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special report the connected world supplement

been able to contribute to the standardisation efforts of others. For instance, the Forum contributed its HTTP Adaptive Streaming solution dealing with MPEG2 transport (which had not yet been addressed in existing standards) to the ISO, into whose standard the work is now merged. A key example of OIPF

specifications being used at the leading edge is Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV), which has rapidly become an industry standard across Europe and provides an open and business-neutral technology platform combining TV services delivered via broadcast with services delivered via broadband - seamlessly. The HbbTV specification has been

developed initially as a European standard and includes, as its key component, the OIPF’s browser specification. HbbTV products from several major TV manufacturers have already hit the market in Europe and Humax, also now a member of the OIPF, has teamed up with Opera Software, another OIPF member, to launch HD set-top boxes with ready- made web apps, all using the OIPF browser. As Tony Wade, commerical director of Opera Software, said: "We want to bring browsers to all TVs and STBs around the world...and we support both W3C and OIPF standards.” Humax is one of the world’s largest

STB vendors. On joining the OIPF in June, Bob Hannent, senior technology manager at Humax, said: “Humax has a strategy towards the use of open standards as much as possible with its next generation products and, as such, it wishes to engage with the industry in order to facilitate the growth and adoption of these standards.” HbbTV browser features are a

baseline from which the industry can move forward - step by step, feature by feature, to reach the full capability of the connected TV of the future as envisioned by the OIPF.

Towards 2013, 2014 and beyond…

With the publication of major specification releases in 2010 and 2011, the OIPF had completed the definition of end-to end, interoperable specifications for the delivery of protected and unprotected media content and interactive services over IP networks, both managed and unmanaged. As living documents, which evolve to meet the developing

market, maintenance and upgrading has continued on an ongoing basis throughout 2012, adding additional requirements to keep solutions relevant and contemporary. Work in progress includes support for 3D content/programming, support for the evolution to IPv6-based networks, support for simple and secure streaming and a variety of browser enhancements A major focus today is the

implementation of the three OIPF profiles, leveraging the Forum’s unique position (representing more than three-quarters of the retail TV market today) to encourage national and regional standardisation bodies towards deployments using OIPF profiles. The OIPF Specification Profiles can be downloaded for free from

Focus on interoperability testing

OIPF members successfully completed its latest interoperability test event at the Orange Labs in Rennes, France, in order to successfully demonstrate a working OIPF-based IPTV solution. The scope and features

demonstrated at this event were selected by Orange, and chosen as being representative of those which could constitute a viable commercial offering for a typical tier-one service provider. During five days of engineering, testing and demonstrations, OIPF members Ericsson, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Opera Software, Orange and Zenterio successfully resolved and demonstrated interoperability in the areas of service discovery, delivery of linear and on demand content, HTTP adaptive streaming and terminal based applications, all according to the published OIPF specifications. "Successful interoperability testing

events are essential to gaining the confidence of service providers who want to adopt standards-based solutions such as OIPF in their commercial offerings," said Claudia Becker, lead engineer from Orange. "The actions of OIPF members in developing specifications and implementing these in commercial products emphasises that mass- market retail-based IPTV has near- term viability." These tests typically use the HbbTV

features as a baseline and move step- by-step, feature by feature to reach the capabilities of the OIPF’s Baseline Managed Profile.

Paul Szucs, Sony: “A solid foundation of open industry standards-based specifications is essential for the IPTV and connected TV markets to reach their full potential.”

Focus on deployment

Interoperability - with all that brings in terms of market take- up and commercial success - is what will turn the IPTV vision into reality. The OIPF has been instrumental in laying the foundations for ‘mass market’ IPTV. The Forum now has an equal responsibility and challenge in continuing to motivate the industry toward that ultimate goal.

Pilot trials will follow shortly, and recent new member JT Group (formerly Jersey Telecom) is the leading Tier 1 network operator in the Channel Islands, currently on track to deploy a ubiquitous FTTH network across the island of Jersey by 2015, giving every home and business on the island access to amongst the world’s fastest broadband speeds. On joining the OIPF, Dave Newbold, chief operations and technology officer at JT Group, said: “JT’s vision is to become the partner of choice for global telecoms innovation…making use of the point-to-point FTTH network which we are currently rolling out in Jersey. IPTV forms another part of this and will clearly be enabled further with the next generation of fibre broadband services. That’s why, given our FTTH project, we are delighted to now become members of the OIPF in order to be help contribute to its successful development and bring these exciting new products and services to our home market.”

Focus on certification

Dr Nilo Mitra, president of the OIPF, is keen to highlight the importance of the Forum’s focus on certification, saying: “The OIPF certification programme crystallises four years of collaboration to finally offer the industry a common testable platform for connected TVs and STBs.” As a result, service providers will no longer have to undergo costly ‘acceptance’ tests. The OIPF logo will indicate that a service or product is part of an ecosystem in which entertainment and communications can be delivered and consumed in a predictable way, across the diversity of conforming connected televisions and set-top boxes. l the connected world supplement september/october 2012 l ibe l S27

Continued on Page S29.

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