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U.S. Market Study: IPTV Poised for Growth

The Internet appears to be the threshold of new technology these days, and the future of TV may be in its hands. A recent survey by Harris Interactive conducted among U.S. adults explores consumer awareness and interest in and the potential impact of IPTV, an upcoming digital television service that is delivered through Internet protocol over a broadband connection.

Despite limited availability in the United States, more than half (56 percent) of all U.S. adults say they have heard of IPTV and substantial numbers indicate interest in adopting it for use on their TVs and home PCs. The survey also shows how the adoption of IPTV may impact cable and satellite providers and the types of providers that may be able to capitalize on this new technology.

The most recent study was conducted online from December 2 to 8, 2005 among 1,039 U.S. adults. Many adults expressed a great deal of interest in the interactive features IPTV has to offer, the most popular of which include:

�The ability to save money, since IPTV should be far less costly than cable or satellite (42 percent)
�The ability to select the time you watch a program (on demand) (33 percent)
�The ability to receive a broader array of programming content to meet your particular interests (24 percemnt)
�High-definition viewing (20 percent)
�Digital video recording (18 percent)
�Interactive program guide with navigation and search functions (15 percent)

Though IPTV is still in its infancy, substantial numbers show a great deal of interest in adopting the technology and some say they would sign up and try it immediately if it were available. One-quarter (26 percent) of adults say they are quite interested in adopting IPTV for use on their TVs, and 19 percent express a lot of interest in adopting IPTV for use on their computers. Fewer adults (4 percent) say they would be quite interested in adopting this technology for use on their cell phones.

Twelve percent of adults say they would sign up and try IPTV immediately if it were only available for their PC, and 57 percent say they would wait and see how others like it. Almost one in five (18 percent) say they would try IPTV immediately if it were available for their PC and could be sent to TV's in their house using a set-top box, and 59 percent said they would wait and see how others like it. Minorities say they would ignore IPTV for their home PC (31 percent) or their TV (23 percent) as they are happy with their current service.

The survey results suggest that the development of IPTV could pose a formidable threat to cable and satellite services. Among those saying they will sign up for IPTV or that they would wait and see how others like it, almost one if five (17 percent) say they would cancel their existing cable or satellite TV service and go with IPTV, while two-thirds (66 percent) say they would keep their existing cable or satellite TV service and give IPTV a trial run. Only seven percent say they would keep their existing cable or satellite TV service and add IPTV, and one in 10 (10 percent) say they don't currently have cable or satellite TV, but would adopt IPTV.

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