A major milestone for providing global IPTV has been reached with the approval of a new ITU standard, giving requirements for the support of IPTV services.
Experts say that standards are essential for the rollout of global IPTV services. While we have already seen a first generation of IPTV services, a second generation may see a change in regulation or market demand that will require interoperation between service and/or network providers. A potential outcome of this will be that a customer can go into a shop, buy an IPTV box, call their network operator and sign-up, and then access services from a range of third party service providers. It is to meet needs such as this the value of ITU’s work on standardization will be realised.
IPTV, defined by ITU-T as “multimedia services such as television/video/ audio/text/graphics/data delivered over IP-based networks managed to support the required level of quality of service (QoS)/quality of experience (QoE), security, interactivity and reliability”, is one of the most significant business cases and drivers for the deployment of next generation networks (NGN).
The standard, Recommendation ITU-T Y.1901, specifies high level requirements for the support of IPTV services, including requirements concerning service offering, QoS/QoE, service and content protection, middleware, content, network and end system aspects. Y.1901 and previously approved Recommendation ITU-T Y.1910, “IPTV functional architecture”, plus various other IPTV related ITU-T Recommendations, constitute an initial set of IPTV standards enabling equipment vendors, including consumer electronics suppliers, to roll-out standardized IPTV products. Deployment of ITU-T compliant products will enable service providers to offer value added services like traditional (linear) TV, video on demand (VoD) and interactive TV over IP-based managed networks such as NGN.
Y.1901 has been developed with a truly international effort at ITU-T IPTV-GSI (IPTV Global Standards Initiative) events, with the active participation of administrations, service providers and equipment vendors from a large number of countries, including, but not limited to Canada, China, France, Japan, Korea, United Kingdom and United States.
ITU-T standardization activities related to IPTV continue in various ITU-T Study Groups, in cooperation with relevant standard developing organizations, forums and consortia, including ATIS IPTV Interoperability Forum, ETSI TISPAN, Broadband Forum, Digital Video Broadcasting project and Home Gateway Initiative.
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