A category of new technology worth following are systems that stem from the download-and-play model of video-on-demand. Some years ago in a Boardwatch column I describe this as the primary competition to streaming video. My take was then, and still is, that streaming may be good for live broadcasts where immediacy is necessary, but is clearly inferior in every other way. More importantly download-and-play allows the user to replay the content without adding an additional network burden, Since then the idea has cropped up again in the form of a methodology employed by media centers. Now known as netTV or IPTV it is still download-and-play. Suddenly the idea has merged with video-on-demand (VOD) and even the somewhat forgotten video dial tone. The idea has even become stand-alone in the form of appliances. These are TiVO-like boxes with a hard disk to store the downloaded content. These are usually attached directly to a TV. A variation on this is the media-center PC that networks the content to the TV via a home network. The following is a current list of vendors involved in this emerging market. There are clearly too many early players for many of them to actually survive.
copyright (c) 2005 by John C. Dvorak and ipTVDaily
Akimbo Systems -- IPTV client-side STB/appliance with content delivery based on a subscription model.
Amino -- Set top boxes
BitBand -- IP Video server appliances.
Broadband Network Systems (BNS).
Broadbus -- VOD video servers
Broadstream -- IPTV middleware aimed at telcos.
C-Cor -- HFC to IP transition technology, VOD technology
Coaxsys -- Maker of the TV-Net IPTV adapter for home networks.
EagleBroadband -- Infrastructure, turnkey ipTV
Entone -- Maker of IPTV gateways for telcos.
Envivio -- Mprg4/AVC encoders/decoders, middleware
Globecast -- ipTV content delivery
GooMe -- Ambitious attempt to use IPTV to create (yet again) interactive TV.
Harmonic -- Multiplexers, encoders, middleware, you-name-it
Irdeto Access -- Essentially a DRM company now involved in IPTV
InfoEQ -- an IPTV Set-top-box similar to Akimbo
i3 -- Finnish IPTV STB that also serves as a gateway router.
Kasenna -- Another VOD, PPV company now calling itself "The IPTV Company"
Kreatel -- Open software platform and IPTV STB with OTA (over-the-air) features. Advanced.
Latens -- Video encryption for use with IPTV
Microsoft -- Various initiatives making up Microsoft-TV with emphasis on IPTV.
MInerva Networks -- Encoding hardware for delivering IPTV over DSL.
Motorola -- Set Top boxes, DVR's, encoders, chipsets
Myrio -- Middleware for IPTV boxes.
Orca Interactive -- Middleware for IPTV boxes.
Occam Networks -- High-end telco gear for IPTV services delivered by phonecos.
Pace -- Set-top boxes, misc. gear, attractive packager
Paradyne -- Media gateways for telcos, various DSL gear
Scientific-Atlantic -- Set top boxes, encoders
SeaChange -- Digital video servers for VOD systems.
Skystream Networks -- Maker of head-end encoders, receivers and other IPTV boxes.
Tandberg -- Encoders, compression specialists
Telsey -- Italian company specializing in IPTV STB's and media converters.
Thomson -- French maker of IPTV box to be used throughout France.
TriplePlay TV -- Telco informational site.
TUT Systems -- Telco gear for video trunking and other IPTV services.
2Wire -- IPTV set-top box optimized for DSL.
Tuxia -- German software company making middleware for STB, too focused on streaming.
TCOM/Dtvro -- Korean-based maker of IPTV set top combo boxes.
WideVine -- Security and DRM company interested in IPTV.
Verimatrix -- Encryption and DRM company focused on IPTV
Veveo -- An IPTV start up with $14 million -- vague.
Do you have additons or corrections to this list? e-Mail me here.
Companies Specializing in Digital Rights Management
Billing System Specialists
Publications specifically targeting IPTV
ipTV-Daily -- Daily News summaries, developer of these links
IPTV News -- General Interest News sites (reg. required)
IPTVNews.Net -- iptv blog
Informitv News -- Consulting company reports
TVOver.net -- News summary blog