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IPTV Background Papers

Are you not sure what IPTV is, it’s possibilities, opportunities, challenges? Here a series of introductions on a range of IPTV topics. We introduce the articles with a [brief description] followed by some quotes from the article. Feel free to add suggestions.

IPTV white papers from iptv-news

  • [Numerous nice background papers on a host of topics, a good place to start, but you’re spoilt for choice]

Overview article from Wired

  • [A good short introduction]
  • While traditional cable systems devote a slice of bandwidth for each channel and then cablecast them all out at once, IPTV uses a “switched video” architecture in which only the channel being watched at that moment is sent over the network, freeing up capacity for other features and more interactivity. “The real advantage is that it’s very bandwidth-efficient,” said Gary Arlen, president of Arlen Communications in Bethesda, Maryland. “It’s catering to the on-demand future, which is what TV will be.” Arlen said other interactive applications, such as multiplayer gaming through a set-top box, work “best in an IP network.” IPTV enables features such as multiple pictures-in-picture, remote programming of digital video recorders, and access to caller ID, digital photos or personalized stock, weather and sports information right on the TV screen. IP technology also can allow various devices in the home to work together more seamlessly.

Intro article

  • [Another short nice intro]
  • IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) is the new generation telecasting system whereby television services are delivered via the Internet Protocol route by means of a fast and reliable Internet connection. To put it simply, viewers can access TV channels on their computers using a broadband Internet connection. Transport streams are sent over IP networks from an outside source that is then drawn directly by users in much the same way as a telephone or Internet connection.

Thorough iptv white paper

  • [Very good, but book-length (224 pages!)]
  • IPTV/VoD: The Open 4th Platform  is an anthology of 20+ articles written between 2005-2008 by one of the media  industry’s most  irreverent and respected  leaders,  Alexander  Cameron.  Widely  published  all  over  the world and written in his trademarked easily-read cynical style, his insight into  the  future  of  television  has  been  cited  by  hundreds  of  CEOs  and business  leaders  as  a  seminal  reference  for  anyone  wanting  to understand the opportunities and problems of the brave new world.

IPTV growth

  • [With link to PDF article about the growth of the industry, from DSL forum (Oct 07)]
  • According to a new report (pdf) from the DSL forum, IPTV growth worldwide has jumped some 179% in the 12 months preceding June 30, 2007. While the United States still lags far behind Europe in IPTV growth, North American IPTV adoption is accelerating — thanks in part to AT&T’s deployment of U-Verse.

Telco strategies and overview

  • [Another good article on the growth scenarios and how telco’s should embark on these. From Aug 08]
  • Fear of become a mere bit-carrier is driving telcos’ long-term strategies today, and for that reason IPTV is on every roadmap – despite the fact that in the half-decade since the first launch, no carrier has turned a profit from it. There’s no shortage of optimism about the concept, either. At last month’s Broadband World Forum Asia conference, several keynotes and half a dozen panels were devoted to IPTV’s prospects.
  • Research firm IDC predicts IPTV subs in Asia (excluding Japan) will increase at CAGR of 45.4% over 2007-2012 to 25 million. Last year from 11 Asian markets just 3.92 million subs had been signed up, of which nearly a quarter were from Hong Kong’s PCCW.
  • Cisco forecasts that IPTV and cable video traffic, will dominate growth on network traffic in the coming year. It expects that between 2007 and 2012, consumer IPTV and CATV traffic will grow at a 68% CAGR, compared to 43% CAGR for consumer internet. Yet IPTV today offers more questions than answers.

Top 10 Myths of IPTV

  • [Good article on what IPTV is and isn’t, and how telco’s should focus. Aug 08]
  • IPTV subscriber numbers are growing steadily, but widespread uptake of services is yet to reach its full promise. As telcos, service providers and content and technology vendors prepare to gather in Amsterdam for one of the industry’s larger events, BitBand refutes some of the most prevalent myths that deter potential players from entering this booming market.

MSFT efforts and clients

  • [On Microsoft’s IPTV strategy Jun 07]
  • MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.-Microsoft thinks the TV is about ready for software. Granted, Microsoft has been thinking that for more than a decade. But there’s some reason to think that this time the folks from Redmond could be right.
  • Microsoft is trying to learn from its folly and not get too far ahead of where the business is. After initially touting all the amazing new features that IPTV would herald, Microsoft has actually gone to market with a product that looks and feels a lot like traditional cable or satellite. Longer-term, though, the company knows it needs to make sure it has something that makes its technology stand out.

But it’s software is still not cutting edge

  • [Another primer on Microsoft’s IPTV efforts and challenges June 07]
  • The promise behind Internet Protocol television, or IPTV, is enormous, but fulfilment of that promise sometimes seems a long way off. But cutting-edge features have been slow to emerge. For example, even a year into its launch cycle AT&T’s U-Verse service still looks a lot like what cable providers already offer.

IPTV fragmentation and Microsoft

  • [A little older article Oct 05 but still very useful]
  • Will Internet Protocol TV follow the path of other interactive-TV platforms, blazing onto the scene only to fizzle into a minor market that leaves pundits grasping for explanations?
  • Microsoft has spelled out what it expects of IPTV set-top silicon in terms of feature sets, integration level and mass-production deadlines. “Microsoft is predefining the whole user experience,” said Silvio Perich, senior vice president at digital media processing vendor Sigma Designs Inc. (Milpitas, Calif.).
  • Microsoft dictates IPTV chip design down to such details as the exact graphics features and video decoding processing capabilities. Microsoft-defined specs for IPTV chips include advanced features such as HD with picture-in-picture, higher security when connected to other devices, and mandatory support for Microsoft’s digital-rights management scheme, as well as support for the VC-1 superset of the Windows Media Video 9 codec.
  • Sigma Designs was the first chip vendor to offer what Perich called “healthy working silicon” that allowed Microsoft to port its client software. Other vendors are now falling in line.
  • WISchip International (Santa Clara), for example, last month announced a chip that supports Microsoft’s IPTV platform by handling high-definition AV decoding, multiple digital-rights management schemes and networking.

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