FEATURE: IP Prime to go prime time

IP Prime to go prime time

Madeleine Forrer is unphased by IPTV naysayers.

"In 1994, if you would have said DBS would become as ubiquitous as cable, you would have been laughed out of the room," she said. "We believe IPTV will become the third great competitor.

Television delivered via closed network in an Internet Protocol format has variously been presumed to be "buggy, expensive or even impossible," she said.

Rural telcos, however, are making it work, and one NRTC member is leasing hi-def TV sets to its subscribers, she said. Others are among the first TV providers deploying MPEG-4 set-top boxes.

"IPTV is setting the tone for what can be done and viewers want to be done," e.g., bringing together localized content, video-on-demand and even online video, she said.

Forrer delivered the keynote address at IPTV Evolution in Los Angeles today, the opening day of ITExpo at the city's convention center. Forrer's perspective comes from spending more than two decades in the TV space, from launching channels on cable systems to acquiring programming for a set-top startup. She's now vice president of the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative located in Herndon, Va., where she secures programming deals for IP-Prime, a turnkey, MPEG-4, IPTV platform for small telcos.

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