IPTV has been around for years, and predictions that it will finally open the "walled garden" of cable and satellite-TV, eliminating their gatekeeper role over what the public does and doesn't see on TV have been around equally long. But now, in early 2007, the pieces finally appear to be in place to make this dream a reality for the mainstream.
This week's announcement that TiVo is teaming with Amazon to sell video-on-demand downloadable movies and TV programs is big. (see Amazon movie downloads via TiVo set top box). It's not a technical breakthrough, but it's a marketing and public acceptance watershed.
Combined with Apple's introduction of the Apple TV set top box, which will sell on-demand video from the iTunes store, 2007 appears to be shaping up as the year that IPTV finally offers real alternatives to the cable-TV/satellite-TV duopoly.