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 Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Geneva, 26 July 2010 - Industry sent out a strong message of support for ITU standards for Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) at an event held at ITU headquarters last week. Gathered in Geneva for the first of a new series of ‘ITU Interop’ events, IPTV manufacturers took part in a set of tests to demonstrate seamless global interoperability between their various IPTV devices, which have been manufactured to comply with ITU-developed standards, known as Recommendations.

ITU has been busy pioneering a raft of new standards for the technology, which is set to transform global viewing habits in coming years. Experts agreed that stable global standards will be key to take-up of IPTV, avoiding costly and confusing ‘format wars’ and reduced choice for consumers.

IPTV will deliver all the advantages of traditional ‘linear’ TV in terms of service quality, combined with the many advantages the Internet offers in terms of choice and interactivity. It should not be confused with web streaming, because images are not delivered over the Internet, but rather to homes through a ‘managed network’. That means TV programmes do not have to vie with other traffic on an increasingly busy World Wide Web, which could negatively impact the viewing experience.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau: “Proprietary solutions may offer fast deployment in the short term, but in the medium and longer term buyers will be subject to vendor lock-in, with the risk of costly upgrades and reduced content and hardware choice. Industry consortia-based 'standards' are mostly region-specific with little or no implementation. This event proves that ITU global standards are ready to go, and in fact are already being implemented.”

Many companies are now selling TV and set-top box products based on ITU-T’s IPTV Terminal Standard ITU-T H.721, with products already available in countries including Brazil, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, France, and elsewhere. In China and Japan, services based on ITU IPTV standards are deployed and boast several million subscribers. A test service is being conducted in Singapore, and there is interest in setting up test beds in India and Canada.

Speaking at the event, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré said: “ITU IPTV standards are the result of detailed international discussions which have included many developing countries. These talks take into account various aspects of technologies, including IPRs, maturity, stability and market adoption, leading to standards that provide for high quality and low cost. Since ITU IPTV standards are based on mature technologies, decided by consensus, interoperability is easier to achieve among different vendors.”

David Wood, European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Head of New Technology: “IPTV has been around for some time but it hasn’t been the success that people hoped. The principal reason is that there have been a lot of IPTVs − which means you don’t have the benefits of a large market and the benefits of open markets and competition. What we have now is a common standard which everyone can build equipment to, and this should really make IPTV much more successful in the future.”

Further IPTV ITU Interop events are planned for Singapore, 23-24 and 27 September, and Pune, India 14-17 December 2010.

Photos are available at: www.flickr.com/photos/itupictures/sets/72157624558743282/.

Video footage of the event is available at: www.eurovision.net/wf/detail.php?item=501636 (raw footage for Eurovision members) and YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dg8maOi9sY (event highlights)

ITU-T IPTV newsfeed: www.itu.int/ITU-T/newslog/CategoryView,category,IPTV.aspx

For more information please contact:

Sarah Parkes                                                                          
Senior Media Relations Officer
ITU
Tel: +41 22 730 6135
Mobile: +41 79 599 1439
E-mail: mailto: pressinfo@itu.int                                                                             

Toby Johnson
Senior Communications Officer
ITU
Tel: +41 22 730 5877
Mobile: +41 79 249 4868
E-mail: mailto: toby.johnson@itu.int

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010 6:57:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 06, 2010
The H.264 Advanced Video Compression Standard is the title of a new book detailing ITU-T’s widely adopted, and Primetime Emmy award winning H.264 video codec.

ITU-T H.264 is fundamental to a growing range of markets such as high definition broadcasting, internet video sharing, mobile video and digital surveillance.

Author - Iain E. Richardson - explains some of the details of the book in this webcast (registration necessary) - http://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/21438.

The H.264 Advanced Video Compression Standard reflects the growing importance and implementation of H.264 video technology. Offering a detailed overview of the system, it explains the syntax, tools and features of H.264 and equips readers with practical advice on how to get the most out of the standard.

It provides:
•    Examples and illustrations to explain H.264 technology in an accessible and practical way.
•    Basic video coding concepts, video formats and visual quality.
•    Details on how to measure and optimise the performance of H.264 and how to balance bitrate, computation and video quality.
•    Analysis of recent work on scalable and multi-view versions of H.264, case studies of H.264 codecs and new technological developments such as the popular High Profile extensions.

"[This book] unravels the mysteries behind the latest H.264 standard and delves deeper into each of the operations in the codec. The reader can implement (simulate, design, evaluate, optimize) the codec with all profiles and levels. The book ends with extensions and directions (such as SVC and MVC) for further research."  Professor K. R. Rao, The University of Texas at Arlington, co-inventor of the Discrete Cosine Transform.

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010 1:05:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 05, 2010
The call for papers for this year’s ITU-T Kaleidoscope conference has closed with 115 papers submitted. The review process of the papers is now underway with the 128 members of the Technical Programme Committee due to inform authors of accepted papers by 30 July.
 
65 per cent of submitted papers relate to Track 1: Technology and architecture evolution. 42 per cent come from India, with the majority of other papers submitted from Colombia, USA, Italy, Japan, Brazil and Germany. 78 per cent of the authors are from academic institutions with the remainder from the private sector.
 
The 2010 ITU-T Kaleidoscope academic conference: Beyond the Internet? − Innovations for future networks and services, is the third in a series of peer reviewed academic conferences that aim at increasing the dialogue between academia, research organizations and experts working on the standardization of telecommunications and ICTs. Technically co-sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society, the event will take place at the Sinhgad Technical Education Society, Narhe Campus, Pune, India, 13 – 15 December 2010. Accepted papers will be made available through the IEEE Xplore repository of academic papers. A prize fund totaling $10,000 will be awarded to the three best papers. Young Author Recognition certificates will also be issued.
 
Beyond the Internet? − Innovations for future networks and services will highlight multidisciplinary aspects of future Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) including future services and applications as well as social and economic impacts. The focus is on innovative technologies and on examining the fundamental networking design principles of the Internet.
 
In addition to an exhibition by local universities, keynote speakers and invited papers, ITU Kaleidoscope 2010 will host Standards Corner, a series of standardization tutorials, and Jules Verne’s corner, a special space for science fiction writers and dreamers.

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Monday, July 05, 2010 3:43:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 21, 2010

ITU has agreed on updates to its widely deployed optical transport network (OTN) standards, including ITU-T G.709. The revisions provide mapping of a recently launched next generation high-rate Ethernet standard from IEEE into the OTN.

Collaboration between ITU-T Study Group 15 and the IEEE P802.3ba 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s Ethernet Task Force ensured that these new Ethernet rates are transportable over optical transport networks.

Malcolm Johnson, Director, ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau:  “Ethernet has evolved from the local area network of choice to become a real carrier grade solution. Co-hosted meetings and workshops, and a recognition that close collaboration was mutually beneficial, has led IEEE and ITU to agree a common mapping between the IEEE P802.3ba 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s standard and the ITU-T G.709 optical network standard. I have no doubt that the scalability provided by this excellent example of standards collaboration will see an acceleration in end-to-end Ethernet deployment.”

ITU-T Recommendation G.709 “Interfaces for the Optical Transport Network (OTN)” describes a means of communicating data over an optical network. It is a standardized method for transparent transport of services over optical wavelengths in dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) systems.

Operators are facing challenges with the migration from traditional SDH/SONET to IP/Ethernet based services. ITU-T G.709 OTN is a vehicle to enable convergence, and for providing a common and SONET/SDH-like operational model for network administration, performance monitoring and fault isolation, without altering the individual services.

Using OTN, multiple networks and services such as legacy SONET/SDH, Ethernet, storage protocols and video can all be combined onto a common infrastructure.

Most importantly, unlike SONET/SDH, OTN is the only transport layer in the industry that can carry a full 10/40/100 Gb/s Ethernet signal from IP/Ethernet switches and routers at full bandwidth. With the rapid migration towards IP/Ethernet-based infrastructure, OTN becomes the transport layer of choice for network operators.

Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading: “Heavy Reading network operator surveys have consistently shown strong and immediate operator demand for 100 Gigabit Ethernet, driven by the rapid increase in global IP traffic and exhaustion of existing 10 Gigabit networks. The collaboration by these two standards bodies, and the resulting standard, is exactly what the telecom industry needs to bring the next generation of Ethernet transmission to market. Heavy Reading fully expects this announcement to drive rapid market adoption.”

The amendment to ITU-T G.709 is part of a set of revisions that provide for interworking with the new Ethernet standard. Equipment functions that perform the mapping are part of revised ITU-T G.798, equipment management functions are part of revised ITU-T G.874, and the jitter characteristics of this (and other) mapping(s) are in revised ITU-T G.8251.

A paper that outlines more technical detail related to this announceent can be found below.

John D’Ambrosia, Chair, IEEE P802.3ba Task Force Director: “Developing the next generation of Ethernet required consideration of the entire eco-system in which it resides.  Communications between the IEEE and ITU-T addressed the issues that would impact the end-to-end Ethernet deployment.  This interaction led to the two bodies developing standards that complement each other in order to ensure the optimal solution for 40GbE and 100GbE.  I would like to express my gratitude to the ITU-T for its co-operative efforts with the IEEE P802.3ba Task Force.  Furthermore, I would like to congratulate the ITU-T on the completion of its G.709 specification, which is part of the optimized 40GbE and 100GbE end-to-end solution.”

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G709publicityv2.doc (32 KB)
Monday, June 21, 2010 8:56:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 15, 2010
ITU together World Standards Cooperation (WSC) partners ISO and IEC will hold its first-ever Academic Week 5-9 July 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland. The event is intended to raise awareness of the importance of including standardization in programmes of higher education because of its roles in facilitating access to world markets, transferring technology and promoting good business practice and sustainable development.

A knowledge of standardization and the benefits it can bring to business, government and society as a whole is increasingly being seen as part of the essential "baggage" of future managers in both public and private sectors.

An impressive list of speakers from academia, industry and national and international standards bodies will provide insight on these matters and stimulate discussions, with a view to promote the dialogue and to foster cooperation between academic institutions and the International Standards community.

The WSC is the strategic coordination entity of the world's leading standardization organizations – the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The three partners recognize the fundamental contribution that educational institutions can make in teaching the value of international standardization, appreciate how the work of academia on the cutting edge of research and technology can benefit the development of standards and are keen to support these institutions in their efforts.

The annual workshop of the International Cooperation on Education about Standardization (ICES) – a network of individuals and organizations interested in education about standardization – will also take place during the week.

The event is being held at the International Conference Centre, Geneva, and programme comprises:
5-6 July, ICES workshop
7 July, Recognizing academic excellence
8 July, Cooperation between international standardization organizations and academic institutions (including participation by the Rector of the University of Geneva and representatives of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the University of Lausanne)
9 July, Economic and social benefits of standards.

For further information, including full programme and registration form: www.iso.org/wscacademicweek

Follow the event on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/IECStandards
www.twitter.com/isostandards
www.twitter.com/itu_news

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010 6:28:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU’s first interoperability event on IPTV will be held at ITU headquarters, Geneva, 20 to 23 July 2010. Testing will take place 20 and 21 July, with vendors showcasing interoperability to potential customers 22 and 23 July.  The event will demonstrate the state of maturity and industry adoption of ITU-T standards for IPTV, for example: H.701 (error-recovery), H.721 (IPTV terminal), H.740 (audience measurement), H.750 (metadata), H.761 (ginga-NCL), H.762 (lightweight interactive multimedia), H.770 (service discovery). Many companies - manufacturers of set top boxes, content servers and other equipment - have expressed interest in testing and showcasing their products, including from Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the United States. To register, go to: itu.int/interop.

IPTV is a major business opportunity for telcos, content providers and existing broadcasters. ITU-T’s IPTV standards are being incorporated in product offerings from vendors and service providers around the world. The standards cover a wide range of topics including interactive services, content location, terminal specifications, metadata and QoS.  Companies from Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, France, and elsewhere have implemented ITU-T's IPTV standards and sell in the open market as TV and set top box products. In China and Japan, ITU-T IPTV is already deployed with several million subscribers. A test service is being conducted in Singapore, and there is interest in having test beds in India and Canada.

ITU-T interoperability events on IPTV seek to address issues of conformance and interoperability.  ITU’s IPTV standards – developed under ITU’s IPTV Global Standards Initiative (IPTV-GSI)  - take into account various aspects of technologies, including IPR, maturity, stability and market adoption. Since ITU-T IPTV is based on mature technologies, decided by consensus, interoperability is easy among different vendors. ITU-T standards include many new features modeled on web technologies, and thus provide the rich interactivity and usability which has become a characteristic of today's ICT service.  

Future IPTV Interop Events are planned for Singapore in September and India in December.  Future Interop events may include: Home Networking; VDSL2 and GPON (Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network).

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010 10:30:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |