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Forget video on demand - try live TV from Channel 4
Monday 26 June 2006 12:01:00 by Andrew Ferguson

The media industry is catching on very fast to the potential of being able to watch TV over a broadband connection. The latest news is that Channel 4 is to let users registered on its website watch live TV content, that is apart from shows that are imported where paid for on-demand streaming is available. For a lot more on this move see informitv.com.

How popular the service will be is hard to tell, since most people are likely to just switch on a TV. Perhaps one area where TV over a broadband connection will appeal is the fact that with a laptop and a wireless connection you can potentially sit and watch it in the garden.

If the various broadband TV services become popular then both the media and ISP industry will need to co-operate to ensure that services will work at peak times. To some extent multicast technology is being pushed as the answer, but there can be problems with some ADSL modem routers not supporting multicast, and the additional issue that multicast does not save providers any BT Central capacity. Some pressure is being applied to BT to adjust its pricing policies, this pressure would be much greater if the large TV companies were to bring pressure to bear on Ofcom to ensure that the national pricing of broadband does not stifle innovation.

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