While most people are no strangers to watching TV on the Internet from time to time, few actually take advantage of the true perks of the technology. Different from venues like the video sharing websites that you may look at on your computer, IPTV is a growing global phenomenon whose users number in the millions. Here are the basics of how the technology works for consumers.
What is IPTV?
IPTV is simple. It basically involves sending television program content to users via the same IP, or Internet Protocol, data networks people use to get online. Unlike free video platforms like YouTube, or online subscription TV services like Hulu, IPTV is not based on or limited to any particular website. Instead, IPTV content streams directly into your TV set via a specialized decoder box, much like a conventional set-top tuner box. Data can be sent over cable lines, bundled with satellite TV or transmitted via other previously installed high-speed data paths.
Unlike cable, you're not constantly being sent images from stations you aren't watching. Instead, your service provider will only send the content you select to your home when you select it. There are no limitations to which content you can select, as long as it's part of the channel package you paid for. This method also means that your provider can send you higher quality videos because they have less data to send. Finally, Net TV is extremely popular because it allows cable companies to make the most of their data lines, keeping their expenditures down and your monthly fees lower as time goes on.
TV over Internet is also more personalized than traditional cable. In addition to only selecting the content you want, you can perform advanced searches and interactive actions. Some of the best IPTV providers even allow viewers to search for their favourite actors or titles in the guide. Others provide the option to use picture-in-picture to check out other programs without missing the action currently playing on-screen.
Though there are many companies that currently provide IPTV, Australia is still advancing the technology. Popular functions like video-on-demand, on-screen Caller ID and the ability to access computer content like family photos or music on the TV all demonstrate how great IPTV is for consumers, especially those who want to control all their media from one place.