Maturity of IPTV evident at NXTcomm
(First in a series)
While still in its early stages, Internet Protocol-based TV, or IPTV, has grown up dramatically in the last year, according to equipment vendors preparing their exhibits for NXTcomm in Chicago June 18-21.
“If we roll the clock back six to 12 months, you couldn’t count on a stable set-top box, middleware for advanced services really hadn’t formally come out, and there was a lot of challenge surrounding the staging of these individual products,” said Geoff Burke, director of field marketing at Calix, maker of broadband access equipment. “From a video demo standpoint, we have been waiting for a long time for this.”
Set-top boxes using MPEG-4 compression, which weren’t available a year ago, now are on the market and commercially available, enabling multiple types of demos at NXTcomm and deployments as well. Visitors to NXTcomm’s trade show floor will see pervasive high-definition TV demonstrations as equipment vendors take advantage of this new technology to show what IPTV can do over both copper--ADSL 2+ and VDSL--and fiber--GPON--architectures.
Also on view at NXTcomm will be multiple new IPTV applications as equipment vendors seek to show the world of the possible.
Alcatel-Lucent has been doing extensive customer research, focusing on teens and young adults, to determine not only what applications interest them but also exactly how they like to see content and applications configured and delivered, said June Bower, vice president of marketing for consumer and entertainment in Alcatel-Lucent’s converged business group.
The company will be showing off some new products in the mobile data category based on that result.
“Instead of just showing products,” she added. “We are showing the total subscriber converged experience--how a subscriber can get the whole content they care about across the range of networks and devices.”
One key part of delivering IPTV over multiple screens is the interaction between services, something Ericsson is flexing its IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) muscle to show off.
Using real IMS nodes, the company will show messaging interworking between IMS-enabled and non-IMS-enabled devices. In one demo, a child watching IPTV at home can attempt to order a movie and be blocked by the parental control system – which then sends out a text message to a parent’s cellphone, asking if the child has permission to view the requested content.
“It’s a little bit of today, a little bit of tomorrow and a little bit more in the future,” said Eliot Freed, marketing manager for Ericsson. “We are adding communication on top of other services. This is running over real IMS nodes that we have, and we will be showing more of a three-screen strategy.”
HDTV is a major part of this year’s NXTcomm, including the ability to send multiple high-def channels around a home network as part of a multi-room digital video recorder service, said Richard Nesin, vice president of marketing for CopperGate, which makes chip sets for Home Phone Network Alliance (HPNA) networks.
“Inside the homes there are a lot more streams of HD than come to the home because of the whole home PVRs,” he said. “This is the year that deployment of this technology will be increasing rapidly.”
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© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
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