A viewer rating system developed by Oki Electric Industry is to be used in Japan to collect information on the viewing habits of IPTV users.
Existing ground-based broadcasting systems have the means to gather viewership data, such as user preference and viewer history.
Broadcasting companies say this information is important in enabling them to improve services.
However, until now there has been are no equivalent user information collection functions for IPTV services.
OKI’s IPTV Audience Rating Information System allows service providers, with the authorisation of users, to obtain information about when and which channel and programs the users watched.
The system will collect the viewership data in the form of an “audience rating library” on the user’s device, which will then be encrypted, sent to and registered in the database server at the IPTV distribution centre.
This information will then be printed out as viewership reports which service providers can offer to programme producers.
Masa Saito, general manager of IP Systems Division at OKI, said the system, which uses the company’s eVideo technology, would ensure the efficient delivery of high quality video over IP networks.
“We have been proposing the technology to handle audience rating information to ASTAP, Asia’s communication standard organisation and FG-IPTV in ITU, the UN’s agency for information and communication technologies, as we believe open standards are important in improving IPTV service and technologies,” he said.
“We will continue our activities within IPTV-GSI, the IPTV standardisation initiative, to promote international standardization to enrich IPTV services.”
Telecom carriers in Japan are expected to increase their IPTV service provisioning with the start of next-generation network (NGN) services, and as the ITU works on setting international standards.

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