DirecTV and Alcatel-Lucent have partnered on an interesting project. They are delivering video over a closed IP network to the Shelter Creek multi-dwelling unit (MDU) complex in San Bruno, Calif. The offering, which combines DirecTV’s IPAdvantage platform and an Alcatel-Lucent VDSL2 platform to deliver a triple play bundle, is the first of its kind in the U.S.

The bundle is delivered over phone wire within the 1,296-unit condo building, bypassing the traditional DirecTV in-home delivery method of coaxial cable. The IPAdvantage platform basically provides a mini headend within MDU communities and converts a traditional satellite delivered DirecTV signal to IP for delivery over phone wire (although it can use coax and cat 5 cabling as well) to IP enabled receivers.

While it is IP delivery of video, DirecTV is quick to point out it’s not IPTV, at least as far as they are concerned. “DIRECTV IPAdvantage, not to be confused with IPTV, converts DIRECTV video signals into IP video packets to IP-enabled receivers over a single home-run wire, delivering satellite TV and other services from a private ‘on property’ head-end to each customer’s unit. The IP distribution platform, in addition to supporting advanced video services like HD and HD DVR receivers, also supports voice, internet and interactive services now enabling dealers to deliver IP-based dual or triple-play bundles,” says DirecTV in a press release.

I’m not sure I understand the reasoning behind the distinction between this approach and ‘IPTV.’ It sheds light on the ongoing confusion of the term IPTV. I assume they are trying to draw the distinction between it and OTT video delivery, which this is not. But by my definition, this is IPTV – delivery of a subscription multichannel video service over a closed IP network.

DirecTV hopes to pursue the MDU and private cable operator (PCO) markets with this solution, going head up against all current triple play and video providers that serve them. “Living in a large apartment or condo complex no longer means consumers have to settle for only one provider for their video entertainment and telecommunications services. DIRECTV believes in supporting choice for MDU residents and building owners, and Shelter Creek is an excellent example of how we can use IPAdvantage technology to provide that competitive choice,” says DirecTV

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