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IPTV To Spread In 2008

Interest in the Beijing Olympics and user-generated content are predicted to boost IPTV adoption worldwide.

Things are looking good for IPTV in 2008, according to predictions from BitBand.

The company, which delivers content over IP broadband networks, says emerging markets, user-generated content, and advertising will drive IPTV growth in 2008.

"BitBand has hit on a number of important themes in IPTV," said Bob Larribeau, principal analyst and co-founder of analyst firm TelecomView, in a statement. "It is clear that new markets, such as Eastern Europe, along with new forms of content and advertising will define the IPTV opportunities going forward."

The company said HDTV's popularity among mainstream consumers will increase demand for high-quality viewing and warned that technology must evolve to ensure consumer needs are met.

Home networking and home servers will deliver content to a variety of personal electronic devices via wired and wireless networks, BitBand said. Service providers will be expected to handle massive amounts of content and consumers' experiences should not vary according to device.

As new companies offer alternative services, traditional communications companies will have to differentiate themselves through new value-added services or competitively priced entertainment packages, BitBand said.

User-generated content will continue to grow in popularity and users will want it incorporated into their traditional television experiences.

The drive to turn the TV into an Internet-capable device is likely to continue, despite failed attempts so far, and targeted advertising holds potential for revenue and subscriber growth for IPTV, according to BitBand.

On-demand television will grow thanks to new methods for time shifting and increased bandwidth availability in next-generation networks, BitBand said.

Finally, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will drive adoption of IPTV in China. The government wants the event to draw worldwide attention, while service providers in other countries will want to deliver the events to subscribers in all forms and across all devices, BitBand said. Those factors will drive service innovation and technology development, while encouraging flexibility of regulations.

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