Background to and reasons for establishing the Forum
As the penetration of optical fibers has made the world's fastest broadband environment widely available in Japan, and the complete transition to digital broadcasting scheduled for 2011 will require every home to have digital television, the convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications has become a realistic prospect.
To make it possible to provide common standard compliant IPTV services on the basis of studies conducted by those involved in IPTV, we have established an organization that promotes the standardization of IPTV receivers and services and that also promotes the wide use and enhancement of the defined standards. We aim to achieve the above by standardizing technical specifications that will enable receivers available on the market to implement an IPTV capability and thereby bring about the coexistence of broadcasting and telecommunication.
Video delivery services for personal computers have already been widely accepted. Making high-definition videos accessible to receivers available on the market will create an environment in which both broadcasters and content providers can easily sell, and users can easily buy, such video content. Furthermore, the availability of common basic functions and services is expected to encourage the further development of these technologies and services.
Major carriers, home appliance manufacturers and broadcasters have already had technical discussions at the IPTV Forum for more than a year. The time is ripe for these parties to get together to establish an organization that maintains standards for IPTV services, thereby laying a lasting and ongoing foundation for the technologies and services concerned.This Forum will adopt a specification system that allows providers to freely select telecommunication and broadcasting services in accordance with the desirable overall picture of the specification system for IPTV services. Furthermore, it is important that we seek to achieve consensus among those concerned, such as service providers and receiver manufacturers, to reinforce the specifications so that they can support not only the currently anticipated services but future services as well.
We understand that, if we are to develop a new IPTV service ecosystem that meets the needs of both users and providers, it is necessary to encourage further collaboration. This will necessitate unceasing efforts at updating specifications. We hope that the establishment of the IPTV Forum Japan (general corporate judicial person) marks the first new step towards this goal.