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Over-the-Top IP Video will Experience Boom

The Internet Protocol (IP) video revolution is stalled by poor user interfaces, uncertainty on pricing models and tight digital rights management restrictions on Hollywood films, according to Kagan Research.

But expect this "over-the-top" video to take a big leap forward at year's end. That's when equipment � retail priced at $60-$160 � is scheduled to arrive that ports signals to living-room TV sets and liberates broadband TV from the confines of personal computers, which is another stumbling block.

"I do believe over the course of the next 12-24 months, we will experience a 'hockey stick' growth curve," Curt Marvis, CEO of movie downloader CinemaNow, said. "Over the top" refers to video delivered by broadband data transmission devices such as cable modems (ie, therefore by-passing MSO or Telco set-top boxes).

Marvis said Hollywood's major studios today are reluctant to allow users to burn downloads on DVDs or transfer movie downloads to other devices. But he expects them to bend as consumers insist on portability as part of the bigger trend toward TV personalization. When download-to-own prices go under the price of a packaged DVD, Marvis expects a boom.

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