Just when we thought we had mastered modern communications-related acronyms, a new one has appeared. That acronym, IPTV, which is the subject of this book, represents an emerging technology that could change the manner by which we receive home entertainment, obtain training, operate our personal computers, and even use our cell phones. The acronym is an abbreviation for television transmitted over an Internet Protocol (IP) network, but it can also represent a series of technologies that provide television services to screens ranging in size from cell phone displays and personal computer monitors to large plasma and LCD televisions mounted on walls in homes or hung from the ceilings in airports.
Although the acronym IPTV represents the “Internet” as its first character pair, that term merely references the protocol used to transport television and does not mean that content has to be delivered over the Internet. Instead, IPTV refers to the use of the Internet Protocol that is required to be used to deliver television content. That content can include conventional television shows, movies, music videos, and other types of combined audio and video offerings.
Exploring the current state of the IPTV market, business opportunities, and trial services worldwide, this book discusses the advantages that IPTV offers network operators and the new revenue streams that may emerge. It examines different IPTV technologies and the products that manufacturers are bringing to the market. It explores service delivery over IPTV, how services can be bundled, what VOD and interactive services networks will offer, and how these services can deliver relationships with the network operator. It also presents obstacles and possible solutions for security and digital rights management issues over IPTV networks and the risk of piracy and illegal duplication.