IPTV is real and in Korea for only $10 per month

Would you pay $10 per month to see an unlimited amount of any shows you missed…no recording necessary?  Say goodbye to the DVR say hello to the download.

Wake up America! While American media creators argue over how to do it, the Korean’s, Chinese, French , Spanish, Italians and Belgians are already reaping financial rewards.

US studios still severly limit what they will release to Pay Per View and broadcasters are holding their shows close "to their vest".  America has volumes of media product gathering dust on Hollywood’s shelves.  IPTV is an opportunity to monetize all this unused content.

In Korea, Hanaro Telecom, just announced that it had 500,000 customers paying for their IPTV service.  The way it works is subscribers can download any show they missed (with a slight delay from its original broadcast-usually less than 24 hours) through the Internet and then they watch it on their TV.  Customers can choose from over 20,000 programs, a figure that regularly grows as new shows are broadcast.  According to Hanaro, the average customer downloads about 160 hours per month and about 35% buy at least 1 pay per view program per month.

In Hong Kong, PCCW Ltd. has 800,000 subscribers to its IPTV service.

Why downloads and not streaming?  Hanaro didn’t want to wait for government regulations to change regarding streaming and also believed that a download service would be truly unique and different from competitors focused on streaming.

So what is America to do?

Why not create the download services here?  Studios and broadcast networks could create the "home server" which is licensed and authorized to receive all the programming you want overnight through the Internet.  When you want to watch a show some would be free with commercials and some would be Pay per view or you could purchase the film for unlimited use, just like a DVD.  Studios could simultaneously release a film to all home servers and set a fixed availabilty date.  First run films could carry a higher initial purchase cost while older films would be less.  Broadcasters could control how their shows are viewed (no elimination of commercials) and possibly also get viewership stats back through the Internet.

So, what is everyone waiting for?