If you are not part of the media landscape, chances are you have not heard of IPTV. But you’ve probably been using it for years.
And it is likely that you will use it more in the future. IPTV is growing rapidly, with new providers and services appearing alongside traditional TV providers offering more IPTV offerings.
But what is IPTV? What does IPTV mean? How does it work and is it illegal?
And, how can you use it to improve your TV experience?
Let’s Start With the Basics. What is IPTV?
IPTV stands for “Internet Protocol Television”. The IP of IPTV is the same as that of your IP address or Voice over IP. All that means is that the television programming is communicated via the Internet protocol.
To understand what this means, you need to know a little more about how the non-IPTV system works. If you want to know about IPTV Addons For Kodi, you can check out IPTVKODI.
With cable or satellite TV, broadcasters send signals that viewers receive – you can only watch what is broadcast. Unless you have some sort of recording device, you cannot dictate what is on or when. You just tune in when you can and see what’s available.
IPTV is different. Instead of transmitting content via light pulses in the form of fiber optic cable or radio waves from a satellite, IPTV sends broadcasts and movies over your standard Internet connection. (You may be using a cable or satellite Internet connection, but these connections are separate from those that typically transmit signals from your television.)
Instead of broadcasting a series of programs according to a specific schedule, most IPTV channels use video on demand (VOD) or offbeat media – we will discuss this, as well as a third format, in a moment.
Its operation is based on a complicated network architecture, in particular on the transcoding of traditional signals into IP compatible signals.
But the important thing is that you don’t have to watch what’s on the air. You can tell your provider what you want to watch and they will send it to you immediately.
If you’ve used a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu, it’s the same idea, but with TV instead of movies or subscribed shows.
How does IPTV work?
There are three different IPTV formats. We will examine each one individually.
Video on demand (VOD)
VOD streaming is exactly what it sounds like; you get a video every time you demand it. Movie streaming sites are video on demand providers. There is no time limit on what you can watch (other than what the service currently has the rights to).
You tell the service what you want to watch, it sends it to you over the Internet and you watch it. Easy.
Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video are popular examples of VOD services. (There are also many smaller niche services.)
Do you need a decoder for IPTV?
Since most TVs are not equipped for IPTV, you may need a set-top box that “translates” what you receive over your Internet connection into a format that your TV can read.
On the other hand, your computer does not need anything to watch IPTV. Once you’ve signed up for a service, you can use it to stream anything you want in one of the IPTV formats (which we’ll talk about next).
So, if you can mirror your screen on your TV, you can watch IPTV without a set-top box.
Like TV, you can also watch live broadcasts on IPTV. Many people view sporting events this way; it’s easy to stream a game to your phone when you’re on the go.
Aside from being broadcast over the Internet rather than traditional media, live IPTV is almost the same as conventional television.
FOX Sports Go, CBS Sports Headquarters, Hulu Live TV and Sling TV all offer live IP TV.
Although IPTV is gaining momentum, it is still a pretty niche market. Services like Netflix and Hulu offer many TV shows (when they can get the rights to them), and video on demand is growing fast.
These are the other IPTV formats for which there is considerable potential to change the way people watch TV, that have not yet taken off.
Catch-up TV is gaining popularity. Downloading apps for providers such as FOX, CBS and NBC allows viewers to see the shows they missed without the effort required to set up and record something via a decoder, like a TiVo.
NOW TV, TVPlayer and Epicstream are all advancing in the live IPTV market, but they are still not as traditional as the more popular VOD services.
Sport seems to be the fastest growing area of television for IPTV. There are many subscription sports plans that you can watch from your computer or stream to your TV whenever you want.
But it’s a safe bet that the rest of the television world will be right behind.
Many services appear, allowing users to create their own VOD and live broadcast services. In this way, people can share their skills, advice and passions with anyone in the world.
Start your own IPTV service
If you want to start your own IPTV service, it is best to connect to one of these providers. They have the bandwidth, server capacity and distribution channels you need.
All you have to do is sign up, choose a plan, and start downloading your content. What kind of content? Who will watch it? How are you going to make money? All of these things are yours to decide.
There are IPTV channels for learning magic tricks, getting in shape, learning to dance, watching movies and just about anything you can think of. If you want to share something with the world, you can use IPTV to do so.
Of course, you will still need to save all of this content which takes a lot of work. But once you’ve done that, these services will allow you to easily promote and distribute your TV shows, videos, or movies.
It’s like building your own version of Netflix for you and your subscribers.
Is IPTV Illegal?
It is quite obvious to wonder whether the phenomenon of IPTV is legal or not. Clearly, in most countries, there is no law that prohibits devices that allow you to stream content.
However, it should be remembered that all practices relating to IPTV can today be condemned. Indeed, this concept is seen today in the same way as the decoder, which was used approximately twenty years ago, by hackers to pirate the television channels of the time.
You should know that most Internet subscription providers have not obtained broadcasting rights for the content they sell.
Apart from the purchase of the IPTV box, you will be able to receive channels as clearly and in the same way as before on your TV. The new models already benefit from integrated IPTV applications. As for pay channels, you will have to pay the subscription price as you would with a usual internet service provider.
In terms of legality, streaming broadcast content is not illegal as long as your provider pays for the broadcast rights.
IPTV is fundamentally the evolution of traditional modes of broadcasting such as cable or satellite television and is, therefore, the future of television.
Elo Isha is a Digital Marketing Expert and works for Digital Marketing Agency. She is a blogger. She loves to write about Tech Related Articles.