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Open standard crucial for IPTV, says report

The development of a universal open standard for IPTV will be crucial to its success, according to a report from consultancy group Arthur D Little.

The report, Open Standards for IPTV Set-top Boxes, argues that mass-market take-up of IPTV via set-top boxes remains a key objective for telecom operators as part of the business model for investment in next-generation networks. However, with a variety of internet-connected devices including games consoles, PCs and DVD players already in the market, there is little consensus about which device will serve as the hub for delivering IPTV.

Without a global IPTV standard, lower interoperability and higher costs remains a strong risk for telcos, the report’s authors argue. According to Arthur D Little, such a standard must be developed by a globally representative body of technology providers and operators to avoid being steered by the agenda of a few powerful players, and must be developed within an open framework with multiple version functionality to allow future innovations to be retrospectively compatible.