PLDT plans to offer IPTV

Via the Philippine Star: the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) is planning to offer Internet-based TV.

Leading telecommunications firm Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) is seriously considering jumping on the triple play bandwagon via IP television, a fast growing service that merges the Internet and television, in order to penetrate the growing video market in the country.

IPTV or Internet protocol television is a system where digital TV service is delivered to subscribing consumers using IP over a broadband connection. This service is often provided in conjunction with video on demand and may also include Internet services such as Web access and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP).

The concept of IPTV is very hot in developed countries, particularly those with the high broadband penetration rate. What’s good about IPTV, apart from the fact that viewers can time-shift–i.e. control the content they watch, and get it when they want to–is the democratization of TV. Much like with blogging and podcasting, even individuals or groups without the snazzy high-tech broadcasting facilities can set up their own TV shows.

IPTV also opens the possibility for transmission of high-definition content. With IPTV, it’s possible to watch shows (at least the compatible ones–those shot with high-def equipment) at even higher quality and definition than your present run-of-the-mill DVD movie.

On the tech front, tech-oriented IPTV shows are gaining popularity in the Americas, their being pioneers in the field. Entities such as revision3, which produces Systm, Diggnation, and the Broken, among others, are on the forefront of independent IPTV content-production, and are banking on the popularity of its “stars”–tech-show hosts of the good old days–among the techie crowd.

A list of free, downloadable tech-oriented shows is available here.

Some popular TV series, mostly sci-fi in nature, have also been made available for download over the internet, such as Lost, and Battlestar Galactica.

Why tech and sci-fi? Given the technological concepts involved, you would expect the techies and sci-fi fans to be the first to try it out.

While IPTV set-top-boxes are yet to be seen in the Philippines, those with broadband access are already able to download shows over the Internet. Popular download methods include bittorrent (distributed / peer-to-peer) and Google Video.

According to the Philippine Star article, PLDT is targeting the AB market with its IPTV plans.

Like 3G, IPTV can lead to full digital deployment of products and services. Through IPTV, [PLDT] will be able to deliver high definition TV for the AB market.

I’d say they’re wrong to compare IPTV with 3G, which is a wireless technology considered my many to have flopped. After all, 3G has very high overhead/capital costs, and very little margin. IPTV, on the other hand, if implemented and marketed well, will indeed be the TV standard of the future.

And I think we still have a long way to go before we arrive at an adequate and affordable bandwidth infrastructure that can support IPTV. Broadband providers in the Americas can set up connections upwards of 5 gigabits per second to residential end-users for only US$ 50 or even less. And unless prospective IPTV providers in the Philippines can match that, they’re in hot water, for how can we possibly enjoy high definition content with relatively slower connections (the residential DSL standard being 384 kbps and less), not to mention broadband woes (PLDT DSL, Smart WiFi–both PLDT services).


12 Comments

  1. fix their problem with their dsl first before going through with this

  2. The head of the MIT Media Lab John Negroponte said that the computer will be the pervasive all-in-one apliance in the future, merging the functions of TV and even the functions of household appliances. Now, it seems the computer could be compressed and become handheld, and even be merged with the mobile phone…Anyway, the age of real convergence seems to be in the horizon.

  3. PLDT? Wag na, may lock in period na naman yan at sira sirang service…

    >:)

  4. Err…isn’t IPTV about regularly produced content rather than the means to which it’s delivered? I’m 384kbps down, and I get to watch a whole slew of tech shows (Diggnation, Hak.5, TWiT, OpenAlpha, commandN, DigitalLife) without being restricted by my connection. It’s all in the content, the regularity and the availability – given enough patience, even dial-up users can take part in IPTV.

    What does PLDT have to do with anything? And why are people getting hung up on PLDT when there’s no content to speak of, only plans to have content delivered? Are people seriously more concerned with the CONCEPT of IPTV than IPTV itself?

  5. @Teknolohiya,

    I’d say it’s not only about producing the content, but also about bringing the content to the viewers. And I think it’s only but 1% of the viewers (the techies like ourselves) who have the time, know-how and patience to download shows on their computers. The rest of the populace prefer to sit it out in front of the boob tube and surf across channels for their favorite shows. ;) They’re the people who’d rather view content on their television sets.

  6. Ah, it’s all clear now. :)

    Misread the article completely, d’oh!

  7. No prob.

    BTW, I love TWiT and Diggnation! ;) But I don’t have the patience to download the 500mb+ video files even with my uber-fast connection at the office! I’m content with listening to the audio version while on the road.

  8. pldt was planning an IPTV????ok yan kaya pala ang mahal ng 100mb line nila…im a system admin.ng isang IPTV company who want to setup IPTV site here in the philippines sana,pero the cost is crazy.kaya nag set up kami on different
    country,which i will not name??????watch our first filipino owned IPTV,launching on october http://www.tvsoma.com.

  9. http://www.tvsoma.com channel GMA7,MTVphilppines,NBN4,RPN9 and many more.
    you can watch it live in october with at least 384kbps to 512kbps (512 recomended)

    ps..TFC of abs-cbn will become obsolete in the near future because IPTV is the future,you can watch your favofite filipino channel any where in the world.air wave channel will replace
    by IPTV imagine the cell site WIFI thing the broad band etc………..

  10. by the way meron din kaming decoder box you can
    connect it to your tv parang na nunuod ka ng DVD if we set up our speed to 1mb.

  11. Wow pare kapal naman ng PLDT e super bulok na nga ng serbisyo nila (DSL) tapos may balak pa magdagdag ulit ngayon ng bagong service? Hay naku, download na lang ako ng moviesand tv shows sa livejournal.

  12. I found an interesting IPTV company who has developed a way to stream HD quality with no downloading or buffering, in full screen over 100kbps bandwidth connection (that’s about 1/30th of what other IPTV systems require).
    The player they designed has got to be the most elegant I have ever seen.
    Go to http://blastiptv.com to see what I think is going to be the future of the IPTV industry.

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