According to how you define the era, we are currently in the second or third Golden Age of television. In the 1950s, a relatively new medium called television came onto the scene. In addition to RCA (technology), Hollywood’s content production studios such as Universal and Columbia also contributed to television’s technological advancement.
Over the years, TV underwent some major changes, with many production and broadcast companies saturating the market. Only a handful of TV shows each year would capture the nation’s attention due to their formulaic nature. New executives emerged in the 1980s who brought with them fresh new ideas, resulting in a new era of television programming.
Something dramatic happened in the 2000s. The advent of ‘digital TV’ technology was a result of advances in media distribution technology and broadband internet. Suddenly everyone had access to high-speed internet, which led to HDTV, online video platforms, video-on-demand, Web TV, and TV streaming. As Wi Fi technology improved, hotspots appeared everywhere.
With the advent of digital online video, the number of television hours available to the general public increased significantly. There was an unprecedented increase in content production, as well as an unprecedented increase in server capacity (to host all the TV shows). The result is that today you have many non-traditional TV services, such as Apple, Amazon, and YouTube. The sheer quantity of TV channels available when you cut your cable or satellite service provider will expand what you watch on TV beyond your wildest dreams if you are a TV fanatic. Now you can watch any TV show you want.
IPTV vs. OTT
Streaming over the Internet
IPTV cannot be understood without understanding IPs. Everyone with an internet connection is assigned an IP address, which stands for internet protocol. An IP address identifies a device on the internet or on a local network. A network allows information and data to be transferred between devices.
The majority of video content today is either IPTV or OTT. Over the top refers to “over the internet television” and IPTV refers to “internet protocol television”. OTT delivers content over the same open, unmanaged network you use to stream music, send emails, and surf the web. Through the internet, the network establishes a direct connection with your device. Instead of traditional cable TV, OTT providers deliver media content over the internet in the form of live broadcasts and/or video-on-demand.
OTT requires that your device establish a unique connection to the server that provides the content when watching media content. However, due to the nature of OTT, users may experience fluctuating levels of network bandwidth, which may result in packet loss and a lower quality viewing experience.
Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube are examples of OTT services that require subscriptions.
TV over Internet Protocol
IPTV is a method of delivering streamed content over a managed network, such as a wide area network (WAN), a private local area network (LAN), or a service provider network. A higher quality of service is offered by these IP networks (internet protocol). In contrast to cable and satellite services, IPTV streaming services store much of their content on servers in data centers.
IPTV streaming providers must choose the right server and hosting solutions provider in order to meet all of their present and future needs. Incorrect hosting packages can cause packet loss, latency, and poor viewing experiences for your users. Because of this, your provider should offer the best customer support package. Do you really want your distributor network fielding calls from upset customers?
The biggest difference between IPTV and OTT is quality. Watching YouTube or Netflix can cause packet loss (glitches and pixelation). IPTV services are supported only on managed networks that can support multicast streaming, while OTT IP creates a direct connection with your device. Rather than connecting with each individual viewer, a single video can be shared with all viewers on the same network.
IPTV: How Does It Work?
You may be wondering how IPTV works now that we have answered the question, “What is IPTV?”. The IPTV system operates on an IP network and provides users with access to audio and video content.
IPTV is streamed in what way? Instead of using your cable or satellite provider, you would use a set-top box to watch IPTV TV shows over your internet connection. To start one of the TV shows, you click the link, which sends a request to the content source (usually a server). In a video compression format, the server divides the video content into data packets over internet protocol IP. A local node in your neighborhood receives the data. IPTV channels are then decoded by your device or set-top box at home, usually through fiber optic cable.
IPTV hosting for service providers
In addition to ensuring that you have a trustworthy hosting solution provider, finding a premium service provider is equally important as an IPTV provider. Oftentimes, when setting up a streaming business, or any start-up, the cost is always a concern. Smart entrepreneurs know, however, that there are some costs you simply cannot cut corners on. The whole premise of your business is to provide an ‘experiential’ service, such as watching the latest episode of Mythic Quest or the latest Star Wars or Marvel movie. You will lose customers if you provide a poor viewing experience. To ensure future growth, make sure your server has enough bandwidth and the right components.
IPTV: Pros, Cons, and Benefits?
Set-top boxes are where IPTV adoption rates are highest. Video on demand (VOD) devices such as Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick should not be confused with these devices. Using an IPTV set-top box, you can broadcast video onto your TV from a signal that is received through an internet connection. HDMI or AV cables, or even WiFi can be used to connect the box.
An IPTV service provider network must be subscribed to once the setup is complete. It is usually a reseller of a company that manages a network of content. Many of these service providers are willing to assist you in setting up your account. A number of IPTV providers offer thousands of TV channels as part of their packages.
It would be remiss of me not to mention Smart TVs, another way to watch digital television. Some of these devices come with built-in technology for streaming content over the internet, but most are OTT services like the hugely popular Roku. These are great options for those who are less technically inclined (think your parents trying to connect the VCR back in the 80s). There is no need for a set-top box or stick since the technology is built into the television. You won’t get the thousands of IPTV channels that you want with this OTT service.
How does IPTV benefit you? As opposed to OTT, IPTV offers a better watching experience as you are not subject to packet loss. It is also very cost-effective, especially if you are still paying for traditional cable. Your IPTV provider offers thousands of channels for as little as $19.99 per month. International channels are available on some IPTV services, which is great for newcomers who are looking for programming in another language or from their own country.
Live TV is one of IPTV’s greatest benefits beyond video-on-demand (VOD). Obviously, sports fanatics love this aspect since now they can watch virtually any international sporting event at any time. You can stream live IPTV whenever you want for programs such as the Grammys, the Oscars, breaking news, and political broadcasts.
You will also have access to thousands of movies in addition to thousands of TV channels. Not just some movies, but all the classics, foreign films in multiple languages, and often new releases. Aside from live television, most programming is commercial-free. Isn’t that awesome?
OTT and traditional cable and satellite providers charge you per screen or device, while these providers allow you to use your service across multiple devices.
Remember when our satellite TV would go down every time there was a storm? While IPTV is not subject to that kind of problem, it relies entirely on your internet connection. You might want to consider switching to IPTV if your internet provider has a tendency to go down.
You may experience latency and buffering if you have a slow connection on broadband Internet, so make sure you have a strong connection of at least 25 Mbps (megabits per second). If you are a videophile (or video snob) and insist on watching only in high-definition (720p or higher), this is for you. If you’re fine with SD (standard definition), then lower speeds of around 10 Mbps to 18 Mbps are fine for you. A minimum of 2 Mbps would be ideal, but we wouldn’t recommend it. For the best viewing experience, high speed is the way to go.
In the future, we will watch TV in a different way
IPTV’s future is directly related to that of television, period. In the future, television will be a completely immersive experience. As new and improved technologies enter the market, television will continue to evolve. Its evolution will not only create new programming formats, but also push the boundaries of personalized viewing experiences we can’t yet imagine. Immersive and gamified ads follow (never mind VR and AR; those topics are for another article).
Streamers like Netflix are already developing interactive TV content (see Bear Grylls You vs. Wild) where users choose the story’s direction. By participating in the show and interacting with it, you will have the opportunity to potentially alter its outcome, giving new meaning to the term ‘reality show’. Anyone up for Running Man?
In the near future, consumers will likely prefer set-top boxes while more TV and VOD services like Peacock, HBO Max, and Disney Plus join Netflix and YouTube.
What Do I Need to Do to Get Started?
Amazon, for example, sells IPTV set-top boxes. Remember that you need to subscribe to a service, so shop around. Often, you can find a local IPTV provider who can also provide you with a set-top box at an affordable price. In some cases, they will even come to your home and demonstrate the installed product.
When you choose an IPTV provider, you’re on the way to a new world of TV channels (a place of not only sound and sight, but also imagination.). IPTV offers premium video on demand (VOD), with thousands of movies, live IPTV and events, all in real time, not delayed.
It is very exciting to see how IPTV will evolve in the future, and I hope I was able to explain to you what IPTV is. If someone asks you ‘What is IPTV’, you now know the answer.
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