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EE / 07 / 6750

Introduction to IPTV
IPTV is a technology which is working over the copper or fiber networks to deliver Television. It is system capable of receiving and displaying video streams on a TV, which are encoded as a series of IP packets. IPTV is not just about TV, it’s allows browse the internet and make long distance calls using VoIP and all this on their broadband connection.

IPTV working mechanism
To make IPTV happen, need DSL connection. Generally a device called Set Top Box (STB) is installed at the customer premises. This device is connected to the DSL connection at one end and other end connected to the TV through composite video and stereo sound. The main task of STB is assembled the IP packets at the customer premises into relevant audio video stream and decoding the content. To archive this, no need to use a STB, the computer has the ability to the process. But for commercial purpose and people are not sitting around the computer, the STB is introduced to make IPTV happen on traditional television sets. The IPTV network can be divided into four sections; 1. 2. 3. 4. Headend Core Network Access Network Home Network

The following figure show how IPTV come to the customer premises from beginning to the end.

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Headend This is the heart of the IPTV system. The equipments are typically based on PC servers. The purpose of this part is preparing the video to reach subscriber as he want. Mostly the international TV channels are pulled from satellites (local channel taking from off air or installed dedicated encored at TV operator, and make a fiber connection to the main video server). Then the videos are encoded according to the necessity. Most popular formats are MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Windows Media and H.264. Then the encoded videos are broken into IP packets and put them into the IP network The Servers are capable of doing user authentication, requests of channel change, Video on Demand, billing etc.

Fig-1. Headend Core Network Generally core network consist with backbones. The core network can be any kind of network like MPLS and it get data from headend and deliver it to the Access network. The main purpose of the core network is provides bandwidth for network traffic. Access Network Provide network link from core network to home network. To deliver IPTV to customer DSL technology is used. DSLAM make happen DSL and transfer signals from optical fiber to copper cable. All channels are multicast from the headend to the access network (local office) at same time. These data come in a huge rate of data transfer speed. But due to
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local DSL loop, a bottle neck is appeared. The DSL local loop has no capacity to stream all channels at once. DSL can come around 25Mbps and the speed is drop as the distance increase. So the channels are sent through the DSL channel few at a time. There is another technology called FTTH (Fiber-to-the-home). Unlike copper wire, an optical fiber cable is come to the subscriber and provides high bandwidth. Home Network Basically it is consisted with the router and Set-Top-Box (STB). The router terminates the WAN link and makes IP packets. STB is an IP receiver and decode the IP packets into continuous audio and video stream. Those video and audio are sent as composite and stereo sound to the TV. The STB is installed at customer end (Home Network) and it is an IP receiver. When the user changes the channel on STB, it changes to a new multicast group using IP Group Membership Protocol (IGMP). When the request received by local office, it check for that the user has authentication either watch or not. If authenticated, then the routers at local office are directed to add the relevant customer to the channels’ distribution list. The network is how much good, there is possibilities of errors on video streams. For a unicast video stream, errors are less issues and the STB can request for lost or corrupted IP packets from the server. But in Multicast, it is more important to ensure that the network is well designed including Home Network. Otherwise the STB can only stream, not to make additional request, such as corrupted and lost packets. So to avoid this, the multicast stream compound with different type of error correction methods, such as forward error correction (FEC). In FEC, additional packets are transmitted as part of the stream. Because of multicast technology, same content is received by every subscriber. But does not support features like, Video on Demand (VoD). In VoD, need a unique stream to the subscriber home and it is a unicast. In this type of stream, generally used Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP). This allows to the user to DVD-style control over the multimedia stream and Play, Stop or fast-forward the program they are watching. Due to the bandwidth, the local office cannot send more video streams simultaneous. But it is rarely more than four. If the video is encoded to Windows Media, it takes up to 1.0Mbps to 1.5Mbps for standard TV. ADSL has bandwidth of more than 1.5Mbps, so about eight channels can be sent without

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occurring problems. But when it is HDTV, the bandwidth is about 20Mbps to 25Mbps. So is a problem. When comparing MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, MPEG-2 consumes more bandwidth, because it has lower compression ratio. Foe MPEG-2 needs bandwidth of 3.5Mbps for standard TV and 18Mbps to 20Mbps for HDTV. MPEG-4 has higher compression.

Compression of Video & Audio
MPEG In analog videos should be converted to digital and compress before it transmits through IP network. The MPEG (Moving Pictures Expert Group) is standard digital video compression method for TV system. MPEG can be found every type of digital devices such as, Audio CD, DVD etc. IPTV used that type of video compression method to deliver TV to the home. There is several type of MPEG compression method and most popular types are mpeg-1, mpeg-2, mpeg-3 (for audio) and mpeg-4. For IPTV, it is used mpeg-2 and mpeg-4. MPEG-2 MPEG-2 is developed for high-bandwidth or broadband usage. Support interlace and High Definition (HD). In DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) and DVD, mpeg-2 can be found. MPEG-4 MPEG-4 is advanced version of MPEG-2 and specially designed for low bandwidth audio and video encoding purpose. It is a higher compression method and can be send much information more than MPEG-2 at same data rate. So on IPTV, MPEG-4 is musch helpful in multicasting HDTV programs, because HDTV contents much information more than SDTV.

Features
Video on Demand (VoD) VoD is TV technology, which allows to subscriber to watch tv programs real time or download them and watch later. With VoD, the video is downloaded from main server to the local TV. Using this feature, the subscriber can pause, rewind or fast forward the program as watching a DVD. When VoD is on, it happens unicast from VoD server to subscriber STB.

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Equipments
Routers / Gateways The router is the entry point to the broadband and IPTV service from home. Routers are needed to translate and distribute IP traffics between service provider network and home network. Set-Top-Box (STB) STB is a key device in home entertainment network. It is simply an IP receiver.

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Reference:
• http://web.itu.edu.tr/~pazarci/rtv/MPEGtutorial1.pdf • IPTV crash course By Joseph Weber, Tom Newberry • http://www2.sec.upm.es/gdem/pdf/IECON06.pdf

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