When IP communications is discussed in the tech sector, more often than not the subject involves telephones and how we talk to each other over the Internet. The Internet is clearly bigger than that, as we’re seeing it enter our homes through smart appliances, and yes, even televisions.
Companies in the digital space are teaming up to integrate their services into products that we use every day; Imagine Communications recently announced its acquisition of Digital Rapids (News - Alert), which will grow its portfolio of procession solutions for TV Everywhere. TV Everywhere refers to how cable channels allow consumers to watch content via the Internet through video on demand and live streaming.
The rush towards IP-based television services has challenged the traditional television services by allowing the Internet, wired and wireless, private and public, to deliver video content. As a result, the convergence of TV with IP is becoming a popular topic for networking and user experience research because it provides a significant challenge for both the next generation networks as well as for the future viewing market.
The growing adoption of IP services combined with a dramatic push by content providers to promote online video has helped to pave the way for mainstream audiences to embrace online video viewing.
Streaming entertainment allows for people to bypass their cable providers entirely, giving users the ability to watch or download their favorite TV shows and movies exclusively online. Now, hanging in the balance is the question of how this will affect cable companies and, subsequently, the customers who do subscribe to TV services.
Analysts feel that the economy coupled with increasing fees are to blame for all the subscriber losses. Previous research dictates that 13 percent of U.S. households that don't subscribe to some form of pay-TV service, about 60 percent have broadband.
Will the Internet be the contender that kicks cable TV to the curb? Prior predictions indicate that you’ll be able to watch pretty much anything so long as you have an IP connection and a TV. To some extent, we’re seeing this on a limited basis; services like Netflix and Hulu (News - Alert) offer popular shows and movies that stream right to TV sets and smart devices. The only subscriptions customers need are that of the actual streaming services and one to use data. Compared to cable bundles, these add up to a fraction of the cost.
While people aren’t ditching their cable services entirely, IP communications have set it up so that consumers can be more in charge of their viewing options.
As the battle continues between pay TV services and the entire Internet, one has to wonder who is going to finally come out as the entertainment du jour?
Edited by Alisen Downey