Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, in a New York Times interview advocates "Net neutrality", or limiting Internet service providers' control over information, and talks about the future of Internet TV.
"We expect to see, very importantly, television streaming over the Internet, which is going to make a very exciting market in television content and maybe entertainment, maybe educational ideas," says.
Wi-Max network could offer nationwide web TV and movies on phone
Consider this scenario: a broadband wireless nationwide service based on Wi-Max, a more powerful relative of Wi-Fi technology and much cheaper to build and maintain than traditional networks. Clearwire, a Wi-Max service founded by cellular pioneer Craig McCaw and backed by Intel and Motorola, is working on creating that infrastructure.
Clearwire could eventually offer in the future cutting-edge services such as Web-based TV, movies on phone, and VOIP calls. Clearly already offers basic Wi-Max broadband service in Brussels, Dublin, and 27 U.S. metropolitan markets. Its network, operated on a licensed spectrum, has 100,000 subscribers. Challenging Clearwire is Sprint, which expects to spend as much as $3 billion in next two years.
IPTV, still in its infancy, will shake up both television and the web
According to a new report by research firm eMarketer, "the combination of high-quality video content (both user-generated and professionally professionally produced) with the search and retrieve capability of the Web has the potential to radically disrupt the existing TV model."
eMarketer estimates that the number of IPTV-capable households worldwide will climb to 139 million in 2010, up from just 14 million last year. In the U.S., IPTV subscribers numbered just 300,000 last year; by 2010 it is predicted to increase to 8.7 million. Internet Protocol TV is still in its infancy, but has the potential to shake up both television and the web.
Most of the users prefer watch sponsored but free video clips
71% of U.S. Internet video users prefer to watch and download free clips sponsored by pre-roll advertising, while only 23% said they would prefer to pay for ad-free content. This is according to a poll by the AP and AOL. The poll also reports that:
Users prefer shorter videos
20% of those surveyed had downloaded or watched a movie or TV show
54% of U.S. Internet users consume video online
32% of respondents say they watch more video online than they did a year ago
80% say their TV viewing habits remain unchanged
The top video categories were News, at 72 %, and TV or movie clips, at 59 %. "Video usage is growing faster than most predicted. As more and more Web users adopt broadband, demand for online video of all types, including news, music videos and concerts, TV and movies, sports highlights, and user generated video mash-ups will continue to grow at a very fast pace," said AOL Kevin Conroy manager.
Cisco is jumping into an increasingly competitive world of streaming video
Cisco Systems wants to do for businesses what YouTube is doing for the masses. "A digital media explosion in under way, and business, frankly, is a little bit behind. Increasingly, consumers are driving new trends", say Martin De Beer, vice president of Cisco. To solve the gap, the company announced this week a digital media package to help corporations record, edit and send streaming video to their employees and others in a simple format.
Cisco's Digital Media System includes a Digital Media Encoder, Media Manager, and Video Portal. The solution won't be cheap. The price starts a $133,000. For Cisco System's the emphasis on multimedia is another step in a plan to revamp the company's traditional image as a maker of routers and switches into an all-purpose media and telecommunications network provider.
Al Gore's Current TV joins with Yahoo for a broadband channel
Yahoo has created a new online video programming venture with former Vice President Al Gore's Current TV, take a look. The service combines professional and user-generated video clips and has four channels. One section, called Current Buzz, features segments related to the news. The other channels cover travel, sports and cars.
Each channel have one professionally produced segment each day, and 8 to 10 segments made by users. Amateur videographers whose clips are chosen for the Internet receive $100, and if a clip is broadcasted on Current's television network, the maker receive between $500 and $1,000. Most clips are preceded by a 15 or 30 second commercial.
(To tell the truth, many people cannot plays those clips. Surprisingly, the platform is poorly implemented, and the user reviews are plenty of complaints)
Jajah.com disrupts Skype and others VOIP with a new phone calls service
Dear friends, I cannot hide my excitement after discovering and using Jajah.com, a free web phone calling system which can disrupt telecoms and even existing VOIP services such as Skype. Jajah.com (nice word in Spanish) hits the market with a new level of simplicity: no downloads, headsets or phone adapters.
They got $3 million in funding from Sequoia Capital in 2005, and now they have a million paying customers. For each customer, Jajah is making $10 monthly, and these fees subsidize the free calls. The secret? They have cut deals with many telecoms for access to cheap local last-mile connections, and the long-distance part of the call goes over the Internet.
To get it, you simply use your existing phone; you enter it on Jajah website, and then you enter your the number you wants to call, either local or international. Now you need to have Internet access, but Jajah plans to take the computer out of the call process.