Raft of new IPTV standards set to drive market adoption

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 

ITU-T’s work on IPTV standards has progressed significantly in recent weeks with a raft of new specifications agreed.

The work has moved on from the foundation documents containing high-level architectures and frameworks to more detailed specifications. Experts say that this is an important milestone that will allow manufacturers to start implementing the specifications in their products.

A standardized IPTV environment could mean an end to walled-garden approaches where subscribers are limited to content from a particular service provider. It would for example make it easier for ex-pat subscribers to consume content from their countries of origin.

Among standards consented or approved recently include Recommendation ITU-T H.720 which gives the overview of the architecture and functional components of an IPTV terminal device and provides a high-level description of functionality necessary to support IPTV services. Also key is ITU-T H.721 which describes and specifies the functionalities of IPTV terminal devices such as set-top boxes and digital TV sets for IPTV basic services. The Recommendation also takes into consideration such conditions on content delivery as QoS.

Below is a list of recent ITU standards approved or ‘consented’ by ITU-T’s Study Group 16:

Rec. H.701 – Content Delivery Error Recovery for IPTV services
Rec. H.721 – IPTV Terminal Device: Basic Model
Rec. H.760 – Overview of Multimedia Application Frameworks for IPTV
Rec. H.761 – Nested Context Language (NCL) and Ginga-NCL for IPTV
Rec. H.720 – Overview of IPTV terminal devices and end systems
Rec. H.750 – High-level specification of metadata for IPTV services
Rec. H.622.1 – Architecture and functional requirements for home networks supporting IPTV services

In addition a Technical Paper has been approved that addresses the use of audio coding in services delivered over IPTV.