We can all agree on the statement that “Nobody likes to be told what to do.” then why watch your favorite television show or movie at a specific time that certain someone has assigned that you’ve never met in your life should decide? This is the common question for cable network users to ask themselves. Not only this, with higher subscription plans, the number of channels is limited, the quality of the video is not that great, etc. So did you ever feel like browsing on TV just like you do on your mobile and watching whatever you want to, wherever you want to, and whenever you want to? Sounds too good to be true, right? But, believe it, there is a solution for it, and it is called IPTV.
What is IPTV?
Previously users would watch the television programs, which were being broadcasted by antenna, cable network, or satellite dish, while all the channels were streaming simultaneously. IPTV, i.e., internet protocol television, broadcasts your favorite TV shows, movies, sports, and other live events through the internet connection. IPTV providers provide
far more flexibility than traditional cable TV operators, users can have more number controls options to interact to personalize their watching experience, unlike cable TV, where users have no control over anything.
These days most televisions are smart TVs, so the IPTV feature is an in-built feature in all of them. However, the people who are still using cable TV networks can access the IPTV services through set-up boxes, and for some TVs, we can access IPTV services through internet sticks like Amazon firestick and Google Chromecast.
IPTV works on IPTV subscription models. Though some IPTV providers provide IPTV services for free, they are full of ads. So, one has to buy a premium IPTV service for ad-free content. The subscription of IPTV services varies on the IPTV providers, and the price range can be as little as 5$ to as high as 20$ per month.
How does IPTV work?
As we know, IPTV service is very similar to internet browsing and traditional channel surfing. To deliver the programs, i.e., movies, TV shows, live events, etc., to the viewer, it simply requires IP, a delivery system’s transport protocol. When a viewer requests a video or clicks on a TV program, video from various sources, i.e., servers, is separated into data packages and transferred over the internet. Video servers employ an internet connection to send programs through a fiber-optic cable to existing households. Queries are sent out, and programs are received.
When you visit the IPTV website of the IPTV provider of your choice, you will notice multiple services mentioned there. You should select the most convenient to you and the one in your budget. The subscription-based services are based on the number of channels provided, the video streaming quality, and the number of connections provided.
There are three types of IPTV services, they are:
- Live IPTV
- Time-shifted IPTV
- VOD (Video-on-Demand IPTV)
Live IPTV is similar to watching live broadcasts on traditional TV with cable networks. But in this case, the live programs are broadcasted through the internet connection. The live programs broadcast are mostly live events like sporting events, award shows, and news channels. Other than the fact live IPTV runs on the internet connection, everything is the same as traditional live TV with cable networks, satellite dishes, and antenna. FOX Sports Go, Sling TV, and Hulu Live TV offer live IPTV.
With time-shifted IPTV, you can watch the programs broadcasted in the last few hours or days at your convenience. You can say the IPTV provider allows you to watch the shows you missed when you have the time to watch them. But the key differentiator of time-shifted IPTV that makes it different from VOD(Video-on-Demand) is the limited shelf life of the content, i.e., you can’t watch the episode of the TV show that you missed several years ago. The BBC’s iPlayer is one of the most popular time-shifted media platforms.
This IPTV service is similar to most OTTs available like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc. Here the end-user will have the collection of all the media files, i.e., TV shows and movies, on their device. They have to browse the program and watch it anytime by selecting it. Customers can watch any program at their convenience. For VOD IPTV services, there is no time limit for the content like we have in time-shifted. The user can watch the episode of the TV show they missed several years ago.
People currently have less time to watch television, and the demand for personalized entertainment is skyrocketing rapidly. As a result, having the flexibility that IPTV providers provide is becoming increasingly important in today’s environment. And, with the rise of Internet video services that offer on-demand content, the TV industry must find a method to compete with them. IPTV, fortunately, proved to be the ideal option.
Advantages of using IPTV:
- As the world becomes increasingly digital, switching to digital television is the foundation for the future and modern technology.
- Purchase a set-top box and connect it to your television to get started. In addition, the latest models have Wi-Fi connectivity that simplifies the process significantly.
- Many people despise advertising, so skipping or fast-forwarding them is a great way to improve your quality of life.
- IPTV is compatible with all devices like laptops, computers, smartphones, tablets, and televisions without reducing the video quality. You are not restricted to cable television; you may watch your favorite shows on any device with an internet connection.
- IPTV provides a variety of services to diverse users.
- If you cannot watch a live event, series, movie, or other similar events, you can schedule a recording of the material to watch it later when it is more convenient for you. The recording is not restricted to one channel; simultaneously, you can record numerous channels.
- IPTV appeals to consumers worldwide since it eliminates the need to wait for your broadcast to start at a set time and allows you to skip ads.
- Because of the video-on-demand format, the consumer has a more extensive selection of programming from the host network to choose from.