Internet TV: why the time is now

"Our view is that there is a place for a variety of models, from 'pay to play' to advertising funded and, in certain cases, 'free to air'," continues Lumer. "Our concentration at the moment is on developing the relationship with content owners so that we can deliver a wide range of content to our users."

More on content in a moment. But the key advancement in internet TV is that, while it uses P2P, most of it is legal. Of course, that's not everything. Football fans worldwide are tuning into P2P streams of football action that they wouldn't otherwise be able to see because of rights issues.

"We're seeing the legitimisation of internet TV," says Andrew Wilding, European MD of Vividas . He says the medium will grow "massively over the next two years".

The company works to broadcast video over the web using its own platform agnostic yet proprietary format. "It's legitimising the Peer-to-Peer experience," says Wilding. Sites such as Joost are taking the traditional P2P model and creating an ad-funded model. "It's exactly what consumers are looking for."

Wilding thinks on-demand internet TV services will appeal to "tech savvy 20-year-olds" who have previously downloaded episodes of shows illegally. They'll turn legit, even if they have to pay for it.

Ranjan is dismissive of the idea of internet TV as 'free' - especially in terms of the BBC, for which we all pay the licence fee. "From the research we've done, we see it being an ad-supported model. We see it following the same pattern as broadcast TV, it's just the medium that's different."

But internet TV will provide ways for broadcasters to monetise otherwise stagnant content. It "offers media companies great flexibility and economy," says Simon Drinkwater, rector of sales and business development for Entriq.

Internet TV equals ads?

Entriq is a pay media specialist which "commercialises content" to provide broadband TV offerings from Channels 4 and 5 as well as BT Vision. Entriq also provides video footage for online services such as MTV , UEFA and the International Olympic Committee .

"How do they [broadcasters] replace the disappearing revenue stream? Well, the answer is get more ad revenue online and explore paid media for catch-up services."

"The time is right from the consumer's perspective," says Drinkwater. "And rightly, things are starting with the PC."

In part two of this feature, we'll be looking at the benefit of broadband TV for consumers, why content is still king and how the infrastructure of the internet could cause problems for new services.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.