IPTV services enable advanced content viewing and navigation by consumers; the technology is rapidly emerging and becoming commercially available. IPTV is being championed by the telecom industry in particular, given the significant IP-based infrastructure these carriers already own. IPTV may be an ideal technology to support 3DTV because of the efficient network pruning supported by IP Multicast. Developers are encouraged to explore the use of IPv6 to support evolving 3DTV needs. 3DTV is a forward-looking service and hence, it should make use of a forward-looking IP transport technology, specifically IPv6.
IP Multicast is also employed for control. While IP Multicast has been around for a number of years, it is now finding fertile commercial applications in the IPTV and DVB-H arenas. Applications such as datacasting (e.g., stock market or other financial data) tend to make use of large multihop networks; pruning is often employed and nodal store-and-forward approaches are completely acceptable. Applications such as video are very sensitive to end-to-end delay, jitter, and (uncorrectable) packet loss; QoS considerations are critical. These networks tend
to have fewer hops and pruning may be somewhat trivially implemented by making use of a simplified network topology.
IPTV services enable traditional carriers to deliver SD (Standard Definition) and HD video to their customers in support of their Triple/Quadruple Play strategies. With the significant erosion in revenues from traditional voice services on wireline-originated calls (both, in terms of depressed pricing and a shift to VoIP over broadband Internet services delivered over cable TV infrastructure), and with the transition of many customers from wireline to wireless services, the traditional telephone carriers find themselves in need of generating new revenues by seeking to deliver video services to their customers. Traditional phone carriers find themselves challenged in the voice arena (by VoIP and other providers); their Internet services are also challenged in the broadband Internet access arena (by cable TV companies); and, their video services are nascent and challenged by a lack of deployed technology.