An Idea about IPTV Streaming, Subscription and Channels

IPTV, the abbreviated form for Internet Protocol Television is basically a digital delivery of the television content by the use of signals on the logical internet protocol instead of the traditional format of cable television and satellite signals.

Difference between Traditional Cable Television and IPTV

In the traditional system of television delivery all the programming is broadcasted simultaneously. The program signals that are available flow downstream and the viewer has the option of selecting the programs that is needed just by simply changing the channel. But in case of IPTV, it only sends one program at a time. The content of the program remains on the service provider’s network and the program that the customer selects is send to their home. When the viewer changes the channels, a completely new stream is transmitted from the service provider’s IPTV server directly to the viewers.

On the other hand, both the traditional system of television delivery and IPTV has two similarities as well which are as mentioned below.

  • Both the systems of television delivery require a set to box.
  • Both require an active subscription. The traditional systems require a cable or a satellite subscription and IPTV requires active IPTV subscription.

IPTV streaming supports two different types of transmission namely:

  • Multicast
  • Unicast

The transmission types are chosen by the IPTV service providers and this depends on the conditions of the network. The multicasting transmission type is used with the Internet Group Management Protocol Version 2 abbreviated as IGMP for the broadcasting of live television. The unicasting transmission type is used with Real Time Streaming Protocol abbreviated as RTSP for tall the on-demand programs. All the video content programs are compressed by the use of either MPEG 2 or MPEG 4 codec. After the compression, it is then send in the MPEG transport stream through internet protocol multicast in case of live television and through internet protocol unicast in case of video on demand. The main difference between unicast and multicast is that Internet protocol unicast technology delivers the video content specifically for each of the users whereas the Internet protocol multicast technology delivers the video content simultaneously to various users.

The various compatible video compression standards other than MPEG 2 and MPEG 4are as mentioned below.

  • 264
  • Widows Media Video 9
  • Windows Media VC 1
  • DivX
  • XviD
  • Ogg Theora

IPTV also competes with another type of television delivery model known as iTV or the internet TV. In this type of delivery model, the content is typically distributed through a website.

IPTV Channels and Subscription Packages

The channels can be viewed in a similar way as in case of the satellite television. The user needs to decide all the channels that are required to be viewed and then the IPTV service providers need to be contacted. The service providers come with the set top box and set the connection. The package of channels need to be subscribed form the offered subscription packages and paid accordingly to enjoy the IPTV services.


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