Broadcast to Broadband – Open Standards for IPTV

By | December 6, 2011

What is DVB-IPTV?

DVB-IPTV is the collective name for a set of open, interoperable technical specifications, developed by the DVB Project, that facilitate the delivery of digital TV using Internet Protocol over bi-directional fixed broadband networks. The work is taking place in two tracks, where Track 1 covers delivery over managed networks and Track 2 covers Internet delivery.

Key specifications already published in DVB IPTV Standard include:

– TS 102 034 : Transport of MPEG-2 TS-Based DVB Services over IP Based Networks

– TS 102 539 : Carriage of Broadband Content Guide (BCG) Information over Internet Protocol

– TS 102 824 : Remote Management and Firmware Update System for DVB IP Services

 DVB’s interactive middleware specifications, DVB-MHP and GEM, also include IPTV profiles.


Traditionally DVB services have been delivered over broadcast networks, i.e. a one-to-many uni-directional architecture. The advent of high-speed bi-directional consumer broadband networks means that that there is increasing demand to

Offer DVB services over an IP network. The delivery of TV using bi-directional IP over a broadband network presents a particular set of challenges, especially when integrated with a range of other IP services. DVB’s task, in response to calls from the industry, is to help define and develop appropriate standards for the delivery of DVB services over such networks, and to provide a means of integrating these with other broadband services, whilst maintaining maximum interoperability with existing DVB broadcast standards. In view of the complex nature of IPTV, and the varied facets of such services, there are numerous DVB groups dealing with IPTV. DVB’s unique approach is based on consensus approval between its diverse members based on commonly-agreed Commercial Requirements.

How does it work?

The initial phase of DVB’s work concentrates on the interface between the IPTV set-top-box (STB) and the IP-based home network. DVB’s work in IPTV can be divided into three broad areas:

(i) STBs and PVRs on IP networks: the definition of appropriate standards to facilitate the automated connection and configuration of a STB connected to an IP network. This extends to how MPEG Transport Stream based services are encapsulated onto an IP network, and covers Service Discovery & Selection (SD&S), Broadband Content Guide (BCG), remote management, firmware update, etc.

(ii) Home Networking: the definition of an appropriate sub-set of existing standards for a DVB home network (based on IP). DVB’s Home Network specification will be based on the DLNA/UPnP guidelines where possible.

(iii) Additions to the DVB-MHP middleware specifications, to allow interactive TV applications running on MHP to use the resources available in a DVB-IPTV environment.


Market Deployment

Commercial IPTV networks have been rolled out to a greater or lesser degree in a number of countries. Many of these are using non-standardized proprietary technologies to deliver a range of services including television, interactive services, video-on-demand, etc… IPTV is expected to become an ever more popular means of delivering such services to the home, particularly when offered in conjunction with other forms of broadcast network, such as terrestrial or satellite. So if you want to build IPTV server, you might need some DVB Satellite or terrestrial cards to get IPTV streaming.


Here are some recommended TV tuner cards for IPTV building


DVB S2 Satellite Cards

TBS6984– A quad DVB S2 card, with four tuners for ideal building IPTV

TBS6981-A dual DVB S2 card, download two satellite transponders data simultaneously

DVB T2 Terrestrial Card

TBS6284– DVB T2 Card with four tuners, working great with Linux IPTV Streaming Server

TBS6280– DVB T2 Dual Tuner Card, download two terrestrial transponders data simultaneously


With the publication of the first set of DVB standards for IPTV, services can be launched that benefit from the advantages that come with open standards. The industry has particularly welcomed the standardization of the Broadband Content Guide, similar to the EPG used in “traditional” digital TV, and the Service Discovery and Selection mechanism. Thanks to standardized information, the SD&S mechanism allows a STB to efficiently recognize the multicast and unicast offerings of IPTV service operators on a broadband network. Many DVB member companies have participated in the working groups and are now integrating DVB-IPTV into their product lines.


Related Articles:

DVB IPTV: How Does IPTV Work