Earlier people watch television content through satellite and cables. With the launch of IPTV, people started watching the same content using Internet Protocol (IP) networks. The advantage of using an IPTV is that it allows users to stream more TV channels and VOD content in a higher streaming quality than the traditional cable network. With IPTV, you get a chance to explore a wide range of content from worldwide without restrictions.
What is IPTV – An Outline
Internet Protocol Television is the abbreviation of IPTV, and the service lets users stream TV channels and on-demand content online using the TCP/IP suite. Notably, some providers offer entertainment content free of cost. You can opt for a monthly subscription to watch entertainment content without interruptions. Many premium providers offer live TV channels, sports, movies, and more.
How Does IPTV Work
In general, the traditional TV receives analog signals from cables. But IPTV will receive signals through an encrypted internet network. Furthermore, unlike cable TV, it has dedicated servers to store content. Therefore, if a user requests anything, it will be sent over the internet protocol as data packets.
- The requested media file will reach the playback device with encryption via the real-time streaming protocol.
- If your TV is incompatible with the IPTV media format, you must buy a set-top box.
What is IPTV Box
An IPTV box is a device to convert streaming signals into a TV-supportable format. Connect your IPTV box to your TV using an HDMI or AV cable. If you have the latest box, you can also connect it using a WIFI network. You can stream content through the internet protocol without any set-top box if you have a PC. In addition, you can also project your PC screen to your TV if you don’t want to purchase a set-top box.
Hybrid IPTV is an innovation introduced due to the evolution of internet-based streaming services. It is helpful for regular cable TV users to use the more convenient format. According to Hybrid IPTV, users can watch linear TV and on-demand content using a set-top box. Moreover, it allows users to opt in or out whenever they want without changing a set-top box.
Types of IPTV
IPTV services are classified into several categories based on user requirements.
Video on Demand
Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are the two best examples of VOD platforms. In this service, the users have to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to access their entire library. It comprises movies, TV shows, originals, documentaries, and more. It is the most successful service in over a decade due to its improvements.
Live IPTV is another best service for watching live TV shows, sports, and other live broadcasts. It helps users to watch the most anticipated shows like The Academy Awards and Golden Globes live, just like traditional cable TV. Popular live IPTV providers include Sling TV, Hulu Live TV, and fuboTV. It is helpful because you can record live shows to watch offline, enjoy simultaneous streams, etc.
Time-shifted TV is a service that lets users stream earlier broadcasted shows at present. But the content will be available for a limited period. Similarly, users can stream broadcasts for a limited time before they get removed. BBC iPlayer is a famous IPTV provider with this format.
Near Video On Demand
In this category, you can watch pay-per-view videos. So, users can watch pay-per-view sports events, UFC wrestling matches, and others. Therefore, users can choose content from subscription-based video channels and watch them on their schedule.
TV on Demand
TV on Demand service is suitable for those who miss live broadcasts or videos. Here users can pay for each TV show or movie to stream. In addition, you can buy or rent a particular episode or the whole season of a series. The Google Play Store and Apple iTunes are the best internet protocol television services with this pattern.
IPTV Service Providers
The following are the top-rated IPTV providers in the United States.
- Typhoon Labs IPTV
- Falcon IPTV
- Fluxus IPTV
- IceFlash OTT
- IPTV Trends
- Beast IPTV
- VOCO IPTV
- Best Golden IPTV
- TiviMate IPTV
- VLC Media Player
- IPTV Smarters
- SS IPTV
- GSE Smart IPTV
- Smart IPTV
- Perfect Player IPTV
- Flix IPTV
- OTT Navigator
Some dedicated IPTV apps feature a built-in media player to stream their content.
IPTV services are accessible on various devices, which are listed as follows.
- LG Smart TV
- Samsung Smart TV
- VIZIO Smart TV
- Amazon Firestick
- IPTV Box
- Windows PC
Points to Remember Before Using IPTV
The following are the essential things to know before streaming content on IPTV.
Secure with a VPN
A VPN is an efficient way to stay anonymous and browse IPTV channels safely. There are lots of best VPNs for IPTV services available in the market. Choosing the right option will mask your IP address and encrypts your connection between the device and the service provider. Moreover, you unblock geo-restricted content from any location.
Aware of Advertisements
Basically, IPTV providers will earn money by displaying ads in their services. Therefore, IPTV providers can offer copyrighted content for free. Most ads are related to games, crypto investments, medical products, shopping deals, etc. Therefore, cyber attackers might spread malware on ads. So, you can install an ad-blocker to avoid unwanted commercials.
Make Secure Payments
Some IPTV providers will charge users to provide pirated content. So, they won’t use official payment portals since it may lead to legal issues. Using third-party gateways is the only choice they give, which is risky. To make secure transactions, you can use a debit/credit card or cryptocurrency.
Merits and Demerits of IPTV
Although IPTV has plenty of valuable features, the following are the crucial points you must know about.
|Simple set up and easy to use
|Requires a reliable internet speed to access
|100% digital entertainment model
|It needs a decoder to access IPTV channels
|Simultaneous streams on multiple devices
|Errors may persist if the central server overloads
|Various service models for choosing the ideal one
|There is a chance for legal issues
|Watch your favorite content ad-free
|Waiting is the only solution during channel-related issues
|Easy to integrate with smartphones, PC, and tablet
Problems You Might Face While Using Illegal IPTV
|Some illegal IPTV providers will abrupt their broadcasts to stay ahead of copyright and legal actions. You won’t have a buffer-free experience watching TV channels.
|You will face the consequences if you wish to stream copyrighted content from illegal IPTV providers. In any case, the copyright holders may file a legal suit against the hosts and the operators. The US Government may also penalize you under The Copyright Act of 1976.
|Sometimes, your devices will get affected by viruses or malware. This is because you are streaming content from untrusted sources. Additionally, cyber attacks can happen by stealing your data and lead to major crimes.
The IPTV Market had the largest value of 72.24 billion USD in 2020. It is estimated to reach over 194.21 billion USD by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.89% during 2021-2026. The evolution of the internet plays a vital role in shifting traditional cable or satellite TV users to choose IPTV services.
Check out the following statistics to see the phenomenal growth of the IPTV market,
- The insistence on IPTV services is at a peak, with an increase in the annual rate of 30-35% worldwide.
- According to reports, over a billion users are streaming IPTV with subscriptions.
- The largest market share for IPTV is found in France, The United Kingdom, and Germany.
- India has the potential to surpass the market share of European countries shortly.
Future of IPTV
As per expert analytics, the total subscribers for cable/satellite TV drastically dropped by 23% during 2015-2018. This is a clear indication for the IPTV to take charge. The growth of IPTV majorly depends on the number of smartphone users worldwide. It is estimated that over 3.7 billion people will access the internet using smartphones by 2025.