Although cable TV is very popular these days, until a few years ago we relied solely on over-the-air broadcasts (an antenna mounted on the roof or outside of the house, which would capture radio signals and transmit pictures and audio to your TV). To run a cable TV, a cable is attached to your home TV or attached to a set-top box. And this cable comes from a TV station next to your house, where many large dish antennas are installed to receive the broadcast signal from the satellite. On cable TV, you can change the channel at will, but you can’t control when you watch a program unless you record that program.
The only thing you can see on TV right now is what the channel is broadcasting right now. But how is it that you can watch the program when you want to? —After this concept, the demand for IPTV (Internet Protocol TV, Internet TV, or Internet Television) is increasing. From this article, you will learn how it works and how it differs from other TVs. So let’s get started.
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What is IPTV?
As technology changes, so do the way we entertain ourselves. Radio has challenged newspapers since the advent, regular TV has challenged radio, and regular TV is currently being challenged by IP TV or Internet TV. Internet television is a very simple matter in general terms; Here the broadcast signal of the TV program does not come through the antenna on your roof, satellite dish, fiber-optic cable, the signal you have to stream (download and play from the internet at the same time) using the internet connection. This means that audio-video is sent through the internet without sending audio video to any radio signal. You will need a broadband internet connection of 10-100 megabits/second so that you can play internet programs smoothly.
You can also enjoy Internet TV on your computer if you want, again if you want to turn the current TV into Internet television, a separate set-top box will be needed, which will decode the audio-video from the Internet and send it to play on your TV. However, dedicated Internet television is now available, where there is no need to install a separate set-top box.
But from a real point of view, the IPTV broadcast system is much more complex than the regular television broadcast. In this case, it is necessary to have a realistic storage system, where all types of videos will be stored and the broadcaster must provide a web-style interface so that he can choose the video as he wishes. Once the viewer selects a program, the broadcaster will need to encode the video in the appropriate format so that it can be decoded and played on the viewer’s TV. Moreover, the video must be encrypted when sending, so that only those who have paid for the video can enjoy it.
How does IPTV work?
In order to broadcast traditional TV, the program is turned into a radio wave and thrown into the air through an antenna. Another antenna on the roof of our house catches that wave and converts it into electrical signal and your TV decodes and plays audio and video from that signal. But how does Internet TV work?
If you watch a live telecast, the video is recorded and sent to the Internet at the same time. But if you want to watch a previous program or episode or any video, you need to store it on a large powerful computer (server). And the server must store the digital format of the programs, because the Internet and computers only work on digital formats.
Today’s cameras record almost everything in digital format, but if a program is an analog record, it needs to be converted from analog to digital first. When converting a video, it is compressed (video size is reduced) so that the video can play without buffering even on a slow internet connection and the video is encoded in the appropriate format. Most videos are encoded in MPEG2 and MPEG4 formats.
The video is then stored on a server. Your TV is first connected to the server via an IP address, and the server software allows the TV to browse videos. Once a video has been selected, the video is sliced into numerous packets and sent over the Internet. The streaming server needs to be more powerful than a normal web server or file download server — because thousands of users can play the same video from different parts at the same time, and it is necessary to open a separate streaming link for each. However, there is a problem here, the internet TV channel you want to watch may be in another part of the world, in which case the data speed may slow down.
To solve this problem, IPTV broadcasters use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). CDN is a type of server, where the exact copy of the original server is stored and this server network is spread in different parts of the world. Suppose you want to watch internet television from India, but you have a broadcast server in America. Now if they use CDN, you will not get your favorite video files from America from any of your nearest Asian CDNs, it will get much better bandwidth speed, because the closer the server is to your location, the faster data access can be done from there.
Now it’s time for the video to play on your TV. A set-top box is usually required to enjoy Internet TV, such as an Apple TV box, or an Amazon TV box. This box is connected to the Internet via an Ethernet cable or WiFi, and it receives video data packets from the Internet and re-assembles the packets to create video files again. The box contains a decoder program, which decodes the video format and transmits it to the TV, and finally the TV plays your video. Dedicated Internet TV does not require a box, all videos are decoded inside, and the TV needs to be connected directly to the Internet.
Types of Internet TV/IPTV
Internet television has several advantages over traditional TV. You can choose and enjoy different types of IP TV. The first type is called Video on Demand or VOD; For example, Netflix or Hulu provide such TV services. Here are the episodes of any show or program in the form of a playlist and there are a wide range of options for you to choose from, first you have to subscribe to them by paying money then you can enjoy TV. You can play any program in VOD whenever you want, you can pause, you can also skip the parts you don’t like, everything will be as you wish.
There is another type of TV provider that uses the Internet to stream enterprise cable TV channels. Here you can watch all the cable TV channels of your choice live using IP TV. But just like traditional TV, here you can not only change the channel, but you can watch what the channel is broadcasting. You won’t find pause, forward, etc. options like VOD here. This type of TV service is called time-shifted IP TV.
You can enjoy any type of Internet TV service directly from the computer, using an Internet browser, or using a set-top box to get better quality. No matter what you see, you need to have an internet connection.
Although IP TV is still the latest technology, but the demand for it is increasing day by day – because now Internet television has entered the mobile. I hope that with the advancement of the internet, internet TV will also advance, but in order to make IP TV popular in any country, it is necessary to increase the internet bandwidth speed, reduce the ping rate of connection, and reduce the cost of internet.