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IPTV Enthusiasts Hail PlayOn Software

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May 22, 2009

IPTV Enthusiasts Hail PlayOn Software

By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor

Recently, tech market researchers told us something that – based on the success of Netflix and technology-fueled attempts to hit the movie market hard by giants like Blockbuster, Warner Bros. and Samsung – we probably knew intuitively.

And that is: Far more is needed for IPTV (News - Alert) to compete with online DVD rental or device-based VoD services.
Researchers at Ovum (News - Alert) told us that the range of content available is lacking, and that IPTV must provide a better quality of experience, not just cost-savings, in order to earn its piece of the market.
Today, we’re hearing about a hopeful newcomer to the market from one industry veteran.
Darren Gladstone, a senior writer at PC World, reports that PlayOn, a software that he says “could ruin everything for cable providers – if the bugs are ever ironed out.”
Specifically, Gladstone reports, the software allows users to stream nearly any show to an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, with just a PC and an Internet connection.
The software, in beta until late last year, is now live.
“After installing the software, you can enter your user information for sites such as Amazon Video On Demand, Hulu (News - Alert), YouTube, and Netflix (yes, yes, everyone knows that Xbox 360 users can view their Instant Access queue without PlayOn’s software),” Gladstone reports. “The game consoles already in your home are a bunch of client devices, ready to accept streaming video – and not just from the sources I mentioned above. ESPN (News - Alert) clips are available, too, as are a number of classic shows. And on top of that, a growing community is creating video-streaming add-ons for the software.”
The video quality is “good enough” and the service is offered on a 14-day trial basis.
To be sure, the IPTV market is fertile. In one sign of the Internet’s widely discussed migration to a video-based space – a change that experts say will require major advances in video compression – nearly one in five U.S. households who use the Web watch TV broadcasts online, a recent survey says.
The figure marks a 100 percent increase from 2006, according to a pair of Manhattan-based agencies: The Conference Board, a nonprofit organization, and market research firm TNS (News - Alert).
Gladstone is an enthusiast, and his article is worth a look.

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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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