The days of standing on a slippery tile roof trying in vain to get a UHF antenna to angle into the wind of a summer thunderstorm while someone shouts from a windows below “better… no, worse… better!” could at long last be at an end — and not because of digital TV.
No, the era of broadcasting via an ultra high frequency radio transmission could soon be over, and indeed the whole concept of ‘broadcasting’ is being completely remodelled… by the internet.
Anyone with a decent ADSL2+ plan will probably have been offered IPTV as part of their package. And the ABC’s iView offering has been promoted at length via the national broadcaster’s traditional channels.
IPTV is, as the acronym suggests, like VOIP, except for TV. The Internet Protocol (or sometimes more generally known as the Information Protocol) is a standardised method of transmitting data via the net. It makes no distinction between a web page, a text document, an audio conversation or a streaming video file.
This means the internet, using IP, can carry your favourite TV channels, in anything from massively compressed, YouTube style snippets to full 1080i (or indeed 1080p) high definition.
What’s more, because IPTV gets to your display via a PC, it can benefit from all the clever tricks a PC can do. EPGs are pretty basic for IPTV — the real benefit here is content on demand.
Watch Gadget Guy’s latest segment when you want, not when the network wants. Re-watch last week’s episode of your favourite drama whenever you feel like it.