Advanced Television

IP standardisation boosted by industry body merger

March 13, 2012

By Colin Mann

The Open IPTV Forum and MPEG Industry Forum have reached agreement to merge the assets of MPEGIF into the OIPF in a move that increases consolidation in the standardisation landscape.

The pair say the activities of the MPEG Industry Forum have reached a natural and successful conclusion with the emergence of MPEG-4 Part 10, alternatively known as H.264, as the dominant codec in next generation video technology and the proven successor to MPEG-2.

As in 2011, when the Broadcast Mobile Convergence Forum (BMCO) merged into OIPF, which followed the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA) merging with the MPEGIF, these asset mergers represent natural consolidation in a maturing industry – the positive result of cross-industry consensus on fundamental technologies.

According to the pair, in an ever-converging, cross-media, global market, the challenge going forward is to enable interoperability across increasingly complex connected consumer devices and services on a global scale. This is the mandate of the specifications developed by OIPF and the clear logic behind the consolidation of MPEGIF’s efforts and assets into the OIPF.

Nilo Mitra, President of OIPF said the body was pleased to contribute towards the consolidation of the work from the MPEGIF. “The end result is that the Open IPTV Forum will be an even stronger and more vigorous industry body, representing all constituents and contributors within the ecosystem of businesses creating and delivering the next generation of television entertainment”

David Price, President of MPEGIF and Head of Business Development, Compression, Ericsson, noted that when the MPEG Industry Forum was founded, the future of IP-based video technology was far from clear, except that the industry knew that conventional TV services were going to be radically and permanently changed. “At the centre of this revolution was the emergence of new, highly efficient codecs that enabled new business models such as TV over DSL and broadband television. As the premier industry body advocating adoption of standards based technologies with over 100 companies in its membership, MPEGIF used educational MasterClasses at major trade shows and nine rounds of interoperability testing to show that MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) was the clear successor to MPEG-2 for the next generation of services. We are pleased to declare ‘victory’ and merge the assets of the forum into the Open IPTV Forum going forward.”

Sebastian Moeritz, Chairman of MPEGIF, suggested that the body had played a “significant role” for almost 13 years in shaping digital television and next generation multimedia applications, making MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 a major driver for video delivery over all possible networks to virtually any device. “What we as an advocacy group have achieved with facilitating the widespread adoption MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 is a fantastic result and absolutely unique in its kind.”

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