An Internet Protocol TV system offers a complete multi-channel video line-up as well as on-demand programming. IPTV technology promises to make more content available because of the limitless nature of the switched digital video architecture.
The extensible user environment of IPTV increases the interactive nature of television and will allow applications to be run over multiple end-user devices, or over a single service delivery network. IPTV also capitalises on the two-way nature of the IP network, enabling unprecedented interaction among subscribers, content providers and service providers.
With a robust service delivery network, the integration and management of new services becomes simpler, reducing time to market and the cost of launching that new service. This provides marketing opportunities to use new applications to gain or keep market share and generate added revenue.
Since IPTV is enabled by the availability of network technology, the network used to deploy IPTV is important. The IP based platform offers significant advantages; including the ability to integrate television with other IP based services with high-speed internet access and VOIP.
A switched IP network also allows for the delivery of significantly more content and functionality. In a typical TV or satellite network, using broadcast video technology, all the content constantly flows downstream to each customer and the customer switches the content at the set-top box. The customer can select from as many choices as the cable or satellite company can stuff into the pipe flowing into the home.
A switched IP network works differently. Content remains in the network, and only the content the customer selects is sent into the customer’s room. That frees up the bandwidth and the customer’s choice is not limited by the size of the pipe into the home.