

"The US may have the best internet products but it is still only number 12 in the high speed connected world," he said.

"Iceland and South Korea lead the pack, while northern Europe has seven of the top 10 slots."

Figures from market research firm In-Stat show that there are 194 million households worldwide with a broadband connection, expected to rise to 413 million by 2010.
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