Open IPTV Forum Forms Working Relationships with DLNA, DVB, ETSI

-- LG, Samsung, Sony Pictures, Valens to Form HDBaseT Alliance

The Open IPTV Forum (OIPF)--an industry group that is attempting to bring together telcos, consumer electronics manufacturers, and network infrastructure providers, in order to develop specifications for an open, end-to-end solution that will facilitate development and deployment of interactive, personalized IPTV services (note: the organization, whose founding members include Ericsson, FT Group, Nokia Siemens, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony and Telecom Italia, recently published the Architecture Specification for IPTV infrastructure elements and services to be included in Release 2 of its OIPF Specifications--see the article published on itvt.com, September 8th--and also recently published the Profiles specification for its Release 1 IPTV Solution--see the article published on itvt.com, October 11th; in addition, it held its first interop event last month--see the article published on itvt.com, November 24th)--announced Tuesday that it has signed "liaison agreements" with the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), the Digital Video Broadcasting Project (DVB) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to further the drive for an interoperable end-to-end IPTV solution for both managed-network and open Internet deployments globally.

According to the OIPF, the agreements underline its commitment to using existing and emerging technologies and specifications from standardization bodies and other industry associations: DLNA, DVB and ETSI specifications are the basis for major parts of the OIPF Release 1 specifications, the OIPF says, and the new agreements will foster cooperation with these organizations, ensure proper re-use of specifications and further drive the alignment of the various IPTV specs. The agreements are billed as allowing for regular information exchange, the participation of observers and joint promotion activities in areas of mutual interest which center around all aspects of IPTV services delivered via managed networks, the open Internet and the home network. According to the OIPF, they cover work on requirements, architecture, protocols and interoperability testing for media formats, metadata, content delivery, network control, application execution environments and content and service protections, among other things. The organization says that the agreements mark the next step in its efforts to strengthen its ties with other organizations active in the IPTV space, and that it plans to establish similar partnerships with other relevant organizations over the coming year. "These working relationships with DLNA, DVB and ETSI mean that the Open IPTV Forum can re-use these organizations' 'best-of-class' specifications," OIPF chairman, Yun Chao Hu, said in a prepared statement. "This ensures an optimal time-to-market for end-to-end implementations that will benefit IPTV consumers. I am really looking forward to the execution of these working relationships."

In other standards news: LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Valens Semiconductor said Tuesday that they plan to launch a cross-industry alliance to promote and standardize the HDBaseT technology for whole-home distribution of uncompressed HD multimedia content (note: HDBaseT is billed as enabling simultaneous multi-room distribution of uncompressed HD multimedia, as well as data, control and power, over a single CAT5e cable). According to the companies, the HDBaseT Alliance will bring together key players in the consumer electronics and content industries, in order to create a global standard for advanced digital media distribution. The Alliance's standardization activities will, the companies say, cover the entire value chain of the digital media ecosystem and its various market segments, including TV sets, projectors, professional AV equipment, home theater, content providers, IT companies and more. "As the consumption of and demand for high-quality HD content increases, so does the interest of the end-user in extending their entertainment experience to their entire home," the HDBaseT Alliance members state in their press materials for the new organization. "Consumers are looking for a way to connect TV's and other display equipment with entertainment devices, such as a Blu-ray DVD player, for in-home converged distribution of HD multimedia content. Some of the existing technologies are limited in terms of bandwidth and cannot support uncompressed video. The demand for in-home converged distribution of HD multimedia content and the lack of adequate existing technologies are driving the industry toward an HD digital connectivity standard, such as HDBaseT, which increases distance of uncompressed HD multimedia content transfer, expands distribution, simplifies installations and lowers overall system cost."

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