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HDTV Use Will Limit Potential of DSL for IPTV

The latest MPEG video coding standard -- called MPEG-4 Part 10, or Advanced Video Coding (AVC) -- is said to revolutionize the IPTV market by reducing the bandwidth required to deliver video, but uncertainty remains about the ability of DSL to compete effectively against cable and satellite TV as service providers move to high-definition (HD) video, according to the latest report from Light Reading.

"MPEG-4 AVC has already made SD and HDTV possible for some IPTV customers, and further improvements in the use of compression tools should make delivery of HD IPTV a possibility for many more," notes Simon Sherrington, research analyst for Light Reading Insider and author of the report.

"However, beyond the areas in which fiber has been deployed to or close to the customer, IPTV services offering concurrent high-speed Internet, HDTV, and second-channel viewing or recording to a DVR will remain out of reach for most households. Telecom operators will be competing to supply advanced IPTV in dense urban areas, toe-to-toe with cable TV companies. In more rural areas, if it is available at all, IPTV will be much more basic and substantially less competitive than satellite and cable services."

Key findings of "DSL Video Bandwidth Crunch: MPEG-4 AVC, IPTV, & HDTV" include:

- Encoder vendors are now releasing second- and third-generation products based on the MPEG-4 AVC.

- Performance questions regarding MPEG-4 AVC center on the bandwidth required to deliver multiple streams of HDTV channels to end users.

- Video-over-DSL networks may not be robust enough to deliver more than one HDTV channel to users, even with expected improvements in compression and throughput.

- Multistream HD IPTV will remain out of reach for many DSL-based broadband subscribers, which will put video DSL providers at a significant disadvantage.

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