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IPTV Overview– Part 1

Category: IPTV, Multicast
Author: gokhankosem, on 29 Jul 12 - 0 Comments
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IPTV Overview

IPTV with its long name Internet Protocol Television is a television system that this service is delivered using the IP suite over a packet-switched network like internet. Traditionally, the television system is delivered through terrestrial , cable tv or satellite. But IPTV is different than these traditional techniques.

IPTV looks like the same with Internet TV. There is also Internet TV as you know. But there are many differencies between IPTV and Internet TV. Do not confuse!

IPTV has a good QoS and delivered over a managed network. We can give Vitgin TV and BT Vision as an example for the IPTV service. Beside, Internet TV has no guaranteed QoS and usually delivered on unmanaged network/open internet. Youtube is a good example for Internet TV.

We can classify IPTV services into three groups.These are:

  • Live television : Watching at the same time with the world.
  • Time-shifted television : Recording and watching television whenever you want.
  • Video on Demand(VoD) : Watching recorded videos , not television.
  • IPTV Key Protocols

  • HTTP –> Request and Response –> Firefox,Internet Explorer
  • RSTP –> Play,pause,record –> Real Player, Windows Media Player
  • IGMP –> Connecting to the multicast stream(TV channel), Changing from one channel to another
  • Multicast and Unicast IPTV

    We can divide the delivery of the IPTV, into two types. One is multicast IPTV and the other is unicast IPTV .
    With multicast IPTV, the same content is delivered to the multiple receivers. And with unicast IPTV, different content is delivered to every receiver.

    Multicast on IPTV

    In this delivery type, the TV content is sent to many subscribers at the same time . With multicast delivery, the bandwidth is saved, since, only one stream is transmitted over the network. When ever a server multicasts data to the clients, it sends this data to the correspondingrouter only once.

    IPTV does not broadcast to a user all channels at the same time. It divides the channels into groups and sends to each user the group that contains the requested channel. The user can also switch between channels.

    Unicast on IPTV

    IPTV sends a given TV content to a given user. The typical unicast service in IPTV is VoD(Video on Demand). With unicast type, you can nort save bandwidth, because the server must send different content to each user.

    QoE (Quality of Experience)

    While talking about IPTV, itis important to tell something about QoE. QoE(Quality of Experience) is also known as “Quality of User Experience”. QoE is a subjective measure of a customer’s experience with a service like web browsing, TV broadcast, etc.

    QoE system will try ro measure metrics that customer will directly perceive as a qualit parameter. For example it can be the played time for a TV channel on user TV.

    QoE is different from QoS. It is related but different. QoS is attempsts to measure objectively the service delivered by the vendor. QoS generally not related with customer. For example QoS used to reduce jitter by vendor. But a user never says that the jitter is too high.

    For this article that is at all. To learn more about IPTV, read the second part ;) We will continue with the IPTV System Components and IPTV Network Design.

    IPTV Overview– Part 1
    IPTV Overview– Part 2

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    About the Author
    Gokhan Kosem is a telecommunation and network engineer. His ambition to IP networks and end-to-end system installation made him to prepare this web-site. By sharing his experiences about various networking protocols beside different system installation experiences and Cisco, Juniper, Alcatel-Lucent devices configurations, he is aimed to be helpful for his collegues in all over the world. He is currently lives in Istanbul, Turkey.

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