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 Tuesday, 12 February 2013

For the second year running, ITU-standardized IPTV technologies have been deployed in an international IPTV experiment held in conjunction with the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan, 5-11 February 2013. The experiment ran over ITUís IPTV IPv6 Global Testbed and was successful in its ambitious attempt to employ ten software-defined networks (SDNs) simultaneously.

ITU headquarters in Geneva received high-definition IPTV content from the head-end server in Japan via a native end-to-end IPv6 connection, participating alongside broadcasters, government agencies, network operators, manufacturers and research institutes from Japan, Singapore and the Philippines.

IPTV services were used to live-stream scenes from Sapporo and to provide supporting Video on Demand (VoD) segments, accompanied by integrated social media tools and a remotely-provided captioning service. A particular achievement was the use of RISE, a next-generation Internet based on OpenFlow, to deliver IPTV content to Singapore where IPv4 and IPv6 were combined virtually (more on ITU and IPv6 here).

Core ITU standards underpinning the experiment included Recommendation ITU-T H.721ís IPTV terminal for Video on Demand (VoD) and Linear TV, and ITU-T H.762ís Lightweight Interactive Multimedia Environment (LIME) for interactive IPTV services.

Building on the success of similar events in 2012, Japanís National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Hokkaido Television Broadcasting (HTB) and OKI continue to provide the infrastructure underlying what has become known as ITUís IPTV IPv6 Global Testbed.

The experiment was organized by NICT and conducted over its IPv6 research network, Japan Gigabit Network-eXtreme (JGN-X). Other participating organizations included ASTEM, MediaEdge, NTT, NTT Communications, NTT Electronics and Sumitomo Electric Networks from Japan; the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) from Singapore; Ateneo de Manila University, Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) and the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST ICTO) from the Philippines; and Swisscom from Switzerland.

Such experiments Ė together with ITU IPTV Interoperability events Ė are important steps towards broadening the IPTV market through globally-interoperable services. Standardized IPTV will lead to a whole new market for innovation, and ITU standards will ensure this market remains open, competitive and accessible to all.

ITU-T Study Group 16 is producing the standards required to drive widespread adoption of IPTV. Global standards will lower the costs of these services for vendors and consumers, avoiding costly Ďformat warsí and enabling rollouts of the technology to a scale not achievable with proprietary solutions.

For more on ITU-Tís work on IPTV, please see ITUís IPTV Global Standards Initiative.

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