As I mentioned last week, there are changes ahead for this blog including more commentary from Motorola executives and experts on a variety of topics. To kick off these executive visits I sat down recently with Geoff Roman, a Motorola corporate vice president, to hear his thoughts on 2007, 2008 and beyond.
Geoff Roman on:
If you start with the IPTV space, virtually everything is MPEG-4 based. On the cable side, you’ll start seeing MPEG-4 devices (CPE) early next year, with gradual phasing in of more MPEG-4 hardware throughout 2008. Operators will incorporate MPEG-4 in their highest service tiers first, moving to mass distribution of MPEG-4 set-tops by late 2009, early 2010. By the latter part of 2009, MPEG-2 standalone devices will have completely disappeared.
Mobile TV from a broadcast perspective is becoming increasingly common in Europe and is picking up steam in Asia, particularly in China around the Olympics. However, there are still business models to figure out. Streaming video is expensive, but on the other hand, consumers want to be able to access the video they want when they want it and not to be tied to broadcast schedules on their cell phones. There is some real-time delivery of content (i.e. broadcast) that works for mobile TV as long as it’s appropriately recycled. For example, news headlines that repeat every ten minutes. But consumers are not going to want to pay for much directly. It will probably be ad-based.
Cable’s Last Mile
Cable is kicking the tires of fiber-to-the-home solutions like Cable PON. Some operators have opted for a wireless extension across the last mile where they can’t run wire or don’t want to run wire, and for that you see technologies like our Canopy solution. However, there’s no consensus strategy yet.
Service Providers as TV Gatekeepers
There is a lot of talk about networks and content owners delivering content directly to consumers via the Internet. Clearly these types of operations are becoming part of the content delivery chain, but none of the business models are broad or exclusive yet. While I don’t disregard the impact of over-the-top (Internet) content delivery, I also don’t see it as a replacement for traditional service provider content any time soon. Likely we’ll start seeing more consumers getting content from multiple places over some sort of converged platform. Internet-delivered content will continue to be a complement, not a replacement for traditional TV entertainment over the next few years.