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March 20, 2007

New Consortium Develops End-to-End Specification for IPTV

By Anuradha Shukla, TMCnet Contributing Editor

An industry consortium has been formed by nine companies to define an interoperable end-to-end specification for delivery of IPTV services.

AT&T Inc., Ericsson, France Telecom, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Siemens (News - Alert) Networks, Sony, and Telecom Italia have founded the Open IPTV Forum, which is fully open to participation across the communications and entertainment industries.

The focus of the new forum will be on the development of open standards that will assist in streamlining and accelerating of IPTV (News - Alert) technologies deployments. This will also help to maximize the benefits of IPTV for consumers, network operators, content providers, service providers, consumer electronics manufacturers and infrastructure providers.

Working to aggregate today’s diverse standards into a complete delivery solution, the pan-industry Open IPTV Forum aims to accelerate the full standardization of IPTV-related technologies. Later this year the Open IPTV Forum plans to establish requirements and architecture specifications as well as protocol specifications.

The end users can easily access their choice of contents and services among multiple service providers by ensuring the interoperability between consumer equipment and services compliant to the Open IPTV Forum's specification.

In addition to work on the basis of suitable open-standards technologies, the Open IPTV Forum will also address key technology elements such as content protection, necessary interfaces that allow IPTV services to be delivered over both managed network environment and the public Internet, and adequate measures to ensure interoperability between such services and retail consumer devices.

Although the Forum will initially consist of the founding member companies, it will be open for other companies at a later date.

In another announcement, Ericsson (News - Alert) has received acceptances and purchased shares representing 87.4 percent of Tandberg Television in the voluntary public cash offer to acquire all outstanding shares in Tandberg Television. Ericsson has reportedly waived the 90 percent acceptance condition.

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Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering call centers, CRM and information technology. To see more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

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