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Many are predicting that IPTV is and will be a major revolution in television. Their reason is simply this: IPTV is better than traditional television technology. By providing more viewing outlets, interactivity, advertiser product placement, etc, IPTV is simply better. Whether or not these claims are correct, it should be noted that a rapidly growing number of sports fans are switching over to IPTV. Still, IPTV has erected some serious hurdles for less-advanced telecommunications companies. The following interviews cover themes ranging from the quality of access networks, to the way people will watch IPTV in the home.

Watch Rob Mustarde, VP of Ruckus Wireless, explain how his company's technology makes IPTV flicker free:

Here is the IPTV summary of (and, yes, a little bit of commentary on) the above interview with Ruckus Wireless:

When asked if IPTV is a bunch of hype, Rob Mustarde, Vice President of Ruckus wireless, tells us that IPTV used to be a bunch of hype. Not anymore. After traveling around the world for 6 months, going to conferences and meeting with telecommunications executives, he's found that every broadband provider is either beginning to provide IPTV access, or fully supporting it. In France, Italy, Spain, there are already tens, if not hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

Mustarde explains that IPTV is so important because people are convinced it will provide a better experience. But the "better experience" can mean different things to different people. For some, it's more HDTV content. For others, it's the ability to deliver TV from any provider, to any viewer, regardless of the globe-spanning distances required. For still others, such as content providers, the reduction of traditional ads will provide a greater opportunity for product placement. Of course, Mustarde does concede that everyone may not perceive this development as a "better experience".

(IPTVSports.org note: sports broadcasting is already heavily penetrated by product placement, from sponsored jerseys to highly produced half-time performances. We believe that the high success of integrating product placement in sports broadcasting will make this a viable model for IPTV content providers. It could even be one of the reasons for the huge success of sports programming on IPTV already!)

One of the most exciting ways IPTV can create a "better TV experience" is its interactive nature. No other television provider can create this - whether it be through cable, satellite or air signals.

Mustard says that the quantity of bandwidth is the only thing holding back IPTV. With standard broadband providing an MPEG 2 signal running at 1, 2, 3 or 4 megabytes per second, the requirements for HD are up at MPEG 4 pumping in between 8 and 10 megabytes per second. It's simply too much for DSL. Therefore, Internet broadband service providers offering IPTV need to start deploying ADSL 2+ services.

Europe is ahead of the United States in adopting IPTV, because everything is closer together, the distance between homes and exchanges is considerably less than in the US, which makes a huge difference in regard to the quantity of bandwidth which can be supported on ADSL 2+ networks. In other words, IPTV faces a problem unique among other methods of delivering TV: with cable, satellite, air, etc, the distance between the head end (i.e. the satellite dish, or the street curb) and the household is negligible. With IPTV, the distance between the head end is greater, and therefore makes much more of a difference.

What asked what solution Ruckus Wireless offers, Mustarde focuses mainly on wireless home networking, its problems, and how Ruckus Wireless will solve it. Apparently, he isn't offering much of a solution beyond increasing the use of ADSL 2+ technology for service providers' LANs. But the home networking solution does prove quite intriguing.

Mustarde begins by explaining that traditional, "off-the-shelf" wireless solutions are only designed for TCP data, which is good for normal web browsing, checking email, etc. As long as the page refreshes within a couple of seconds, users are happy. But when it comes to streaming IPTV with high definition television programming, wireless solutions that are enable for TCP data just isn't good enough. What is required is constant bandwidth.

Unfortunately, traditional wi-fi home networking is highly susceptible to interference from other air signals ranging from bluetooth technology to microwave ovens - even garage doors! While all these interruptions severely impact a wi-fi network, it is not a problem for traditional internet data - the network easily recovers without major complications for the user. With TV signals and the protocols it requires, however, these interruptions are devastating. Once a packet is lost, for instance, it is lost forever. This causes the screen to refract into oversized pixels, or the screen simply freezes, the program starts skipping - all of this is simply not acceptable.

Because of this, up to now, broadband Internet service providers that are looking to break into the IPTV market have simply precluded the idea of offering wi-fi home networking for their clients. Unfortunately, some form of networking has to take place: that's because, traditionally, the broadband line doesn't enter the house where the television is, but rather in the home office. So home networking needs to happen. Without wi-fi, the obvious alternative is to offer home networking with cables. But, as Mustarde points out, cables are a pain. They mean the added expense of truckrolls, drilling holes in walls, etc. Nobody likes cables.

Ruckus Wireless' solution is wireless technology that is not susceptible to interference. While it is completely standards based, and can interact with any service provider's network, it is embedded with smart technology that allows it to steer around interference, when it occurs, and prioritize IPTV over other types of applications. The consumer will receive flicker free, DVD-quality IPTV to their television sets, set top boxes, or mobile phones, anywhere, anytime.

Mustarde is asked, where will IPTV be the biggest? On the laptop? In the living room or den? On the mobile device or cell phone?

For now, Mustarde says, it is biggest on the notebook, for the obvious reasons that it's there that all the technology is for making IPTV the most viewable. But as IPTV viewership grows, it is likely to migrate more into the living room. That said, Mustarde declines to predict the success of one IPTV viewership method over another. He more or less says that it will be equally distributed. IPTV is a huge television revolution, he says. We'll be watching it everywhere.

Now, if you're wondering how Internet service providers are going to solve their problem of rampant inefficiency, Evolved Networks promises a pretty interesting solution. Watch the Free Interview with Matthew Edwards Here.

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