Once the Phase 1 standards are released, there won’t be a magical moment where every company
decides to adhere to them immediately. Nevertheless, O’Callaghan expects that not all IPTV vendors
will immediately embrace the standards. “A standard is a common point (from which) to deviate,” he
said half-jokingly. “Not every document will be used by every company,” O’Callaghan said. Some
companies may decide to use one part of the IIF standards, while skipping another. “It’s not all or
nothing,” he points out.
Since many top IPTV vendors are involved in IIF, they should be able to get IIF-standard products to
market within 6 to 9 months after the standard is released. Companies that haven’t been involved in IIF
and don’t know the standard well will likely take an estimated 18 months to get IIF products out the
O’Callaghan said that Verizon will move towards the IPTV standard once they’re released. “Verizon
wanted to expand its use of IP, but we don’t want to get ahead of the specs,” he said. Verizon currently
uses a hybrid IPTV/standard cable architecture and he cautioned his bosses to not go forward to full
IPTV until there was a standard and it is vetted and competition in the marketplace. “Verizon insists on
standards--we’re not fond of proprietary,” O’Callaghan said. Having every vendor with the same
standards makes it easier to make comparison bids and respond to RFPs, he added.
So far, ATIS hasn’t made a decision whether to have a certification process or sticker that can be
placed on equipment. That’s something that will be decided later. “It’s possible we can have
equipment or a TV that has the IFF logo on it,” O’Callaghan said.
So the big question is: will standards hinder technological innovation? O’Callaghan said that IIF would
continue to move on and innovate as companies introduce new technologies. “Innovation doesn’t mean
you’re against standards,” he said. Besides, standards are very useful to maturing a market and have
been shown not to stifle innovation. O’Callaghan cited caller ID and TV broadcast standards that have
opened up groundbreaking new areas and businesses.
Although ATIS has worldwide participation, the organization’s mission is on the North American
markets. This may rankle international companies and service providers, but any company anywhere in
the world can use the standards developed by ATIS. When it comes to existing standards, ATIS is
intent on not reinventing the wheel and re-writing those that are already developed, O’Callaghan said.
“We don’t want the ‘not invented here’ syndrome.”
There seems to be some competition with IPTV standards. In March 2007 the Open IPTV Forum
formed with founding companies AT&T, Ericsson, France Telecom, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung,
Siemens Networks, Sony, and Telecom Italia. O’Callaghan said the IIF hasn’t had many conversations
with them. He is puzzled, however, about the Open IPTV Forum since they are not open to anyone but
the founders and they’re not accredited by ANSI or ISO. “Verizon has no desire to be part of it,” he
Overall, the work being accomplished by IIF looks to be going on track. Early on, there was some fiery
debate regarding the role of IMS, but everyone decided to come to a “mutually unacceptable
compromise,” as he jokingly called it.
“The potential of IPTV is quite large,” O’Callaghan said. “It’s a great opportunity for convergence.”
He cautions, however, that it will be a long time before standards are in place. “It’s like an elephant,”
he said. “You have to eat it one bite at a time.”
The IIF has Completed these IPTV Standards
IPTV Architecture Roadmap (ATIS-0800003).
The Roadmap prioritizes and scopes needed specification development efforts based on ATIS IIF’s
IPTV Architecture Requirements (ATIS-0800002) released in June 2006.
The IPTV High Level Architecture Standard, (ATIS-0800007).
This ATIS standard provides a high-level architectural framework to enable end-to-end systems’
implementation and interoperability for the supporting network design. It serves as a reference
architecture for IPTV functional specifications being developed by the IIF.
The IIF Default Scrambling Algorithm – IPTV Interoperability Specification (IDSA), (ATIS
This newly released standard specifies a default scrambling/de-scrambling algorithm for the MPEG-2
Transport Stream and scrambling algorithm signaling.
IPTV DRM Interoperability Requirements (ATIS-0800001).
This ATIS standard defines the requirements for the interoperability of systems and components in the
IPTV DRM/security environment.
A Framework for QoS Metrics and Measurements Supporting IPTV Services (ATIS-0800004).
This document provides an initial industry consensus view of scope, definitions, and tools to support
the creation of IPTV Quality of Service (QoS) metrics and measurements within ATIS IIF.