South Africa joins the ITU IPv6 IPTV Global Testbed
The ITU IPv6 IPTV Global Testbed has undergone a significant expansion with the connection of South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
CSIR’s Meraka Institute is the country’s leading national ICT research institute and the main hub of SANReN (South African National Research Network), a large-scale government project that provides network connectivity between organizations specialized in higher education and research.
The international ITU IPv6 IPTV Global Testbed was established by ITU-T in collaboration with Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Hokkaido Television Broadcasting (HTB) and OKI. The backbone to this international IPTV experiment is established through extended connectivity between SANReN and NICT’s IPv6 research network, JGN-X (Japan Gigabit Network-eXtreme).
Core ITU standards underpinning the experiment include Recommendation ITU-T H.721’s IPTV terminal for Video on Demand (VoD) and Linear TV, ITU-T H.762’s Lightweight Interactive Multimedia Environment (LIME) for interactive IPTV services, and ITU-T H.264’s video encoding. High-definition IPTV content encoded in H.264 is being delivered over IPv6 between CSIR and other testbed locations, interactively controlled by H.762 on H.721-compliant terminals.
The news marks the first-ever IPTV testbed in Africa. Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, will be the next location to join the project with preparations already underway between ITU-T Study Group 16 (Multimedia) and Rwanda’s proposed host of the testbed.
The ongoing expansion of ITU’s Global Testbed capitalizes on the success of a series of transcontinental IPTV experiments held over the past two years. For the second year running, ITU-standardized IPTV technologies were deployed in an international IPTV experiment held in conjunction with the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan, 5-11 February 2013. Run over ITU’s IPTV IPv6 Global Testbed, the experiment was successful in its ambitious attempt to employ ten software-defined networks (SDNs) simultaneously.
IPTV services were used to live-stream scenes from Sapporo and to provide supporting Video on Demand (VoD) segments, accompanied by integrated social media tools and a remotely-provided captioning service. A particularly notable achievement was the use of RISE (Research Infrastructure for large-Scale network Experiments), a next-generation Internet based on OpenFlow, to deliver IPTV content to Singapore where IPv4 and IPv6 were combined virtually (Read the full story on the Sapporo experiment in an earlier newslog article here).
For more on ITU-T’s work on IPTV, please see ITU’s IPTV Global Standards Initiative.