Home » What is IPTV & How does IPTV Work?

What is IPTV & How does IPTV Work?

what is iptv


The IPTV is a newly created computer protocol that should eventually replace traditional television transmission protocols. It raises some questions. What is IPTV? its characteristics, What are the advantages of using the IPTV protocol? Discover in the rest of this article the answers to these various questions.


What is IPTV?

IPTV is the acronym for Internet Protocol Television. As its name implies, it is a television transmission process that uses the Internet to function (via IP which means Internet Protocol). To better understand this relatively new concept for many people, it is clever to know more about conventional transmission protocols (that is, not using IPTV).


Generally, television channels use satellite or radio transmission systems to broadcast programs.

Thus, each subscriber with a TV, an antenna and a decoder can receive the signal at home via the satellite or wireless network.

The conventional method nevertheless has a major deficiency: it is not possible for the viewer to control what he is watching.

Channels preset daily programs to which any subscriber must refer if he wants to follow programs.

With well-defined schedules (and therefore by definition non-flexible). IPTV is totally different. In addition to using the Internet to function, it also gives the user the opportunity to choose his programs. In other words, the viewer can follow what he wants, whenever he wants.


What is IPTV Mode Operation?

As discussed briefly what is IPTV, the operating principle of IPTV is: make television available on demand.

Thus, analogically to what happens during a search on the Internet, the viewer asks for a program that he wants to follow and the corresponding signal is sent to him.

Since the data traffic takes place over the Internet, the user no longer needs a dish or antenna to receive the broadcasts, just from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and an internet connection.

Note that IPTV does not prevent the use of a satellite television receiver (satellite dish). If you wish, you can even use them together (jointly or alternatively). What you just need to know is that these are two completely independent concepts.


How do operators broadcast programs using IPTV?



The deployment of an IPTV protocol is very complex. First, it requires a very advanced storage base. It is indeed thanks to this one that the operator will store all the multimedia contents that he makes available to his subscribers. There are two main types, namely:

  • Centralized storage servers (practical for small local operators);
  • Decentralized storage servers (for large operators).


Once the multimedia content is put on the storage servers, the operator sets up an encryption algorithm.

It must also ensure that each viewer can have the best video quality possible. As for the actual broadcasts, they are in the form of streaming (without ads) on-demand with very high transmission speeds.


What is IPTV Media Service?

One of the particularities of IPTV is that it can be deployed on various media (hardware and software). For example, there are web browsers, smart TVs and decoders.


Web Browsers

IPTV, unlike most television transmission protocols, is compatible with web browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari or Microsoft Edge).

The user manual is also very simple. Simply subscribe to an IPTV service provider and sign in to the IPTV service delivery URL. In this way, you can access all the programs of your choice.

Note however that for a better experience of IPTV on a web browser, it is important that your device is powerful enough even if it is not necessarily useful to have a pro gamer PC for that.

It is the same for your Internet connection, it must have a good flow otherwise the experience may be disappointing. If you can (unfortunately this is not my case yet), opt for an internet connection using fiber optics.


Digital Television

The most convenient way to watch TV is to have a TV set. IPTV is no exception to this rule. Nevertheless, it must be emphasized that only smart TVs can receive programs broadcast by IPTV.

Or you will need to connect your computer to your TV via HDMI. To use IPTV on your smart TV, you will need to have downloaded and installed an IPTV application beforehand.

There are several depending on your location, they are usually found in online libraries (LG Content Store for example for smart TV brand LG).

As for the configuration and the mode of operation, they vary from one television model to another.


What is IPTV box?

Apart from Internet browsers and smart TVs, IPTV can also work through an IPTV boxThis is a small device (most of the time, a device running Android) similar to a decoder used to transmit IPTV signals. For this, it does not use an antenna. Like the other devices presented above, just have a fast Internet connection and you’re done.

In addition, the IPTV box proves to be very practical given the many additional features it offers, namely:

  • Internet browsing;
  • The recording of favorite shows to follow later;
  • Internet radio
  • Reading of various removable disks


What is IPTV Hacking?

These are IPTV boxes, mostly IPTV boxes like the Android Kodi boxes, the Xiaomi Mi Box 4K S or Nvidia Shield TV (more oriented video game) which are often considered the best box IPTV, which are often criticized.

These multimedia gateways make it possible to transform your TV into “Smart TV “, a TV connected to the Internet.


They would be a new vector of piracy undermining copyright and intellectual property by allowing all pay channels to be viewed live for three times nothing via illegal subscriptions, often held by mafias, to services that hack pay channels.

Beware, however, which is unfortunately common, not to confuse IPTV technology with IPTV hacking that uses technology for illegal purposes and is being fought by rights holders.

This is what had unfortunately happened with the Peer-To-Peer where the general public has confused the technological process with illegal downloading via Bittorent.


What Are The Different Forms Of IPTV?

There are mainly 3 forms of IPTV, namely:

  • VOD;
  • Catch-up television;
  • Live IPTV.



VOD is the acronym for Video on Demand which literally means “video on demand “. This is one of the most popular forms of IPTV. It is also her (the VOD) that has been presented largely in this article.


The user has the freedom to choose the audiovisual programs he wants and follow them in real-time.

It is in this category that we find popular streaming platforms such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

If you are looking for a movie or a series, for example, just make a request and then the media file is sent to you via the Internet in a format of your choice (all in a handful of seconds).


The catch – up television

This is a particular form of television broadcasting. It allows the following streaming programs. It is a free service that provides recent programs, usually less than 30 days, with the exception of sporting events or movies (for copyright and broadcast rights issues).

Thus, thanks to this technology, you can, for example, follow a Sunday broadcast (broadcast live) streaming on Tuesday. All TV channels now offer their program on-demand via a website, a mobile application for iOS / Android or directly from the internet box.

However, catch-up television should not be confused with the rebroadcast that most television channels do. This is a completely optional streaming, and other programs continue to be broadcast live.


As the name suggests, IPTV is akin to conventional television. It consists of broadcasting a television program (film, series, football match, sports event) live via the Internet.


IPTV Advantages

IPTV is very convenient. The main advantages of this protocol are:

  • The IPTV is very simple and easy to configure, it does not require any cable installation: specific plug;
  • IPTV allows viewers to fully control what they are watching;
  • Thanks to IPTV, it is possible to pause a program, jump backward or even forward;
  • IPTV works on many platforms;
  • The price/quality ratio of IPTV is very advantageous.


IPTV Disadvantages

As for the disadvantages of IPTV, we distinguish:

  • The legal problems inherent in its use;
  • The bugs of transmissions related to the overload of the central servers;
  • The inability to watch television programs without a broadband Internet connection;
  • Slow loading (a direct consequence of a bad Internet connection);
  • The poor quality of the signal sometimes.

what is iptv

What is IPTV Legal Framework?

IPTV services can be classified into two different categories, namely:

  • IPTV legal services;
  • Illegal IPTV services.

Legal IPTV services are those that comply with the regulations in force and have the rights to broadcast multimedia content on the Internet. Examples include YouTube TV or Netflix (mentioned above). To access these services, you generally have to subscribe to a paid subscription.

Illegal IPTV services are those that have no authorization (mostly free). They illegally broadcast TV channel programs without the permission of the latter. Sanctions can range from a simple warning to a fine and up to 3 years in prison.


What is the Future of IPTV?

Taking into account the growing popularity of IPTV services (in this case VOD), there is every reason to believe that the future of this service is promising.

It should also not be overlooked that with the evolution of the Internet (soon the release of the 5G), users will be more focused on streaming platforms, and this to the detriment of other transmission methods.

However, IPTV still has some way to go, especially with regard to its stabilization and the question of its legal framework.

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