Is Internet-delivered TV and video content (IPTV) emerging as a threat to traditional pay-TV? In truth, IPTV, in the form that has matured over the past decade, has simply become another type of pay-TV.

Like cable and direct-to-home satellite TV before it, IPTV involves the delivery of high-quality video content to a captive consumer device over a managed network, except that some or all of the content is delivered using broadband Internet Protocol access. The fact is that IPTV, as a set of technologies, represents both a threat and an opportunity for all legacy pay-TV operators, regardless of whether they are cable operators, satellite providers, ISPs or even telcos that offer the TV portion of triple plays by reselling satellite services, according to Research and Markets (

In a new study the research group find that the services we currently call pay-TV and Internet TV (or, more accurately, Internet-delivered video) will grow to resemble one another more and more, as viable business models emerge and mature, and as content owners become comfortable that the technical obstacles constraining video quality, multi-device delivery and antipiracy security continue to fall away.

Consumer devices that have traditionally had distinct single purposes such as TVs, mobile phones, computers, disc Players and game consoles are becoming Internet-enabled, multifunctional and are evolving toward similar video functionality. Despite growing similarity, some differences between pay-TV and Internet TV will remain, says Research and Markets. Some features and use cases do not translate from one device environment to another.

— Dennis Sellers