IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) is a system where a digital television service is delivered by using Internet Protocol over a network infrastructure, which may include delivery by a broadband connection. A general definition of IPTV is television content that, instead of being delivered through traditional broadcast and cable formats, is received by the viewer through the technologies used for computer networks.
For residential users IPTV is often provided in conjunction with Video on Demand and may be bundled with Internet services such as Web access and VoIP.The commercial building of IPTV, VoIP and Internet access is referred to as ”triple play” service(adding mobility is called “Quadruple play”).IPTV is typically supplied by a service provider using a closed network infrastructure. This closed network approach is in competition with the delivery of TV content over the public internet, called Internet Television. In businesses, IPTV may be used to deliver television content over cooperate LANs.
By contrast “Internet TV “generally refers to transport streams sent over IP networks and proprietary variants as used by websites such as YouTube are now rarely considered to be IPTV services. The IP based platform offers significant advantages, including the ability to integrate television with other IP-based services like high speed Internet access and VoIP.
A switched IP network also allows for the delivery of significantly more content and functionality. In a typical TV or satellite network, using broadcast video technology, all the content constantly flows downstream to each customer, and the customer switches the content at the set top box. The customer can select from as many choices as the telecoms, cable or Satellite Company can stuff into the “pipe” flowing into the home. A switched IP network works differently. Content remains in the network, and only the content the customer selects is sent into the customer’s home. That frees up the bandwidth, and the customer’s choice is less restricted by the size of the “pipe” into the home. This also implies that the customer’s privacy could be compromised to a greater extent than is possible with traditional TV or satellite networks.
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