IP Television is a process of sending television signals over the Internet or other types of data networks. If the television signal is in analog form (standard TV or HDTV) the video and audio signals are first converted to a digital form. Packet routing information is then added to the digital video and voice signals so they can be routed through the Internet or data network.
To get IP Television you need these key parts:
- Viewing devices or adapters
- Broadband access providers
- IP television service providers
- Media content providers
The viewing devices or adapters convert digital television signals into a form that can be controlled and viewed by users. Broadband access providers supply the high-speed data connection that can transfer the digital video television signals. Service providers identify and control the connections between the viewing devices and the content providers (media sources). Media content providers create information that people want to view or obtain.
watch IP television channels. IP televisions are devices that are specifically designed to watch television channels through the Internet without the need for adapter boxes or media gateways.
shows several types of IP television viewing devices. This diagram shows that some of the options for viewing devices include multimedia computers, television adapters, IP televisions and mobile telephones. Multimedia computers (desktops and laptops) allow some multimedia computers to watch Internet television programs without the need for adapters provided they have the multimedia browsers that have the appropriate media plug-ins.
Television adapters connect standard television RF or video and audio connectors to data jacks or wireless LAN connections. IP televisions can be directly connected to data jacks or wireless LAN connections. Mobile telephones that have multimedia capabilities can be used to watch IPTV if the mobile telephone system they use provides the broadband web along with the necessary media gateways.
Broadband access providers transfer high-speed data to the end users. The type of technology used by broadband access providers
IP Television Viewing Devices
can play an important part in the ability and/or quality of IP television services.
shows the key types of broadband access providers that can be used to provide Internet television service. This diagram shows that some of the common types of broadband access systems that are available include powerline data distribution, cable modems, digital subscriber lines (DSL) and wireless local area network systems (3G wireless, WLAN, MMDS, and LMDS).
Internet television service providers (ITVSPs) help customers find Internet television channels and manage connections between media sources. While it is possible in some cases for end users to directly connect to a media source by using an IP address or even a web link, Internet television providers may simplify the programming guide choices. Internet television service providers may also provide connections to subscription controlled television sources. For this role, the IP television service
Broadband Access Providers
provider makes a business relationship with the media source. The IP television service provider may pay the media provider from funds it collects from their end user’s.
Figure 1.3 shows that Internet television service providers (ITVSPs) are primarily made of computers that are connected to the Internet and software to operate call processing and other services. In this diagram, a computer keeps track of which customers are active (registration) and what features and services are authorized.
When television channel requests are processed, the ITVSP sends messages to gateways via the Internet allowing television channels to be connected to a selected media gateway source
These media gateways transfer their billing details to a clearinghouse so the ITVSP can pay for the gateway’s usage. The ITVSP then can use this billing information to charge the customer for channels viewed.
Content providers create different types of television media programs that are distributed through a variety of media distribution channels. Common program distribution channels include movie theaters, pay per view, airlines and specialty channels, video rentals, and television networks. Traditional television network content sources include movies, television programs, sports channels, news services and other information sources.
IP Television Service Providers
Television networks have traditionally been a closed distribution system where the television network determined which program sources could reach viewers. Television networks such as cable television, satellite systems and VHF/UHF transmission systems had a limited number of channels (up to several hundred channels).
IP television systems can be provided through broadband communication systems that can reach content providers and viewers in any part of the world. This allows IP television service providers to offer many new content pro-grams that have not been available for standard television distribution systems. New types of content sources include personal media channels, global television channels, interactive media, public video sources and private video sources.
Personal media channels allow viewers to create their own television channel, upload their content such as pictures and videos and share their content with other IP television viewers. IP television systems provide access to television channels throughout the world. Some of the more popular global television channels that are available on IP television include news channels, business channels and music television. IP televisions may provide access to interactive media such as games, chat rooms and e-commerce shopping.
IP Television Media Content Providers
Governments and public groups have begun providing real time video access to public sources such as courtrooms, popular public places and public web cams. Private video sources are provided by companies or people who are willing to provide and pay to have their signals available on television. Some common private television channels include religious groups, education sources and sports channels.
Figure 1.4 shows some of the existing and new types of IP television content providers. This diagram shows that IP television content includes traditional television content sources such as movies, news services, sports, education, religious and other forms of one-way information content. New types of IP television
content includes personal media, global television channels, interactive media, public video sources and private video sources.