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W-Fi-TV vs. CableViews: 268
Jan 10, 2007 12:34 am re: W-Fi-TV vs. Cable

Russ Jackman
Hi Lamar,

First, please clarify: are you referring to IPTV (video delivered over internet protocol) with a wi-fi (802.11x) component, or the company/website Wi-FiTV?

If the former, yes I think IPTV and WiFi (actually, WiMax and wireless mesh technologies) will make video content available pretty much anywhere, anytime, on almost any type of device you can imagine. I'm a big fan of Nortel for that reason, as IPTV, WiMax and wireless mesh are technologies that they should dominate in over the next several years.

If you are referring to the website / company Wi-FiTV, I'm not as convinced. They want an awful lot of money to "buy" a channel, which is really nothing more than selling a subdomain on any other website for $25,000, and covering bandwidth / hosting costs for $5,000 per year. You have nothing of value outside of the company, so the fortunes of your "channel" are tied to the success (and continued existance) of their company. If visitors / viewers count in the hundreds for your "channel", it is expensive; if in the hundreds of thousands or millions, then they could be a victim of their own success ... even at $5,000 per year per "channel" they couldn't come close to covering YouTube's $1 million plus per month bandwidth costs.

They also have nothing really proprietary as far as I can tell, as there are other video delivery sites, video conferencing "rooms" and other "social networking by video" alternatives. That doesn't mean they won't be successful, but as far as I can tell they are basically a video-based portal site. Don't let the initials "TV" confuse you, they do not offer any form of "television" services other than streaming existing content (again, basically a portal for content, some of which happens to be produced by traditional TV outlets) that for the most part is available elsewhere.

All that said, it's also important to remember that we won't be watching video content (whether "TV", video on demand, YouTube, whatever) on our computers in the corner of our livingroom, kitchen or bedroom for long.

The increasing popularity of high-def panels, combined with home media servers (video and audio), mean that our HDTV will become our windows to the world ... the actual source of the signal (whether ATSC, cable/satellite, internet, etc.) will be irrelevant, they will all converge into that one display for entertainment and information.

Russ Jackman

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