An international group of prominent IPTV system manufacturers and IPTV service providers have formed a consortium called the Open IPTV Forum, aimed at developing interoperability standards for IPTV.

Consortium members are AT&T, Ericsson, France Telecom, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, and Telecom Italia.

Numerous other organizations are managing the development of standards for specific technological elements of IPTV, but the members of the Open IPTV Forum want to take care of an area not previously addressed: ensuring that consumer electronics products will work with any IPTV service provider’s system.

That includes not only the obvious items, such as TVs and set-tops, but also phone handsets and other mobile devices.

The Open IPTV Forum said it will work on the basis of suitable open-standards technologies, and will also address key technology elements such as content protection, necessary interfaces that allow IPTV services to be delivered over both a managed network environment and the public Internet, and adequate measures to ensure interoperability between such services and retail consumer devices.

Candidates include, but are not limited to: IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA).

The forum plans to release requirements and architecture specifications in September, and its first protocol specifications in December.

Initially, the Forum will consist of the founding member companies, but will be open for other companies at a later date.