The advent of computer has changed the way the world moves. Distance factor is no longer a problem. The physical might appear a big place with things at far off places but the world in virtual form doesn’t believe in distance. Everything can be achieved within minutes if not seconds. The whole technology behind this mega change is based on computer and is termed as Information Technology. This technology has led to the creation of a cyber world or electronically generated world with the help of computers connected to each other through suitable wires.
Now words like cybercafe, cyber chat, cyberspace, cyber shopping, etc. have started making rounds. People can send electronic mails to far off places within seconds. Details and information are getting transferred within few seconds. People in Shanghai and New York are just seconds away. Transferring data in electronic form is actually the fastest way to transfer things. It’s not only the message transfer that has been revolutionized but also the business world. There are virtual shopping malls with website offering you a range of products ranging from computer peripherals to groceries.
Companies are now providing details of their product through their website and are accepting customers’ requests of information and now even orders for products are being accepted. Everything is available. Money transfer can easily be done through wire transfer techniques. People do not wait. This world is not ruled by armed soldiers or any nuclear weapon. It’s the information which rules. The physical world just has to react on the outcome. Its role is just for receiving and sending.
This high performing virtual world has made significant change in the performance of the actual world (Tanenbaum, 2003). Things in real world are now easier to comprehend. Outsourcing has helped in accessing low cost labor in far off Asian nations like India and China. Multinational companies like Microsoft, IBM, GM. , GE etc. have offices in almost in each part of the world with performance of each of these units can be monitored from any of its offices. Their offices have been networked though LANs i. e. , Local Area Network and WANs i.
e. , Wide Area Network. They have virtually made themselves available to their customers any time anywhere and just a click away (Tanenbaum, 2003). 2. Computer System & Network of computers A computer system and network of computers are actually two different but interrelated things. A computer system is just a normal computer including peripherals and software necessary for the functioning of the device (Webopedia). But if we talk of Computer Network, it can be defined in a very simple way as a network of computers (Princeton).
But giving full importance to all factors getting into act when we talk about network, the definition which actually makes complete sense is none other than the two or more computers connected together to share hardware, software and data and has been implemented according to some topology (Tanenbaum, 2003). The network can have all peripherals located within an office or building. This arrangement is often termed as Local Area Network or LAN (Tech, 2006). If the same is achieved in a wide area i. e.
, computers connected to the network are located at places as diverse as countries in different continents, we can call the same as Wide Area Network or WAN (Cisco, 2006). Calling all computers and other intelligent parts of it as nodes, the term network topology can be defined as patterns of links connecting a pair of nodes of a network. 3. Internet Protocol & IPTV Technology related television services which include uplink and transmission has seen some of very revolutionary inventions of modern science.
The television delivery system has now moved from terrestrial transmission through analog signals to encrypted digital signals through internet as well as IPTV (Anderson, 2006). The entertainment world through television is now very much eager to move from TV being delivered through cable to Internet Protocol Television with content being viewed through technologies used for computer networks (Lu, 2006). The last decade of the 20th century witnessed the massive growth in Internet Protocol based services.
Now with the fast development of hardware and software technologies, this internet world has now developed to accommodate services like VoIP and many other telecom products (Wikipedia, 2007). It is a system which delivers digital television services to registered subscribers in a managed network with address based technology. The unique IP address of a subscriber provides him a virtual address over a network and creates a connection between the service provider and the television (Wikipedia, 2007). 4. Television through IPTV: a new experience IPTV is going to give the most electrifying experience to its subscribers.
It’s not just seamless TV viewing but also more interactive and personalized. Things like participation in a game show or any discussion board will only require the use of the remote while sitting on the couch. Now the user will not feel being bombarded with a long list of channels rather get a very creative option to receive them with a much richer experience (International Engineering Consortium, 2007). The two-way signal broadcasting system through the network over which IPTV depends, allows the viewers to make selection that too on demand with time shift option.
The additional services which can also be incorporated with IPTV are the Web Browsing i. e. surfing the internet, gaming with a game console with the current system and finally the communication applications which can enable email, MMS, Chat, etc (Telecom Italia, 2006). Figure 1 (IPTV delivery Infrastructure) The Set-Top Box which has made this IPTV happen which at one end is connected to the TV set while the other end to an ADSL connection can easily be made to supply Broadcast TV services (BTV) as well as Video On Demand (VOD) services.
This BTV facilitates the simultaneous reception by the users of a traditional TV channel. And using multicasting protocols IPTV can make available services which are similar to experiences of a traditional TV like Free-to-air or Pay TV or a Pay-Per-view service (Luarel Networks). The same IPTV can be used by service providers to provide the VOD service which is made available on request. The VOD service requires implementation through IP unicast protocols (Ericsson, 2006). The enhanced IPTV can also make Personal Video Recorder (PVR) services available.
The local PVR makes way for video-recording on the STB hard-disk with another set of functions for live, pause and replay. Similarly the Network-based PVR stores the data on the operator’s server which is generally used for VOD (International Engineering Consortium, 2007). On technological point, the IPTV makes way for better utilization of available infrastructure like the bandwidth. Traditional transmission technology actually sends more than hundred channels simultaneously while the IPTV requires just one channel to be sent to the subscriber at a time.
Every time the user selects a channel or a program, a new streaming takes place with data related to the newly selected channel (Anderson, 2006). 5. IPTV: More Advantages, More services & More Business The IPTV will lead to a very new level of interactivity among Internet and data mainly as voice and video. A cable based TV network beams data in form of video mostly in MPEG format through an explicit bandwidth portion while the internet which enables high speed data transfer works on an IP based network and the data transfer is based on packets rather than streams.
Both the technologies are technically very different. This IPTV is an amalgam of both the successful technologies. Being a data-centric application, the packets over this network can deliver both video as well as data (International Engineering Consortium, 2007). Figure 2: Telecommunications IPTV system solution The traditional cable network is often overloaded with more than 100 channels being transmitted simultaneously. So there is a limitation of maximum number of channels that can be made available to the subscriber.
IPTV has a very clear advantage (Times News Network, 2006). Theoretically this technology can make almost infinite number of channels at the customer’s disposal. The transmission line actually transmitted a single channel which has been demanded by the customer. So the infrastructure usage per customer is negligible while opening a new era of almost every channel on the planet being made available to the user. The IP technology being a packet based product requires an acknowledgement to be sent to the source for every packet.
This ensures that every packet sent by the source should remain intact and any loss of data will require resending of the same packet. This feature ensures very high quality of the product which the subscriber will receive (Anderson, 2006). The advantages associated to IPTV is not just conventional entertainment and advertisement based business but the technology can have its usage in developing new products which can make way to many other forms of businesses. The web based training is one of the many other possibilities.
The IPTV network can be used to run different courses by making the videos of the classes available to the registered students (International Engineering Consortium, 2007). IPTV is the next big thing after telecom and internet. The business possibilities associated with this technology is almost as broad as the human thought. Almost all telecom companies are putting big money in exploration and marketing of this product (Blau, 2005). The business network and the corporate LAN’s may be greatest beneficiary with the delivery of videos and television content.
The customized content delivery and the extremely secure network will reduce the theft cases to negligible. Customization facility will help the advertisers to understand the behavior of consumers and then will go for personalized ads that will translate into significant business returns (Iyer, 2005). 6. Conclusion The IPTV is going to be the next big thing in communication and media industry. With money pouring inform all big telecom companies IPTV is going to be a very serious business with entertainment becoming more and more customizable.
The subscriber will experience a very different medium of entertainment with highest level of interactivity and almost innumerable possible services that too very much on his own wishes. 7.
Bibliography Anderson, N. (2006) An introduction to IPTV. Available from http://arstechnica. com/guides/other/iptv. ars [Accessed 10 October 2007] Blau, J. (2005) Internet TV: Still Fuzzy, but Promising. IDG News ServiceAvailable from http://www. pcworld. com/news/article/0,aid,122138,00. asp [Accessed 10 October 2007] Cisco Systems, 2006. Wide Area Network. http://www. cisco. com/univercd/cc/td/doc/cisintwk/ito_doc/introwan. htm [Accessed 10 October 2007]
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