With growing international interest in IPTV or internet protocol television, the IPTV World Forum in London will bring together leading industry figures in the field to discuss the challenges and potential of broadband video services.

IPTV uses internet protocols to deliver audio, video and high-speed data services over broadband data networks. This enables telecommunications operators to add video to their voice and data services – the so-called triple play strategy.

Many analysts see the market as ready to take off, with major telcos either conducting trials or launching services. It also offers new opportunities for interactive television, from networked personal video recorders and video-on-demand services to a new generation of interactive services that seamlessly blend audio, video and data in new ways that take advantage of the always-on bi-directional broadband connection and the ability to personalise services to individual user requirements.

In many ways, IPTV provides the perfect platform for interactive television, but delivering video services to the consumer presents major challenges for operators.

The IPTV World Forum will take place at Earls Court in central London on 8-9 March 2005, bringing together senior representatives of some of the leading players in the field.

One of the confirmed speakers is Andrew Burke, recently announced as chief executive of BT Entertainment, which is planning to launch video services over broadband.

Also speaking will be Andy Birchall, chairman of the On Demand Group, which has recently received approval to launch a video-on-demand service with Sony’s Columbia Pictures and Walt Disney.

Attila Gazdag, managing director of the Walt Disney Internet Group in Europe and Casey Harwood, vice president and commercial director of Turner Broadcasting System Europe, will be looking at how IPTV will affect the strategies of broadcasters.

Among the other speakers will be Roger Lynch, chief executive of Video Networks, which provides the HomeChoice broadband television service in London.

International presenters from operators where IPTV is already deployed will be sharing their experiences. Other organisations represented include Ofcom, the EBU and the BBC. Commenting on the opportunities for interactive services, informitv founder and principal consultant William Cooper will also be speaking at the event.

The IPTV World Forum will bring together senior figures from across the industry in recognition that there is more to providing broadband video services than technology and distribution deals. This is an emerging market that could transform television.

As an official media partner for the conference, informitv can offer a 15 per cent discount for delegates that mention informitv when registering.