Video Communication Systems

IPTV Detailed Definition

Internet Protocol television (IPTV) is a system through which television services are delivered using the Internet protocol suite over a packet-switched network such as the Internet, instead of being delivered through traditional terrestrial, satellite signal, and cable television formats. IPTV services may be classified into three main groups:

  • Live television, with or without interactivity related to the current TV show;
  • Time-shifted television: catch-up TV (replays a TV show that was broadcast hours or days ago), start-over TV (replays the current TV show from its beginning);
  • Video on demand (VOD): browse a catalog of videos, not related to TV programming.

IPTV is distinguished from Internet television by its on-going standardization process (e.g., European Telecommunications Standards Institute) and preferential deployment scenarios in subscriber-based telecommunications networks with high-speed access channels into end-user premises via set-top boxes or other customer-premises equipment.

Definitions

Historically, many different definitions of IPTV have appeared, including elementary streams over IP networks, transport streams over IP networks and a number of proprietary systems.

One official definition approved by the International Telecommunication Union focus group on IPTV (ITU-T FG IPTV) is:
"IPTV is defined as multimedia services such as television/video/audio/text/graphics/data delivered over IP based networks managed to provide the required level of quality of service and experience, security, interactivity and reliability."[1]

Another more detailed definition of IPTV is the one given by Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) IPTV Exploratory Group on 2005:
"IPTV is defined as the secure and reliable delivery to subscribers of entertainment video and related services. These services may include, for example, Live TV, Video On Demand (VOD) and Interactive TV (iTV). These services are delivered across an access agnostic, packet switched network that employs the IP protocol to transport the audio, video and control signals. In contrast to video over the public Internet, with IPTV deployments, network security and performance are tightly managed to ensure a superior entertainment experience, resulting in a compelling business environment for content providers, advertisers and customers alike.

IPTV Advantages

For users:

  • Familiar Interface
  • Interactive Program Guide
  • Personalized Recording Capabilities
  • Ability to Pause and Rewind Live TV

For operators:

  • Modular flexibility
    • Selective User Upgrades Without Changing STB
    • nPVR for User Initiated Recording
    • TSTV for Administrator Initiated Channel Recording
    • Ability to Scale System Up or Down Based on Needs
  • Cost effective
    • No need for coax
    • No need for expensive and complicated STB hard drives
    • Cost Efficient
    • Energy Efficient
    • Environmentally Friendly

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