Imagine a day when you would be in total control of creating your own TV channel lineup.
Instead of subscribing to a service from a cable, satellite or phone company that might offer you hundreds of channels you’ll never watch, you would be able to select what you want and watch it on your own schedule.
That day might not be so far away. Slowly but surely, content that’s broadcast over cable networks and through satellite providers is being distributed through the public Internet.
“Producers of content want as many forms of distribution as they can get to reach their audience,” said Vito Palermo, founder of a start-up called Portola Networks, which is in the early days of developing technology for content providers to manage the distribution of their content over the Web. “They would love to cut out the middlemen, but the economics must be compelling. Technology is an enabler, but there are a lot of other dynamics around consumer behavior and the business model that need to be in place first.”
Much of the infrastructure to provide broadcast quality video directly over the public Internet is now available. Companies, such as Kontiki and EdgeStream, have already developed software to secure content and ensure the quality of streaming video.