Light Reading’s latest poll tests readers' tolerance for "end-to-end" -- or closed -- IPTV systems. The conclusion appers to be that they can make life easier for service providers, but they could result in significant barriers to the development of IPTV.
Some IPTV solutions starting to pop up provide the software that manages video content from the time it leaves the studio encoders to the time it reaches the set-top box. This would result in a highly integrated, controlled, and possibly proprietary system. Asked to pick the biggest benefit of using one of these packages, here's how the poll-takers have answered so far:
- Forty-four percent of the 100 respondents say the biggest benefit of end-to-end IPTV systems would be support: When something goes wrong, carriers only need to deal with one vendor or integrator for fixing the system.
- Another 34 percent cite simplicity as the key benefit. After all, why bother buying products from multiple suppliers when one company can do it all?
- Fifteen percent of respondents see cost savings as the biggest benefit of a closed IPTV system. Not only would carriers presumably get a better deal on a single package rather than piecing together their own, but setting up multiple systems to work together can be slow -- and time is money.
- When it comes to upgrading the network, it would also be easier to deal with one supplier, but only 6 percent find this the most important benefit.
Despite the advantages, respondents are wary about the amount of control these systems put in the hands of vendors:
- Forty-four percent of respondents agree that other software and security companies could get locked out of the IPTV supply chain -- unfairly. That compares with 38 percent who don't think other vendors would get locked out.
- Sixty-two percent of respondents say carriers should be worried about getting locked into using the turkey... er, turnkey suppliers, compared with 29 percent who don't see a problem. Nine percent are unsure.
— Nicole Willing, Reporter, Light Reading