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Re-Imagine IPTV: the Untapped Opportunity

I'm one of the many people now following Alan Weinkrantz's SAtechBlog with great interest while he documents his impressions as an open-minded AT&T U-verse IPTV trial participant in San Antonio, Texas. Today I posted the following comment on Alan's site.

I remain upbeat about the raw potential for IPTV in the U.S. market, but the apparent lack of value-added service delivery imagination needs to be addressed. IMHO, this isn't a huge problem, yet -- instead, it's still a huge un-tapped opportunity.

As you know, I�ve been researching the evolution of the digital home phenomenon, connected consumers and their associated digital lifestyle applications -- while consulting for my client, Motive, Inc., for the last year. In the process I�ve witnessed the recent developments coming from the many launch trials and commercial IPTV deployments worldwide, and they have been a truly interesting learning exercise.

Likewise, your ongoing insights and commentary regarding your personal first-hand assessment of the �consumer experience� with the AT&T U-verse offering have been invaluable to me and others who have more than a passing interest in these developments that are reshaping the communications and entertainment sectors.

That said, your observations have solidly reinforced my opposition to the industry analysts and pundits who recommend that the telcos must initially emulate the incumbent pay-TV provider�s user experience. They insist that even the early-adopters of IPTV are not willing to consider a different user experience. I don�t agree with this myopic assessment, because the compelling evidence from IPTV deployments in other parts of the world are conclusive � �me too� offers with �more of the same� are no substitute for creative consumer-centric innovation.

Once the IPTV columns are online at the Broadband 2.0 website, I will alert you so that you can share them with your blog readers, as you see fit. In the mean time, I�m already looking for the opportunity to take some of my research results, conclusions and product ideas to a receptive U.S. telco, cable tv or satellite player who is bold enough to put some meaningful differentiation into their offering.

It�s never too late to be inventive; even in a crowded space like consumer electronics and entertainment. Case in point -- Apple wasn�t the first to market with an mp3 player, and now that they have captured 75 percent of the global market, does anyone still doubt the power of creative design?

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