IPTV Era Begins in Korea
Korea launched commercial services of Internet Protocol Television or IPTV starting on the first day of the new year Thursday.
Viewers are now able to watch programs transmitted through broadband computer networks and a set-top box, instead of using traditional TV antennas, cable boxes and satellite dishes.
IPTV services enable viewers to choose from a vast range of TV programs, movies and other content and watch them whenever they want to. Interactive communication is also possible because of the Internet connection.
What was considered the final obstacle before the launch was cleared in December, with the last of the country's three major networks agreeing to share content in real-time.
Until then IPTV service providers such as SK Broadband, a unit of Korea's top mobile service provider, had to offer programs at least a day old for viewer selection, which took away a lot of the incentive to signing on to IPTV.
Viewers in Korea are able to choose from three different IPTV service providers -- SK, LG, and former state-run telecoms company KT -- all offering ultra-fast, broadband Internet connections.
Fees will range between US$10 and 15 a month.