06-15-2012 06:57:09 AM
Thanks in Advance!!
I am the Engineering Director for a company that builds fitness console equipment. Our multimedia consoles receive normal ATSC/NTSC/QAM signals to display TV Video. I would like to add the capability of receiving IPTV as well. So, in a sense, this multimedia console would act like a STB and TV built in it.
As I am diving into this capability, the main question is how does a STB know how to communicate to an IPTV provider?
Now, in the ATSC/NTSC/QAM, it is easy to understand decode the modulation to determine valid channels and the display per that channel when the user selects it.
Any guidance/direction to what I am looking for is great. Any body at AT&T can point me out to their new product development group would also be appreciated.
06-15-2012 08:01:19 AM
AT&T does not develop the IPTV system. The IPTV system that is used for U-Verse is built, programmed, and maintained by Microsoft, and is known as Microsoft Mediaroom.
If you want to possibly make your units Microsoft Mediaroom compatible, you need to speak with Microsoft's systems engineers on that project. They may be able to provide a development kit.
06-16-2012 08:06:53 AM
To add to the above info: even if you produced a MediaRoom box/receiver, it would not be natively usable on the U-verse system (or any other commercial provider of IPTV in the USA, Europe, or APAC). Each provider uses their own authentication and authorization services (all rooted in the same types of services i.e., LDAP and other back-end systems, but with variences in implementation). Your box/reciever would have to be certified and approved by AT&T Labs (for U-verse), then added as a valid receiver type. All media & voice traffic is encrypted. Voice and video traffic is tunneled to provide QOS.
For a generic system where you are just distributing video via IP, there are a variety of systems and STBs.Some STBs are Linux based, some are MS Windows based, some are other near real-time OSes. I have a couple Cisco (formerly Scientific Atlanta) generic boxes that are Linux based that we use to move video around the Lab. They're easily configured by way of a TXT file describing the multicast groups you want the box to join.
Generally speaking, the STBs and DVRs boot up like a PC; a bootloader brings up the bootstrap code, which identifies the box to the system and establishes the available resources. Once the box is authenticated, it's authorized and control is passed to the operating code in flash. The media stream / channel / group is joined according to the access control granted by the account information from the back-end systems.
If you're looking to add U-verse capability to your systems, IMO, your best bet would be to partner with Cisco or Motorola (or the STB providers for the other IPTV-based systems).
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