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Television Media

Undisclosed Markets to Participate in IPTV Trial 141

Posted by Zonk
from the new-fangled-old-tech dept.
prostoalex writes "Associated Press has the story that three communications corporations are doing test trials of IP-based television in undisclosed markets. From the article: "SBC Communications, the dominant local phone company from the Midwest to California, is deploying a full-blown IPTV system that it plans to launch by year-end in at least a few undisclosed markets. Verizon Communications plans to offer some interactive IP-based features on top of a conventional digital cable service... BellSouth has expressed doubt about whether a cable rollout makes financial sense, the company sees enough potential to trial IPTV technology in undisclosed markets." Currently about 1 mln Europeans get their television via phone line."
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Undisclosed Markets to Participate in IPTV Trial

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  • ..i'll just be glad when we start to get HDTV signals
  • Microsoft TV (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IO ERROR (128968) * <error&ioerror,us> on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:32PM (#11663438) Homepage Journal
    The three Bells are using technology from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), a coup for the software maker after a decade of frustrated attempts to extend its software's dominance from the personal computer to cable television.

    Many bemoan that dominance in the PC world, but the choice of Microsoft might mean greater ease in the effort to meld TV with the Internet.

    "If you're going to be implementing some new capability that requires software, they're the go-to company," regardless of whether they have the best technology, said Leigh. "Who's going to fire you if you choose Microsoft? If you choose Digital Data Wack, and it doesn't work, then you're going to get fired."

    It's sorely disappointing to continue to see this attitude. Many of us "bemoan" Microsoft because their software doesn't work, exactly what this analyst claims they're trying to avoid. Do you get fired if you choose Microsoft and it doesn't work? What's wrong with this picture?

    • Re:Microsoft TV (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:36PM (#11663473)
      Do you get fired if you choose Microsoft and it doesn't work?

      No. Because it's Microsoft. If you choose Microsoft and it doesn't work, you get to pass on the blame; but nobody in the corporate world blames Microsoft, since Microsoft is seen as unavoidable, almost a force of nature. If you choose Microsoft and it doesn't work, then nobody does anything about this your customers just have to put up with using a product that doesn't work.

      In other words: No, because if you choose Microsoft and it doesn't work, you get to move the goalposts of what constitutes "working" to whatever crappy point you're at. It's like that old joke, how many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a light bulb? They don't change it, they just define darkness as the new standard.
    • Apple has a patent out on an implementation of TV in quicktime. you can read about it here. [macsimumnews.com]

      Microsoft proably has the cash to muscle out (or buy out) a lot of start ups in this area, but It wouldn't suprise me to see someone like apple, or maybe someone less consumer oriented like cisco stand up to microsoft and not let them take the market without a fight.

    • Personally, I'd be tempted to fire someone whop chose MS even if it did work, if that was their only reason for choosing them.
    • What's wrong is that you choose Microsoft and it works just enough not to get you fired :)

      It works most of the time and in much of the way it should always leading you to hope that with a little more tweaking it would be perfect.

  • by vijayiyer (728590) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:32PM (#11663439)
    This is why Verizon is rolling out fiber to the home (http://www.verizon.net/fios/). They're afraid of the cable companies with their one stop shop for phone, TV, and internet, and the telcos need to do the same to avoid extinction.
    • by ottothecow (600101) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:46PM (#11663565) Homepage
      As afraid as the telcos may be, I think that they still have a strong foothold both in the wireless phone world and the fact that there is never enough bandwidth.

      With a phone line and broadcast/cable tv, there is never a bandwidth problem. The TV station can send their signals over the air and from that point anyone can recieve as much of their programming as they want. As we start routing everything over IP, we had better hope that new technologies emerge to provide guaranteed connection availability and bandwidth because nobody wants their Desperate Housewives to be laggy.

      • The TV station can send their signals over the air

        Wow, you can get TV from over the air!! Wireless TV, what will they think of next!!

        Oh, wait, you don't mean satellite, do you?

        Seriously, though, I know damn few people who get their TV off traditional broadcast these days... life without South Park or the Surreal Life would be pretty brutal...

        nobody wants their Desperate Housewives to be laggy.

        That's where having a large local storage capacity and TiVo-like playback/order-ahead capability come in handy. S

    • Exactly. (Score:3, Insightful)

      Exactly. I think that the cable companies are the ones that should be afraid right now. Fiber to the door will blow them away.
    • All this competition leading to superior services for the end-user is sickening me. How am I supposed to be jaded and skeptical about capitalism when it's working?
    • Yes, but how quickly can Verizon deploy its FIOS? I am waiting for them to deploy in my city. I cannot get broadband services. :(
  • Great (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:32PM (#11663442)
    So we'll get the crappy content you get on TV; combined with the poor consistency in quality of service and poor customer support you get from an ISP; combined with the restrictive DRM, poor interoperability, and vendor lock-in you get from Microsoft software (they're providing the tech, look at the article).

    It's the worst of all possible worlds. I sure can't wait until they find a way to make it mandatory.
    • Re:Great (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ConceptJunkie (24823)
      I'm sure Orrin Hatch is drafting the legislation as we speak.

    • Even worse... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Nik13 (837926)
      Add that with the usual rather limited bitrate that IPTV uses, and perhaps licensing issues (seeing how VC1 has 12 companies that popped up saying they're violating their IP, and that VC1 is WM9 based). Add that microsft just singed up a deal with Macrovision (taking some possibilities away from you - and also passing you the licensing fees to pay). And from what I recall, WM Audio isn't such a great codec either. It's probably adequate for boring TV stuff, but still sucks to settle for "less".

      The DVB st
  • by Cryofan (194126) <cryofan@yahoo . c om> on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:33PM (#11663445) Homepage Journal
    This sounds like client server or multicast....but what we really need is something that can help launch p2p iptv or that can be morphed into p2p iptv.

    The problem with this SBC proposal is that the content is still corporate-controlled.
    • SBC is client/server since they are rolling out fiber to the neighborhood and VDSL to the home. This allows only one or two channels at a time to be transmitted. Verizon is multicast; their fiber directly to the home allows significantly more bandwidth; they will transmit all channels at once and have an STB decode them.

      p2p IPTV should actually be helped by Verizon's FTTH solution, since the pricing isn't completely off base [slashdot.org] and you get quite an upload speed (5MB/s upload for $200/mo). Too bad I'm in o

    • It's already here - it's called "Bittorrent". :-)
  • Great. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    My Daughter will never get off the phone line. Ever.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:35PM (#11663468)
    TELUS has been trialing IP based TV in Edmonton. It will launch soon in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.
  • by PxM (855264) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:36PM (#11663476)
    Wake me onces TV companies begin to distribute shows (either paid or free w/ commercials) over something like BitTorrent. If they release an "offical" video file onto the web and then attack anyone who distributes a version without commercials, then there won't be that big of a problem with P2P sites since everyone who watches the show will also see the commercials. The only people who would object would be cable TV providers since they no longer have a purpose. This would also get around any FCC problems.

    To make sure people watch the commercials, you can use a custom player/P2P app that disable fast forwarding during commercials the first time it is downloaded or some other method to make sure they watch X seconds commercials for every Y minutes of the show.
    --
    Free iPod? Try a free Mac Mini [freeminimacs.com]
    Or a free Nintendo DS [freegamingsystems.com]
    Wired article as proof [wired.com]
    • And a week after that custom player/P2P app is released, there will be hacks and alternatives.
    • I agree-- a p2p system to distribute tv is the way to go. And it can happen to much of America if low cost municipal WIFI takes off. That in and off itself would be sufficient to get enough data across, and the added competition would precipitate a sharp drop in broadband prices.

      As for supporting production, how about embedded ads in the video? product placement?
    • Mod him up! Except for the silly thing about custom players. Give me standard MPEG-4. You have no more certainty people will skip the commercials than you had with people muting, or leaving the room for water/pee during the standard broadcast.

      And, the distribution costs are so negligible with a bit torrent type system! Think about what it costs to run a full broadcast system, versus hosting a torrent.
  • by werdnapk (706357) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:38PM (#11663493)

    Here in Canada, at least in Manitoba, they've had TV over the phone line for a little while now.

    Here's [mts.ca] their website.

    I don't know first hand what people's experiences have been with it though.

  • by Space_Soldier (628825) <not4_u@hotmail.com> on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:40PM (#11663505)
    Buffering (30%)...
    Buffering (40%)... ...
    Buffering (100%)
    Playing 10s
    Buffering (10%) ....

    Enough said...
  • TV is so much crap, I'm done watching it. Actually I haven't been watching TV for the past two years and I guess it's unworthy of the bandwidth. But how much exatcly does it take to send a proper HDTV signal?
    I assume that in such network you're only receiving what you're watching instead of all the channels like it is right now?
    • TV is so much crap, I'm done watching it. Actually I haven't been watching TV for the past two years

      You deserve a medal. Check your local listings of the time and channel of the medal awards cermony.
    • Re:Bandwidth? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by UserChrisCanter4 (464072) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:50PM (#11663596)
      But how much exatcly does it take to send a proper HDTV signal?

      Anywhere from 4 to 37mbps. 4 mbps would assume the low end of a DTV (that's SD signal), encoded using the normal MPEG-2 DTV standard. 37mbps is the highest HD feed I know of; it's the bitrate found on the D-Theater D-VHS source tapes. More realistically, a proper HD (720p or 1080i) signal over the airwaves is between 20 and 27 mbps. So we are talking about a decent amount of bandwidth here.

      Of course, it's more likely that they're encoding in an MPEG-4 or Windows Media 9 format, given that the use of a set-top box eliminates the need for maintaining the HD standard of MPEG-2 video plus Dolby Digital audio.
      • Multicast cuts down on this consideribly (not the real bandwdith...but with many customers). Hopefully this will increase the use of Multicast (I'm not holding my breath). It would be nice to see wide deployment of multicast across the Internet (Internet2 is already fully multicast enabled)
      • Typical HD contents here (satellite) is 13mbps (720p 95% of the time, mpeg2 of course). Looks great :) Record it and convert to mpeg4 yourself, makes nice DRM-free HD DVDs (on DVDRs). No need to wait for whatever new expensive format/disc comes out in a year or 3 :) Pretty CPU intensive mind you. OTA seems to have nice high bitrates, wish I could receive some feeds.
      • "Anywhere from 4 to 37mbps."

        What does that work out to in cycles per second (Hertz)?

        • That depends on how the data is encoded. ATSC (USA OTA HDTV) fits 19 Mbps in a 6 MHz television channel. Digital cable can support 39 Mbps in a 6 MHz television channel.
    • For an off-air digital broadcast we get 19.3 Meg of bandwidth. When we air a true HD program we give it a minimum of 14 Meg. A native HDSDI stream is 1.5 gig. Even when it gets mux'ed into a ASI stream its 270 meg.
    • Let me answer it this way: Alcatel designed it's next generation DSL systems (likely the VDSL systems SBC will actually deploy) to handle about 20Mb/home (48 homes equally share 1Gb/s). They figure this allows something on the order of 1 HD, 2 Non-HD, 2 telephone call, and data all traveling on the line without interference (I may be off a tiny bit there, but it's close to what a VP at Alcatel was talking about at Next Generation Networks in September).

      Specifically, I think the HDTV comes out to 6-12MB dep

    • But how much exatcly does it take to send a proper HDTV signal?

      An ATSC channel is is 19.8 Mb/s, which can be divided into several subchannels. Most of my local broadcasters divide their allocations up into a HDTV channel, and a SDTV auxiliary channel. Usually the the subchannel is used for weather information, though my PBS channel gets into the habit of showing "Ooh what a pretty picture" stuff on its main channel, and regular PBS programming on the subchannel. PAX shows 6 channels of SDTV-- mostly relig
      • An ATSC channel is 19.39 Mb/s. We broadcast 4 SDI streams during the day (4 Mb/s each) plus 2 channels of AES audio for each and PSIP info for the stream. I normally have only about 250-500 k of headroom. At night, we have our main PBS feed in SDI (4 Mb/s) and about 14 Mb/s of HD. This feed comes from the main PBS down link and its not just pretty pictures.This is a listing of whats on tonight on our PBS station for today: http://www.klrn.org/Programming/dtvschedule.aspx
  • I'm not even sure that this is going to be feasible in the U.S. anytime soon, but in places like Japan where there is access to affordable and real 'broadband' access, IPTV might be able compete with traditional TV right now!
  • by still cynical (17020) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:53PM (#11663615) Homepage
    Champaign Telephone http://www.ctcn.net/tv.htm/ [ctcn.net] has been doing this for a while now. The way it was explained to me, each TV channel is an ATM network. Changing channels on the remote issues commands to drop the current network, and join the new one. Yes, there is a lag when changing channels, but not huge. If you hit the "channel up" button 25 times, it doesn't join then drop 25 channels in a row, it goes directly to the final one selected.
  • how is this different from digital cable? it is that cable isnt required? I have some friends that would enjoy this if you can get it over a dsl connection...
  • by destiny71 (731278) <destiny71&gmail,com> on Sunday February 13, 2005 @07:59PM (#11663648) Journal
    I work for the local Telco/ISP, and we rolled this out over 3 years ago.

    Runing a Myrio system. Hardware is MainStreets or something like that.

    It's ADSL to the house with a modem. From there, the customer can have up to 2 STB, and unlimited PCs with 3M down, 128k up bandwidth for internet.

    Each STB requires 3M, so if they have low quality lines, they can only have one box.

    The STB is a linux based PC booting from the NIC, with software loaded on a smart card type drive.

    We even have a PPV video on demand system. You can choose the movie you want, and it's streamed from our servers to you. You can stop it, rewind, fast forward, etc. for up to 24 hours. Each movie is streamed out individually to each customer.

  • by McNally (105243) <mmcnallyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday February 13, 2005 @08:00PM (#11663654) Homepage
    I work for a small publicly-owned ISP serving an island in Southeast Alaska [google.com] and we're currently selecting vendors for our own IPTV offering. Many, many small telcos all over the country are in the same initial stages of IPTV projects -- either evaluating or getting ready to make the leap.

    Most of the hardware we've been looking at uses MPEG2 encoding but in the near future the standard is likely to be either MPEG4 or some form of WMV. Microsoft has been aggressively pushing its video codecs and they seem to be gaining traction in the marketplace. However, they're not gaining as much acceptance as they otherwise might in the video world because at this point their reputation precedes them.

    To a small player like us their previous behavior in other markets is more than a little alarming. A Comcast- or SBC-sized provider presumably might have some amount of leverage with Microsoft but what kind of consideration can you expect when you're a tiny little speck on the map in a place few people even know exists? Choosing a proprietary Microsoft standard over a reasonably open industry standard could leave you at Microsoft's mercy and, well, they're not known for mercy, are they?
    • You're probably right. Chances are, we're all going to be seeing HDTV in MPEG-4 part 10 -- also known as H.264 or AVC. It'll be in Blu-Ray, HD DVD, DirecTV, and QuickTime 7... not to mention a whole slew of other applications. I wouldn't be surprised to see cable companies using it... plus the telecos.

      It's an amazing codec since it actually allows stellar HD at surprisingly low bitrates.

      You're also right that Mircosoft has an uphill battle to fight considering nobody really wants to give them control over

    • Since apparently you've been investigating Microsoft, I am curious to understand what they truly have.

      I watched Microsoft's keynote at CES 2005 [microsoft.com] and I have been present at several broadcast tradeshows. (Click the link "100 K" or "300 K", the IPTV demo is 47'30 into the stream).
      I really felt uncomfortable with all the lies. One of them is that by design "IPTV allows instantaneous channel change". What Microsoft is showing is probably a set-top box that decodes 4 streams at the same time. What amount band
  • Here in Calgary, Alberta....Canada.

    Shaw Communications(the cable company) just launched VOIP. Its a blow to TELUS(the phone company) which is going to launch IPTV someday.

    Their IPTV solution apperently sucks beyond belief, and they can't get it to work very effectively. They were doing trials in the regional offices more then a year ago now, and it couldn't get it working in half of them.

    Which indicates they had the basic infastructure in place that long ago, and they have had over a year to work on the
  • SBC and Microsoft working together to send us our TeeVee signal?

    Why do I envision a mutant version of WebTV?

    *Shudder*

    I would swallow carpet tacks than accept service from this flatulent combine of corporations...
  • It'd be really hard to create a successful service without disclosing to consumers exactly where the service is available.

  • I can't see that the current internet infrastructure can support anything like the kind of bandwidth needed for this.
    Millions/Billions of simultaneous full res video streams will surely bring everything to a crawl.
    • I didn't gather whether these are point-to-point transmissions, or broadcasts of some kind. Hopefully point-to-point.

      But is that so infeasable? I don't think so. I download episodes of "Lost" because they look better than on my (analog) cable TV - yet the stream is under 1 megabit per second. Could today's infrastructure handle that for everybody? Certainly not, but the Internet will never grow unless applications push it. And 1 megabit for everybody isn't so hard to imagine. A lot of us are payi

    • It's not going over the internet. It's all on their local network over VDSL. VDSL provides enough bandwidth for the TV.
    • What about the millions of simultaneous porn video streams we have now?
    • 1.5 words: multicast. Built-in to IPV6, available in localized areas already, likely to become more widely available when the great unwashed realize that they can get TV on that thar enternet... TV's already a broadcast-based medium. This isn't TV on demand - it's just a different medium for transporting the existing signal - much like cable TV has done for lots of years (using a single coaxial cable).
  • So I wonder what thier long term plans are for that deal they setup not to long ago with EchoStar(DISHNetwork)?
  • ...the possibilities we were told about when it came to sending communications over electrical lines? (or is that to remain local (@home) only?)
  • becuase i check there every week to get the last weeks episodes of my favorite shows. sure, i'm a week behind, but its not as if mind numbing television is time sensitive.
  • IPTV? (Score:3, Funny)

    by idiotfromia (657688) <chad AT chadbrandos DOT com> on Sunday February 13, 2005 @09:11PM (#11664098) Homepage
    Iowa Public Television [iptv.org] has always been an awesome station.
    • Wow.. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought "IPTV? They already exist all over the state... That's not very 'undisclosed'." :-)
  • Manitoba Telecom Systems have been serving digital television over DSL lines for a while (in Winnipeg only right now, but if a "small" operator like MTS can make it work in a small city like Winnipeg, that's probably good news for the rest of us.)

    MTS TV [www.mts.ca], and FAQ [www.mts.ca].
  • Allendale Communications [altelco.net] in Allendale, Michigan is already providing IPTV. Pannaway [pannaway.com] is providing the 'triple play' solution with voice, data, and tv at the local telco.

    I think it's good that local telco's are adapting so quickly to stay in the race. With the lines already there for use, it makes it easy to dominate the local area. Personally, I would like to see more competition, instead of one massive provider ruling the IPTV market --not that companies like microsoft are bad for anyone... [sorry, lo
  • by SCVirus (774240)
    Hello free (read: pirated) TV!
  • One word COMPETITION!! now maybe comcast will have to lower prices in order to compete. Right now they have you locked in to cable for your TV and Internet because if you drop internet TV price goes up too much to make it worth it. Landlord wont allow A Satellite dish and my room mate wouldnt survive without ESPN.
    • Re:Hallelujah (Score:1, Redundant)

      by cloudmaster (10662)
      http://ftp.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/consumerdish . html

      If you have an area in the residence that is used exclusively by you (or you and your roomate, etc), then you should be able to get a dish.

      BTW, don't buy into Dish's "drop cable because they raise prices" BS, though. My Dish Network bill has gone up in Jan/Feb for each of the 4 years that I've had a dish. Granted, I get a few extra channels that I don't want now, but it still goes up (more than cable did, actually, bu my cable company dropped the p
  • VoIP international? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aussie_a (778472) on Sunday February 13, 2005 @10:48PM (#11664666) Journal
    Will Americans who come over to Australia for 12months as exchange students be able to still watch their shows thanks to VoIP? How about us aussies? We often don't get American shows, will we be able to sign up for American VoIP and get it while in Australia?
  • Like other places in Canada, it's been available in Saskatchewan for quite a while now. Most communities had it rolled out in 2002.

    Sasktel.com
    "Max"
    $C 45.00/month
    $C 5.00 discount per month if bundled with either a long distance package or DSL, $C 10.00 if both
    135 TV channels (some at additional cost to basic package)
    45 streaming Audio channels (commercial free); included in basic
    33 streaming commercial Radio channels, included in basic
    Video-on-Demand movies, included in basic

    I'd link to it, but only the ho
    • Aliant / NBTel engineered this technology with a company they spun-off called iMagicTV. I would almost bet if anyone in Canada is getting tv over DSL, the technology came from iMagicTV in Saint John.

      I think as soon as Aliant was formed, they scrapped all the DSL-cable-tv and gave people Bell ExpressVu because *shock* Bell owns Aliant now. NBTel used to truely be a telephone pioneer. They were pretty deep in bed with Nortel which is why I always chuckled when I saw tv ads for US carriers advertising *69 .
      • iMagicTV was aquired by Alcatel (Paris, France) in 2003. SaskTel uses the iMagicTV technology from Alcatel, along with:
        Set Top Boxes from Pace (UK)
        Switching technology (at source) from Lucent Technologies (their first customer of the Stinger system for TVoverIP)
        Switching technology (teleco to customer) from VComm (Vancouver BC with manufacturing in Saskatoon, SK).

        NBTel was a leading teleco before the Aliant "chainsawing". NBTel and SaskTel were the first (1993), and second (1994), respectively, telecos in
  • I just wish all this wasn't tied to such limited technologies. I'm waiting for a TV that has an open interface for changing channels, so that anything plugged into its control port can do any operation on it. IR is unreliable, but look what has been done with universal remote controls. TiVo tries to use "IR blasters" to change TV channels, but it's unreliable. I would like to see some sort of open hardware communications standard emerge in TV's and stereos, so that anything (eg my computer) can connect
  • With USWest. Basically it was DSL. They called it VDSL or something similar. Worked exactly like digital cable, nothing special about it.
  • One of the things that both programmers (TV programmers, that is) and consumers usually fail to "get" about IPTV is that it takes us completely away from the channel model of programming. A channel is a set of programs - just like a DJ's set is a selection of tracks. There's nothing intrinsic about the programming - it exists because TV spectrum is limited, so programmers pick the programs that they feel will get them the highest ratings in the market.

    But when you move to IPTV, where you can send a highl

    • The idea of watching whatever you want, whenever you want is definitely exciting. As part of my job, I have been studying the possibility to watch any program one would have missed in the past week of programming. You don't even bother to record the programs! All are recorded, on the server side!

      However, a big, big factor to consider is scalability. I don't think you can let 100% of IPTV subscribers watch TV at their own pace. The network cannot handle that.

      What happens when designing an IPTV system,
      • why not have the show download to the TV box? then the people can watch it on local side and all those unicasts will not be a big deal. because they will be dispersed throughout the day... heck, let the people do a Tivo like subscription and then schedule the downloads.

        • > why not have the show download to the TV box?

          I suppose that you mean multicast download, otherwise it would have no significant benefit over unicast streaming. That videos are "pushed" as files to set-top boxes certainly makes sense. I'm sure there's a deployed system somewhere that makes use of that.

          However, for really big numbers of subscribers, it seems to me that having the price of the STBs as low as $80-100 is important. Having a HDD on the box makes it difficult to reach the targeted pric
  • I talked to a SBC employee who said that they are testing Fiber to the premises and providing phone, highspeed internet, and tv content from a satellite provider (Direct TV or Dish Network). They are testing it in new housing developments in Southeastern Michigan.
  • This way, when the cable goes out, you can't call to complain!
  • by loopkin (267769) on Monday February 14, 2005 @03:45AM (#11665815) Homepage
    From the two articles, i don't get everything.

    First, why do you need IP for TV ? over ADSL, it's a lot better to send it in raw ATM. Of course, you can use IP to broadcast TV to the DSLAMs. And if it's IPTV to play TV on the computer, what exactly is the use ? Isn't it better to get it directly on TV ?

    Then, why do you need Microsoft for that ? Are these Bells not using MPEG2 or MPEG4 for TV ?

    And, 1mln users in Europe for TV over ADSL ? It's very very low ! There are about 700 000-800 000 only in France: France #2 ISP provides TV over ADSL [adsl.free.fr] as part of their triple play solution, and they have reached 600 000 [freenews.fr] people subscribed to the triple play offer.
    Also, their triple play offer, and especially the freebox, is running Linux, like most of their whole architecture, so how exactly the Bells' choice is a coup for Microsoft: thet are entering a market very late. In France, all of it has already been taken, with the 3 major ISPs already offering TV over ADSL. And I can't see how Italy could top that, with their currently expensive ADSL.
    Moreover, they're already working [isp-planet.com] on providing HDTV through their triple play offering.

    So i think either i missed the point, or both articles are (at least partially) wrong: some other people explain here that several ISPs are also offering triple play offers in the US or Canada. Can someone explain me ?
    • Looking at the article, I have no idea (btw - do you happen to know how many channels you can get over raw ATM?).

      But a very useful potential feature is video on demand. They could do this as a real VoD system, with potentially hundreds of videos.
    • IP / TV over DSL (Score:2, Informative)

      by aclidiere (698224)

      > First, why do you need IP for TV ? over ADSL, it's a lot better to send it in raw ATM

      What everyone expects from TV over DSL is interactivity. People want video-on-demand, they want to pause or record live, they want to provision their account, etc. At the same time, broadcasters and telcos are looking for new revenue streams. Without IPTV, the features mentioned above would only work if you add a hard-drive to each set-top box (STB). However, for deployments to hundreds of thousands of subscribers
      • Well, i'm quite skeptical about what you say. On Free.fr's STB, the Freebox, you already get a lot of channels, there's already some interactivity (you can check your VoIP's answering machine from the OSD menus on the TV), and they're working on VoD (there's an external IDE port on the freebox). And i'm not sure at all the freebox system works with IPTV. My understanding was that most of the work was done on the DSLAM, and that resulting MPEG2 video packets were sent directly to the STB using raw ATM.

        Now,

        • Interesting.
          If it is true that everything is in raw ATM at Free.fr, I suppose that they wrote some kind of a communication layer for making requests to the DSLAM. If you know of a place where to find further information, I'm interested.
          • Yes, from what i've read, you are right. However, nobody knows exactly how it works. All this is just based on wild observing how all this work (and especially that what counts to get TV is your ATM download rate, not your IP download rate - since download rates on ADSL depends on the distance to the DSLAM, this is quite important to know, because the IP download rate is a lot lower than ATM).
            Someone wrote a paper [b0op.com] (in french) about that. Basically, he guesses that channel hopping is done through IGMP reques
  • IPTV here in the UK. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Goth Biker Babe (311502) on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:14AM (#11666359) Homepage Journal
    One of the nearby cities, Kingston upon Hull (or just Hull as it's generally known) has had IPTV [kcom.com] for some years. The hardware uses an ARM processor and the set top box version of RISC OS [riscos.org].

    Interesting you can thank the privatisation of the telephone system for this development. The telephone system here in the UK used to be run and managed by the Post Office. Then when it was sold off the whole lot was bought by British Telecom (now BT) except for the network around Hull which was bought by the local Council (local government). Eventually the was privatised and became Kingston Communications who were for a while, the only phone company that wasn't BT. So the government restrictions on BT supplying television didn't apply and Kingston set up their own digital television service.

  • How many times must we say it. The internet is not digital TV ! Oh... wait a minute...

    But seriously I think the ability to get TV over the internet could be excellent all round. The consumer hordes can then use the internet TV services and the rest of us can use the "good old" internet.

    Hopefully all the idiots who make flash only, or plugin riddled, "crudsites" will all then fuck off to build internet TV related sites and leave the rest of us the hell alone.

    Hmmm... I can dream can't I ?

If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts. -- Albert Einstein

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