How Does IPTV Streaming Work?

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When we talk about online streaming, there are many terms we come across, IPTV being one of them. We are experiencing a paradigm shift from traditional modes of broadcasting like cable or satellite TV towards internet based streaming and, IPTV as a system has a major role to play in this transitional phase.

Customers essentially don’t care much about owning the content as much as they care about accessing content. This is where IPTV comes into the picture. And we will be sharing how IPTV works with you!

Let’s take a closer look at what exactly IPTV is, How IPTV works & it’s architecture, the types of IPTV services and the future of IPTV.

Equally important to this ecosystem is IPTV Providers such as Buy Premium IPTV, Live TV Global, Abonnement Smart IPTV, Abonnement IPTV, Abonnement IPTV France, Reseller IPTV  , Nordic Channels and many many others.

How does IPTV Streaming work?

IPTV is much similar like browsing the internet than traditional channel surfing. It merely uses IP (Internet Protocol), a transport protocol which is a delivery mechanism to deliver the videos to the viewer. When the viewer clicks on any TV program or requests the video, video from different sources (servers) is divided into data packets and sent over the internet. Video servers transmit programs through fiber-optic cable to existing household via internet connection and requests are sent out and shows are sent back.

IPTV Architecture 

Depending on the network architecture of the service provider, there are two main types of IPTV architecture that can be considered for IPTV deployment: centralized and distributed.

The centralized architecture model is a relatively simple and easy to manage solution. Because all media content is stored on centralized servers, it does not require a comprehensive content distribution system. Centralized architecture is generally good for a network that provides relatively small VOD service deployment, has an adequate core and edge bandwidth and has an efficient content delivery network (CDN).

Distributed architecture is just as scalable as the centralized model, however, it has bandwidth usage advantages and inherent system management features that are essential for managing a larger server network. Operators who plan to deploy a relatively large system should, therefore, consider implementing a distributed architecture model right from the start. Distributed architecture requires intelligent and sophisticated content distribution technologies to augment effective delivery of multimedia contents over service provider’s network.

Broadcast content from Satellites and Local Antennas are received by the central unit. The central unit is where live TV channels and AV sources are encoded, encrypted and delivered in the form of IP multicast streams. The Central unit will also contain the Advertising Servers, Live TV Streaming Servers, Video on Demand (VOD) servers & platform and is where on-demand video assets are stored and served as IP unicast streams when a user makes a request. The VOD platform may sometimes be located with and considered part of, the IPTV’s central unit.

The requested videos and TV Channels are delivered to the viewer via the delivery network which consists of a robust internet uplink via Fiber Optics from the IPTV broadcasters end.

The viewer will receive this signal at their end via their local or preferred internet service provider which can vary from a range of options like broadband, fiber optics, DSL etc..

When the viewer subscribers to a particular IPTV service they are provided with the service’s specific Set Top Box (STB). A set top box is the piece of endpoint equipment that decodes and decrypts TV and VOD streams for display on the TV screen. This STB is connected to the viewers’ internet connection (router) and uses the internet to deliver the video and TV content to the viewer.

The viewer requests the videos or TV Channels via an interactive portal in the STB, that allows the viewer to navigate within the different IPTV services, such as the VOD catalogue.

While this is a typical example of an IPTV architecture model and how IPTV works, due to a wide variety of service providers in the market today and the IT options available in the market, each service provider may decide to implement a slightly different architecture that suits their needs, geographic area, end point internet connectivity, local market conditions & requirements, and business model. However, at the core, the principles remain the same and may not be too different from what you see here.

Types Of IPTV Services

IPTV PROVIDER

Video on Demand

Individual delivery of video content to a subscriber. It allows users to watch any movie from the VoD server’s media library.

Near Video on Demand

It is a pay-per-view video service intended for multiple users subscribed to nVoD service. The content broadcasting schedule is compiled beforehand and subscribers can look at the schedule and watch content according to their interest.

Time-shifted TV

Time-shifted TV lets subscribers view live broadcasts later so they can playback and resume at their convenience. Rewind option is also provided for TV programs

TV on Demand (TVoD)

Selected TV channels are recorded so they can be viewed whenever convenient.

Although IPTV offers incredible flexibility and UX, there’s much more to it than just that. It’s also vital to look at both sides of the coin here, as IPTV isn’t perfect either. Here are some of the most notable pros and cons of IPTV:

Pros:

  • Easy to Set Up and Use — All you need to get started is buy a set-top box and connect it to your TV set. Also, the Wi-Fi connectivity that newer models have makes the process significantly easier.
  • It Is 100% Digital — The world is becoming more digital-oriented by the day, so transitioning to digital TV is an excellent foundation for the future and new tech.
  • IPTV Allows Smooth Simultaneous Streaming of Multiple Programs — IPTV services let users stream multiple programs simultaneously on different devices (TV, PC, Mobile, etc.).
  • Variety of Service Types — The multiple types of services IPTV offers exist to fit different consumer tastes.
  • Allows Users a Commercial-Free Experience — Many people hate advertisements, so being able to skip or fast-forward them is an excellent quality-of-life improvement.
  • Incredibly Time-Efficient — The lack of having to wait for specific times for your broadcast to start and skippable commercials is why IPTV’s so appealing to users worldwide.

Cons:

  • Network Overloads May Cause Technical Issues — If too many users happen to watch a specific show simultaneously, the network may overload and cause buffering or playback issues.
  • Users Have Little to No Control Over Channel-Related Issues — If an error occurs on a channel’s end, there’s little to nothing viewers can do to fix the issue but wait.
  • Synchronization Problems Are Commonplace – Due to natural fluctuations in network speed and quality, viewers may experience synchronization problems. If these occur, they deal a massive blow to the quality of user experience.

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