Friday, December 16, 2005

Izzi or Izzn't it IPTV??

I missed the Izzi dog and pony show with IPTV, but looking at the PowerPoint they sent me, it looks like it is their digital cable TV (same package, same price). So what is the story – IPTV is what I get when subscribe to this on top of their cable internet ( 1Mps for LVL 19.95 is not so bad, but then, LVL 4.00 plus LVL 1.50 for each packet of several programs plus the decoder to purchase or rent and it gets pricey). Izzi digital cable TV comes without the cable internet, or rather, the cable comes without the internet, but the product is the same.
So I don't really get this? Or does getting it matter? We are in the age of one plug in the wall, many services, no need to know (other than curiousity, bad for cats) where they come from and how they come. Everything is a feature of an always on digital pipe. Call it what you want.
With pretty pictures of a set-top decoder box in the Izzi PPS, it doesn't look like something you will be able to watch on a PC (or Mac, in my case). The Lattelekom IPTV deal, which looks like it will appear in Q1 2006, will be available on PCs first (and may not fully work on Macs, my inside sources tell me). They will go for the set top box sometime in Q3 2006, assuming there are no delays or additional f**kups.
It remains to be seen whether Izzi gets an unbeatable first mover advantage. Will it cannibalize its digital cable with IPTV? Not if the eaten and the eater are the same thing, as they appear to be. What I think the Izzi digital cable offering has going for it is that it is focussed and gives defined packages of programs, with the basic one going for LVL 4.00 a month (cheaper than Baltcom). Baltcom's digital selection is around 100 channels, including lots of weirdo stuff, Korean satellite TV, etc. And how many German channels showing dubbed American films with black policemen shouting "Hände hoch motherfucker" can you stand? As far as the ethnic Russian target audience, when you are paying around LVL 11 a month for those 100 channels, everyone will be fighting babushka to watch Eurosport or MTV (which I think has a Russian channel) instead of nostalgic Soviet movies.
It's gonna be a weird year...

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