What Is IPTV: A Revolution In The Television Industry
The world of television is up for a revolution, and IPTV is going to bring that. Television is regarded as one of the most important inventions ever that changed how people look at the world. Now, a new technology called IPTV is changing the way we consume content. In this blog, we will go through everything you need to know about IPTV and its uses, pros and cons. So, let’s get right into it.
What Is IPTV?
IPTV is the latest technology in the television industry and it stands for Internet Protocol TV. This technology uses the internet to bring TV shows to its audience. All you need is a television and a fast internet connection. You can stream content in standard, high definition and 4K without paying extra for it. Moreover, it offers a whole host of A/V ports like HDMI.
Who Is It For?
Now that you know what IPTV is, it's worth knowing who it is made for. So the answer to that question is that because of the fact that IPTV is highly customisable, it is for everyone. People from every age group can find something on IPTV that suits them. Let’s dive a little deeper into the matter and know what kind of people can take full advantage of IPTV.
Sports Enthusiasts: You can watch live and recorded games and matches from across the world with the help of IPTV.
International Viewers: IPTV can also show you international news or content directly to your screen. So that you are not left with limited content.
Families: Families can also benefit from this service. All you have to do is opt for the family pack, and you can watch your favourite shows with your family even when they are in a different city or country.
Tech-savvy Individuals: IPTV is ideal for people who are interested in tech-related content.
In layman's terms, IPTV is designed in a way that it can host a whole lot of content to cater to people with different tastes. Moreover, it enhances entertainment by providing tailor-made content to viewers based on their preferences. Now that we know what IPTV is and the type of people it caters its services to, let’s look at how IPTV works.
How Does IPTV Work?
The IPTV process is very simple and straightforward. Companies that provide content-making start by converting their content into IP packages and storing them in the IPTV provider's database. Whenever a person requests any particular content, the IPTV provider collects the data and sends it to the person who requested the content.
The Components Of IPTV
When it comes to components of IPTV, there are only three, so let's just go through them.
1- Content Provider: The first component of IPTV is the content creator or content providers. These are the entities that are responsible for providing content to viewers. They can be cable networks like Zee, production studios like Universal or streaming platforms like Netflix.
2- IPTV providers: Now come IPTV providers who act as intermediaries between the content providers and their respective viewers. They manage the content and store it in their databases in the form of TV-readable packages to ensure seamless transmission for their subscribers.
3- Set-Top Box: The last component of an IPTV set-up is a Set-top box. This device is responsible for providing an interface between the IPTV service provider and your television. It's their job to receive the IP package and feed it to your television for a seamless experience.
What Is An IPTV Set-Top Box?
As mentioned above, in order for a person to see their desired content, the IPTV provider has to provide an IP packet to the person's set-top box. But what is this IPTV set-top? We will tell you. An IPTV Box is a device that converts the IP package into a TV-readable format. The box receives the IP signals over the internet after a user requests the content, which is then converted to TV signals with the help of this box. Using the four most popular methods, you can connect this IPTV box to your television. Let’s see what those methods are:
1- HDMI Cable: The most common and easiest way to connect your IPTV box to your TV is by using an HDMI cable. This is the most reliable method and provides the best possible picture quality. You can easily watch HD and 4K content using HDMI cables; you just have to buy a 4K TV, or you can buy 4K TVs under ₹50k.
2- A/V Cable: A/V cable or audio/video cable is an old method of connecting VCRs and DVD players to your TV. This method can also be useful while connecting an IPTV box to your TV. However, this is an old technique, so the picture quality is not that great.
3- Wi-Fi: You can also connect your IPTV box to your TV by using the Wi-Fi. Just make sure that both your devices, IPTV box and TV, are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. This is the most convenient way if you don’t have an HDMI cable or an A/V cable.
4- Mirroring: A less reliable but easy and fast technique of connecting your set-top box to your TV, Mirroring works by mirroring your phone or laptop’s screen onto your TV using online tools like Google Chromecast or Apple AirPlay.
So now you know what an IPTV set-top box is and how you can connect this device to our TV easily. You can also use Hybrid IPTV. So now let’s know a little more about what Hybrid IPTV is.
What Is An IPTV Hybrid?
Hybrid IPTV, as the name suggests, is a hybrid version of IPTV. Hybrid IPTV combines traditional TV with IP-based TV that delivers content over the Internet. The main reason for this is to provide the user with a more reliable and consistent viewing experience. Another benefit of hybrid IPTV is that, by using this method, an IPTV provider can offer many shows. For example, let’s say there is a show that is only available through traditional cable networks, but you want to watch it on IPTV. This is when Hybrid IPTV comes into play by providing you with both traditional cable network content and on-demand streaming content.
Types Of Format In IPTV
There are many types of IPTV formats, and each and every format offers distinctive features that cater to different user preferences. However, there are 3 formats that are the most common. Let’s have a look at those IPTV formats.
This is the most common type of IPTV format, and it works very similarly to traditional cable TV, where you can watch TV shows and events in real time. To enjoy this service, you’ll have to pay for a monthly subscription plan. Some IPTV providers that offer Live TV are as follows:
Fox Sports Go
Hulu Live TV
CBS Sports HQ
Video On Demand (VOD)
VOD is an IPTV format that provides users with content on demand. You will have to pay for the content you want to watch. VOD content is kept in data servers and can be accessed at a moment's notice. There are a few ways to stream VOD content. Some of them are:
Transactional VOD: This type of VOD works on a pay-per-view model. This means that you have to pay for shows and events, particularly by paying a fixed price for that show or event. Many sports like boxing, MMA and WWE use this pay-per-view model to provide content.
Subscription VOD: This type of VOD is the most common one, where you can watch content by paying a monthly subscription to the content provider. One of the examples of this model is Netflix.
Advertising-Supported VOD: AVOD is a model commonly referred to as freemium. This is where content providers allow the users to watch content for free, but the users have to watch advertisements every now and then. In this model, the revenue is generated through the ads.
Time-shifter TV is a type of IPTV format that allows users to watch shows after they have already broadcasted. This IPTV format is usually offered for a limited time, after which it expires. Hulu TV and BBC i-player are some of the examples of Time-Shifter TV.
Pros And Cons Of IPTV
Just like every other thing, IPTV also comes with its own benefits and caveats. Let’s go through them.
High Picture Quality: The picture quality of traditional cable TV is not great; only a few channels are capable of providing high-definition content. IPTV, on the other hand, can provide high-definition 4K video, making this a better choice for anyone who only watches high-definition content.
Private Network Delivery: Another benefit of having an IPTV is that it can deliver your favourite content through a private network. This increases the security and reliability of your transmission.
Global Reach: One of the biggest benefits of IPTV is that one can watch content from all over the world in one place. This opens up new opportunities for content providers, which results in better content.
Potential For Advertising Revenue: As we mentioned, the content on IPTV is tailor-made. So, an IPTV provider will also know where you lie in terms of the target audience for an ad.
This results in people-specific advertisements, which can even lower the service prices of some IPTV service providers.
Rapidly Growing Market Presence: We told you at the beginning of this blog that IPTV is the future of content consumption, so it's no surprise that IPTV service is growing with every passing day.
Information Loss And Delay In Content Package: As you all know, when something is sent via the Internet, there are a lot of chances that it can suffer information loss. This is one of the concerns in IPTV, which can significantly affect the viewing experience by reducing picture quality.
Legacy Network Challenges: In order for this to work, IPTV providers need reliable and good legacy networks, which might fluctuate at times. This can significantly limit the number of channels and the quality of the videos.
Challenges Faced By IPTV
There are many challenges and considerations one has to account for before opting for an IPTV service. Some of the challenges IPTV providers will have to face are:
As mentioned above, IPTV can be used to stream content in various formats. However, this poses a serious challenge for the IPTV providers. They will have to modify the content so that it can be seen on many different devices. For instance, a TV can play 4K content easily, but a normal smartphone might face some difficulties while doing the same.
Availability Of Pirated Content
Another big challenge IPTV providers are facing is the popularity of pirated content. People are putting their safety at risk to watch content for free. This also poses a difficulty for all the content providers and IPTV providers alike. Why would people spend money to watch a show or movie that they can watch for free? This translates to low revenue for content providers, which is also reflected in the quality of their content.
Rising User Demands
IPTV services are expected to grow at a rate of 15.1% from 2023 to 2032. This means that in the next decade or so, many people will start using IPTV services, which could result in reliability issues. To fight this, IPTV providers will have to invest heavily in their digital and physical infrastructure.
Competition With Traditional TV Providers
One of the biggest challenges IPTV providers will have to face is the competition from traditional TV providers. The first challenge is to convince traditional TV users to switch from traditional TV to IPTV, for which IPTV providers will have to offer unique value propositions to users. Another challenge will be to fight with the traditional TV providers when they come up with a more compelling offer, and what if traditional TV providers come up with a service that is even better than IPTV? So, there are many challenges IPTV providers will have to face in the near future.
There is no doubt that IPTV is one of the most revolutionary ideas of the 21st century, which will change the television industry forever. However, the technology is still relatively new, and IPTV service providers will have to work on their infrastructure if they want people to opt for their services. Moreover, the IPTV service providers will also have to come up with enticing deals and offers to attract the masses. However, people are certain that IPTV is the future of television, and one day, everyone in the world will have IPTV services.
Q1- Is IPTV safe to use?
A- IPTV might very well be the most secure way to watch content as all the content you watch is tailor-made for you, and it is transmitted through a private network that is not accessible by anyone other than you and your IPTV service provider.
Q2- Is IPTV Legal?
A- Yes, IPTV is totally legal as it doesn’t provide pirated content. However, using IPTV for something illegal can get you in serious trouble.
Q3- Is IPTV free to use?
A- Yes and no. While some of the shows and channels might come for free, you will have to pay for most of the content you watch. It can either be subscription-based or pay-per-view-based.
Q4- Do I need a VPN to use IPTV?
A- You can always use a VPN to surf the internet, but you don’t need it because this streaming form is extremely safe and 100% legal.
Q5– What is the difference between IPTV and OTT?
A- The main difference between IPTV and OTT is that IPTV uses a network that the IPTV provider manages. On the other hand, OTT is nothing but a platform where you can watch your favourite content. OTTs provide their content through websites and applications.
Hi! Gopal here, I love sharing my thoughts on the latest gadgets or tech related news. I can be mostly found on the internet if not reading a book of my favorite authors.
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