"Future of TV will rest on stable global standards"

The telecommunications industry sent out a strong message of support for ITU standards for IPTV at recent event held at ITU headquarters. Gathered in Geneva for the first of a new series of ‘ITU Interop’ events, IPTV manufacturers took part in a set of tests to demonstrate seamless global interoperability between their various IPTV devices, which have been manufactured to comply with ITU-developed standards, known as Recommendations.

ITU has been busy pioneering a raft of new standards for the technology, which is set to transform global viewing habits in coming years. Experts agreed that stable global standards will be key to take-up of IPTV, avoiding costly and confusing ‘format wars’ and reduced choice for consumers.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardisation Bureau said that proprietary solutions may offer fast deployment in the short term, but in the medium and longer term buyers would be subject to vendor lock-in, with the risk of costly upgrades and reduced content and hardware choice. "Industry consortia-based 'standards' are mostly region-specific with little or no implementation. This event proves that ITU global standards are ready to go, and in fact are already being implemented," he stated.