Over the last few years, video over broadband in its various forms has been associated with the hype around convergence. Content digitization, new Broadband technologies and the promise of ubiquitous broadband access triggered high expectations in the media and telecommunications industries. In spite of numerous lab and field trials (in Europe almost every telecom operator tested video over broadband) and impressive media industry consolidations, there have been no commercial launches of video over broadband services until very recently. Several factors can explain the gap between market expectations and the first deployment of video services, from business and legal challenges to technical challenges. Technology has been evolving since 1995. Set-top boxes and other video building blocks have started following a “Moore-like” law in terms of cost versus capacity driven by digitization and increasing use of IP and Ethernet. Interoperability between the video building blocks has also accelerated over recent years, resulting in more attractive return-on-investment (ROI) models. The media industry is now seriously considering broadband as another distribution channel. And with recent deployments of Ethernet- and IP-based technologies on the access and aggregation side, together with cost-effective optical transport, service providers are now seriously reconsidering the viability of video over broadband.

Video applications—especially a complex mix of broadcast and video on-demand (VoD), as well as the emergence of high-definition–drive the need for large amounts of asymmetrical bandwidth and increase the need for intelligent video service admission control and video component resource management.


The residential broadband market has changed beyond recognition since the introduction of ADSL Internet access in the late 1990s. With the accelerating commoditization of broadband through increased DSL penetration rates in the majority of European countries, telecom operators are struggling to reinvent themselves, to create market differentiation through innovation, and to find new ways of extracting value from their DSL infrastructure. In order to maintain profitability, many operators are moving from offering Internet access over DSL to delivering value-added services over DSL. Triple play services, which bundle voice, video, and data services over broadband, are being deployed as operators face the challenge of maintaining profitability and reducing customer churn in a commoditized market. In addition to communication and information services such as voice and data, many service providers are now looking to expand their share in the entertainment market as a way of increasing their penetration and maintaining average revenue per user (ARPU), and in turn profitability. In the face of fierce competition in Asia, the number of operators offering video over DSL services in its various forms (such as TV broadcast and on-demand services), is likely to increase over the next few quarters, either in a cooperation or “co-opetition” with content owners and media companies. The first deployments will probably be TV over DSL, where network operators will partner with a TV broadcaster. But in the longer term, operators will move into co-opetition mode and start adding their own content to existing services.


Until recently, bandwidth constraints have held back IP-TV’s progress. Currently, DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is used to deliver Internet services to most homes and businesses. DSL was originally intended for access to the Internet at faster speeds than traditional dial-up modems. DSL’s limitation on network and distance therefore makes it difficult to deliver consistent high-speed data, a necessity for IPTV. For instance, one would need to be in close proximity to a telephone company’s CO (central office) to be able to receive data at rates of at least 6/8 Megabits per second (Mbps). As it was only for Internet access, some DSL lines were designed to hold less than 2 to 3 Mbps. On DSL, data speed varies with distance; the farther you are from the central office, the lower the data rate. Most central offices use DSLAMs (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexers) to link customers to an ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) network, but as speed over DSL lines increase, loop lengths had to be reduced with DSLAMs being placed closer to the customer. As demand for bandwidth increased, new technologies such as Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) 2 and ADSL 2 Plus were introduced, but bandwidth has not been sufficient for IPTV. To give an example, a standard definition channel requires around 3.5 Mbps. to compete in the video delivery.


The impact that IPTV will have on the industry can be categorized into three areas:

Content – IPTV technology promises to make more content available, make it easier to access and make it portable (while maintaining security).

Convergence – The utilization of an IP network will allow single applications to be run over multiple end-user devices, all over a single service delivery network.

Interactivity – The two-way nature of the IP network will enable unprecedented interaction among subscribers, content providers and service providers. Since IPTV is enabled by the availability of network technology, the network architecture used to deploy IPTV is important. Content delivery requires bandwidth and performance, not only in the last mile (the access network), but also in the edge and core of the network and in the customer premises.

The IPTV service model, and its market advantages, is not a new concept. However, recent developments have enabled the delivery of IPTV service in an increasingly secure, scalable and cost-effective manner. These recent developments include:
> The proliferation of Gigabit Ethernet
> The ability of IP networks to offer higher security and QoS
> the development of high performance IP routers and Ethernet switches designed for IPTV networks the creation of advanced middleware applications that manage the delivery of video over the network.


An IPTV system is made up of four major elements; all are generic are common to any service provider’s infrastructure.

Figure 1 – IPTV Network Elements

This is a high-level overview and, in reality, many IPTV subsystems and vendor- specific architectures are required to make each incarnation of IPTV unique and of varying complexity. Figure 2 also illustrates the two-way nature of an IPTV network, which contributes to many of the advantages IPTV has over traditional television service delivery models. It should be noted that the IPTV network elements combine to form an architecture known as switched digital video (SDV): Switched digital video (SDV) – Referencing the network architecture of a television distribution system in which only the selected channel(s) are distributed to the individual connected household. This enables the service provider to have no theoretical maximum linear channel count. IPTV service providers will have different variants of the SDV architecture. This is another advantage to using IP multicast for the broadcast television streams. The most common protocol used for switching channels in a SDV environment is IGMP (IP Group Membership Protocol).
1. The Service Provider Core/Edge Network
The grouping of encoded video streams, representing the channel line up, is transported over the service provider’s IP network. Each of these networks is unique to the service provider and usually includes equipment from multiple vendors. These networks can be a mix of well-engineered existing IP networks and purpose-built IP networks for video transport.
At the network edge, the IP network connects to the access network.

2. The Access Network

The access network is the link from the service provider to the individual household. Sometimes referred to as “the last mile”, the broadband connection between the service provider and the household can be accomplished using a variety of technologies.
Telecom service providers are using DSL (digital subscriber line) technology to serve individual households. They also are beginning to use fiber technology like PON (passive optical networking) to reach homes. IPTV networks will use variants of asymmetrical DSL (ADSL) and very-high-speed DSL (VDSL) to provide the required bandwidth to run an IPTV service to the household. The service provider will place a device (like a DSL modem) at the customer premises to deliver an Ethernet connection to the home network.

3. The Home Network

The home network distributes the IPTV service throughout the home. There are many different types of home networks, but IPTV requires a very robust high bandwidth home network that can only be accomplished today using wire line technology. The end point in the home network, to which the television set is connected, is the set-top box (STB).

4. Middleware: The IPTV Enabler

The term IPTV middleware is used to describe the software packages associated with delivering an IPTV service. There are a variety of vendors in this space, each with their own unique approach to IPTV. The middleware selection by a service provider can impact the IPTV network architecture. The middleware is typically a client/server architecture where the client resides on the STB. The middleware controls the user experience and, because of this, it defines how the consumer interacts with the service.
For example, the user interface and services available to a consumer (such as the electronic program guide (EPG), VOD or pay per view service), are all made available and controlled through the middleware.
The ease of managing multiple services is a function of the two-way IP network. This IP architecture provides a standard for applications and services to be integrated into the network, and IPTV becomes just one of these applications. The differentiating factor in an IP service model is convergence.
Because of the common structure for applications and services, convergence can be realized for network elements, applications and operations/business support systems (OSS/BSS). Therefore, managing multiple services becomes a matter of managing the same services through the network and distributing them to multiple end-user environments.

5. IPTV Video on Demand (VoD)

Video on demand (VoD) services operate in a different manner than linear television service as the IPTV system provides the subscriber with a unicast stream of programming with VCR-like controls including pause, fast forward and rewind. The IPTV middleware controls the user interface and commercial experience/details of VOD and can also be extended to include services like subscription VOD and network based personal video recorder (PVR).
Streaming video has stringent minimum throughput requirements and does not tolerate network congestion well. To accomplish 5–nines IPTV service availability requires a radical departure from the design and dimensioning philosophies used for best effort HSI services and applications.

IPTV Service Availability = Network Availability*Bandwidth Availability

Simply put it means that even if the network is up 100 percent of the time but bandwidth capacity constraints exist that violate SLAs with a probability of 5 percent due to network congestions (e.g., over subscription or failure conditions), then the total service availability can never exceed 95 percent (i.e., 1 nine). However, to avoid congestion is not a simple matter of over-provisioning network bandwidth across the board. Besides inhibiting cost consequences, network bandwidth is shared with other “bandwidth hungry” services such as HSI and with many subscribers having different needs and expectations. The goal is a much more differentiated approach in managing resources to ensure that SLAs are honored based on individual service and subscriber needs. While bandwidth over-subscription for most HSI applications is allowed, voice and video applications require deterministic bandwidth and QoS guarantees or they’ll break. Video quality degradation ranging from frame skipping to a complete screen freeze and audio quality degradation ranging from distortion to complete loss of audio may then result. To address these issues requires a new, tightly controlled network foundation with built-in QoS, high availability and security mechanisms designed and dimensioned to support the non-stop delivery of a differentiated and changing mix of services with high resource demands. The design philosophy and approach taken must be flexible to accommodate service evolution while maintaining a cost-optimized solution over time. Cost optimization must be reached without compromising service quality and availability or the goal of an “always-on”, “way better” user experience. Proper network dimensioning is essential, but not sufficient. In summary, the following challenges need to be addressed to meet user expectations for IPTV:

> Design architecture with the inherent capability to support the scalability, reliability and QoS needs for broadcast TV and VoD while enabling to optimize service delivery cost and retaining the flexibility to adapt to a changing video service and traffic mix going forward
> Dimension and engineer network capacity, QoS and resource protection mechanisms to minimize congestion risk in the end-to-end service path under normal conditions
>Apply admission control mechanisms to protect network resources from overbooking should overload conditions occur in exceptional circumstances
> Verify that SLAs on service quality are being met and take corrective actions when needed A comprehensive approach to congestion avoidance is needed with both pro-active/preventive components and reactive/corrective components, complemented by a measurement and verification mechanism to ensure the continuing effectiveness and efficiency of congestion avoidance mechanisms in meeting the service quality and availability objectives going forward.
Triple Play Service Delivery Architecture (TPSDA) delivers IPTV and other triple play services with features to meet video service requirements in a cost-optimized manner.
The key components in the end-to-end video service delivery path are:

> Residential gateway (RG) and set-top box (STB) to deliver video and audio to the television set
> Broadband service access node (BSAN) in serving central office (CO) providing user access
> Broadband service aggregators (BSA) to aggregate subscriber traffic and distribute service traffic in metropolitan areas for multiple serving COs
> Broadband service routers (BSR) placed in the video head offices (VHO) to connect to the service backend infrastructure providing voice, video (super hub office) and Internet peering
> Underlying transport network to provide carrier-grade transport of high-bandwidth video
> BSNL TV/IPTV middleware and associated servers for acquiring and distributing video streams, including intermediate caching servers (D-servers, etc.)

Super Head End (SHE) –

The locations for acquisition and aggregation of national-level broadcast TV (or linear) programming. SHEs are also the central point of on-demand content insertion.

Video Hub Office (VHO) –

The video distribution points within a demographic market area (DMA) National content is received from each SHE. Local content is acquired and encoded. VOD servers and other application servers typically located in the VHOs. Insertion of local advertising is also performed in the VHO. IPTV services are provided from the VHO via the aggregation/access network.

Video Serving Office (VSO) –

Contains/hosts all access systems used to connect the CO’s (a VSO assumed to be a Central Office) to the subscribers. In addition, the VSO contains aggregation equipment to enable efficient and reliable interconnection to the VHO.

Residential Gateway (RG) –

Network node dedicated to a single subscriber / household providing traffic management and routing between the access network and the home network. The RG function may be integrated with the network termination. The RG is a trusted device and is managed from the network.

Core Network Segment –

A Service Provider’s IPTV Core Network interconnects a small number of SHE’s - potentially national in scope and application -- to a larger number of VHOs -- typically regional in scope and application. Current core IP backbone networks are likely to be leveraged since they are already in place to many candidate VHOs and should be able to readily handle the incremental bandwidth that is expected to be required.

Metro / Aggregation Segment

Access Segment

Home Network –
The Network Interface Device (NID) is considered the demarcation point between the WAN and the home network in copper-to-the-premises deployments, while the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) is considered the demarcation point between the WAN and the home network in fiber-to-the-premises deployments

IPTV/IP Video Traffic and the Queue

An IP network, at its basic core, is a series of packet queues (memory buffers) that ebb and fill to accommodate routing and aggregation of information packets as they are moved from point A to point B.
These queues are basically memory buffers that hold packets for a small amount of time while the path out of the router or switch is freed or cleared. Quality of Service (QoS) is the policies that dictate which packets are pulled from the queue and sent out of the device.
QoS is also responsible for the policing of which packets are deemed worthy enough to enter into the queue and if the queue is full, which packets get discarded.
Queues being just memory are finite resources and can easily fill under the right conditions. When a queue is full more sophisticated logic is used to prioritize which packets to kick out of the queue and which packets to let into the queue, this is also done by the QoS policies.


1.     IPTV Linear/Broadcast TV - the classic form of SDTV/HDTV offered by cable, terrestrial broadcasters and direct broadcast satellite providers. It provides an essentially continuous stream flowing from the content provider to the IPTV RECEIVING DEVICE. In the IPTV context this continuous stream is most commonly delivered via a one to many or multicast network. The following are various flavors of IPTV Linear TV with supplementary services:
1.1.                     Subtitles and captions
1.2.                     Multilanguage audio tracks
1.3.                     PPV (Pay Per View) - an offering of pay-television broadcasts to customers in a manner that they can buy a particular program event separately from any package or subscription. The program event is shown at the same time to everyone ordering it.
·        PPV Purchase can be done via:
·        A phone call to contact an automatic response unit (ARU) utilizing automatic number identification (ANI)
·        A phone call to customer service representative (CSR)
·        Filling and sending a form in an Internet web site
·        Filling and sending a form on an interactive TV e.g., on an electronic program guide, using the remote control.
·        PPV prices can be changed to meet demand or to encourage subscribers to order early.
·        PPV purchase time – PPV ordering can be done prior the program and in certain occasion after the program was already started, e.g., it is possible to order the program several days in advance, alternatively, in some cases it is made possible to watch the first few minutes of an event before ordering.
·        PPV report back - event purchases may be stored in the set-top box (or the proper server) until an event based (or time based) request for data is received and the data is accurately retrieved.
1.3.                     1.4.Digital Video Recording (DVR)
1.4.                     Linear broadcast with Trick mode functionality
1.5.                     Multi-room viewing – e.g., ability to stop viewing on TV in one room and resume viewing on TV in another room.
1.6.                     Linear broadcast with iTV
1.7.                     Linear broadcast with communication/messaging
1.8.                     Customer originated Video

2.     IPTV Video on Demand (VOD) - The Video on Demand service enables TV viewers to select TV videos from a central repository for viewing on a television at their desired time. VOD systems are either “streaming VOD” or "push VOD”:
·        Streaming VOD is VOD in which rendering on the display device/viewing can (simultaneously) start as (or at least overlaps with) the video distribution over the network
·        Push VOD is VOD in which the program is brought in its entirety to a set-top box before viewing starts (it can either be invoked by the viewer or by the operator without an explicit viewer request).
There maybe multiple independent unicast viewing sessions for a given piece of content.
There are a few variations of VoD which usually have to do with the method via which the VoD service is billed/charged to the consumer. These include Subscription
VoD (SVoD), Free VoD (FVoD) etc.
The following are various flavors of VOD with supplementary services:
2.1.               VOD with Subtitles and captions
2.2.               VOD with Multilanguage audio tracks
2.3.               VOD with Trick mode functionality.
2.3.               Multi-room viewing VOD
2.4.               VOD with iTV
2.5.               VOD with communication/messaging
2.6.               Customer originated VOD

3.     IPTV Audio services
3.1.   Dedicated radio/music channels (per genre of music)
3.2.   Audio/Music on Demand (MoD) – either streaming or pushed/download to play

4.     IPTV gaming

5.     IPTV Picture management

6.     IPTV directory service (local yellow pages)


1.     Subtitles and captions - captions on video are text located somewhere on the picture (covering a portion of the picture).
·        CLOSED captions versus OPEN captions – CLOSED captions are captions that are hidden in the video signal, invisible without a special decoder. OPEN captions are captions that have been decoded, so they have become an integral part of the television picture and thus cannot be turned off.
·        Translation of the dialog only versus translation of the full audio – Subtitles and captions are terms that are sometimes used as synonyms. However there are cases where the term subtitle is used in the context of hearing audiences while captions in the context of deaf audiences, e.g., subtitles may translate the dialog into a different language, but rarely show all of the audio (for example, captions show sound effects (e.g., "phone ringing" and "footsteps"), while subtitles don't).
·        International and Multilingual Captioning - Certain IPTV programs support International and Multilingual Captioning and allow selection of the desired language out of a list of supported languages.
·        Online versus offline captioning – Online captions can be done from a script,  or actually created in real-time (usually by human transcriber but there are also trials of using new speech recognition technologies to automatically convert speech into written text). Offline captioning is done "after the fact," in a studio. Examples of offline captioning include television game shows, videotapes of movies, and corporate videotapes (e.g., training videos). The text of the captions is created on a computer, and synchronized to the video using time-codes. They are then transferred to the videotape before it is broadcast or distributed

2.     Multilanguage audio tracks
3.     Trick mode functionality - a subset of VCR functionality such as: pause, play, rewind, fast forward, slow forward, slow rewind, jump to previous/future frame of the video, etc.
4.     Interactive TV (iTV) - allow viewers to interact with TV meta-content or to interact with the TV content itself, as they view:
·        Interaction with TV meta-content - getting more information about what is on the TV, whether sports, movies, news, or the like. Self ordering, e.g., pay the bills, getting more information about what is being advertised, along with the ability to buy it (TV-commerce).
·        Interaction with TV content - The program, itself, might change based on viewer input. Advanced forms, which still have uncertain prospect for becoming main stream, include dramas where viewers get to choose plot details and endings. Simpler forms, which are enjoying some success, include programs that directly incorporate polls, questions, comments, and other forms of (virtual) audience response back into the show.

5.     Customer originated video/audio – TV viewers are able to upload content they create, and make it available to any other viewer for viewing/listening, live or offline.
6.     Communication/Messaging – facilitation of convergence of classical Television services with telephony and internet based communication services.
7.     Interactive Program Guide (IPG) - IPG is a service facilitated by the middleware, which provides the viewers detailed information about the content available to them. A viewer interacts with the network through the IPTV Receiving Device to receive the information. This viewer interaction may trigger control transactions with the network.

8.  PiP (Picture in picture) – allows watching more than one TV program     
(channel) at the same time on the TV. One program is displayed on the entire TV screen, and another program or programs are displayed in individual smaller squares on the screen. For example PiP can be used for the purpose of watching a recording while using the secondary frame to show the viewer that desired broadcast programming is on, or vice

The MPEG-4 Part 10, H.264 or AVC (Advanced Video Coding) encoders have been designed to yield better picture quality, even at significantly lower bit rates. It is able to deliver up to 50% more compression efficiency when compared to MPEG-2, and it also helps ensure that picture quality is retained even at low bit rates like 2-3 Mbps. MPEG-4 Part 10 is one of the best solutions for widespread IPTV deployment. For operators, not only does it lower overall system cost, it also reduces infrastructure requirements. MPEG-4 Part 10 enables the transmission of DVD quality video over existing networks and nearly halves the bandwidth requirements for digital video delivery to around 2 Mbps. Crucially, MPEG-4 Part 10 gives Telecom operators the opportunity to broadcast HD (High Definition) over IPTV.
As satellite, cable and telecom operators vie for their share of the highly competitive market for entertainment video delivery; the ability to offer HDTV is a key competitive differentiator. Whilst HD has grown rapidly in the US, demand in Europe has been slower. However, as prices of ‘HD ready’ screens have steadily declined and the number of events being broadcast over HD has increased, operators in the region have turned there
Attention to delivering HDTV. For xDSL networks, providing HD will pose a challenge when providing more than one channel per home in addition to a
Simultaneous high-speed Internet connection, even when new technologies like ADSL2 Plus is used. Therefore, MPEG-4 Part 10 makes it possible to broadcast HD content over next generation DSL networks.

To compete effectively, telecom providers need to be able to deliver video content in constant bit rate streams and due to the thin access of DSL, MPEG-4 Part 10 encoding is ideal. Whilst one bit rate can be fixed for SD
Programming and another established for HD content, a single bit rate to meet customer expectations on all content is a significant challenge. Service providers will need to consider how a ‘one size fits all’ approach can supply programming at a quality that is acceptable. Video quality can be measured either by a viewer/observer who provides their opinion on video quality (subjective) or by using instrumentation with the use of automated mathematical algorithms (objective). However, establishing the exact video quality is easier said that done. Some providers may use the MPEG-2 bit rates employed today to deduce the MPEG 4 Part 10 equivalent quality. By using the 50% standard for MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 Part 10 compression efficiency, a model can be created to plan programmed delivery to a subscriber. This is a risky strategy as the 50% benchmark is only an average and MPEG-4 Part 10 is a completely new coding algorithm.
        This is not just an optimized version of MPEG-2 and therefore the percentage gain can vary by double digit points in either direction for different video streams. Therefore, as a new system, further characterization of MPEG-4 Part 10 encoding over a wider statistical sample of video programming is required to establish the ideal bit rate. As the technology fully develops, it will see gains in efficiency just as MPEG-2 did over the years. The new compression technologies will not make the telecom provider’s offering any more competitive as both Cable and Satellite operators will look to offer similar services using the same technology. Crucially, MPEG- 4 Part 10 will help the telecom provider compete on equal ground which no doubt will include increased HD content and data services.

Maximize Opportunity, Minimize Investment

         H.264 opens the door to new opportunities and reduces operating
         and deployment costs when compared to MPEG-2.
         There are several reasons:

• H.264 compresses video more efficiently, cutting transmission
   costs over satellite or terrestrial links.
• Density of services over existing DSL loops is high: two
   standard-quality video streams can be transmitted over a
   single 1.5 Mbps loop (Figure 4). Customers can watch (and
   telcos can bill for) two video-on-demand streams at the
   same time.
• More content can be transmitted on longer loops—to more
   customers—raising the TAM for IPTV (Figure 4). Where
   MPEG-2 could only reach customers in a 9,000 ft2 service
   area per CO, H.264/AVC video streams can reach customers
   in a 16,000 ft2 service area per CO.
• A larger service area can be reached without deploying
   costly remote amplifiers (Figure 5).
• MPEG-4 interactivity capabilities let telcos expand ARPU
   with value-added interactive services embedded in video
• H.264/AVC technology can be deployed on commercially
   available, industry-standard hardware instead of expensive
   proprietary or RISC-based systems, lowering acquisition
   costs and the costs of scaling technology to expand
• H.264/AVC is also part of the upcoming 3GPPv6 specifications.
   With the use of joint technologies, UDP or TCP/IP and
   H.264, there is a common ground for greater interaction
   between the home and mobile devices.

Maximizing the Entertaining Experience

It’s the entertainment experience that will differentiate IPTV from the services offered by satellite TV and CATV. Therefore operators looking to offer IPTV need to ensure that they implement an extremely reliable headed solution that is both flexible and powerful. It needs to be able to transmit a high number of channels with the best possible image quality coupled with the greatest bandwidth efficiency. The MPEG-4 Part 10 solutions should enable the operator to offer more channels and extend their service offering to more remote subscribers. Video on Demand (VoD) is another service that adds to the entertainment experience and has increased in popularity amongst viewers. The ability to request and receive content by simply ordering it using an onscreen menu has provided an additional revenue stream for operators. To help subscribers access all this information, the set-top plays a crucial role. It's the set-top that bridges the subscriber to the entertainment. For an IPTV set top solution to be most effective, there are a number of considerations operators need to bear in mind. It should offer flexibility and support a variety of advanced video compression technologies, such as MPEG-4 Part 10. It also needs to allow operators to take advantage of an open platform that supports popular middleware and operating systems. The set-top should also protect valuable content with CA (conditional access) and digital rights management. To support a wide range of consumer preferences, the latest range of IPTV set-tops from Scientific-
Atlanta will support advanced video services and offer SD, HD and SD/HD Digital Video Recorders (DVR). The entertainment experience that IPTV offers is outstanding. Whilst interactive television has been around for a few years, households with IPTV can change camera angles, access scores and statistics of one sporting event while watching another. A multimedia rich EPG (Electronic Programming Guide) will include in-depth information on each program whilst displaying the highlighted event on a mini screen at the bottom. Prior to requesting a movie over VoD, viewers can access additional information including the trailer or the making of the movie and rent it at a moment’s notice. Users can also send photos or home movies via PC to the TV, see caller ID on the TV screen, and Instant Message friends right across the country to join in watching a program. Another important consideration for operators is minimizing downtime. Whilst compression technology will help in the delivery of IPTV, with such a diverse range of services, it is critical to monitor the network. It is therefore paramount that operators use Network Management Systems (NMS) to maximize the entertainment experience for the user. A NMS helps to detect any faults instantaneously so essential repairs can be carried out before it grows in severity. To compete effectively in today’s video delivery market, experiencing service outages is something operators can ill afford. Therefore, to maintain an extremely efficient network, it’s important for the head end products to work together as a complete solution or to work in sync, as part of an integrated system, with third party middleware. An example of such a network is SBC Communication’s Project Light speed in the United States. Whilst the project is currently ongoing, it’s requires of the most advanced head end solutions presently being deployed.


Access Network: - The network infrastructure is used by the Access Provider to deliver IPTV services to the Consumer. The access network infrastructure (which may include the Internet) is used for the delivery of the content and may include quality of service management to ensure that appropriate network resources are available for the delivery of the content.

Actors: - Any Entity that can provide an interactive application.

Application: - Collection of assets and logic that together provide a Service to the User. Assets and logic may reside either in an application Server or in the ITF or both.
Back-in-time: -  Back-in-time TV: scheduled program events that are already running or finished are made available to the user for viewing and/or recording from the start or a certain time into the past. They are available similar to VoD including optional trick mode support (e.g. pause, fast-forward, rewind). In case the schedule program event is still running the play out cannot go beyond the actual program play out.
Selection is possible from the scheduled content program guide. The service might be available for one or more channels (e.g. for the selected channel in case of local storage, a fixed or selected channel list in case of network storage)

Channel: -  A single instance of Scheduled Content.

Consumer Network: - The local area network in which the IPTV Terminal
Function is located. Consumer networks include home networks, hot spots, hotel networks etc.

Content: - An instance of audio, video, audio-video information, or data.

Content Guide (CG) : - An on-screen guide to Scheduled Content and Content on Demand, allowing a User to navigate, select, and discover content by time, title, channel, genre, etc.

Content on Demand (CoD): - A Content on Demand service is a service where a user can select the individual content items they want to watch out of the list of available content. Consumption of the content is started on user request.

Content Protection: - Means to protect content from unauthorized usage, such as re-distribution, recording, playback, duplication etc.

Content Provider: - Entity that provides Content and associated usage rights to the IPTV Service Provider.

Deferred Download CoD: -  A type of Content on Demand where the user first selects the content and then it is downloaded to the ITF some time later (e.g. over night). Consumption is possible after the content is fully downloaded, or after enough content is downloaded to ensure that the remaining content can be downloaded while the user is consuming the content.

End User(s): - The individual(s) (e.g. members of the same family) who actually use the IPTV Services.

Enterprise Network: - A local area network provided under some agreement that can be utilized by the User to obtain connectivity, e.g. hotel networks.

Fixed Network: - Access Network for a fixed location, such as ADSL or FTTH.

Home Network: - Residential consumer network.

Hybrid Device: - Terminal devices able to connect to IPTV services delivered over the broadband access interface and also receive digital broadcast TV and radio services via other delivery networks.

Implementation-dependent application: - An application specific to a particular device implementing some or all of the IPTV Solution. For example, one compiled to native code for the processor and operating system used by the device.

Internet: - The Internet is the worldwide, publicly accessible network of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using the standard Internet Protocol (IP).

IPTV Service Platform Provider (SPP) : - Entity which, based on a contractual relationship want IPTV Service Providers, provides supporting functions for the delivery of IPTV Services, such as charging, access control and other functions which are not part of the IPTV Service, but required for managing its delivery.

IPTV Service Provider (SP) : - Entity that offers IPTV Services and which has a contractual relationship with the Subscriber.

IPTV Terminal Function (ITF) : - The functionality within the Consumer Network that is responsible for terminating the media and control for an IPTV Service.

Local Storage: - Content storage within the administrative realm of the IPTV Service Provider, but not in their physical environment (for example, local storage could be a partition of storage located in the home network and allocated to the Service Provider to pre-load CoD).

Network storage: - Content storage located in the physical environment or administrative realm of the IPTV Service Provider.

nPVR: - Provision of PVR functionality whereby the content is stored in the Service Provider domain. The nPVR allows a user to schedule recording of scheduled content programs. The user can later select the content they want to watch from the recorded content.

Pay per View: - The user is charged per selected and/or consumed content item. Can apply to both CoD and Scheduled Content Service.

Personal Content: - Content owned by the User. This includes video, music, and photography etc.

Personal Video Recorder (PVR) : - A device in the Home Network that records and plays back Content under the control of the User.
Portal: - A function of a Service Platform that provides an entry point to individual IPTV Services to Users via a GUI.

Program: - A segment of Scheduled Content with a defined beginning and end.

Public Access Network: - A network that can be used by the Consumer to obtain connectivity. Public access networks include hot spots, etc.

Push CoD: - A type of Content on Demand where the content is pre-loaded to the ITF local storage by the Service Provider. The user has no direct control of what content is downloaded; however the Service Provider may make the choice based on user preferences and habits. Content is available for direct consumption after the user selection is confirmed.

Scheduled Content: - An IPTV service where the play out schedule is fixed by an entity other than the User. The content is delivered to the user for immediate consumption.

Service: - Content and applications provided by Service Platform Providers and Service Providers.

Service Portability: - A given service/application being supported on multiple device types for a given IPTV subscriber.

Service Protection: - Means to protect IPTV Services from unauthorized usage/access, such as
• Access from unsubscribed consumers
• Access that is not covered by the subscription
• DOS attack

Session Portability: - Ability of a given service/application to be switched from one device to another for a continuation of a session in real time.

Subscriber: - The individual that makes the contract with a Service Provider for the consumption of certain services.

Subscriber Profile: - Subscription information associated with an account.
Time Shift: - Allows a user to halt a scheduled content service and continue watching this service later supporting pause and rewind. In time shift mode, trick play functionality (fast-forward, rewind, pause) is limited by the time shift window (i.e. cannot go further than the actual scheduled content play out, cannot go before the start of time shift).

Trick Mode: - Facility to allow the User to control the playback of Content, such as pause, fast and slow playback, reverse playback, instant access, replay, forward and reverse skipping.

User Profile: - Subscription information associated with a specific User, e.g. viewing preferences.

User Storage: - Storage capability which could be inside or outside the ITF and outside the physical and administrative control of the IPTV Service Provider.

Abbreviations Used :

ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line
API - Application Programming Interface
CAM - Conditional Access Module
CG - Content Guide
CPI - Content Provider Interface
DRM - Digital Rights Management
DVB-C - Digital Video Broadcasting Cable standard
DVB-S - Digital Video Broadcasting Satellite standard
DVB-T - Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial standard
EPG - Electronic Program Guide
FTTH - Fiber to the Home
GSM - Global System for Mobiles
GUI - Graphical User Interface
IPTV - Internet Protocol Television
IP - Internet Protocol
ITF - IPTV Terminal Function
NGN - Next Generation Network
nPVR - Network Personal Video Recorder
PVR - Personal Video Recorder
QoS - Quality of Service
RMS - Remote Management System
SIM - Subscriber Identity Module
SMS - Short Message Service
SP - Service Provider
SPI - Service Provider Interface
SPP - Service Platform Provider
UI - User Interface
UNI - User Network Interface
URL - Uniform Resource Locator
VoD - Video on Demand

No comments:

Post a Comment

leave your opinion