With Netflix and the Internet, TV has become old-fashioned. Why should you watch programs only when they are broadcast? Wouldn’t it be better to watch TV as if you were browsing the web, so you could choose the show you want to watch when and where you want? This is one of the promises of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), which uses Internet technology to broadcast TV programs “on demand”. Let’s see what it is!
What Is IPTV?
IPTV abonnement is growing rapidly, with the emergence of new providers and new services alongside traditional TV providers, which offer more IPTV offerings.
IPTV stands for “Internet Protocol Television”. The IPTV of IPTV premium is the same as that of your IP or VoIP (voice over IP) address. This means that television programming is transmitted using the Internet protocol.
With cable or satellite television, broadcasters send signals and viewers receive them. You can only watch what is broadcast. Unless you have a recording device, you can only choose from the programs broadcast by different channels and watch what is available.
IPTV is different. Instead of transmitting content by light pulses over a fiber optic cable or by radio waves from a satellite, IPTV sends broadcasts and movies over a broadband Internet connection.
Instead of broadcasting a series of programs on a specific schedule, most IPTV channels use video on demand (V0D) or time-delayed media.
There is a complicated network architecture behind it, which makes it functional, including a lot of transcoding from traditional signals to IP 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 used a streaming service like Netflix, it’s the same idea, but with TV instead of movies or series.
All three forms of IPTV can work either using your computer and an ordinary web browser, or (for much better quality) a decoder and ordinary digital TV. These three services can be offered either over the public Internet or through a managed private network that works essentially the same way (for example, from your telephone and Internet service provider at your home, entirely through the provider’s network) .
Do You Need A Decoder For IPTV?
Your computer, on the other hand, needs nothing to watch TV over IP. Once signed up for a service, you can use it to watch what you want in any of the IPTV formats. So if you can mirror your screen on your TV, you can watch IPTV without a set-top box.
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. The future of IPTV is likely to be the purchase of set-top boxes that receive input from your Internet connection (via Ethernet or Wi-Fi cable), decode the signal, and display a picture on your big screen high definition TV. The decoders are in fact autonomous computers programmed to do only one thing: to receive packets of video streaming, to decrypt them, to convert them into video files (MPEG2, MPEG4, or any format), then display them as high quality TV pictures. Apple TV works largely this way, using a set-top box to run simple applications on a lean operating system (tvOS), which handles the process of streaming video over the Internet.
As a simple, more compact and much more discreet alternative to a set-top box, you can use a so-called dongle, which looks a bit like a USB flash drive, but which allows secure access to TV programs on the Internet. The dongle plugs into an HDMI socket on your TV and connects via Wi-Fi to the Internet to broadcast TV programs, movies and music directly.
Google’s Chromecast is a little different: usually you launch it with your computer, tablet or smartphone (which effectively becomes a remote control), after which it streams your movie or TV program directly from the Internet.