IPTV Explained

Thread: IPTV Explained

  1. Raptor's Avatar

    Raptor said:

    Default IPTV Explained

    IPTV(Internet Protocol Television) is changing the face of television, providing a new alternative for consumers, operators, broadcasters, content providers and advertisers.
    Stephen Davies gives an overview of a brand new world that awaits us all. In most Western nations there are about 500 TV sets per 1,000 people, but in Australia and the United States - where 75% of households have two or more TVs - the figure is more than 800 sets. Our typical per-capita daily viewing is more than four hours for adults and six for children.

    Television viewers today have access to more content from more sources, and they want it on demand rather than at times dictated by the networks and advertising income. Devices such as digital video recorders (DVRs) from TiVO, Slingbox and Foxtel's iQ offer some 'smarts', but the single biggest advance in user interaction and control is the Internet.

    High-speed broadband - using ADSL2 +, VDSL or fibre to the home (FTTH) - has had a dramatic effect on mainstream channels. And the 'fast tracking' of programs from the United States is causing networks to rethink how they deliver programming (and make money).

    Channel Nine has offered various programs, including Macleod's Daughters, The Strip,Canal Road and Sea Patrol via its website for nearly two years, calling it 'Catch up TV'. Channel Ten started doing the same this year with Rove, Kenny's World, Rush, Neighbours and Good News Week. But of all the channels, the ABC has the most extensive online viewing options with its iView system. These networks and the use of Internet protocol have created an alternative delivery method for television and other video services such as You Tube and Apple's iTunes video rental.

    Television is now being delivered using the broadband medium IPTV, or Internet Protocol Television. The MPEG-based digital video signal is encoded in a series of Internet protocol packets and delivered over a packet based network such as Ethernet. If you have watched a video clip from You Tube, then, in its broadest sense, you have used IPTV But when most people in the industry talk about IPTV, they mean watching conventional channels with a high-resolution, jitter-free picture.


    It is typically the telecommunications carriers that are jumping head-first into this market to replace income lost to increased competition. The term IPTV appeared in the mid-1990s when Precept Software created an Internet video product called IPTV - an MBONE compatible application that moved MPEG-1 traffic using unicast and multicast IP packets. (MBONE, or multicast backbone, was an experimental backbone for moving IP multicast traffic across the Internet.)

    In 1998 Precept was acquired by Cisco Systems, which retains the trademark to IPTV.

    Early in 2000, several companies around the world began offering commercial lPTV services. The first recorded commercial service in Australia was launched in 2001 by Bright Telecommunications, a Perth-based company owned by the State Government electricity provider Western Power.

    Bright had started a commercial pilot to roll out FTTH in conjunction with the under grounding of the electricity network. It provided 20 free-to-air and pay TV channels and VoD that included an array of content such as movies, some locally produced Channel Nine programs and a very early version of ABC's iView.

    Early in 2008, after the sale of Bright Telecommunications, the pilot and the IPTV network was shut down.

    TransACT, a Canberra-based broadband network operator, has been running an IPTV network for several years, although it started as a proprietary DSUATM video network. The TransTV service has about 5,000 subscribers. It offers 50 broadcast channels of movies, entertainment, children's programs, parliament, sport and variety, plus on-demand adult and sports content. TPG Internet is delivering a small selection of IPTV broadcast channels over its ADSL2+ network as a free trial service.

    So what is the difference between IPTV and conventional broadcast TV? In a word: control.

    IPTV, being based on a two-way protocol, gives the user greater interactivity with the medium and the content. The provider can better meet the wishes of the user, who has influence over the programs and timing.

    IPTV is the engine that will drive the new era of interactive content. The success or failure of operators - free and pay - will depend on them being ahead of the game with the new technologies, new content formats and new business models that IPTV ushers in. In its simplest form, we already have access to interactive features of IPTV - the 'trick play' functions of pause, rewind and fast forward that we find on DVRs such as TiVO. This does not allow us to change the content or its inherent linearity, only how we control the viewing and when we view it.

    At the next level, IPTV features allow you to 'touch' the program content, perhaps by ordering a product being advertised or voting on a reality TV show via your remote control. In its most sophisticated form, IPTV will immerse you in the program - the content itself being changed by viewer input.

    We are beginning to see some of this interactivity in the Australian market, mainly on pay TV provider Foxtel. Foxtel's 'Red Button' gives limited interaction - the data is already imbedded in the content stream, so it is not the true interactivity of two-way communication.

    Video on demand (VoD) is another advantage of IPTV Unlike the 'near video on demand' offered by Foxtel, it gives you the freedom to choose from a variety of content and start watching when you want - pausing, fast forwarding and rewinding.

    It is just like watching a DVD, the main difference being that it is delivered using I P and can be received online and in real time. VoD has been a great success in other markets, particularly Asia, but the problem for Australia has been the restrictive licensing agreements with the Hollywood movie houses, the distribution channel and our lack of high speed broadband networks.

    In Asia there are about 22 million broadband subscribers connected with fibre, and in the US there are 3.7 million, offering the networks and the market scale to enable a new business model for the delivery of premium video content. Australia has fewer than 8,000 subscribers connected with fibre. Although we have many ADSL2+ subscribers, to deliver a quality IPTV and therefore VoD service the content providers expect a secure network with suitable electronic protections. Also, the video stream needs to have a low latency 6-8Mbps dedicated circuit with quality of service, which is something no ADSL2+ network in Australia offers.

    TransACT offers a small selection of content with adult and sports themes over its high-speed FTTC network. In the past it had agreements with two 'premium' content providers, but neither was able to deliver the content at a reasonable price, nor was the content choice up to date or comprehensive.

    Another Australian contender called Real time launched a pay-per-view service in 2006, but again the price was high, the quality inferior and the content frequently outdated. Real time had difficulty attracting interest from service providers and was placed into administration late in 2007.

    Since then it has been purchased by EzyDVD, the online video store that posts rentals to your home. Apple launched a video rental service via iTunes earlier this year, but this is 'download to view'.

    The most exciting advantage of IPTV is in converged services. Many of us have a smart phone, such as Apple's iPhone, which enables us to make calls, synchronise contacts and calendars, and use email. Converged services on television enable us to watch programs, read email, answer the phone, check local weather, look at fuel prices, order food, browse the I Internet, or plan a trip and then download it to a GPS device. Convergence for television also means we have more variety of content, which can be from You Tube, RooMedia, ABC online, NineMSN - or any of the multitudes of online sources that provide short-play videos.

    At the moment, neither Foxtel nor Austar supports residential deployment of their content using an IPTV medium. They still have several commercial and technical hurdles to overcome. Because of this delay, and the lack of quality VoD content, it will be some time before IPTV goes mainstream in Australia.

    By 2013, it is estimated 600 million households around the world will have access to the new medium.
  2. Raptor's Avatar

    Raptor said:

    Default Re: IPTV Explained

    What is IPTV?

    IPTV stands for Internet Protocol TV. An IPTV system deployed within a business enables hundreds of channels of TV and video to be viewed on an unlimited number of TVs and PCs connected to your existing data network.
    The TV or video signals are converted into streams of data which pass over the network in the same way as other data traffic. A particular form of transmission known as IP multicasting, is used to minimize the demand on network bandwidth. At the viewing point, all the available sources are listed and controls are provided to select which source is viewed.
    TVs are connected to your network by a small IP Receiver controlled using an infra red remote control handset. PC users do not require any additional hardware and select channels using a control panel displayed on the PC screen. The channel is viewed via a media player such as Windows Media Player and can be displayed as a small sizeable window or full screen.

    Why use IPTV for TV distribution?

    By using an IPTV solution to stream TV and video over your data network, wherever you have a network outlet you can connect a TV or a PC to display the channels you choose and control.
    IPTV systems distribute TV and video from any source. Satellite TV, Freeview TV, studio outputs, pre recorded educational and training programs and corporate broadcasts are all displayed consistently at the highest quality at all points thanks to digital technology.
    IPTV brings new levels of control and flexibility to TV distribution. The screen based interface through which users select channels can be customized to your exact requirements reflecting corporate colors and branding whilst text a message board enables information to be disseminated to users. The same interface can provide access to an indexed library of video content which, depending on your industry, might contain training material, Health and Safety information, films, multimedia presentations or recordings of live performances and live TV.
    In public areas and work spaces, IPTV enables TVs to be used to project high quality digital signage and information displays under centralized control providing the perfect tool for communication, imaginative marketing, projection of corporate image and publicizing your greatest achievements.
    IPTV distribution offers managerial control of which channels can be viewed at which points and office moves become simple, quick and non technical. Costs, space and energy are saved by dispensing with Freeview Set Top Boxes, video recorders and even TVs where PC viewing is adopted.
    An IPTV solution leverages the investment in your data network to extend TV to the desktop and bring stunning quality pictures to your big screens.
  3. matthewbrown's Avatar

    matthewbrown said:

    Default Re: IPTV Explained

    I bought a ZaapTV IPTV box about four months back. It worked fine in the beginning. Picture quality was good (but not as great as the quality I am accustomed to) and I was happy with what I had purchased. Then suddenly the programs began to freeze at random. I called up customer support. Shockingly, they gave me an email support address and told me to email my problem to that address. I sent an email describing my problem and my phone number but with nary a response. I am still waiting. My advice is not to buy such IPTV boxes from ZaapTV or any other company.
  4. bugnote's Avatar

    bugnote said:

    Default Re: IPTV Explained

    is it just that the feeds are dead or am I missing something? when I paste the ramp://$OPT etc URL's into VLC, they never work, only the HTTP ones,

    Is there a setting/URL amend I should be doing, cheers all

  5. newbie2's Avatar

    newbie2 said:

    Default Re: IPTV Explained

    I know this is an old thread and I have IPTV services via my E2 box and kodi etc but never really knew what it was all about or how widely developed.

    probably a stupid question but I will ask it, does IPTV mean that some day virgin or sky could stream all of the content to a box in my house without the requirement of cable in the area or a sky dish on my wall?

    i assume if that is possible it's not something they would like to do as the would open the idea up yo the wider general public and we could be in the world of truly global tv services for the many not just the few.

    or am I a million miles wide on my understanding.
    Last edited by newbie2; 11th April 2015 at 08:26 AM. Reason: Spelling mistakes
  6. Mookie's Avatar

    Mookie said:

    Default Re: IPTV Explained

    Internet streaming of TV whether it is free to air channels or paid (Sky etc.) will probably be the big aim as transmitting via aerial is using up the spectrum of radio waves that could be used for something else, which mobile phone companies would probably want in order to increase mobile phone data speeds etc. As they've already freed up some of the spectrum when switching free to air TV from Analogue to Digital, we can't be that far away from the corporations wanting to ditch TV transmitting all together and use the Internet instead. Of course, there's still some places in the UK that has poor broadband speeds and unless the network goes full fibre everywhere, people living out in the country may only be able to receive TV via Satellite, but even that is limited on what Channels it can broadcast due to a lack of spectrum to expand services (channels), hence Sky's pretty poor quality of so called hi-def TV programs on certain Channels etc.