The Idiot Box and the Internet Collide at NAB

NAB2006— the world’s largest electronic media show– is underway today at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Besides the slots, the big hit of the day is IPTV. Communications Daily (subscription required; 30 day trial available) reports:

 IPTV and mobile TV are to this year’s NAB convention here as HDTV was a decade-plus ago. "You can’t walk on the [NAB show] floor without hitting your head on IPTV," said Sebastian Moeritz, pres. of the MPEG Industry Forum, which is working with the Internet Streaming Media Assn. (ISMA) and others on IPTV (Internet protocol TV) specifications and standards.

The U.S. market for mobile TV is "huge," said Michael Schueppert, pres. of Modeo, now running a mobile TV trial in Pittsburgh. He said initial data indicate at least 10% of U.S. cellphone users will add mobile TV capability the next 6-7 years. Schueppert said that could mean about 20 million U.S. mobile TV users, "substantially more" than today’s total of XM and Sirius users…..

 PC World also wheighs in on nascent industry of delivering content to IPTV:

WHEN STEVE JOBS announced last fall that iTunes fans could buy episodes of Lost and Desperate Housewives for $2 a pop, a market for portable TV shows emerged overnight. And services like MobiTV and Verizon’s Vcast let cell phone owners watch TV on the go.

If your eyes can handle TV shows playing on screens as small as an inch on the diagonal, MobiTV’s $10-a-month service (available in the United States on Cingular, Sprint, and a few regional carriers) streams content from CNN, MSNBC, and other stations to a supported handset.

Verizon’s $15-per-month Vcast lets you watch live TV, but only on phones that support Verizon’s high-speed EVDO wireless service–and only in markets that offer it. Cingular recently announced plans to offer 18 channels of video as part of its $20-a-month Media Net package. The service will include 3- to 5-minute clips from popular programs such as King of the Hill and That’s So Raven. 

We’d love to hear about cool things you’re seeing at NAB. Tell us what’s going on (besides losing the nest egg) in the comments below.