Residential IPTV home networks
In many cases, the residential gateway that provides connectivity with the Internet access network is not located close to the IPTV set-top box. This scenario becomes very common as service providers start to offer service packages with multiple set-top boxes per subscriber.
Networking technologies that take advantage of existing home wiring (such as power lines, phone lines or coaxial cables) or of wireless hardware have become common solutions for this problem, although fragmentation in the wired home networking market has limited somewhat the growth in this market.
In December 2008, ITU-T adopted Recommendation G.hn (also known as G.9960), which is a next-generation home networking standard that specifies a common PHY/MAC that can operate over any home wiring (power lines, phone lines or coaxial cables). During 2012 IEC will adopt a prenorm for POF networking at Gigabit speed. This pre standard will specify a PHY that operates at an adaptable bit rate between 100 Mbit/s and 1 Gbit/s depending on the link power budget. For similar service experience, we recommend you to get this insightiptv – signup for the trial offer here.
Groups such as the Multimedia over Coax Alliance, HomePlug Powerline Alliance, Home Phoneline Networking Alliance, and Quasar Alliance (Plastic Optical Fibre) each advocate their own technologies.
Telecomms IMS architecture
There is a growing standardisation effort on the use of the 3GPP IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) as an architecture for supporting IPTV services in telecommunications carrier networks. Both ITU-T and ETSI are working on so-called “IMS-based IPTV” standards (see e.g. ETSI TS 182 02). Carriers will be able to offer both voice and IPTV services over the same core infrastructure and the implementation of services combining conventional TV services with telephony features (e.g. caller ID on the TV screen) will become straightforward. The MultiService Forum recently conducted interoperability of IMS-based IPTV solutions during its GMI event in 2008.
Although IPTV and conventional satellite TV distribution have been seen as complementary technologies, they are likely to be increasingly used together in hybrid IPTV networks that deliver the highest levels of performance and reliability. IPTV is largely neutral to the transmission medium, and IP traffic is already routinely carried by satellite for Internet backbone trunking and corporate VSAT networks. The use of satellite to carry IP is fundamental to overcoming the greatest shortcoming of IPTV over terrestrial cables – the speed/bandwidth of the connection, as well as availability.