Technology Internet

What is Internet Protocol Television or IPTV?


Traditional television has been in decline for many years due to technological advances and changes in global trends.

The quick availability of the Internet makes everything more accessible, including television. Nowadays, you can access your favorite movies and TV shows through IPTV.

IPTV has rapidly conquered the market due to its superior quality and user experience.

But what exactly is IPTV? How does IPTV stand? How it works? What are the pros and cons of IPTV? These are the questions we are going to discuss one by one in this article.

What is IPTV?

IPTV stands for “Internet Protocol Television”.

With the help of IPTV, users can watch programs via the Internet instead of fiber optics cables, satellite dishes, or antennas.

This means that IPTV streams video content directly to the Internet. But it’s different from the other online video platforms such as Amazon Prime, Netflix or YouTube.

It allows its users to access videos on demand, watch live broadcasts, and on a subscription-based model.

It gives its users complete freedom to access their favorite shows and enjoy live events like traditional TV shows.

How does IPTV works?

A traditional TV sends an analog signal to the user via cables, who can only access the currently broadcast video content.

But IPTV provides the facilities to their users to see the content in real-time as well as at any time.

IPTV has servers that store content, it gives the freedom to their users to watch the program at any time.

After the user selects the content they like to watch, that content will be accessed to servers then converted to digital format, and then delivered to the users on their playback device in the form of the packet via Internet Protocol (IP). These packets are optimized and compressed before being sent to end users.

But you can only access IPTV if your TV has the ability to read signals on the Internet.

Unfortunately, not all older model TVs can access IPTV services. If you have a TV set that is not compatible with IPTV.

But you can attach the IPTV set box for making your TV compatible with accessing the IPTV services.

What is an IPTV Set Box?

An IPTV Set Box is a device used to translate analog signals into a format that the TV can understand and reproduce via Internet Protocol.

In simple words, IPTV box translated the language of the IP (internet protocol).

These boxes are usually connected to the TV through AV or HDMI cables.

If you want to watch IPTV on your computer, then you do not need a top box, because the PC has the ability to read data via Internet Protocol. People who don’t want to buy an extra set box device but still enjoy watching IPTV on their TV screens can mirror their PC screens on the TV and watch from there.

Types of IPTV Formats:

As we have already discussed, IPTV offers its users many additional services and video formats. In Below, we will discuss the basic IPTV content formats that most IPTV services offer:

  • Live TV: Live TV allows the users to watch TV programs in real-time like traditional TV.
  • Video on Demand (VOD): Video on Demand works just like OOP providers such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. The user pays a subscription fee, and in return, has access to large video content such as videos, shows, seasons, or many more.
  • Time Shifted TV: Time Shifted TV is also called Catch-Up TV. This allows users to watch the recorded videos at a later date. Time Shift TV is similar to Video on Demand (VOD), but the key difference is that Time Shift TV allows users to watch old video content for only a limited amount of time. While in Time Shifted TV, the content is permanently stored and does not disappear after a long time.

Pros and Cons of IPTV:

Now we will discuss some of the pros and cons of IPTV as follows:

Pros of IPTV:

  • Offer Multiple Services: IPTV provides multiple services to their users to that tailored to the tastes of different users.
  • Provides the Commercial Free Experience: Most people hate advertising, so being able to fast forward or skip them is one of the best feature of IPTV.
  • Easy to use and setup: All you need to do is buy a set-top box and attach it to your TV. Wi-Fi connectivity in the latest models makes the connectivity easier.
  • High Quality: IPTV provides the high (HD) quality to their users.

Cons of IPTV:

  • Network overload issues: If too many users watch the same show at the same time, the network may overload for a while and cause playback or buffering issues.
  • Users do not have control over channel issues: If something goes wrong at the end of the channel, viewers can do nothing more than wait.

Bottom line:

IPTV refers to Internet-based protocol television where the Internet is used to deliver TV shows and programs that are either live or in demand.

IPTV only delivers those channels that are being viewed by the viewer or subscriber and has the ability to offer an unlimited number of channels.

IPTV users will have the freedom to control when they want to watch and what they want to watch.

See Also
History of Internet
What is an IP address