What is IPTV and how does it work?

Due to technological advancements and changing global trends, traditional television has been in decline for several years.  Now, you can access your favorite TV shows and movies any time because of the IPTV. But the question that arises here is that what is IPTV and how does it work?

What is IPTV?

IPTV is a system used for delivering television content or videos using internet protocols (IP) instead of antennas or satellite dishes. Unlike the downloaded media, IPTV allows streaming the source media continuously. However, it is different from online video platforms like youtube and OTT services like Netflix but still, it shares many of their conveniences. It allows the users to access VOD (video on demand) content and watch live broadcasts. Moreover, IPTV is a more cost-effective solution and it allows the users to pay for what they are interested in. Anybody who ever tried the best IPTV service will never revert to traditional TV.

How do IPTV works?

Traditional TV works by sending analog signals directly to the users via cables which means they can access only the current broadcasted contents. However, IPTV has servers to store content which gives users the freedom to watch what they want and whenever they want. When the user selects a show, the content will be delivered to digital signals and transferred to the playback device via IP. During the process of transferring, the files are compressed and optimized for streaming. For this, your TV must be able to read the signals received over the internet protocol. Just in case your TV isn’t IPTV compatible then you will have to buy an IPTV set-top box which is a device used to convert streaming signals received via the IP into a format that a TV can read and reproduce.

IPTV Formats

There are three different IPTV formats. We will take a look at each one individually. 

1. Time Shifted IPTV

This IPTV format allows users to watch previously broadcasted TV shows at a later date. Many popular broadcast networks like BBC allow users to watch last week’s shows at a time that’s convenient for them. BBC’s iPlayer is one of the most popular streaming video players that offer this service. It also gives users the option to rewatch the old content only for a limited period.

2. VOD

VOD stands for video on demand. It sounds exactly like its name ( i.e you can get video whenever you demand) and it is the one that people are already using. All moving streaming sites like Netflix, amazon prime video, etc are VOD services, you can watch anything whenever you want according to your needs. The main difference between VOD and time-shifted IPTV is that the content being shared there does not has a limited shelf life and is available every time.

3. Live IPTV

This format involves broadcasting live TV programs across the Internet just like traditional TV. Conferences and Sports events are the most commonly watched live programs as it is easy to stream on your phone. It is pretty much the same as regular TV.

Is IPTV the Future of Broadcasting?

At present, the number of IPTV users has exceeded the number of satellite and cable TV users. It is now predicted that the IPTV users will cover over 32.5 million homes by 2021. It is also clear that VOD (Video on Demand) websites are gaining more popularity day by day which means viewers are no longer limited to the tough television schedules. Therefore, it shows a shift from broadly defined channels.