Report urges global IPTV standard

A study by management consultancy Arthur D. Little has warned that without a single, global IPTV standard, the industry could fail to deliver.

According to the report "Open standards for IPTV Set-Top Boxes," with a variety of Internet-ready consoles already in the home (gaming platforms, PCs, DVD players), the industry has yet to reach a consensus as to which device will serve as the hub for delivering IPTV.

It says mass-market take up of IPTV via set-top boxes (STBs) is the industry’s best chance of funding large-scale fibre broadband infrastructure, so ensuring the STB becomes a universal household fixture must remain a top priority for telecom regulators and players along the supply chain.

"With no widely accepted standard for delivering IPTV, the industry risks lower interoperability and higher costs," said Erik Almqvist, partner and head of Arthur D. Little’s Telecommunication, Information, Media and Electronics (TIME) Practice in the Nordic region. "In some cases proprietary solutions can solve this problem, but for the set-top box no proprietary standard is emerging that can achieve sufficient acceptance to drive global demand."