The explosion of video on the Web has spawned notions that the Internet will one day dominate the distribution of TV content. Computer giants like Dell, Intel and Microsoft have worked on one TV platform after another only to see them become obsolete before they're adopted.
Hope persists that broadband networks will one day be the primary pipeline for video--Microsoft is supporting the peer-to-peer LiveStation initiative at Skinkers; News Corp. is adding video to MySpace, and working with NBC on a Web video project dubbed "NewCo."
Obstacles nonetheless remain. Bandwidth bottlenecks cause packet loss and produce stop-motion video. Copyright protection is far from being secure, much less standardized. Compression codecs abound, and download speeds vary wildly. When business types start talking timelines for broadband-delivered TV content, it's wise to check the eyebrow level of the engineers, as Rick Merritt does in IEEE Times.
- find Merritt's article, "Designers struggle to turn on Internet TV," here