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IPTV

(Internet Protocol Television) describes a system where a digital television service is delivered to
subscribers using the Internet Protocol over a managed broadband connection. IPTV is primarily used to offer
services that duplicate or exceed the features and functions of direct multiple consumer services over a
single network. IPTV service assurance can encompass much more, including subscriber management and
authorization, capacity management, perceived video picture quality, and error correction and concealment;
accomplished through integrated test and monitoring for rapid resolution of customer complaints. This is all

needed to ensure that the customer has an overall video quality of experience at least as enjoyable as current
T’v’ delivery methods. It also runs a secure dedicated private network based on Internet Protocol (IP).
Characteristics of IPTV

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Private Network Delivery for IPTV

Internet Protocol Television also runs under a secure dedicated private network based on Internet Protocol
(IP). In order to deliver continuous channels of content to as many viewers, an IPTV network must be carefully
provisioned and controlled. This task is daunting on a private network where all the video content and other
network traffic can be controlled in a repeatable manner.

Continuous Streaming

IPTV provides more personalized video content delivery, as it magnifies several issues in subscription
managements, content rights control, and video picture qualityThere is one significant exception to the
practice of delivering continuous streams of programming to an IPTV viewer. Most IPTV systems also offer
on-demand content, where viewers can select videos that are stored on a server and played but upon
request. These videos can be from a wide variety of sources and may be offered for free or at an additional
cost to the viewer. With true on-demand content, viewers can control the streaming of the video to start,
stop, rewind and fast-forward through the content. As service providers expand their server capacities, more
and more content will become available on-demand.

High-quality Content Format

Most IPTV systems use only one (or possibly two) video encoding formats for each type of content. The
choices can typically range from MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 to VC-t (which began life as Windows Media 9), but
IPTV providers will typically choose one format for all video signals. This greatly simplifies the overall
management of the IPTV system, allowing for a uniform system design, making it easy for technicians to
maintain the system. Any content that arrives at the IPTV provider that is not in the correct format must be
converted. There are two main methods to do this. The first involves taking the incoming video feed and
decompressing it to a baseband digital video signal before re-compressing it using the desired compression
system. The second is a transcoding, where the signal remains in a compressed state but is processed and
reformatted into the new format. The IPTV network provider will most likely need to perform some sort of
processing on the delivered signal to make it compatible with their network. This can include compressing the
signal, changing compression format or many other changes that the broadcaster won’t be able to control.

Multiple Choice of Channels

The content that is delivered over an IPTV network is produced by a range of broadcast networks and
delivered simultaneously to a large number of viewers. When viewers watch this programming, they will see
regularly scheduled news and entertainment from networks such as NBC, BBC, and TF1; live or recorded
sports from companies such as ESPN or Premier; 24-hour news reports from CNN,AI-Jazeera and others;
and a variety of specialized services such as music video channels, movie channels, children’s channels and
home shopping channels. IPTV networks are well-suited to deliver live programming such as sports or award
shows to many viewers at the same time. Hardware inside the network is capable of making copies of the
continuous content streams and delivering them to hundreds or thousands of homes simultaneously. Viewers
typically choose which channel they want to watch on their television by interacting with the IPTV set-top box.
This can be done by simply entering the desired channel number on a remote control keypad or by making a
selection from an Electronic Program Guide (EPG].An EPG can be as simple as a channel that passively
scrolls through all of the current channel choices, or it can be interactive, enabling the viewer to navigate
through a list of choices. Once the viewer has chosen a channel, the set-top box must connect to the IP
stream that contains the appropriate video data and use this data to create a video signal that is sent to the
viewer’s television. In cases where this data is already present at the input to the ETB, the switch can be
accomplished merely by changing to the desired data stream.

subscription

Like cable providers, IPTV providers must have systems that handle subscription services. Subscription
services are one of the most common methods used for funding IPTV systems. In this system, viewers sign
up for a package of video services (channels) and pay a flat monthly fee. Subscribers are then allowed to
watch as much or as little of any of the channels that are included in their subscription package. Unlike the
cable system where authorization is traditionally implemented on the set-top box, in an IP network or a
switched network, such authorization could be implemented at a variety of network points controlled by a
network-based authentication and authorization server. Such flexibility adds to the assurance challenge but
ensures that a break in the set-top box security will not completely compromise the carrier’s control over
content distribution.

Conclusion

IPTV, unlike Internet TV, has increased digitization of compact delivery of services. IPTV service assurance
assumes all of the challenges in assuring broadband access networks while adding layers of complexity for
monitoring and managing video content origination, authorization. IPTV services offer great opportunities for
service providers to diversify their revenue stream and move aggressively into the potentially lucrative
broadcast TV and emerging interactive video markets. Effective and efficient service assurance techniques
have enabled service providers to efficiently deliver secure, reliable, managed IPTV services.