IPTV still a world of uncertainty, opportunity

The 2010 IPTV World Forum began in London earlier today with Informa Telecoms & Media analyst Simon Murray talking at the six-year-old conference about a technology and market movement that is at least six years old that yet still lacks definition (see link to the IPTV News post below).

It may not be so much a lack of definition as the possibility that the definition has continued to change. It has been a strange market evolution: Western Europe is still really the only mature regional market, while North America has been in the process of maturing for years, a prolonged puberty, with all the awkwardness that suggests. Meanwhile, the embryonic markets in Asia and Latin America could skip puberty and young adulthood altogether and quickly find the success, gravitas and sense of self-satisfaction most of us have to wait a half century to earn.

Technology-wise, it wasn't long ago that we started to agree that IPTV was not just its own movement, but an evolution affecting the traditional cable TV technology world as well. Now, another kind of "IPTV"--Internet TV and video--is again redefining the sector into a technology and service hybrid.

The uncertainty, instead of being a market-killer, can keep service providers and their partners on their toes. Success can't just be a result of growing market penetration and market share. The providers have to be willing to re-think their service portfolios, adjust their technology plans and respond to the tune of the market audience.

Here's a few bits of news coming out of IPTV World Forum thus far. Watch for more headlines over the next couple of days:

--IPTV News reports on the Day One keynotes.

--Alcatel-Lucent double-dips at IPTV World Forum and Wireless 2010 to talk about pushing TV to smartphones, according to PC World.

--ANT is showing its HbbTV platform, shortlisted for an award, and Managed Service Portal.

--Pace unveils an HD set-top box that brings PC games to HDTV, as reported by InteractiveTV Today.

--IPTV World Forum is all about hybrid set-top boxes, says Connected Planet.

--Advanced Digital Broadcast and Mariner Partners team up for IPTV service monitoring.

--CopperGate and Sigma Designs are demonstrating new IPTV set-top box chip solutions.

--Verimatrix announced that it has a deployment deal with DVB operator TelstraClear for its video content security system.

More to come...