What is IPTV?
Heard of IPTV but still not entirely sure what it is?
Maybe a friend told you about it and you want to find out more? Or you might want to understand how to get the best value from your subscription?
Have a read below for all you need to know about the future of TV and how to get the most out of it.
Unless you are interested in technology and the evolution of media, it’s entirely possible that you’ve never heard of this term.
It’s also likely that you’ve been signed up to one of many providers for years without even knowing.
IPTV stands for ‘internet protocol television’ and is one of four ways that UK viewers can access television services. It offers an alternative to the more traditional delivery methods of TV which are terrestrial, cable and satellite. With internet protocol television you can access TV content through your internet connection rather than through radio frequencies (satellite and terrestrial) or light pulses (cable).
IPTV technology has been a huge revolution in the way we consume television, viewers no longer have to be in a certain place at a certain time and they’re no longer limited to watch only the programmes that the broadcaster has selected. We live in an age where viewers can access almost any piece of television content at any time of day.
Because of this, online television services have grown a lot in the last decade and will continue to do so for the next decade, with more and more providers and services popping up to cater to the growing demand.
What are the different types of IPTV?
So, now you know the basic answer to the question, ‘what is IPTV?’, let’s move on to the different types you can get.
Different providers and services have specific offers to cater to their customer’s needs.
There are three main categories, plus hybrid IPTV which can offer even more content and flexibility to the viewer as it takes elements from each type.
Video on demand is the most common form of IPTV subscription and probably the simplest.
You pay a monthly subscription; you search the service’s listings for something to watch and then you stream it via the internet whenever you want to watch it.
The great thing about VOD is that there are no limits, you can watch as much or as little as you want, with no time limits to the content.
While there are more niche companies starting up, the big players in video-on-demand are Netflix, amazon prime and Hulu.
Time-shifted media is a popular offering from some of the larger broadcasting networks with services like SKY on demand, BBC iPlayer and Channel 4 on demand becoming very popular.
Time-shifted media is basically your regular scheduled broadcasts placed on a platform for you to watch at a time that’s convenient for you.
This frees you from the need to be on the sofa at 7:00pm to watch your favourite TV show.
Time-shifted media is similar to VOD. However, the big difference is that time-shifted media is only available for a limited time.
It varies with every IPTV provider, but the content is usually available for up to 6 weeks after the first airing on ‘normal’ television.
Live IPTV is just what it sounds like, it is the broadcasting of live TV shows as they happen, via the internet.
This is most commonly used with sports fixtures because a lot of the magic of sport is lost when you’re watching it on repeat (not to mention that it is really hard to avoid spoilers on match day…).
Live IPTV is great if you’re not at home for an important piece of live TV, you can stream it from a phone or a tablet and not miss any of the live-action.
TellyTime, Sky Go, BT sport, Hulu live TV and Sling TV all offer live services.
Hybrid IPTV is becoming more and more popular because it allows providers to offer a variety of content to their customers, giving them more value for their monthly subscription.
For example, the TellyTime All-in subscription offers all sports channels & PPV, live football including 3pm KO’s, 3000+ live channels, 4500+ movies on demand and 600+ TV shows on demand for only £9.99 per month.
To understand the value of this, compare TellyTime’s monthly price to £5.99 a month for Netflix which only offers VOD.
For a little bit extra you get access to so much more content.
By combining different types of IPTV, TellyTime and other hybrid services, create a more valuable package to the customer.
So, how do you access IPTV services?
If you have a laptop or mobile phone you can access IPTV services by going directly to the provider’s website or through an application like the Netflix app.
However, most of us like to watch our television on a big screen.
While more and more TV’s are now becoming equipped to access IPTV out of the box, which enables you to access it as you would on a laptop or mobile, not all TV’s are ready yet.
When TV’s are not set up for IPTV you will need to purchase a set-top box (like apple tv) or a dongle (like the amazon fire stick or google chrome cast) which translates the IPTV signals into something your TV can read. Once installed, you can browse the online TV service with a remote like you would normal television.
Price comparison of popular IPTV services
Now, at this point, you might know a little more about IPTV, but how do you decide on the best subscription service?
We’ve created a quick price matrix that compares popular services to help you decide on what service to choose, take a look below.
As you can see for yourselves, if you are someone looking for a complete TV package at a good price, the TellyTime all-in subscription will give you access to sports channels, live football, live TV, movies, and TV shows on-demand at a fraction of the price of competitors.
To get access to the same content with other providers, you would have to purchase multiple subscriptions, whereas TellyTime provides it all for just £9.99 per month.
|Now TV Sport||Amazon Prime|
|Live sports channels||Yes||Yes||/||/||Yes||/|
|Live TV channels||/||Yes||/||/||/||/|
Final thoughts on IPTV
As we discussed IPTV is the delivery of television via the internet rather than from traditional sources such as cable or satellite.
It is certainly the future of TV with more people signing up for online TV services every day.
If you would like to find out more about TellyTime head over to our pricing page and take a look at our subscription packages.