A consortium with the vision to bring back simplicity back to the TV consumer is reporting progress on the development of a STB-less IPTV standard.
Speaking at the TNO IPTV Seminar in The Hague, Menno Bangma, senior consultant media technology at TNO, said the aim is to make the TV experience “as it used to be back in the analogue days.” No set-top box, no additional wiring, just a single remote control – but with of course all the features of digital TV delivery.
The TNO-led group brings together a large number of IPTV operators, including Austria’s A1, KPN, Swisscom, TDC, Proximus, Boxer and M-Tel, as well as various industry partners. The group aims to establish an ecosystem for IPTV directly to the TV set. The first pre-standard was shown at IBC 2013 by TP Vision, Accenture, SmardTV, and TNO.
In 2014, the OIPF feature package for STB-less IPTV was published, the DVB CI+ 1.4 was set, as well as full specs for service deployment. A prototype with full STB feature parity, including networks based PVR, a full feature GUI,IP routing through the CAM and conditional access in the CAM was developed.
Banga expects the first friendly user trials to happen in 2015 as well as the first commercial launch. “We managed to find solutions and consensus to all aspects of the solutions with operators and industry partners. We also established a roadmap towards commercial launch – so we went from it’s feasible to it’s real.”
The launch of any STB-less IPTV solution relies on cooperation with the TV vendors, “we are close to consensus om how to implement these features, which is acceptable to them.”
The standard is based on an app, which is 90% based on HbbTV, as the HbbTV browser is common across all brands, plus 10% on extensions.