Cable Gets Serious About IP Video
About 40 percent of cable operators plan to launch IP video services by 2012, and nearly 80 percent of cable providers have already launched or intend to start trials or full deployments by that time, revealed Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Alan Breznick at this morning's opening session.
Breznick, citing a one-year study of 50 to 60 MSOs from around the globe, said about 46 percent of operators expect IP-based set-tops to become a "mainstream" product by next year, with about 75 percent expecting the same by 2013. (See Cable's IPTV Motivation.)
He said about one-third of cable providers surveyed intend to use a hosted or cloud-based service to support IP video, while more than half are still deciding on a strategy.
Some of cable's IP video momentum is clearly evident, as several major MSOs, including Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), start to pitch a mix of on-demand and linear content to devices such as PCs and tablets. TW Cable, meanwhile, has kicked the tires on a pure IPTV trial using Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s Mediaroom platform. (See Cablevision Launches iPad App With 280+ Channels , TWC's iPad App Launches With (Some) Live TV, Comcast Forges 'Excalibur' for IPTV, Comcast Keeps Eye on the iPad Prize and TWC Taps Microsoft Mediaroom for IPTV Test .)
Although content rights have been the subject of recent dust-ups between MSOs and programmers, Breznick said cable's RF-based legacy video systems are the biggest challenges MSOs face as they move ahead on IP video migration strategies. About one-third of the MSOs surveyed by Heavy Reading cited high costs as the primary barrier to an all-out IPTV migration. (See Fox to TW Cable: Stop Streaming Our Stuff and TW Cable, Programmers Brace for iPad App Battle.)
Check back early and often for more coverage from today's event.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable