Understanding the New World of Television 'Broadcasting'
IPTV, short for Internet Protocol Television, is a new method of delivering and viewing television programming using an IP network and high speed broadband access technology. More than simply a new distribution and playback method, IPTV is poised to create an entirely new mindset about the television experience. Whereas current terrestrial broadcast television is the same content sent continuously to all consumers’ homes, IPTV removes the fixed television schedule. Similar to how information on the Internet can be downloaded and viewed at any time, IPTV enables television programming to be available whenever each individual consumer demands it. In this way, each household can create their own custom content and viewing schedule.
The general method for delivering IPTV will be a closed distribution network provided by a service provider or content aggregator. While IP stands for Internet Protocol, it does not actually mean the television content is streaming over the Internet. IP is simply the same protocol that enables Internet access. IPTV requires high speed broadband to the consumer’s premises and specialized equipment, typically referred to as a set top box, to decode the IPTV content to a TV signal that can be viewed on a normal Television. While set top boxes today are typically separate, stand alone units, in the future, they may be integrated into other devices such as the television, digital video recorder (DVR) or even a PC. The closed network enables the service provider to deliver video programming that approaches traditional broadcast quality and reliability, something which is not feasible over the open Internet.
Different distribution methods to the home are emerging. Cable companies are adapting their current cable infrastructure to support IPTV, while traditional wireline telephone companies are making new investments in fiber to offer this service. In order to compete with the satellite TV broadcasters and offer pay-per-view and digital TV, cable communications companies began upgrading their one-way analog systems to two-way digital systems in the 1990’s. Many already offer video on demand and some are upgrading their set top boxes to offer DVR capabilities. Cable head ends will be upgraded to contain media servers which will stream IPTV content to consumers’ homes as requested.
Telephone companies have a larger hurdle as current copper wiring is not upgradeable to support the bandwidths needed for IPTV. Two major projects in the US include AT&T’s Project Lightspeed and Verizon’s FiOS Internet and TV service. Verizon is basing its FiOS service on a major infrastructure rollout to the home. Called Fiber-To-The- Premises (FTTP), it brings fiber optic cabling all the way to the consumer or small business’ building. AT&T’s Project Lightspeed contrasts with Verizon’s by bringing fiber to the neighborhood and then delivering content over ADSL to the individual homes.
Other topics covered in this white paper include:
- Major trends driving development of IPTV market
- Large market opportunity for IPTV
- Complex challenges face those developing IPTV solutions
- Delivery of high quality video over narrow pipes
- Maintaining content security in a digital environment
- Enabling new applications without platform redesign
- Delivering a feature-rich, yet cost competitive product
- A powerful solution for IPTV Product Developers – DeCypher DHM8100 from Micronas
- All-in-one codec solution
- Powerful architecture for today and tomorrow’s DRM solutions
- Flexible platform enables varying deployment and application scenarios
To read the entire Micronas white paper, please visit www.micronasusa.com
or click here