I have spent much time thinking about IPTV these past few month's. It seems just about all of my clients have been asking some very interesting questions about IPTV and sent me out on a quest to gather all the relevant info. This is good timing to be doing some forward thinking thought around IPTV because a lot of people still don't really understand what it is or what the value will be. I myself had been digging for a series of features that would actually draw me away from cable and over to IPTV. We are still a ways out from a pure IPTV solution. Even the mild offerings we will see from AT&T and others are light on the IPTV side and heavy on the Satellite side. So as I have been watching TV lately I have been asking myself, if I this were IPTV what would be different. I came up with a lot of answers, which I will outline in a later post. One of the differences that I am particularly excited about is around sports. I am a pretty big sports fan and like to know as much about what is happening in the sporting world as possible. I am also a big fantasy sports player and like to know precisely how my fantasy team is doing at that moment in time with real time updates. One of the things I think will be great around sports will be the ability to watch the sporting event but simultaneously be able to navigate sports news, fantasy updates and any number of things I am interested in while still watching the game of my choice. This is particularly interesting in the slower sports like baseball, which is my favorite, where this is a lot of dead time. To be able to get highlights, news updates, fantasy updates, scores updates and more would be terrific. As well as be able to quickly dig deeper on any bit of information you wish to know more about or even watch it. The beauty of these new set top boxes around Sat and IPTV is that just that is possible. So the scenario is, and this is just one of many, that I am watching the SF Giants game on my TV. My set top box is feeding me personalized sports info every little bit. Similar to the ESPN sports tracker that continually runs scores and updates but this info is personalized to me. I use the Internet to set up my preferences, which would include players on my fantasy teams and leagues. All of this info would be fed to me on my TV, because I want it to, and I would have the ability to dig into any info I want and even watch my fantasy player highlights. All while the game I was watching either paused or minimized if it was a commercial, etc. This level of interactivity deeply enhances my TV watching experience. As new models of TV viewing are rolled out by cable companies, Satco’s and Teleco’s we can not expect to see actually TV shows distributed through the Internet to replace Satellite and Cable any time soon but we can expect to have levels of interactivity and compelling information that is user specified to enhance our TV watching experience. They will use the Internet for what is was created for which is information and interactivity. These first rollouts will use the Internet more as a way to acquire content services like Movielink, MovieBeam or Cinema Now and enhance users experiences rather then actually distribute TV over the Internet. I actually think this is good and will clearly outline the benefits in ways consumers can understand and in the end leads to better competition.