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CES: Internet TV

by User Not Found | Jan 10, 2007

A dominant theme at CES is what I call Internet TV (as opposed to IPTV, which tends to refer to managed, operator-delivered services). Microsoft have confirmed their intention to add internet TV to the Xbox 360 (something we've predicted since day one). More significantly, Sony announced that future Bravia TVs will be IP-enabled and are demonstrating their Internet Video Link device, which delivers managed internet video content to TV sets. Deals have been struck so far with AOL, Yahoo! and Grouper. FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin and Commissioner Tate happened to be getting the demonstration when I dropped by (their schedule took priority, naturally enough...). I imagine there are some interesting debates at regulators right now over what exactly they should be calling this thing that gets TV and video content to the TV without involving the TV "providers" they like to regulate.

Cisco is the other firm to watch. Chairman and CEO John Chambers gave a typically powerful keynote suggesting that his firm would be enabling the transformation of consumer electronics over the next five years to a completely IP-based environment. Ambitious timing, perhaps, but a company with this sort of record and business performance cannot be ignored. Whether Cisco's strategy pans out or not, the transformation of digital devices in this timeframe is certainly assured.
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