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November 06, 2006

IPTV Gets Center Stage in Dallas

By Robert Liu, TMCnet Executive Editor

Much of the IPTV community is descending upon Dallas this week for the 5th annual Telco TV conference, which features some of the industry’s leading luminaries including Brian Mahony, Vice President of Marketing at Espial; Rob Piconi, VP and GM of Broadband Solutions at Lucent Technologies (News - Alert); and the heads of key network groups like HomePNA, MoCA and IPDR.org.
 
Industry leader Espial is announcing a new carrier-grade IPTV (News - Alert) middleware dubbed Evo Server, which will provide an integrated end-to-end (both client and server) service platform that customers can individually tailor to their unique specifications – a concept the company refers to as a “Future-proof Framework.”
 
In addition, Espial (News - Alert) announced that Auroras Entertainment has added Espial's Evo IPTV Service Platform, targeting Tier 2 and 3 telecom and Internet service providers with a complete turnkey IPTV solution. Auroras claims the solution can be fully operational within 60 days and provides up to a 90 percent capital expense reduction over a self-provisioned head-end system. The Auroras solution includes aggregated national content encoded at MPEG-4 AVC, digital music, affiliate rights management, local channel encoders, and video-on demand.
 
“With Espial's Evo IPTV Service Platform, we are now able to offer our customers the option of a full turn-key Evo-based solution from headend to set-top box,” said Diane Smith, Auroras' Chief Executive Officer.
 
Auroras is demonstrating their Evo-based IPTV solution at the TelcoTV exhibit floor via a working system that also includes Tilgin set-top boxes, Verimatrix's software-based content security technology, and Pannaway DSL access equipment. The demonstration is connected to an Auroras satellite antenna outside the building, which will be receiving and distributing 40 channels of live MPEG-4 digital content, the same system configuration already deployed by three of Auroras' telco customers.
 
Meanwhile, Lucent’s Piconi is participating in a discussion about what IP Multimedia Subsystem (News - Alert) (IMS) architecture offers service providers in providing mobile IPTV services. Joining him in the discussion is Sameer Sheth, who leads IPTV solutions at Nortel (News - Alert).
 
Piconi’s French counterparts at Alcatel, in fact, is leveraging the spotlight to host a daylong workshop to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with every aspect of IPTV deployment from quality assurance to OSS/BSS to support IP services. Last month, Lucent introduced MiViewTV, an interactive multimedia delivery platform that enables service providers to offer personalized, next-generation IPTV services and new applications that can be delivered to subscribers anytime, on any device.
 
Despite making headway, though, analysts don’t foresee next-generation network services helping its bottom line for some time to come. “We do not expect to see meaningful revenue from Lucent’s IMS products until 2008,” Deutsche Bank’s Brian Modoff recent stated.
 
Among the most intriguing panel discussions include a debate on home networking with the Multimedia over Coax Alliance and the Home Phoneline Networking Alliance. The show is expected to run through November 8.
 
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Robert Liu is Executive Editor at TMCnet. Previously, he was Executive Editor at Jupitermedia and has also written for CNN, A&E, Dow Jones and Bloomberg. For more articles, please visit Robert Liu's columnist page.


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