I've just been reading that Alcatel Lucent have received an Emmy for their Cloud PVR (tmcnet.com). Its a nice idea and the logical extension of the home based PVR, or the SlingBox, and their concept of placeshifting (aka watch anywhere).
The slingbox and the Alu Cloud PVR share the same idea - watch linear TV as you like it, time shifted and from any location on any device. These two are not the only kids on the block Virgin are offering similar service with their TV Anywhere pitch.
So what's the point and what's the link with these services and 4G. Obvious really 4G (LTE and LTE-A) gives the means of distribution and the data rates to do it. The roll out of fibre to the kerb and the home around the world (it FTTC in the UK mostly) gives the uplink from the Home to use your STB to consume content anywhere, LTE to pull it down. Tablets have provided the device to consume the content on. The benefit of the Cloud PVR is of course - no need for the high speed up from your home. The downside from the carriers perspective is they still need sufficient tuners in the network (head-end) to be able to cope with all the simultaneous channels customers want to record.
So the big question that's been burning in my brain: Why do we need IPTV combined with IMS? (Ala TISPAN standards), my current thinking brings me to the conclusion - We don't.
The future of the cloud enabled telco is on everyones hot topics at the moment and I think I can see a "continental drift" scale change happening in network architecture design, the move from circuit switched to packet switched was the start - so called "cloud" architectures will now also impact heavily the way we design and build future networks and hybrid architectures that build the best of both the older telco design principles and the more "Internet" view of design (centralised vs. distributed compute intelligence) are evolving.