Watching internet television is one of the latest trends among a video hungry audience on the internet.
While the average user may not have been so keen on watching low-quality video streams of a slow modem connection, things have changed significantly since the arrival of broadband/DSL and cable connections in private households.
The breakthrough for IPTV in Europe came through the FIFA World Cup 2006 where many didn't have the chance of watching every game because unresolvable licensing issues on FIFA level left the tube dark or simply because employer rules for the workingplace prevented you from watching your team at work. Most web and video savvy users resorted to watching the feeds via Peer2Peer internet broadcasts or by tuning-in to a http/rtsp/mms stream on the net - watching chinese TV or another foreign station that transmits on the net and has the license to show the games.
At least since then, IPTV is on the radar. And the majors are already becoming more and more alert as the internet and the thousands of immediate services begin to attract a wider audience and luring them away from old-school television. MTV noticesd it as well and in a quick move to protect its claims is now partnering with is major rival youtube ([http://www.clipland.com/Blog/48-youtube-and-video-collide.html
and pirating enemy]).
Now what is IPTV? IPTV or Internet Television is just an umbrella term describing protocolls and techniques to deliver video signals over IP/internet infrastructure. Another term often used in combination with IPTV is Video on Demand (VoD) meaning offering onDemand video content, such as re-runs or pre-recorded reports, as an add-on to the live video stream. Also related to IPTV is the term "[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPTV#Triple_Play
Triple Play]" which describes an effort of the telcos to get people from using three seperate lines for 3 services to using just one: the IP/data line for all communications and thus combining telephony, video and data-traffic.
In Germany the innovative telco and DSL provider Hansenet is pioneering the IPTV field, offering an initial service under the Alice brand since June. German telco giant Telekom was quick to announce similar solutions. Alice is now offering IPTV bandwidths of 2-3 Mbits/s wich should guarantee for an average Television signal (which would consume about 1,5 Mbits/s). The near future will require a little upgrade while HDTV over the internet require about 6-8 Mbits/s for a reliable signal.
Also on the rise are online TV stations transmitting their signals over the shoutcast/icecast protocol. These techniques aren't as new and hip as IPTV but they begin to reach a wider audience and thus becoming more and more important. Internet radio is old news with Frequence3 and Club 977 reaching thousands of listeners daily and listing top on all internet radio yellowpage-services like shoutcast. We will see which global stations will emerge with IPTV gaining momentum.
Here at Clipland we also embraced the new development and started a beta directory service for online TV and Radio stations back in April 2006. On Clipland TV you can browse a small selection of top internet TV stations. While on portal.clipland.com you get access to over 7000 internet TV and radio stations listed in our database. In the backend these YP-directories rely on our live-stream-database which is still in beta, so be generous on outdated entries.