Cover page

Table of Contents

Title page

For Anna

PREFACE

Today anyone with a broadband Internet connection can see live or near-live TV from over 2,250 channels from over 140 countries, and the list is growing monthly. Tonight I can watch the nightly news from Luxembourg at or the whole “Doc Martin” series on from a boat marooned in the Chesapeake Bay or select from thousands of other programming choices.

New technologies, new viewing paradigms, and new content distribution approaches are about to take the TV/video services industry by storm. Five emerging trends related to the next-generation delivery of entertainment-quality video are observable, which can be capitalized upon by progressive service providers, telcos, cable operators, and ISPs. These trends are: (1) the (gradual) worldwide deployment of IP Version 6 (IPv6); (2) the (gradual) deployment of streaming and IPTV services; (3) the gradual migration of consumer viewing habits from watching linear (real-time) programming to nonlinear (on-demand/stored/time-shifted) programming (whether from a local or networked Digital Video Recorder [DVR]); (4) the greater interest and reliance on web-produced video content; and (5) the plethora of screens upon which video can be consumed: the TV screen, the personal computer screen, the tablet screen (Kindle/iPad, and so on), game consoles, and the cell/smartphone screen.

Indeed, in the developed world, at the consumer end, not only do the viewers have a variety of output devices to display video content, but also their viewing habits are changing. Nielsen found that time shifting usage with DVRs (also called “nonlinear viewing” or “Television On-Demand” by some) was up 40 percent year-over-year in recent years, with U.S. consumers playing back more than 8 hours per month (against a total TV screen-based viewing of 153 hours a month). The term “TiVo it” has entered the vocabulary just like the term “google it.” Online video watching is beginning to grow as consumers upgrade their PCs to support increased video handling and as broadband connectivity to homes becomes more pervasive. In 2009 in the United States, home consumers enjoyed over 29 hours per month of Internet-based video. Nielsen also found that mobile video viewing has grown at a rate of over 50% per year in recent years. A transition from broadcast to multicast, and even to low-density narrowcast—these last two either in linear or time-shifted/on-demand—is afoot.

Over the next few years, these changes are expected to have tidal impacts on the infrastructure used to deliver content, from broadcast TV to IP-based networks operating over fiber, to satellite delivery, to 3G/4G wireless networks, to server-based, on-demand content distribution systems. Major sectors of the video distribution industry worry if the greater reliance on DVRs and Internet-based video streaming by consumers means an erosion or shifting of advertisement revenues. Infrastructure providers need to be keenly aware of the impact that these evolving viewer paradigms will have on their networks and even their revenue stream. An understanding of where the technology is going may empower providers to position themselves, in fact, to take advantage of these new trends.

This book is aimed at exploring these evolving trends and offering practical suggestions for how these technologies can be implemented in the service provider networks to support cost-effective delivery of entertainment, especially considering the shifts in viewing habits, and suggestions for how new revenue-generating services can be brought to the market. Chapter 1 discusses some of the evolving video consumption habits and the possible network implications. The chapters that follow cover enabling technologies. Chapter 2 provides an overview of IPv6. Chapter 3 discusses IP multicast and multicast principles, while Chapter 4 focuses on IPv6 multicast approaches and challenges. Chapter 5 describes evolving video services that are of interest to consumers, especially for service-provider environments. Chapter 6 is an overview of IPTV, which is considered to be the platform of choice for service provider–based, packetized video delivery, although it is not the only platform for IP-based video delivery. Chapter 7 looks indeed at the other platforms, such as streaming, Content Delivery Networks, Peer-to-Peer systems, cloud computing, and Internet backbones and access networks. Chapter 7 also looks at the implications of these technologies and the evolving viewing habits in terms of the kind of network evolution that may be required to optimally support end-of-decade video services. Finally, Chapter 8 describes some of the new content sources. Note, however, that the examples of commercial services and service providers identified in Chapter 8 and at various points throughtout this text are intended only to depict what we believe to be persistent technical/usage trends. Some of these services, products, or providers may disappear; some providers may sunset initiatives or offerings over time; yet others will emerge. Thus, we believe that the general trends discussed here, as a whole, will persist and prevail.

This is believed to be the first book on IPv6 multicasting and/or IPv6 multicasting with applications to linear and nonlinear video distribution. This work will be of interest to planners, CTOs, and engineers at broadcast TV operations, Cable TV operations, satellite operations, Internet and ISP providers, telcos, and wireless providers, both domestically and in the rest of the world. Also, it will be of interest to set-top box developers, storage vendors, content developers, content distribution outfits, and content aggregators. This compilation is not intended to be exhaustive. Rather, it is a summary survey of generally available materials synthesized to punctuate evolving industry trends and the need for service providers to enhance their infrastructure and networks as required.

DANIEL MINOLI

1

Evolving Viewing Paradigms

1.1 OVERVIEW OF THE EVOLVING ENVIRONMENT

Many industry observers share the view that “The television sector is facing a challenging and an unprecedented period of transformation … Television [is] at Crossroads.” A number of forces are expected to reshape the video distribution and consumption environments during this decade. Major drivers for this evolution include (1) new viewing habits, such as time shifting for nonlinear and on-demand content consumption, (2) new distribution channels (effectively, new content providers, especially Internet-based, along with new transport mechanism, such as streaming), (3) new technologies, and, (4) standardization of Internet Protocol (IP)-based delivery, especially in conjunction multicast-based IP Television (IPTV) networks and/or with web-based content downloading (streaming) and social networks.

New viewer paradigms are evolving related to consumption of entertainment video and TV programming that can be summarized as “anywhere, anything, anytime, any platform”; namely, “from any source, any content, in any (encoded) form, at any time, on any user-chosen device, consumed at any location.” Many new TV sets that now have Ethernet networking connections built directly into the set and require no additional equipment or set-top boxes (STBs) for directly accessing the Internet; also, many high-end TVs already come with the ability to conduct video calls. In the view of some industry observers, these viewer habits, technologies, and approaches will play a part in eventually supplanting broadcast and cable television with Internet programming and distribution. While these predictions may not come to such a full dénouement in the immediate short or medium term, say, mid-decade, it is worth, nonetheless, to consider what the potential implications are for all stakeholders for the end-of-the-decade and beyond.

In this work, we refer to this new paradigm as Nontraditional TV (NTTV). New viewer approaches include, but are not limited to the following:

In this work, time shifted implies the capture of (what was) a live-TV program, either by a customer device or a user-programmable network-resident device, for playback within a relatively short time (up to a few days). Time shifting does not include, in our definition, VoD downloads of a commercially packaged video clip from a Cable TV provider or from an Internet site. Some other related definitions are in order as follows:

Collectively, we refer to the first two approaches listed above as Internet-Based TV (IBTV). See for related concepts (table compiled from various industry sources). Internet-based devices that support IBTV viewing are becoming more popular, ranging from hybrid Internet-ready STBs and digital video recorders (DVRs), to home theater PCs (HTPCs) (that obviously are Internet-ready), to Internet-ready TV sets. These devices enable the kind of transition that is discussed in this text. An HTPC is a converged device that combines a personal computer with a software application that supports video playback; the HTPC unit is typically colocated with a home entertainment system.

 Various Evolving TV Technologies, Services, and Approaches (Partial List)

Technology/Service Description
Broadcast TV One-way transmission of TV signals from one point to two or more other points.
Connected TV TV sets with built-in Ethernet/WiFi/Internet capabilities.
Converged services The integration of Internet, multimedia, e-mail, presence, instant messaging, mobile commerce (m-commerce), and/or services with voice service.
Internet-based TV (IBTV) Video distribution approaches such as Web television, Internet television, and/or User-Generated Video (UGV).
Internet Protocol (IP) TV (IPTV) Multimedia services, such as television/video/audio/text/graphics/data, delivered over IP-based networks that are tightly managed to support the required level of Quality of Service/Quality of Experience (QoS/QoE), security, interactivity, and reliability. Access is usually provided via a subscription service very similar to traditional Cable TV service, except for the transport network, that is IP-based (IPv4 and/or IPv6). Content is supplied to a set-top box to be watched on a TV set.
IPTV is a method of delivering video using an IP network (as an alternative to cable or satellite, but increasingly in conjunction to these systems). IPTV utilizes a closed, tightly-managed network (a “walled garden”), operated by a telecom provider, often as part of a “triple-play” bundled package (TV, Internet, and voice) [SJO200801].
Internet television (also known as Internet TV, and/or Online TV) A television service distributed via the Internet, as exemplified by services such as Hulu (for U.S. content) and BBC iPlayer (for U.K content). The content is typically commercially produced TV material, but the “transmission/distribution” channel is the Internet; the transmission/distribution’ also includes network-resident storage (supported by video servers).
Linear TV A television service in which a continuous stream flows in real time from the service provider to the terminal device and where the user cannot control the temporal order in which contents are viewed. Typically found in Broadcast TV environments.
Nontraditional TV (NTTV) New viewer approaches include (but not limited to) the following: watching entertainment/news using the Internet (such as a TV show, a movie, or a short clip); watching a multicast (rather than broadcast) entertainment/news program; watching a Video On Demand (VoD) program (such as a movie or pay-per-view event); watching time-shifted TV (TSTV); watching entertainment/news with a mobile smartphone, a PDA (personal digital assistant), a videogame console, a tablet, or a device in a car or boat; and/or watching user-generated content, particularly utilizing social networks.
Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming devices (Also known as OTT set-tops) devices employed by viewers to watch shows or programs via multimedia and open public networks (particularly, the Internet). OTTs enable smart TVs, set-top boxes, PCs, tablets, smart phones, and game consoles to receive and process streaming video. Newer TV sets may have this functionality built in.
Package A collection of content components that in some combination (either all or a subset) together provide an end-user experience and are intended to be used together.
Pay Per View (PPV) A TV service where a particular program event (e.g., a yachting race) can be bought separately from any package or subscription. The transmission of the program event is made at the same time to everyone who has ordered it.
Personal mobility Capability to support mobility for those scenarios where the end-user changes the terminal device used for network access at different locations. The ability of a user to access telecommunication services (including video content) at any terminal on the basis of a personal identifier, and the capability of the network to provide those services delineated in the user’s service profile.
Retransmission broadcast service A service in which content is provided from various broadcasting environments, including, but not limited to, terrestrial, satellite, and cable, and retransmitted into IP network simultaneously or otherwise.
Time shifting A function that allows playback of content after its initial transmission.
Time-shift TV (TSTV) A service or capability that allows the consumer to watch a TV program that has been time shifted. The time shift service has two flavors. In a basic flavor, the user can preplan the recording of a scheduled TV program (using a local user-owned device, a local cable-provided device, or a remote network-based device); the user can watch the program any time later, while still being able to pause, rewind, and resume the playout. In a more advanced flavor, the service allows a user to halt a scheduled content service in real time and allows the user to continue watching the program later, by providing buffering for pause, rewind, and resume functions. There may also be advanced playout controls, for example, skipping to chapters, bookmarks, jump to time, and so on [OIP200801].
Trick mode functionality The ability to pause, rewind, or forward stored content. A TV with trick mode is a TV service with trick mode functionality.
User-generated video (UGV) Video content created by the user community and distributed over the web with social networks, YouTube, and so on.
VoD (Also known as Content On-Demand—CoD) A service in which the subscriber can view commercially-produced video content whenever desired. The operating assumption is that the content is stored on the provider’s VoD server. The subscriber accesses the movie from a library directory; the interface may include a search engine that accesses the movie description and rating. Subscribers typically have the ability to pause, play, rewind, fast forward the content, or even stop viewing it and return to it at a later time.
VoD trick modes Download and streaming VoD systems provide the user with a large subset of content display control functionality, including pause, fast forward, fast rewind, slow forward, slow rewind, jump to previous/future frame, and so on. These functions are usually referred to as “trick modes.”
Web television (also known as web video) A genre of digital entertainment where the content is created specifically for first-viewing on the Internet (via broadband access and/or on mobile networks.) Web television shows, or Web series, are original episodic shorts (2–9 minutes per episode), but which may become full-fledged 30–60 minute clips in the future.

On the other hand, new Internet-ready TV sets bypass the PC altogether and access the Internet directly; these sets support the concept of “connected TV (CTV)” [FUT201101]; CTVs are also known in some circles as “Smart TVs.” About 25% of flat panels sold in 2011 had WiFi/Internet capabilities, and about 50% of total flat-panel televisions shipped in 2015 (about 140 million units) was expected to have Internet connectivity. By the end of 2015, more than 500 million Internet-connected TVs will be in homes. TV manufacturers are (apparently) “betting” on the expansion of direct-to-consumer offerings from content producers and outfits such as, but not limited to, Netflix®. It should be noted that the adoption of CTV is not just taking place in developed regions, but also in emerging markets that have good broadband services [MEL20101]. Netflix, Amazon, and Apple are (reportedly) “banking” on the idea that the Internet in general, and cloud computing services in particular, are going to be a game changer for home entertainment, and that the TV screen can be seen as a “big iPad.” As an illustrative example of evolving approaches, it was announced recently that Caros Slim, a noted Mexican entrepreneur, is reportedly financing an Internet TV network, Ora.TV, that is expected to include an interview show with Larry King; Ora.TV will feature on-demand content and will produce a set of programs that, by design, will transcend traditional formats.

depicts the TV population in North America in 2010; some observations about global trends are also included.

 TV Customer Profile in North America (2010)

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A line of investigation such as discussed in this text:

… is justified because the depth of change to the fundamental approaches being taken to providing multimedia telecommunications services … [ITU200901].

Traditional linear TV has been around for a long time. Linear TV is a television service in which a continuous video stream flows in real time from the service provider to the terminal device and where the user cannot control the temporal order in which contents are viewed [ITU200801]. DVRs enable the process of TV time shifting; equipment of interest includes the personal video recorder (PVR) and the network personal video recorder (nPVR) (this last device also known as remote storage DVR [RS-DVR]). An nPVR is an end user-controlled device that records, stores, and plays back multimedia content (a PVR is also known as personal digital recorder [PDR]). An nPVR supports the same functionality as a PVR except that the recording device is located at the service provider’s edge node (e.g., in the STB), or in the provider’s network.

Approximately 30% of the TV viewing population was making use of time shifting at press time, although the number of hours per month watching such programming was still relatively small. However, these trends are expected to continue to progress until a certain quiescent point is reached. As of press time, according to Nielsen, in the United States, people spent approximately 159 hours a month consuming entertainment and news from TV and Internet sources; about 15 hours were on NTTV (10 hours  :  46 minutes for TSTV and 4 hours  :  43 minutes on Internet sources). Real-time linear broadcast will likely never go away in total because people also want to (continue) to enjoy a disengaged noninteractive experience, but the amount of NTTV time will definitely increase in the future. Nielsen research (see Appendix 1A) shows that between 2008 and 2011, the amount of time spend on TSTV has been growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20–30% a year and the amount of time spend on Internet-delivered content has had a CAGR of 30–40% a year. Some describe “TV viewers’ stampede to online as a ‘wildfire’,” and observers articulate the fact that the cable TV industry “is feeling the pressure” [LOW200901].

If one accepted that certain assumptions about the growth rates of NSTV habits continue to hold, by 2017, the traditional TV viewing time will decrease from 145 hours in 2009 to 125 hours in 2017, while NTTV will grow to 57 hours (22 on TSTV and 35 on Internet sources). See for a graphical view of these trends; Appendix 1A provides some primary data and projections.

 Apparent transition in viewing habits over time (estimated based on assumptions).

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In addition, a lot of content is now available online, both in the stored form (e.g., YouTube, Reuters, CNN, Hulu, and Netflix), as well as real time (e.g., MSNBC, CNN International, France 24, and BBC World News). Astonishingly, the website wwiTV.com listed (and linked to) over 2250 TV streaming sites at press time from 143 counties around the world—visiting the site is quite an experience. An estimated 11% of U.S. consumers ages 13–31 view streamed or downloaded video via a console at least once a month [FUT201101]. Observations such as this one may be worth pondering:

… Incumbent cable and satellite pay-TV operators face increasing competition from both IPTV operators, such as Verizon FiOS, and all the other new entrants into the market. Their greatest fear is “cord-cutting”—that subscribers will cancel their subscriptions because video via connected TV is a good enough and often cheaper alternative. One response in the USA is the TV Everywhere initiative. This aims to provide an improved service to subscribers by offering television and VoD via the whole range of viewing devices: not only TV, but also PC, smartphone and iPad … Internet connectivity fundamentally changes the nature of television by giving viewers access to video-on-demand, Web video and new online services, such as social networking. The last of these, using Facebook and Twitter with TV, has radical implications for the future of television viewing and the business of TV … [FUT201101].

The long-term outlook for DVDs and Blu-ray discs is questionable. Industry observers have noted that there are few bright spots in the DVD retail environment: the TV series box set; however, according to these observers, streamed-TV usage is growing, and it is no longer a service dominated by movies: 50–60% of streamed viewing is now for TV episodes [THO201101]. Along those lines, the following observations are important to the concepts addressed in this text:

Countries with more than 60 percent home broadband penetration include the majority of Western Europe, the USA and Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In Asian countries, such as Japan, South Korea and Singapore, penetration is 100 percent. Through broadband, many consumers are already viewing Internet video at home via PCs, laptops and smartphones. Many watch TV and simultaneously use Internet services, such as social networking. The time has now come for the television set too to go online and bring home audiences increased video choice, combined with new interactive services. Consumer electronics manufacturers, game console firms, tech companies and pay-TV operators are competing to connect home TV sets to the Internet. Each has powerful commercial imperatives for doing so [FUT201101].
The biggest threat to revenue growth [for traditional providers] will be online (or “over-the-top”) viewing, which allows users to stream programming delivered over the Internet via sites like Hulu and YouTube, and to aggregate programming via services such as Boxee [HEY201001].

Many U.S. TV networks and broadcasters (among others) now have their own websites that provide sponsored content. The Internet is being touted as the “future of home entertainment.” Press time observations describing the environment include ones such as this [AXO200901]:

Web television has matured significantly in 2009; we’ve seen the introduction of the “Streamy Awards” … and the launch of more internet TV-related startups than we can count. TV-over-IP (IPTV) is starting to hit television sets thanks to set-top-boxes, TVs, and disc players with built-in streaming capabilities, and like print media before it, traditional broadcast television is beginning to grapple with the inevitability of an Internet-driven future …

Other changes include, but are not limited to the following [SVE201101]:

… In the future, believing that the TV is talking to you might not be a sign of insanity. You may be getting a Skype video call. Comcast Corp … plans to bring Skype calls to TV sets later this year [2011]. Subscribers will then be able to rent a kit from Comcast that includes a webcam and an adapter that plugs into the TV. A new cable box remote will include a keyboard on the back, for typing chat messages … 

A political campaign consultant states that advertisement campaign expenditures may now be equally allocated to online ads as to TV ads [AVL201101]:

The rules of the game are shifting because convergence is finally occurring. “It matters less and less every year what screen you watch ads on … I’m just as likely to watch CNN on an iPad as a TV screen.”

Related to Web TV, at press time, YouTube announced the creation of 100 new online YouTube channels with original programming. The company reportedly spent months working with Hollywood agencies and has secured deals with a number of celebrities. Most of these channels were expected to launch in 2012, creating about 25 hours of new programming per day. The company will reportedly share ad revenue with the content creators, giving 55% of revenue to the content creators, who it calls “partners,” keeping 45% for itself. The goal is to make available professionally generated content created just for the web, just for the YouTube platform. These new channels are valuable because they are not just limited to users’ laptops. With the rise of Internet-connected TVs, with interfaces such as Google TV, consumers will be able to seamlessly watch this content on their flatscreens [BOO201101].

A number of major providers make available digital (video) content for purchase over the Internet, including, among others, Apple’s iTunes Store, Amazon, Netflix, and Wal-Mart; this is in addition to sites that have free (but legal) content. Observers note that consumers are finding appealing entertainment and information choices on the Internet—and have already set up data networks for their PCs and laptops that can also help move that content to their TV sets. Internet-ready TVs go a step further. For example, Netflix Inc. announced a deal with Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. to make a Netflix online-video service available on a new line of high-definition TV sets from LG; the online service offers 12,000 movie and television titles [WIN200901]. Netflix had over 24 million subscribers in the United States and Canada at press time for its online streaming service; its ability to stream Disney, Sony, and Starz movies aided its growth in recent years. Other providers are also entering the video streaming market. For example, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, recently located its Vudu video streaming and rental service on the Walmart.com website to optimize exposure and consumer access. Vudu (a Wal-Mart division) streams films and shows to computers, certain televisions, Blu-ray DVD players, and Sony Corp’s Playstation 3 [WOH201101]. Apple’s iTunes Store is an online digital media store that supports digital content distribution (see for a snapshot of the storefront). The Store (site) started its service in 2003. It reportedly has over a quarter-of-a-million digital items for download, including music, TV shows, movies, podcasts, and audio books. Cloud technology is now used for content management. Around press time, Apple announced that Digital Rights Management (DRM) had been removed from 80% of the entire music catalog in the United States; however, television shows and movies are still protected under the DRM (Apple’s DRM system is called FairPlay.)

 A snapshot of the Apple’s iTunes Store storefront.

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While time shifting is catching on, some note that there are even more dramatic viewing habit shifts among the young. Specifically, the tendency for the young to not be happy to watch a single video stream at once, and, instead create mash-up desktops of video, audio, text messaging, and social media, all at the same time. Others may also want to watch a video mosaic, say of 2 × 2, 2 × 3, 3 × 4, or other combination of video windows on a single (large) or multiple (wall) screens.

Although current generation of Internet-based services may in some instances (still) imply the use of small screens and the “buffering” latency phenomenon, these issues are basically driven by bandwidth availability along various portion of the Internet path or the video server; this predicament is like to improve over time, with the increasing deployment of high-capacity fiber in the (Internet) backbone and in the access network. Dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology is propelling this transition forward. Customer connections in the 10–16 Mbps now available in many parts of the United States (and other developed parts of the world) should prove reasonably adequate as a starting point for the services envisioned; access rates of 100 Mbps, and even 1 Gbps may be available to some consumers by 2012–2013. Watching a streaming movie requiring 0.5–2.5 Mbps flow (depending on video quality) over a 16 Mbps Internet connection is not such a technical feat at this point in time (however, performance also depends on the remote server); high definition TV (HDTV) flows require around 5 Mbps.

Video rental methods are discussed next. Internet video-on-demand (iVoD) is a class of transactional digital rental methods that includes electronic sell-thru (EST) and download-to-own (DTO), but when such rental is downloaded via the Internet (rather than being done over a Cable TV network or an IPTV network). See for a definition of terms. The transactional online movie market is rapidly outstripping the traditional DVD retail market. Observers called 2010 a watershed year in many respects for transactional online movies internationally; they saw it as a year characterized by the continued expansion of key services, especially outside of the United States, tapping pent-up early adopter demand for online movies (by way of contrast, analysts predict that that annual store-based rental revenue will continue their almost inexorable decline) [OHA201102]. iVoD (VoD rental services with film and/or video downloaded using the Internet) is expected to grow rapidly with the increasing penetration of broadband and newer computers and/or CTVs with larger hard drives. Until recently, the limited playback options of movie downloads, low quality, and the effort of getting movies transferred from the desktop PC to watch them on flat panel TV screens has made movie downloads somewhat impractical for home theatre use; but the situation is changing driven by the mass availability of new Internet-ready CTVs, STBs, and services from firms such as Apple, Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft, Rovi, Sony Computer Entertainment and Wal-Mart [OHA201101].

 Transactional Digital Rental Methods

Internet Video On Demand (iVoD) (Some also call this Interactive VoD) Transactional digital rental methods, specifically when such rental is downloaded via the Internet (rather that being done over a Cable TV network or an IPTV network.)
Note: The term has not totally congealed in the industry. Some define iVoD as a capability that enhances traditional VoD services by providing trick modes; others define iVoD is as a system that uses a consumer’s home broadband connection to deliver video content directly to the TV set.
Electronic sell-thru (EST) (Also known as Digital Retail) A method of media distribution where consumers pay a one-time fee to download a digital media file for storage on a hard drive on a computer or other system. Typically the content may become unusable after a certain period and may not be viewable using competing platforms. EST covers a gamut of digital media products, including TV content, video content, music, gaming, and mobile applications. The delivery mechanism may be the Internet or other networks (e.g., Cable TV network or an IPTV network, or a 4G wireless network.)
Note: Some exclude delivery over the Internet in the definition of EST; we include it.
Download-to-own (DTO) A method similar to electronic sell-thru (EST) but where the consumer may permanently own and/or be able to use the content. Some observers suggest that the increasing popularity of VoD rental services can be linked to the gradual erosion of support for download-to-own (DTO), or digital retail business. It believes that the majority of services operating in global markets offer titles on a rental basis due to limited availability of download-to-own titles whose fundamental business model offers no compelling case in terms of convenience or service to drive a mass-market adoption [OHA201101]. The delivery mechanism may be the Internet or other networks (e.g., Cable TV network or an IPTV network, or a 4G wireless network.)
Note: Some exclude delivery over the Internet in the definition of DTO; we include it.

As noted, IPTV is the well-developed formal framework and architecture for the delivery of (entertainment-quality) video programming over an IP-based network. This technology is expected to be used to deliver somewhat traditional TV services, but the technology can also be used for NTTV and for TSTV in particular. Telecom carriers are looking to compete with Cable TV companies by deploying IP video services, such as IPTV, over their networks. IPTV provides all the advantages of traditional “linear” TV in terms of service quality, combined with the many advantages the Internet offers in terms of choice and interactivity; but it should not be confused with web streaming, because images are not delivered over the Internet, but rather to homes through a “managed network.” This means TV programs do not have to compete with other traffic on the public Internet, which could negatively impact the viewing experience [ITU201001]. IPTV is a step along the transition continuum discussed in this text; other technologies and approaches are also explored.

1.2 NEW CONTENT SOURCES AND SINKS

The viewing changes discussed above, even if the projected migration to NTTV turns out to be less severe than noted in the previous paragraphs, are expected to have considerable impacts on the infrastructure utilized by providers to deliver content, for the infrastructure ranging from broadcast TV, to IP-based networks operating over fiber, to satellite delivery, to 3G/4G wireless networks, and to server-based on-demand content distribution systems.

depicts the evolving “from anywhere to anywhere, anytime” home entertainment-consumption environment that is the subject of this text. Content providers and subtending distribution channels include the following:

Traditional Content Providers/Transporters

Rapidly Evolving Content Providers

 The evolving “from anywhere to anywhere, anytime” environment.

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Display devices include the following:

Traditional Display Devices (Screens)

Rapidly Evolving Display Devices (Screens)

Industry observers note that data and media are being untethered from specific devices or networks. Advanced mobile devices deliver a combination of functions previously available only from multiple tools [NIE201001]. To illustrate the availability of new devices, note that in 2011 Microsoft announced that owners of the Xbox 360 gaming console would be able to start watch TV shows and other content through their gaming consoles, although most of that will not be free; content was expected to be available in more than 20 countries [ORT201101]. Microsoft has sold 55 million Xbox 360 consoles worldwide since they were introduced in 2005. Microsoft was partnering with services, including Bravo, Comcast, HBO GO, Verizon FiOS, and Syfy in the United States, BBC in the United Kingdom, Telefónica in Spain, Rogers On Demand in Canada, Televisa in Mexico, ZDF in Germany, and MediaSet in Italy, to bring on-demand and live television content to the Xbox. Consumers will still need is a subscription to Comcast or other pay TV services; additionally, some live TV channels were expected to be available. The Xbox does not replace the STBs currently used to access TV programming, but it can be used for households where members want to able to access TV content in different rooms of the house without having to use a second STB.

illustrates the traditional TV/entertainment video distribution environment that was in place in the 2005–2010 timeframe (also accompanied by a transition from analog distribution to digital distribution for the over-the-air and cable TV sources). Each of the lines in this diagram represents detailed technical interface specifications that have evolved over the years, specific to each interface.

 Traditional TV/entertainment video distribution.

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depicts new consumer devices that are being used to capture and display traditional TV/entertainment video. Again, each of the lines in this diagram represents detailed technical interface specifications that have evolved recently or are now emerging, specific to each interface. It should be noted that the larger content-consumption pool can actually be beneficial to the current (traditional) content providers. We mentioned earlier the HTPC; the HTPC software interface incorporates a user interface design (video scalar capability) allowing the video to comfortably viewed at typical TV viewing distances. Commercially available HTPCs almost invariably support a “TV-out option” using a HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort, component video, VGA (for some LCD televisions), S-Video, or composite video output. A remote control device is typically supported; keyboards are also often included. Some models include DVR functionality. A HTPC can be purchased with the requisite hardware and software needed to add television programming to the PC, or can be assembled from discrete components (e.g. with software based HTPC setups). Internet-ready CTV sets offer other novel opportunities and may be more likely to succeed in the market than HTPCs. The sheer quantity of interfaces and sinks should reinforce the technical and business opportunities for providers and technology developers.

 New consumer devices for traditional TV/entertainment video distribution.

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shows some new sources of video content for traditional viewing devices, along with the implicit technical interfaces required to support these sources. These sources can represent a threat to both the distribution networks of the traditional content providers, as well as to the advertisers that (ultimately) support content creation. There is also a trend related to UGV. These sources support NTTV paradigms in general and TSTV in particular. There is a large global infrastructure in support of the traditional TV contentment distribution model, and these “new” sources are likely to drive a rearchitecting of this infrastructure during the course of this decade. This figure illustrates where the most severe and disruptive changes to the incumbent service/content/distribution providers is likely to occur.

 New sources of video content for traditional viewing devices.

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depicts new sources of video content for newer viewing devices. This set of evolving interfaces are perhaps the most distinct from the others identified so far; however, since the infrastructure supporting these interfaces is in a development stage, the overall impact on incumbent providers is somewhat limited. Nonetheless, the sheer quantity of interfaces and sinks should reinforce the technical and business opportunities for providers and technology developers.

 New sources of video content for newer viewing devices.

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Ultimately, one can view content delivery as being a push mode or a pull mode.

Note: Stirling’s approximation to n! is

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For example,

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Some argue that with a much larger variety of content available in the Internet TV/Web TV content, even the traditional ways of using multicast and broadcast (essentially a single stream everyone watches at the same time) become less relevant. However, in this text, we hold to the principle that multicast is and continues to be a viable mechanism for content distribution for a basic pull-mode paradigm (i.e., for linear TV–VoD may continue to relay on unicast.)

1.3 TECHNOLOGY TRENDS (SNAPSHOT)