What is IPTV?
Since its inception in 1994 many different definitions of IPTV have appeared, including elementary streams over IP networks, transport streams over IP networks and a number of proprietary systems. The official definition approved by the International Telecommunication Union focus group on IPTV (ITU-T FG IPTV) is as follows:
“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.”
Another official and 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.”
One definition for consumer IPTV is for single or multiple program transport streams (MPTS) which are sourced by the same network operator that owns or directly controls the “last mile” to the consumer’s premises. This control over delivery enables a guaranteed quality of service (QoS), and also allows the service provider to offer an enhanced user experience such as better program guide, interactive services etc. In commercial environments IPTV is widely deployed for distribution of live TV, video playout channels and Video on Demand (VOD) material across LAN or WAN IP network infrastructures, with a controlled QoS. In 1994, ABC’s World News Now was the first television show to be broadcast over the Internet, using the CU-SeeMe videoconferencing software. The number of global IPTV subscribers is expected to grow from 28 million in 2009 to 83 million in 2013. Europe and Asia are the leading territories in terms of the over-all number of subscriber. But in terms of service revenues, Europe and North America generate a larger share of global revenue, due to very low average revenue per user (ARPU) in China and India, the fastest growing (and ultimately, the biggest markets) in Asia. The global IPTV market revenues are forecasted to grow from US$12 billion in 2009 to US$38 billion in 2013
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