If you are not part of the media landscape, chances are you haven't heard of IPTV. But you've probably been using it for years.
And chances are you'll use it more in the future. IPTV is growing rapidly, with new providers and services appearing alongside traditional TV providers and 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 viewing experience?
Let's start with the basics. What is IPTV?
IPTV stands for "Internet Protocol Television". The IPTV IP address is the same as your IP or VoIP address. It simply means that the television programming is communicated via the Internet Protocol.
To understand what it means, you need to know a bit more about how the non-IPTV system works. If you want to know more about IPTV addons for Kodi, you can check IPTVKODI site.
With cable or satellite TV, broadcasters send signals that viewers receive - you can only watch what is being broadcast. Unless you have some sort of recording device, you can't dictate what or when. Just log in when you can and see what's available.
IPTV is different. Instead of transmitting content in pulses of light in the form of fiber-optic cable or radio waves from a satellite, IPTV sends shows and movies through your standard Internet connection. (You may be using a cable or satellite internet connection, but these connections are separate from the ones that typically carry your TV signals).
Instead of broadcasting a series of programs on a set schedule, most IPTV channels use video on demand (VOD) or offbeat media - we'll cover that point, along with a third format, in a moment.
Its operation is based on a complex 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'll send it to you immediately.
How does IPTV work?
There are three different IPTV formats. We will look at each of them individually.
Video on demand (VOD)
VOD streaming is exactly what it sounds like; you get a video every time you request it. Movie streaming sites are video-on-demand providers. There is no time limit on what you can watch (other than what the service is currently entitled to).
You tell the service what you want to watch, it sends it to you over the Internet and you watch it. It's easy.
Popular examples of VOD services are Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. (There are also many smaller niche services available).
Do you need a decoder for IPTV?
Since most televisions 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 television can play.
On the other hand, your computer doesn't need anything to watch IPTV. Once you've subscribed to a service, you can use it to stream whatever you want in any of the IPTV formats (which we'll talk about later).
So if you can mirror your screen to your TV, you can watch IP TV without a set-top box.
As with TV, you can also watch live broadcasts on IPTV. Many people watch sporting events this way; It's easy to stream a game to your phone when you're on the go.
In addition to being broadcast over the Internet rather than traditional media, over-the-air 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 ground, it is still a pretty niche market.
These are the other IPTV formats that have yet to take off and where there is tremendous potential to change the way people watch TV.
Catch-up television is growing in popularity. Downloading apps for providers like FOX, CBS, and NBC allows viewers to see shows they've missed without having to install and record anything through a set-top box, like a TiVo.
NOW TV, TVPlayer and Epicstream are all making headway in the live IPTV france market, but they are not yet as traditional as the more popular VOD services.
Sport appears to be the fastest growing area of television for IPTV. There are many subscription sports programs that you can watch from your computer or stream on 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 streaming services. In this way, people can share their skills, advice and passions with anyone in the world.
IPTV is fundamentally the evolution of traditional broadcasting modes such as cable or satellite television and therefore is the future of television.