Friday, March 27, 2009

Impact of the Lack of IPTV Standards

Light Reading published an article describing the discussion at an IPTV World Forum panel discussion. The panelists said that the lack of IPTV standards is holding back investment in IPTV technology. They also said that there are tremendous opportunities for interactive advertising opportunities in IPTV if the industry would broadly support open standards.

This is an interesting perspective. The key is the middleware software, which is quite fragmented. Microsoft, Thomson, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Siemens, Cascade, and Minerva all have a significant share of this market. There is no commonality between them which has created a fragmented market. It is hard to see how a single market based on open standards will be created out of this. This may well be the Achilles heel that will cause over the to Internet delivered TV predominate in the end.


Bernie said...

I addressed this issue in a 2008 Light Reading blog post - lack of standards is a huge negative for IPTV and the whole telecom industry. Cable does a much better job.

franz said...

I'd like to know what is the gut feeling of IPTV experts about the Open IPTV Forum standardisation effort.
Assuming (strong assumption indeed, but let's assume it for argument's sake) that sooner or later (e.g. when the over-the-top video has gone too over the top....) the Telco industry starts to realize that an IPTV standard is eventually needed, for this purpose do you think that the Open IPTV Forum specifications can be that standard?
Thanks for sharing your views.

Bob Larribeau said...

Great subject! I will start with my thoughts. I have always applauded standards efforts but I have never understood how they could have much effect on the industry. The major carriers have set their middleware strategies and will find it quite difficult to change. It is just to late today for these standards efforts to have much effect.

The other question is if the Open IPTV Forum standarisation effort will predominate over other standards efforts such as the ITU's efforts. I expect that the major standardization efforts will have to merge their efforts over time and produce harmonized standards. Otherwise, they absolutely have no chance.

Any other thoughts?

Bob Larribeau