ibnlive » Business

Sep 11, 2006 at 09:52am IST

Internet TV to be a reality in India

New Delhi: IPTV, or Internet Protocol Television is the next revolutionary offering in the digital television space.

While, other private players in India are still mulling on the idea, MTNL is already prepared to launch IPTV using broadband services in the next few months.

MTNL General Manager (Broadband Services) Peeyush Agrawal said, "We are looking to launch IPTV in the next few months, hopefully by October."

THE PIONEER: MTNL is already prepared to launch IPTV in the next few months.

MTNL will be tying up with IOL Broadband and two content vendors to provide the IPTV facilities. So now through a single MTNL cable one will be able to use the net, watch TV and make telephone calls.

Executive Director at MTNL (Mumbai), M S Rana said, "We have always aimed at being a total telecom service provider, and value added services is a new chapter. IPTV will be launched soon, through this one would get over 200 channels, along with video-on-demand, on the existing TV using a set-top box, on a monthly rental basis."

Users would just need a set-top box, which would be connected to the TV at one end and a broadband MTNL cable on the other end.

Since IPTV will be using broadband services, its quality is slated to be better than cable TV and DTH broadcast, says Agrawal.

In addition to providing the regular bouquet of channels, IPTV will also offer video-on-demand, VoD. This service allows a user to select and watch movies and videos of his/her choice.

The VoD service is also interactive and personal, so a user could stop, rewind or fast-forward a movie to one's liking.

MTNL informs that VoD will also allow one to watch film premiers and Hollywood films, which usually reach Indian television with a lag of nine-months.

Agarwal also believes that TV viewing on high-end mobiles would also become a reality through the IPTV technology.

Even though, users have options like cable TV and DTH presently, Agrawal feels IPTV's quality and interactivity will score over the other available options.

The IPTV sector is growing rapidly and major television broadcasters worldwide are transmitting their broadcast signal over the Internet.

IPTV has not come into India in a big way till now due to lower broadband penetration. However, with telecom players like MTNL set to change that, IPTV could soon be a reality of every household soon.