Totally legit alternative to cable or satellite
Internet Protocol Television is an all-digital alternative to broadcast TV that runs on the internet. While cable, satellite, and free-to-air TV still dominate, IPTV is becoming a force to be reckoned with. Could IPTV be right for you?
What Is IPTV Exactly?
At its most basic level, IPTV is exactly what its name implies. It’s television delivered using Internet Protocol. In case you didn’t know, Internet Protocol is the electronic language of the internet. It’s the system of sending and receiving data packets by routing them across the internet.
IPTV is therefore essentially the same as TV delivered over satellite, cable, or radio waves. However, IPTV can offer additional features other TV delivery methods can’t, such as instant interactivity, thanks to its internet-based nature.
Isn’t IPTV Just Like Netflix?
Isn’t IPTV essentially just like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video? This depends on how you define the “TV” in IPTV. In practice, IPTV services offer live streaming broadcasts. Netflix, in contrast, offers on-demand entertainment.
It’s possible to have one service offer both. For example, Hulu offers IPTV channels as a bolt-on subscription to its basic on-demand video service. Therefore, the experience of IPTV is like traditional live television, although the streaming technology is fundamentally the same as on-demand video providers.
Some definitions of IPTV are broad enough to include services like Netflix as well, but in this article, we’re dealing with IPTV as it’s marketed to customers.
What Do I Need for IPTV?
IPTV has more or less the same requirements as on-demand video services like Netflix or Hulu:
- An internet connection with enough bandwidth.
- A device to run the IPTV App or website (e.g., a custom set-top box, computer, smartphone, smart TV, Amazon Fire Stick, etc.)
- A paid subscription, in some cases.
Some IPTV services provide their set-top box and don’t allow anyone who doesn’t have said box to watch their streams. This is to prevent piracy and avoid people watching IPTV streams that are not approved for their region. That brings us to the next most important thing about IPTV: legality.