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29/11/2016

10ThingsYouNeedtoKnowAboutIPTelevision

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10ThingsYouNeedtoKnowAboutIPTelevision
byLawrenceHarte

Since we launched IP Television Magazine, we


have interviewed several hundred companies
rangingfrommanufacturersandserviceproviders
and we have performed reader surveys to
determine what key issues the IPTV industry is
experiencing. While all these issues can be
overcome, they will impact the deployment of IP
Televisionsystemsandservices.

IPTVisaLargeandUnknown
Industry
There is a lack of awareness in people and
companies of the multibillion dollar IPTV industry
and this is resulting in some established
companies being left behind and providing great
opportunitiestoearlyadopters.
http://www.iptvmagazine.com/2005_07/IPTVMagazine_2005_07_10_Things_to_Know.htm

CostQualityTradeoff
Unlikebroadcasttelevisioncompaniesthatusea
standard signal format, IPTV service providers
havetheabilitytotradeoffvideoandservicequality
to lower their cost of bandwidth. This can have
detrimentaleffectsontheperceptionofthequality
ofIPTVservice.
Thegoodnewsisthattheinitialimplementers
of IPTV are telephone companies and cable
televisionsystemswhocancontrolthebandwidth
and the initial quality of IPTV service is relatively
high.
As the IPTV industry transitions to allow
independent Internet television service providers
(ITVSPs) to provide television services over
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It has been amazing that our research has


found that many people and companies do not
knowwhatIPTVisincludingusersofIPtelevision
services. Billions of dollars have already been
spentorcommittedtothedeploymentoftelevision
over IP data networks. Early developers and
implementers of IPTV systems and services are
creating intellectual property (patents and
copyrights) that will make it hard for companies
whoenterlateintotheIPTVmarketplacetoadjust
tothenewindustry.
As of the beginning of 2005, there were
already2.1millionIPTVCustomersandmorethan
240systemsofferingIPTelevisionservices.More
than25companiesmanufacturelowcostIPsettop
boxesandatourrecentroundofinterviewsatthe
SupercommtradeshowinJune2005,over15%of
telephone equipment and service providers had
equipment that used some form of IPTV
technology.

google.cl

This table assumes the user pays a fixed fee for


their Internet connection and that the cost to the
Internetserviceprovider(ISP)is$5per100GB

broadband connections, these companies can


decide how much bandwidth and quality to
allocatetothecustomer.
In 2005, the data transfer fees for Internet
service provider (ISP) connections to the internet
wasapproximately$5per100GB($.05perGB)of
datatransfer.Thestreamingdatatransferrateofa
standard television quality digital video signal is
approximately4.0Mbpsor500kBytespersecond
(8bitsperByte).Thisresultsinadatatransferrate
of30MBperminutex120or3.6GBfora2hour
movie.
Itispossibletoreducethedatatransferrateof
thetelevisionchanneltosaveonthedatatransfer
cost.MediumqualityIPtelevisiondataratesrange
from 500 kbps to 1.5 Mbps. Low quality IP
television channel data rates range from
approximately100kbpsto500kbps.
Figure1showshowtheIPTVserviceprovider
can tradeoff quality for reduced cost. This table
showstheapproximatecostfortransferring digital
videothroughtheInternettoendusers.

times higher than voice and Internet data


consumption The usage patterns for voice, data
andvideoareverydifferent.Voiceanddatausage
tends

Figure1,IPTVCostandQualityTradeoff
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IPTVClogstheInterconnecting
DataPipes
StandardqualityIPTV(similartoanalogtelevision
quality) uses more than 240 times the bandwidth
thanvoiceandInternetbrowsingservicesandthe
data usage patterns for television is different.
Because network capacity costs money, IPTV
signals clog some of the backbones of the more
advancedhighcapacitybroadbandnetworks.
Atypicalconsumerusestelephoneservicefor
approximately 60 minutes per day. The data
transmissionrateforavoicechannelis64kbpsin
eachdirection(128kbscombined).Thismeansin
aday,auserwillconsumeapproximately58MB.
According to Neilsen ratings, the average
Internet user browses the Internet for
approximately14hourspermonth(28minutesper
day). If the average broadband user has 10%
activity (actual data transfer), their average data
consumption is 200 kbps which results in a
consumptionofapproximately42MBperday.

to be for very brief periods of seconds to minutes


longandtheiruseisdistributedoveranentireday.
Thisallowsfortheserviceprovider(thecarrier)to
allowseveraluserstoshareeachcommunication
channel. For example, loading of the system with
approximately 5 to 20 customers per
communicationlineorhighspeeddatachannel.
Unlike voice or Internet data users, television
viewers commonly watch television channels for
extendedperiodsandtheyoftenviewtelevisionat
thesametimeastheirneighbors(attheendofthe
day). This will dramatically increase the
requirements for system capacity while lowering
thenumberofcustomersthatcansharethesame
network communication channels (reduced
loadingability).
Another area of concern is the viewer leaving
the IP set top box on (in receive mode) and
receivingdataevenwhenthetelevisionisoffand
there may be several IP set top boxes in each
home.

In 2005, the average household watched


television for approximately 8 hours per day
(according to Neilsen ratings). Standard quality
IPTV MPEG2 consumes approximately 4 Mbps.
This results in a daily consumption of
approximately 14.4 GB per day. This means that
IPTVdataconsumptionisapproximately240

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Figure 2 shows sample data usage patterns for


different types of communication services. The
usagepatternforvoice(telephony)servicesisfor
lowspeeddatatransmissionat128kbps(64kbps
in2directions)forperiodsof2to3minutespercall
with a total daily usage of approximately 60
minutes. This results in a daily consumption of
approximately 54 MB per day. The usage pattern
forInternetbrowsingservicesishighspeeddataat
1 to 2 Mbps for very short periods (1/10th to 1
second)withanaveragedatatransferrateof200
kbps. According to Neilsen ratings, the average
Internet user browses the Internet for
approximately14hourspermonth(28minutesper
day). This means their average consumption of
datais42MBperday.Theusagepatternfordigital
videoservicesisforhighspeeddatatransmission
at 24 Mbps for periods of 2 to 3 hours at a time.
Neilson rating estimates that the total usage of
television viewing is approximately 8 hours per
household. This results in a daily consumption of
14.4 GB per day, more than 240 times that of
telephoneorInternetdatausage.

ContentisKing
http://www.iptvmagazine.com/2005_07/IPTVMagazine_2005_07_10_Things_to_Know.htm

ThetypicalrateplanforIPTVserviceprovides
for some local programming content (local
televisionchannels)
Early providers of IPTV services discovered
some of the difficulties in obtaining programming
that viewers wanted. While users were provided
withaccesstomorepayperviewshowsthanwere
available on broadcast systems, viewers wanted
local programming channels. Many of the IPTV
service providers offer unlimited viewing of local
programming channels as part of their basic
servicerateplan.
Figure3showsthetypicalrateplanforanIPTV
system.Thisexampleshowsthatatypicalrateplan
forIPTVserviceconsistsofseveralfreelocaland
regional channels that are paid for from the
monthly subscription service and many pay per
viewchannels.

BroadcastRegulatoryFavoritism
The current regulatory environment for television
systems has been structured for the broadcast
television Industry and these regulations may
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Content is king and content cost is traditionally


high. Program content is very important to all
televisionsystemsandthelicensingrightstosend
content in television networks typically cost
television service providers 30% to 50% of gross
revenue.

prevent or limit the authorization of IPTV service


providerstooffersometypesofservices.

Figure3,SampleIPTVServiceRatePlan

What frightens television, cable and satellite


broadcasters is that their programming networks
can bypass traditional networks. This means that
thelargenetworkoperatorswillloosetheircontrol
ofthedistributionofmediachannels.
Notonlycancustomersbypassthecableand
telephone programming networks, Internet
televisionserviceproviders(ITVSPs)willbeusing
the highspeed portions of these networks to
bypass their own broadcast networks. This fear
may cause broadcast companies to ask their
governments for regulatory protection (until they
can get their own IPTV systems up and running
efficiently).
http://www.iptvmagazine.com/2005_07/IPTVMagazine_2005_07_10_Things_to_Know.htm

revenues.IPTVhastheaddedadvantageofbeing
able to send advertisements to specific IP set top
boxes (each IP set top box has a unique network
address). This addressable advertising can
dramatically increase the advertising revenue per
impression ads more precisely reach their most
desirable(targetmarketmatched)audiences.
IPTVsystemsthatcandevelopdetailedprofiles
(viewing and personal preferences) of their
viewershavethepotentialtoincreaseadvertising
revenueperimpressionbyafactorof10ormore.

TimeZoneChallenges
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While regulation may restrict domestic com


petition, unless preferred status can be
implemented for new types of IPTV providers,
international companies will be able to more
effectively compete against existing (incumbent)
broadcasters.

TargetedAdvertisingwillbeaKey
Driver
Revenues for IPTV operators can come from
subscriptionfees,usagefeesandadvertising

While IPTV systems have the potential to reach


audiences in larger geographic regions (global),
television programming has traditionally been
divided into program block times based on the
expected viewing audience such as children
(morning) and adults (late night). Because IP
television service providers can be located
anywhere in the world, this means that traditional
program time blocks are of little value to the
programmingandtheexpectedviewingpatterns.

Certaintypesofprogrammingcontentthatare
broadcast during late hours for a more mature
audience may be unsuitable for audiences at
certaintimesoftheday.

ContentRatingsandRestrictions
http://www.iptvmagazine.com/2005_07/IPTVMagazine_2005_07_10_Things_to_Know.htm

Compatibility
Broadcast television systems have relatively high
reliability and good picture quality. Unlike the
closed (highly controlled) broadcast TV systems,
there are compatibility issues with IPTV system
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Itwillbemoredifficulttorateandrestrictcontenton
IPTV channels and the media regulation
authorities of one country will have little control
over channels that are broadcasted to other
countriesoverbroadbandInternetconnection.
Unlikewebpagesthatmayhavekeywordsthat
can be easily monitored, it is harder to detect
unwantedcontenttypessuchasadultandviolent
content in streaming media. While television
programshavemetatags(shortblocksoftextthat
describe the content) and there are standard
formatsformetatags.However,serviceproviders
can (and often do) edit these meta tags to better
market (more favorably describe) television
programstotheirviewers.
While it may be possible for viewers to watch
any IPTV channel, viewers may select to use an
IPTV service provider that restricts access or
allowstheviewertocontrolaccesstopornography
and/orviolentcontent.

http://www.iptvmagazine.com/2005_07/IPTVMagazine_2005_07_10_Things_to_Know.htm

equipment and services and these compatibility


issuesarelikelytocontinueovertheearly2000s.
IPTV systems use a combination of
technologies that are undergoing development
and improvements. During our testing of IPTV
portal directories, we have noticed that IP
television channels use different media players
that use and/or require different parameters. This
resultsininabilityoftheviewertoplaysomeIPTV
channels.
A key ingredient of IPTV systems is the IP set
top box and its media player. There are several
companies that produce media players and their
associated video compression coders and this is
resulting in the war of the media players. The
winner of the media player war game will have
theirmediaplayerinstalledinhundredsofmillions
ofsettopboxesandtheassociatedmediaplayer
software licensing royalties are likely to be worth
billionsofdollars.

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10ThingsYouNeedtoKnowAboutIPTelevision

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Figure4,IPTVPremisesDistributionOptions

GettingIPTVtotheTelevisionin
theHome
Premises distribution systems are playing an
important part in IPTV networks. Televisions are
not typically located near a data connector and
gettingthesignaltomediaappliancesinthehome
mayrequirerewiringand/oradditionalequipment.
IPTV service providers desire to sell services
wherethecustomercanselfinstalltheequipment
avoidingtheneedfortheserviceprovidertosend
installationworkers(noneedforatruckroll).This
meanstheIPTVserviceproviderswillbefocusing
on premises distribution equipment that can use
existingwiringsystemsifpossible.

We were surprised to learn that different


countrieshavedifferenttypesofhomedistribution
systems. Countries like the United States have a

ATTENTION

http://www.iptvmagazine.com/2005_07/IPTVMagazine_2005_07_10_Things_to_Know.htm

Premises distribution systems can use copper


(wire or coax), optical cable, or wireless (radio or
IR) to transfer communication of signals within a
customer'sfacilityorhome.Thecommonpremises
distribution system used for IPTV distribution
include telephone wiring, coaxial cable, wireless
LAN,powerlinedistributionandwiredLAN.
Figure4showsthecommontypesofpremises
distribution systems that can be used for IP
televisionsystems.ThisdiagramshowsthatanIP
television signal arrives at the premises at a
broadband modem. The broadband modem is
connectedtoarouterthatcandistributethemedia
signalstoforwarddatapacketstodifferentdevices
within the home such as IP televisions. This
exampleshowsthatroutersmaybeabletoforward
packets through power lines, telephone lines,
coaxial lines, data cables or even via wireless
signals to adapters that receive the packets and
recreatethemintoaformtheIPtelevisioncanuse.

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large percentage of installed coax while other


countries such as the United Kingdom have a
larger percentage of customers that still receive
theirtelevisionviaRFbroadcast.

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