Ofcom's director of strategy for the UK Jonathan Thompson is excited by the prospect of a battle between Sky, Virgin Media, YouView and Google TV for the 'homepage of your television'.

The delayed YouView, now not arriving for consumers until 2012, is still a potential game changer according to Thompson, in an interview conducted for IP&TV World Forum 2011, but he is well aware of the power of some of the other players.

"The launch of YouView…is clearly a potentially very significant development, given the breadth of experience and presence the shareholders have between them," said Thompson.

Interesting times

"But it is also exciting that there are many other products coming from players including Virgin's TiVo box, Sky Anytime Plus and Google TV and I'm sure more to come, particularly as smartphones and tablets start to complement the main screen," he added.

"Each of these players is battling to become the 'homepage' on the televisions for consumers' access to content."

Thompson believes that the past year has seen IPTV 'come of age', adding: "What's been fascinating about how the market has evolved is the range of different players entering the market from different parts of the value chain, including standalone VOD providers, TV and games platform operators, broadcasters and consumer electronics manufacturers."