Over the last six months to a year, IP video has catapulted to the top of television tech industry discussions. If you’re wondering why, wonder no more. The answer is Comcast. Comcast issued its specs for a Next-Generation Access Architecture (NGAA) last March and since then has pushed the IP conversation forward globally. The fact that the market giant is on a path to IP means everyone else, at the very least, has to consider it. Operators, vendors, developers – everyone is now thinking and acting around IP, even if they weren’t before.
Moving to IP video means a fundamental architecture change. As Motorola VP Joe Cozzolino says in a recorded interview with Screenplays Magazine’s Fred Dawson, the shift isn’t just about breaking off some bandwidth in today’s pipes and shoving more IP through. And, the issue isn’t just one of technology either, but also operational changes. How do you ideally manage resources? Enable new ad systems? Introduce new content and services?
There are also questions about how much intelligence takes place within the network versus how much has to happen in devices within the home. Call it a set-top, call it a gateway, or some other IP-connected device. How capable does it have to be? From the Motorola perspective, a pure thin client won’t cut it, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be greater efficiencies, and, dare we say it, convergence in the home.
So the fire is lit. Evolution to IP is happening. What’s next?