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New report says broadband beats broadcast

A major new strategic report warns that broadband video services will eventually displace broadcast television distribution, but telecommunications providers may not be the ultimate winners of the network television revolution.

Internet protocol television (IPTV), the delivery of digital television and other audio and video services over broadband data networks using the same basic protocols that support the Internet, will transform both television and the Web according to the report. Telecommunications companies around the world are rushing to roll out television services, while online providers are ramping up their video offering, but broadcasters appear to be largely oblivious to this significant threat and opportunity.

The report concludes that within a decade, video and audio services delivered over broadband networks will be firmly established as an alternative platform to digital satellite, terrestrial and cable television transmission. The real competition will come not between operators of rival platforms, but between closed and open networks. The report further asserts that television will become more like the Web, as scheduled broadcast channels are displaced by a choice of millions of download and on-demand programs.

The 200-page report includes 25 case studies and provides a comprehensive assessment of the fast-emerging and intensely competitive broadcasting landscape. It also explains the ways in which services can be delivered over both closed networks and the open Internet through multicast and unicast distribution using Internet protocols. The report details the challenges ahead for those broadcasters seeking to launch IPTV services and explores likely successful business models.

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