Authors: Dane L. Jackson, Raymond A. Hansen, Anthony H. Smith
Television represents one of the great advancements in information delivery. Traditionally, television service has been delivered using dedicated communication methods such as terrestrial and satellite based wireless transmissions and fixed cable based transmissions. Some of these delivery mechanisms have advanced and now provide services including voice and Internet access. Another communication method, traditional telephone service, has greatly improved and expanded to deliver services such as television and Internet access.
This convergence of service provides cost savings, allowing providers to utilize existing communication networks to deliver additional services to its customers, often at minimal or zero infrastructure cost. One disadvantage of this method is customer reach is still limited to those with access to dedicated service provider networks. The ability to disengage television service from these dedicated networks and move it to a more ubiquitous network would greatly improve the customer reach of the providers.
The most obvious network choice for a delivery medium is the Internet. Given that television delivery mechanisms have already started the progression towards IPTV, the service is a natural fit. One issue hindering this transition is bandwidth availability. In private delivery networks, the issue of bandwidth availability for IPTV is often combated through the use of IP Multicasting. Considering the Internet is already believed to be bandwidth constrained, the use of multicasting could be deemed a requirement. The following paper will explore current issues with deploying IPTV over the Internet, the use of multicast to combat some of these problems, and the inherent challenges of pushing multicast based IPTV services over the Internet.