TelcoTV coming to a screen near you‾

Vendor giant Ericsson's new IPTV middleware solution will make its US market première at TelcoTV 2008 this week in Anaheim, California.

The company also claims in a statement that the end-to-end solution is the first 'pre-integrated with IMS and also operates across traditional networks.'

The in-house development joins the existing pieces of Ericsson IPTV approach, including IPTV network infrastructure, video processing solutions and video-on-demand technologies - with interoperable third-party products from companies such as Accedo Broadband, Agama Technologies, Amino, HP, SecureMedia, Sun Microsystem, Tilgin, Verimatrix, and ZyXEL.

Ericsson's new middleware, which conforms to Open TV Forum specifications, will enable any-screen, any-network content consumption, and with IMS additionally will support presence, messaging/chat, extended parental control and other features.

Though IPTV deployments thus far mostly have proceeded outside of the IMS standards reach, Ericsson's IMS integration is not surprising, given that the vendor has been among few vendors over the last few years with an aim to have IPTV supported within IMS. That strategy is looking particularly valid after the recent Global MultiService Forum interoperability tests that looked to further the case for combining IPTV and IMS.

Meanwhile, Heavy Reading is due to announce new research results Wednesday afternoon at Light Reading-affiliated summit, so it's no surprise Light Reading is offering an early glimpse at what the HR survey says.

The agency's survey of about 200 consumers shows that low prices are still the best way for a telco TV service provider to beat the competition.

This information arrives as service providers and their vendor partners are falling all over themselves trying to figure out innovative TV applications that have been presumed to have the real power of competitive differentiation.

However, Light Reading notes that the curvey was conducted very recently during a time when macro-economic pains have been especially acute.

You have to wonder if different results might have occurred earlier this year, or perhaps some next year--unless we are all burning our TVs by then to heat our homes.

Telcos probably do not want to get into a bigger price war with cable TV operators, but they may need to read the writing on the wall and keep expectations for adoption of some new applications low while the pricing concerns play out.