IPTV: It's all in the software

07 Dec 2006
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In the IPTV game, the key to deploying a profitable service - aside from the content itself - lies in the software, not just the hardware.

For IPTV middleware vendors like Kasenna, that means open-standards based platforms that allow operators to adopt a portal-style model for IPTV services.

'With proprietary software, you get what you get,' said Raymond Hsu, VP North Asia sales for Kasenna, at ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006. 'We use a Linux-based platform, which operators can use to build a scalable network with content distributed intelligently in the network.'

That's crucial, Hsu said, because telcos want a platform that allows them to personalize - and differentiate - their IPTV platforms as much as possible. 'You don't want your PVR to be like your competitor's PVR, for example,' he said.

RGB Networks applies a similar philosophy in its video processor products, opting for FPGA chips over ASICs.

'That programmability allows us to mix and match functionality on the same hardware,' said Adam Tom, co-founder and executive VP for business development at RGB. 'For operators, that means customized video processors based on specific network needs - telcos vs DTH operators, for example. It also means more efficient, cost-effective video processing because one chip can handle multiple video streams rather than having a dedicated chip per stream.'

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