TITLE: Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA
AREA / Task Force: IPTV
Status: Final


1.    Situation.........................
Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA




1. Situation

With the worldwide deployment of consumer broadband connectivity, ...
Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA


technical specifications based on new and existing nonproprietary standards and te...
Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA




2. An Efficient and Adaptable Transport Layer for IPTV

One system that ISMA pro...
Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA




2.2    AAC Audio

AAC and HE-AAC are currently the best available standardized a...
Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA




2.4       Profiling




                                                  Media ...
Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA




3. A Secure End-to-End Solution
Security
Security is another important part of a...
Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA


databases, separate interfaces to billing systems, separate customer care systems,...
Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA


The importance of IMS and SDP will be considered by the ISMA in its vision and roa...
Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA



6. Future Directions
ISMA brings the following to the emerging IPTV market:
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  1. 1. TITLE: Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA AREA / Task Force: IPTV Status: Final 1. Situation.............................................................................................................................................................................2 2. An Efficient and Adaptable Transport Layer for IPTV ....................................................................................................4 2.1 MPEG-4/AVC Video.................................................................................................................................................4 2.2 AAC Audio..................................................................................................................................................................5 2.3 IP Transport ................................................................................................................................................................5 2.4 Profiling.......................................................................................................................................................................6 3. A Secure End-to-End Solution ..........................................................................................................................................7 4. Service Provisioning – Triple & Quad Play .......................................................................................................................7 5. An Interoperable Solution .................................................................................................................................................9 6. Future Directions .............................................................................................................................................................10 Internet Streaming Media Alliance Presidio of San Francisco  P.O. Box 29920  572 B Ruger Street  San Francisco, CA 94129-0920, USA www.ISMA.tv  LoBue@ISMA.tv
  2. 2. Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA 1. Situation With the worldwide deployment of consumer broadband connectivity, the broadcasting community is facing the emergence of Internet Protocol (IP) as a means for the delivery of entertainment, news, and virtually all forms of audio- video to the consumer. Whether referred to as IPTV, TV over IP, TV over DSL, or Broadband TV, it consists of the same suite of technologies that allows the delivery of live video, as well as content on demand, to a subscriber through a broadband connection using Internet Protocol (IP). The motivation for layering multiple products on IP is clear: on IP networks, a variety of services can be offered, such as traditional email and Web access, telephony or video-telephony, and other revenue-generating services. However, along with these opportunities, the emergence of IPTV also presents a slew of problems for service providers and content owners. Service providers are faced with a balkanized world of technical solutions. Which of the many choices for codecs, DRM, streaming protocols and middleware are optimal? Service providers are also faced with multiple emerging markets. For example, how can they leverage an investment in terrestrial video in the mobile video market? If these concerns weren’t enough, customer expectations are rising. Today it is not sufficient to simply offer multiple video channels. IPTV services must differentiate themselves with advanced offerings, such as personal portals, media integration, video on demand, and other customized services. And to make matters worse, there is no real ecosystem of IPTV products. The market is dominated by complete end-to-end solutions, painstakingly pulled together by expensive system integrators. It’s grim. Consider the multiple technical solutions available for delivery of video over IP. There are proprietary solutions – since these will not necessarily go away tomorrow they are probably a safe choice. But at the same time, emerging MPEG-4 solutions are making systems much more efficient, so maybe this standards-based system is a better route to go. Then again, MPEG-4 systems are considered expensive compared to existing MPEG-2 solutions, but MPEG-2 video reaches fewer customers because of bandwidth requirements. Among delivery options, there are systems based on legacy MPEG-2 transport streams, but these do not leverage the added flexibility and efficiency made available by the underlying IP infrastructure. What to do? To encode and stream content one needs: content. But content owners are nervous about releasing assets digitally. They require DRM solutions, or at least Conditional Access (CA) systems, before they will release copyrighted materials over IPTV systems. DRM comes in a frightening number of different flavors, but which one can soothe enough worried entertainment executives so that a significant mass of content becomes available to the market? And if customers purchase content for download on a set-top box or PC, can they also view the content on their mobile devices? Many will want to. To participate in the emerging, convergent mobile and terrestrial video delivery markets, service providers must select the right codec, the right DRM, and the right infrastructure. Needless to say, it would be much more efficient and effective if there was a marketplace of interoperable solutions in which products could be mixed and matched. Imagine video servers from companies A, B and C that could be combined with set-top boxes from companies X, Y and Z serving content encoded by any of companies E, F and G, which conveniently also plays on cell phones from companies M, N and O. While some of this is happening, it is almost by luck; ther e i s no central driving force for st and ardi zati on an d uni formit y in the mark et p lace. New markets grow, serve their consumers and become profitable when innovative products break new ground and provide new services. To reach an effective volume, however, the market chaos created by single-vendor, proprietary systems must eventually give way to interoperable, integrated solutions based on open standards. IPTV and the market for advanced video services are now at this critical crossroads. Industry-wide interoperability results in faster product development, expanded market opportunities, reduced risk and best-of-breed product integration. The solutions to these problems are not here today, but the only way to get these solutions is via Standardization and Interoperability Conformance (SIC) programs. This is what the Internet Streaming Media Alliance provides. Founded in 2000, the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA) is a global alliance of industry leaders dedicated to the adoption and deployment of open standards for streaming rich media such as video, audio and associated data over Internet protocols. The goal of its membership is to promote standards-based solutions that offer greater choice, flexibility, extensive cost efficiencies, and higher quality of service. The organization achieves this by providing the industry with 2
  3. 3. Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA technical specifications based on new and existing nonproprietary standards and testing solutions that enable multiple vendor, multiplatform interoperability with its product conformance program. ISMA collaborates with other trade associations and standards bodies to promote interoperable solutions across the entire content delivery spectrum. The members of the Alliance cover the spectrum of players in the field of media streaming, bringing advanced expertise in the following critical aspects:  Codecs (audio, video, rich media)  IP networking (protocols, configuration and other issues)  Hardware and software  Semiconductors  Content (creation, production, distribution other functionality)  Streaming systems  Consumer products  Video on Demand and Ad Insertion products  Middleware and content Protection Recognizing a clear need for standardization in many areas, ISMA has created an IPTV working group to understand, develop and then promote interoperable solutions where multiple-vendor competition can be assured. This is vital to the growth of the industry because today IPTV deployments relying on proprietary solutions for one carrier network may not be applicable to another network. This creates additional development and integration costs for all the players such as carriers, head-end providers, network equipment providers, and set-top box providers. In the spirit of interoperability, ISMA is promoting IPTV systems based on its currently supported standards (http://www.isma.tv):  ISMA Implementation Specification, Version 2.0 (ISMA 2.0 Spec), detailing the carriage of AVC video and HE- AAC audio over IP networks utilizing RTP/RTSP plus storage in the MPEG-4 File Format;  ISMA Encryption and Authentication, Version 1.1 (ISMACryp), describing a content-based encryption mechanism;  ISMA Closed Caption (ISMA CC), a mechanism for the carriage of line 21 data and streaming text over IP networks. ISMA has broadened its existing interoperability conformance program to target the IPTV market and to promote solutions that pass conformance testing. Moreover, the philosophy of ISMA in issuing new specifications is driven by the following principles:  Adopt when possible; invent only when necessary.  Allow membership to drive the agenda. For the market, this means that ISMA promotes existing solutions as much as possible. Standards are only effective when a significant mass of implementations exist. A plethora of standards is no better than myriad different proprietary solutions. For member companies, this means that they can pursue standards that are important for their vertical markets. Encoder manufacturers have different requirements than video server manufacturers, so each can drive standardization efforts in their own areas, while still benefiting from interoperability testing. 3
  4. 4. Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA 2. An Efficient and Adaptable Transport Layer for IPTV One system that ISMA promotes is based on the transport specification in the ISMA 2.0 Specification. This is a system specification whose scope addresses both the audio/video formats and the transport of the content over IP networks. It relies on existing open standards and integrates them into a consistent specification. The main features of ISMA 2.0 are:  H.264/AVC (ITU-T Rec. H.264 | ISO/IEC 14496-10) is the video codec.  AAC and HE-AAC (ISO/IEC 14496-3) are the audio codecs.  The transport is done directly over RTP (RFC3984, RFC3640), without any intermediate layer; there is no MPEG2-TS layer. (Note that this selection of technologies is deliberately in a family of similar specifications ranging from cellular streaming from 3GPP and 3GPP2 and home networking in DLNA to digital broadcasting in DVB-H .) 2.1 MPEG-4/AVC Video The choice of AVC is a natural conclusion as it is more efficient in terms of compression rate and bandwidth usage than other codecs. With this codec, for example, one can achieve HD transmission in under 8Mbps. Market pressures are bringing down encoder costs, and bandwidth savings already favor use of AVC over MPEG-2 for distribution. Moreover, AVC is now being implemented in silicon, allowing affordable cost with excellent performance in deployments. AVC at 1.8Mbps MPEG4/ASP MPEG2 at 4Mbps At 2.4Mbps AVC at 1.8Mbps Figure 1. MPEG-4/AVC can carry more data than MPEG-4/ASP and more than twice as much data as typical MPEG-2 channels. The wide adoption of AVC ensures its use in multiple markets. AVC is currently adopted by the following standards bodies:  ITU and MPEG jointly developed the AVC standard, also known as ITU-T Rec. H.264 and ISO/IEC 14496-10 Advance Video Coding.  DVD Forum and the Blu-ray Disk Association selected AVC as mandatory for their respective next-generation high definition DVD formats.  DVB adopted AVC for use in both standard and high definition digital television, as well as in wireless transmission to handheld devices.  3GPP selected AVC as the primary codec for mobile video in its Release 6 specification.  DLNA selected AVC as mandatory for portable devices in the home network  ISMA defines profiles and specifications for streaming AVC over IP networks. AVC is also under consideration for adoption by 3GPP2 and ATSC. 4
  5. 5. Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA 2.2 AAC Audio AAC and HE-AAC are currently the best available standardized audio codecs, offering excellent compression with superior fidelity, especially when used for 5.1 surround sound. AAC audio is in wide use in satellite radio broadcasts, and is adopted by 3GPP, 3GPP2, DVB, DLNA and ISMA. 2.3 IP Transport The choice of removing the ITU-T Rec. H.222.0 | ISO/IEC 13818-1 Systems (MPEG-2 Transport Stream) layer and streaming directly over RTP addresses two main considerations. Bandwidth Preservation: First, an IPTV system must remain efficient in terms of bandwidth usage. The MPEG-2 TS layer has been created for unidirectional (non-interactive) networks and does not take advantages of features offered by bidirectional and always-on IP networks. Using this layer adds some bandwidth consumption. By contrast, RTP-layer streaming uses less bandwidth and accommodates two-way communications Flexible A/V Stream Selection: Second, an IPTV system must be adaptable. Adaptability can address many areas such as multiple networks or user choices. A simple example of adaptability is a Video on Demand system: Different users often want to specify audio streams (for example, to play a particular language choice), different formats such as HD, SD, 4/3 or 16/9, or different subtitles. Providing all of the possible choices while using MPEG-2 TS layer requires either preparing all the transport streams in advance or sending all the streams together. Preparing all the transports streams in advance is a waste of time and space on the server and drastically increases the complexity of managing the streams. Multiplexing them on demand is not really a scalable solution. Using ISMA 2.0 without the TS layer, each of the streams-- audio, video and data -- is sent separately. Users can independently choose the video, audio and data they want, saving bandwidth, required storage space and in-stream preparation. IP Figure 2. With TS-less streaming, each client can choose only the streams it wants. It is important to note that the IP layer provides an infrastructure for deploying many rich services. For example, services such as pay per view, subscription-level, bill review and Web applications are readily enabled with an IP infrastructure. Achieving higher throughput using TS-less streaming is one area where SIC can be applied. 5
  6. 6. Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA 2.4 Profiling Media Formats Audio Video A+V HE-AAC@L2 AVC Base ! Main @L2 2 1 Mbit/s 1.2 Mbit/s stereo, 48 kHz Profile AAC@L4 {HE -AAC} AVC Main@L3 3 3.7 Mbit/s 5.1, 48 kHz 3 Mbit/s 4 AAC@L4 {HE -AAC} AVC High @L4 15 Mbit/s 5.1, 48 kHz 15 Mbit/s Media - AVC File Format Payload Formats SDP Description / RTP RTSP Control MP4 File Format UDP TCP ISO Base Media File Format IP Media Storage Media Transport Figure 3. A summary of ISMA 2.0 codecs and profiles. Profiling is another area where SIC Programs can be applied to enhance time-to-market by participating IPTV products. Different end devices and networks have specific needs and constraints. ISMA has specified different profiles to address varied targets:  Profile 2 is for low bandwidth networks and low power devices, mainly in the scope of mobility;  Profile 3 targets average networks and devices, with SD resolution and a standard bandwidth consumption;  Profile 4 is meant for high-throughput networks and high-end devices, as it supports resolutions up to HD at high bit rates. Note that Profile 0 and 1 are covered in the ISMA 1.0 specification and are not detailed further in the above diagram. Furthermore, the bit rates provided in Fig. 3 are maximum bit rates, i.e. lower bit rates may be used when providing sufficient quality for the service. 6
  7. 7. Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA 3. A Secure End-to-End Solution Security Security is another important part of an IPTV system. The main challenges in this area are to efficiently protect the content from one end to the other. Traditional Conditional Access systems can achieve this by reproducing the techniques used on unidirectional links on IP networks. But once again, these techniques may not be the most efficient on a bidirectional network. ISMA has therefore developed a standards-based encryption specification, known as ISMACryp. This specification has just been updated to Version 1.1 in order to cope with AVC video and to increase the consistency of the solution. Its approach is “encrypt and then packetize” – providing end-to-end content protection – as opposed to the traditional scrambling solutions in use. AVC AVC Figure 4. Encrypting then packetizing allows content to be stored on servers in an encrypted state. With this end-to-end encryption, content owners do not have to distribute unencrypted content. Thus, the content is encrypted at the source, and can be stored as is and streamed later; it can also be used on any network and any device. This approach adds more flexibility to all the players in the IPTV value chain. If service providers need to further protect their content they can choose to obtain licenses for decrypting and re-encrypting it or simply double encrypt the content. Moreover, as the encryption scheme is independent from the key management system (KMS), it can be integrated with any of them. Currently, ISMA is developing Version 2.0 of the ISMACryp specification based on two goals: First, to enhance the current encryption specification with a KMS based on open standards and yielding a full digital rights management system. Second, to provide a codec-agnostic RTP transport for pre-encrypted streams. ISMACryp has been adopted by DVB-H for streaming content on mobile networks. 4. Service Provisioning – Triple & Quad Play Use of the IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) architecture and SDPs (Service Delivery Platforms) are expected to be an important part of IPTV operators’ strategy to migrate to rich Triple-Play and Quad-Play services. Both can significantly improve the ability of service providers to introduce and operate these new applications and services. The traditional method for introducing new services has been to develop a complete set of infrastructure elements for each new service as shown in the architecture per service diagram on the left side of Figure 5. There are separate subscriber 7
  8. 8. Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA databases, separate interfaces to billing systems, separate customer care systems, and separate provisioning systems for each application. This increases both the resources and the time required to deploy new applications. In addition, every new application increases the complexity of the network because of the interactions required between it and the existing applications. This same problem is addressed in a largely complementary way by standardized Service Delivery Platforms.i App 3 App 4 APPLICATIONS (voice, video, messaging, etc.) App 5 … App 2 HSS Service Broker App 1 SESSION App N Control DB . . . Architecture per service Common architecture Figure 5. Use of an IMS Architecture with standardized Service Delivery Platforms can accelerate and simplify new service development and deployment, and significantly increase profit potential for IPTV Operators worldwide. (Source: Lucent) The IMS architecture applications already in existence are based on the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). IMS supports a variety of wireline and wireless services that includes traditional telephony services along with non-telephony services such as instant messaging, push-to talk, video streaming, and multimedia messaging. The integration of IPTV and IMS is likely to take place over some time and to take place as a set of evolutionary steps. The standards bodies that are just starting to address this integration are discussing ways to incorporate IPTV along with IGMP and RTSP into the IMS architecture rather than discussing using SIP as the basis for the IPTV service. The evolutionary steps in the integration of IPTV and IMS will include:  Common network resource control that will provide quality of service and access control for IPTV and other IMS services.  Common subscriber management based on the IMS Home Subscriber Service (HSS).  Service inter-working that facilitates the deployment of services that work across IPTV and IMS networks.  There is a large number of IMS services that can enhance the value of an IPTV service. These services include:  Voice calling includes the ability to make standard telephone calls across both mobile and fixed networks.  Video calling includes the ability to make calls that support both audio and video communications.  Location-based services include the ability to create services based on the location of the mobile phone.  Text messaging services include the ability to send and receive short text messages.  Multimedia messaging services include the ability to send and receive messages that include text, images, and videos.  Presence-based services include the ability to create services based on the state of the subscriber’s device, (e.g., on/off line, on/off hook, free/busy, and so on). 8
  9. 9. Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA The importance of IMS and SDP will be considered by the ISMA in its vision and roadmap for IPTV. However, the focus of the work will be on how to best integrate into these existing frameworks rather than developing new ones. It is worth noting that, like ISMA, IMS video and audio services are based on RTP/RTSP transport. Convergence and integration of fixed-line IPTV services based on RTP/RTSP with mobile services will easier then those based on other transport mechanisms. 5. An Interoperable Solution ISMA offers two related programs to promote interoperability and foster a market ecosystem. To help members debug applications and ensure conformance, ISMA holds regular “plugfests.” These are informal and confidential meetings at which products are tested together. Engineers find bugs, resolve varying interpretations of the specs, and ensure their company’s products conform to the specifications and interoperate with others in the market. When vendors want to show that their products are conformant to ISMA specifications, they join the ISMA Conformance Program. This program is intended to benefit the entire IPTV and Internet video industry and is open to both members and nonmembers of ISMA. Reference products and files/streams are used to ensure the conformance of the rest of the system when a new component is tested. Products that pass the conformance program are awarded the ISMA Conformance logo. Figure 6. The ISMA Conformance Program process. This program is quite unusual in this standardization area. ISMA has acquired a great amount of experience in developing it and conducting conformance tests. An open market where competition can be ensured is an illusion without supporting interoperability. Thus ISMA intends to:  Establish interoperability events for the current IPTV systems where different vendor can test their equipment one against another.  Demonstrate that the ISMA solution is viable and efficient during these events.  Develop a new interoperability and conformance program targeting the IPTV systems built upon ISMA specifications. With these achievements, ISMA will build a market environment with increased interoperability and in which a smooth transition to the open solution envisioned by ISMA will be ensured. 9
  10. 10. Planning the Future of IPTV with ISMA 6. Future Directions ISMA brings the following to the emerging IPTV market:  Specifications for the streaming of the latest video technologies over IP networks;  A mature interoperability and conformance program;  A strong marketing committee to promote its solutions. The Alliance’s main objectives in the scope of IPTV are:  Development of a Code of Practices for deploying an IPTV system, according to the following rules:  Select the best standard for the considered areas when standards are available.  Work closely with other entities to reach a common solution when they are working in a considered area.  Develop a new specification when no solution exists and no other body is currently working in that area.  Development of a conformance program for IPTV to support interoperability.  Promotion of the developed solution. We recognize that our vision for IPTV is not yet complete. IPTV deployments based on AVC/AAC depend on a complex infrastructure that includes:  Network provisioning (multicast address space, security, others)  Middleware  DRM  Remote management and other issues  Service Provisioning—Triple & Quad Play ISMA is initiating an ongoing process to identify the areas lacking standardization efforts, creating work groups to focus on these areas, and developing specifications to unify the marketplace. We invite you to join us in this dialogue and in this work. For more information, contact ISMA at: Phone: +1.415.561.6276  Email: LoBue@ISMA.tv  www.ISMA.tv i Source: IMS and SDPs in IPTV Networks, August, 2006 by MRG, Inc. (www.mrgco.com) 10

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