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IPTV World Forum (2)

by User Not Found | Mar 07, 2007

Over the last few years there have been numerous IPTV conferences and events springing up all over the place, but the IPTV World Forum appears to have become the most important in Europe, and attracts visitors from all over the world. The exhibition features stands from major and smaller vendors alike - enough to more or less fill two floors of London's ancient Olympia venue, and many familiar faces were seen wandering the aisles. I hope the organisers manage to find an alternative venue for next year - visiting Olympia is a bit like emerging from Doctor Who's Tardis some time in the 1950s, and the local hotels are not much better... A few highlights worth mentioning: Vividas is giving an impressive demonstration of HD video streaming over the Internet, showing a 720p clip of Paramount's upcoming Transformers movie streamed at 1.2 Mbps. Vividas' solution involves analysing the user's PC and sending only the player elements necessary to support that particular device. In this way it reduces the payload to a fraction of the typical media player, and claims also to increase content security because there is no trace of the media file on the user's PC. Visiware, the French gaming company, is demonstrating its own solution to multi-platform gaming, so that a subscriber can access the same game on digital TV, broadband and a mobile phone, and even resume playing from the same point of the game on a different device. Visiware began life in the interactive TV space more than 10 years ago, and is one of the few survivors from that era with a global presence. Nortel's deal with NDS made most of the headlines, and Nortel is demoing the usual types of voice/TV application such IM, caller ID and video telephony on the TV screen. It's good to see Nortel positioning itself for these potential IPTV applications, but I can't help thinking it is somewhat late to the party - most of these ideas have been around if not on offer from competing vendors for some years. Industria is an Icelandic company with a focus on IPTV middleware and solutions. It has significant deals with Irish and Bulgarian operators and is planning further expansion as well as partnerships. I expect to see one or more major telco vendors bidding to work with Industria over the coming months. Oregan has built its business with Sony's PlayStation but is now branching out into CE retail through partnerships with Philips, Nokia, Samsung and others. It has high hopes for connected device solutions using its Media Browser software. It is demonstrating accessing CinemaNow and the BBC's video clips on a TV screen. They have had most success so far in Japan, but we expect to see significant movement in European and US markets over the next year or so. Finally we were treated to a demonstration of Ruckus Wireless' WiFi solution. Ruckus has created a stir with its unique antenna technology that guarantees quality of service for video streaming, including HD, over home wireless networks. It has significant deals with PCCW and Belgacom (Strategy Analytics clients will receive a report on Ruckus shortly).
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