A few years back, households relied on traditional means of accessing entertainment and content such as cable and satellite TV. Fast forward to today and most people are streaming their content online, thanks to alternative TV service that is dedicated to availing content to the consumer over the Internet. This is what IPTV is all about. IPTV refers to Internet-based Protocol Television where Internet delivers TV programs to the user, either live or depending on the prevailing demand at the time.
It is important to note that IPTV is not the same as streaming videos through Netflix or YouTube, although there are some similarities. IPTV gives the users the choice of watching what they want, whenever they want, and not being restricted to one option just because it is currently airing at that time.
So what is IPTV and how exactly does IPTV work?
IPTV works pretty much the same way browsing the Internet does. The user sends requests for shows and this request is processed and the program delivered back via Internet protocol. Internet protocol is a transport protocol that is applied to delivery of data packets over the Internet.
Cable and Satellite TV, on the other hand, deliver programs to homes by enabling users to ‘tune in’ to a particular signal. Delivery could be via coaxial cable connection as in the case of Time Warner Cable or satellite as in the case of DirecTV. While cable and satellite TV served the purpose in the past, and continue to do so, most people are moving towards IPTV because of the many benefits it has when compared to traditional TV.
Types of IPTV services
Not all IPTV is created the same. There are different types that you need to be aware of. These include:
Video on Demand: This allows a subscriber to receive a video they have requested, meaning they can watch a movie anytime anywhere as long as it is available in the VoD library.
Near Video on Demand: In this kind of set-up, users can look at a broadcasting schedule that is prepared and shared beforehand, allowing them to watch only the content that interests them. This is a pay-per-view service.
Time-shifted TV: Ever wanted to watch live shows with playback so you can catch all the action you might have missed? Well, time-shifted TV accords you this very luxury. Except it’s not really ‘live’ when you get to watch it later, but you still have more freedom to re-watch where necessary.
TV on Demand: Also known as TVoD, this allows you to record selected channels which you can watch later.
Live TV: This allows users to watch shows that are currently being broadcast.
It is easy to see why IPTV has grown in popularity over the past couple of years when you take into account the convenience offered by this kind of service. With so many people on the move, knowing that you can watch what you want when you want it is exactly the kind of news consumers want to hear.
If you have always worried about missing your favorite programs when on the go, this article has hopefully reassured you that with IPTV this doesn’t have to be the case anymore.