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 The internet has changed so much of our daily lives, and you can now even watch television shows through it – you can choose any show that you want to watch, whenever and wherever you want to watch it. This technology is called the Internet Protocol TV, or more commonly known as the IPTV.

IPTV is a system that allows television services to be delivered using the Internet protocol suite such as a Local Area Network (LAN) or the internet. Instead of the traditional TV broadcasting through terrestrial satellite signal and cable connections, you can watch the media through your internet connection.

Whenever you watch a movie or TV show through IPTV, it is performing streaming media – this means that the media is streamed in small batches directly from the source as you watch, unlike downloaded media wherein you have to wait for the whole media to download before you can start watching it.

Having a reliable IPTV also widens the scope of your multimedia entertainment, because when you subscribe to an IPTV service, you can choose what country and channels that you want to watch – whether you want to watch TV shows in English channels, Italian channels, or Greek channels is all up to you.

Types of IPTV

IPTV comes in three different types, and each one is uniquely suited to the different kinds of TV watchers.

  1. Video on Demand (VoD). This type of IPTV lets the users watch videos any time that they want without a specific broadcast time. Video on demand television systems usually allow the videos to be watched through the television and the computer.

Video on demand IPTV subscribers choose a plan, pay the monthly subscription fee, and watch videos after doing so, and the videos are streamed using Real-Time Streaming Protocol. A popular example of a video on demand service is Netflix.

  1. Time-shifted Television. In time-shifted television services, channels such as British Broadcasting Company (BBC) provide replays of their previous videos in the last hour, days, or weeks. People who have no time to watch their favorite shows as they air can use time-shifted TV to catch up on the latest happenings in the shows.
  2. Live television. Live television services allow users to watch videos as they are being broadcasted in the internet, with or without any interactivity. Users can watch videos real time, as the events are happening, such as a football game, a pageant, or a game show’s finals.

How IPTV Works

Unlike the traditional television where an antenna is needed to pick up local stations and watch their shoes, a reliable IPTV works differently.

Recorded media, as is used in IPTVs, are programmed in such a way that users can pick and play what they want to watch at any given time. Video on demand services like Netflix limit the number of videos that they put up so the overall bandwidth (range of frequencies used to transmit signals) is also limited, thereby avoiding slow internet speed.

To make the media available to users, the prerecorded or live videos are converted from analog to digital format so it can be sent through packets using the Internet protocol. Then the videos are compressed, which means that it is converted into a smaller file to avoid buffering during viewing. It also needs to be encrypted so that those who have subscribed are the only ones who can watch it. Then advertisements are embedded, especially if the IPTV is free of charge.

If you have a computer and an internet connection, you can always avail of the services if an IPTV, but if you want to watch videos with better quality in your widescreen television, you can buy set-top boxes. STBs, as they are sometimes called, work by receiving signals from your internet connection via the Ethernet or Wi-Fi, then decode the signals and display the graphics on your television.

Streaming versus Downloading Videos

Using a reliable IPTV means that you are streaming videos: contrary to downloading a video wherein you have to wait for the whole file to be downloaded before you can watch it, streaming is different. You download a part of the video and simultaneously downloading the next part of the video while you are watching it, so it will be ready to play the moment you finish the previous one. This is made possible through Real-Time Protocol (RTP), Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), and IP Group Management Protocol (IGMP) for multicast streaming.

An IPTV is a very convenient way to watch TV shows and movies whenever you wish to. The only limitation is the capacity of household internet connections to handle high-definition TV streaming. However, this technology could pick up the pace in the near future when more and more users find out how a reliable IPTV can change the way you watch TV shows and movies.

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