From the horse’s mouth
The IPTV concept has provided a lower cost of entry for television-content niches than ever before and is something I have stood for with this site and the home network. A good example of this is the latest effort by Garage Entertainment to run a movies-on-demand service that focuses on the sports action movies that a lot of men like.
These are offered for view across all devices on a pay-per-view business model or a monthly subscription business model with the subscription under AUD$6 per month. As for the content, they are working across films, clips / shorts and similar material for even as far back as 15 years ago and having these available on-demand. At the moment, people who own an Internet-enabled Sony BRAVIA TV or Blu-Ray player such as the BDP-S390 that I reviewed on HomeNetworking01.info will have direct access to this service through the device’s menu. As well, Garage Entertainment are intending to provide direct access to this service on other “Smart-TV” platforms.
What I see of this is that the idea of running a niche-content IPTV service is being lifted “off the ground” and exposed to most people. Some of us may scoff at this idea because it opens the path for poor-quality content but once these services know how to solicit the content properly, this reputation could disappear. On the other hand, filmmakers who focus on particular niches may find that these IPTV services may give their works an airing beyond the film festivals and similar events.
An example of this idea with the growing popularity of the foreign-language film and TV content which could benefit from country groups like Alliance Française running their own channels or content-on-demand services to have more of that particular country’s output even though one or more “art-house” channels run this content on TV. Similarly, a Christian bookshop like Koorong could run a similar channel or content-on-demand service focusing on the wholesome Christian movies even though they are able to sell it as a DVD or Blu-Ray disc. In both examples, these services could extend the offering not just to pay-per-view / rental or subscription models but provide the option to sell the content on the “download-to-own” model.
As for the smart-TV platforms, there needs to be the ability to discover the channels and sign up to the paid content from your armchair. In the same light, the channels could be promoted across public events and other media so people are aware that they exist.
Who knows how this kind of content availability could pan out as the bandwidth increases for Internet TV applications and the number of Smart TVs and similar video peripherals in circulation increases.