A number of regional telcos are learning first hand about the pain of moving to HD. As the satellite and cable operators aggressively ramp up their HD offerings--although a rocket failure has delayed both EchoStar and now DirecTV's rollout timetable--the regional IPTV players are under pressure to match the HD offerings. But according to Telephony a number of regional IPTV operators in Minnesota were facing delays getting a HD service rolled out because they don't have the middleware upgrade. They use a Nokia Siemens provider, Myrio, for their middle ware.
How much is a middleware problem and how much a deployment and cost issue is hard to work out. To upgrade to HD requires a more sophisticated set top box with a bigger hard drive for the DVR and it is this upgrade cost which the smaller players are also struggling with. Myrio did not respond to our questions, but the marketing manager was quoted saying the carriers were learning just how complex IPTV was--a patronizing quote sure to endear the operators even more to the European software provider.
Over the winter there has been a sharp increase in the number of HD channels being offered by all providers, although in some cases it is still a pseudo HD rather than the real thing. This is especially so with some of the cable operators. Also contentious has been limitations on the U-verse service which currently allows for only one HD service to enter the home at any one time.
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