Earlier tonight, I watched Conan O'Brien and Bill Gates deliver the keynote for the 2005 International Consumer Electronics Show that's going on in Las Vegas. Although there are a lot of cool device announcements and digital convergence themes that are worth watching, I was most impressed by the demo of IPTV (overview here). Lea Ann Champion, Senior Executive Vice President of IP Services for SBC Communications, gives a 10-minute demo of some exciting interactive TV features.
The IPTV technology allows up to four simultaneous video streams to every home (including HDTV), instant channel changing (unlike the 2-second delay of most digital video services), and DVR for every television in the house. There's also a picture-in-picture feature that allows you to browse live video of other channels while still watching your main program in the background—very cool. Le Ann demos the ability to watch multiple sporting events simultaneously and to choose your own camera angle. This last feature drew a lot of applause. Last, she shows how easy it is to program your DVR from a Cingular Wireless phone. All-in-all, it's a great indicator of things to come, and I can't wait to have these features on my TV.