03.22.2005 10:39 AM
STB storage technology adds new delivery channel

Skystream’s Mediaplex system supports MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC encoding and includes video multiplexing and demultiplexing, routing, video rate shaping, stream replication, and ATM to IP conversion.
The IPTV Forum met in London last week to talk about advances in content delivery over broadband. Telecom operators have long looked at content distribution as new revenue potential. The big obstacle has been the lack of guaranteed bandwidth over ADSL. Cable and satellite operators have control over the quality of service (QoS) that they deliver to the viewer. IP over ADSL has suffered from issues of contention and low bandwidth resulting in long-promised VOD services getting a slow start.

The availability of Internet-enabled set-top boxes with integral hard drives means that boxes can be pre-loaded with content and neatly circumvent the QoS problems of conventional ADSL circuits. It is now technically possible for telecoms to deliver high-quality video to viewers in competition with conventional broadcasters, cable TV operators and the video rental stores.

It remains to be seen how this new delivery channel will change business models for the sale of premium on-demand content. The content server will now have to co-exist with the edge server sitting on top of the viewer's receiver. Several providers showcased new systems and products at the accompanying exhibition.

Skystream Networks announced that seven European telecom operators have selected its IP video delivery platforms to deploy digital television and music services over DSL in the past six months. Skystream manufactures carrier-grade MPEG encoding solutions for head-ends to support push VOD. The Mediaplex system supports MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC encoding and includes video multiplexing and demultiplexing, routing, video rate-shaping, stream replication, and ATM-to-IP conversion.

For more information, visit www.iptv-forum.com, www.skystream.com.

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