IPTV is the process of delivering content over an IP based network which uses the internet. Typically this content is audiovisual although such networks can be used to send other information such as programme guides. In order for an IPTV service to function the provider must first prepare, code and then distribute the content over their network, typically a user will need a set top box in order to view programmes although increasingly, desktop computers, laptops, tablets and even mobile phones are used.
There are four main steps which an IPTV service must follow in order to deliver content to its customers. For most television programming this will involve the provider obtaining the rights from whoever owns the programming, in terms of movies this may be a studio and in the case of a sporting event this may be a sports’ official body. The rights obtained will typically give the IPTV supplier permission to redistribute the programming.
With this content obtained the provider will then have to encode it to ensure that only those customers that are permitted to view it do so. This encoding stage is usually carried out after the provider has received the content from a satellite feed; normally this process will also change the format of the programming to make it suitable for distribution across the IP based network.
The IPTV service typically uses the existing phone dependent broadband connections. For this process to be successful there must be enough bandwidth to provide the content to the customer’s set top box, otherwise users may have problems in streaming the content. Bandwidth problems are becoming more prevalent in countries with legacy phone systems that are simply incapable of carrying so much information, in such instances fibre optics are being employed to allow for faster data speeds.
The next element of the service is generally termed “middleware”. This is essentially the user interface that the customer uses and subsequently it must provide an easy and simple way to access the desired content. Typically this takes shape as an EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) but may also be far more interactive with picture in picture or search functionality based upon programme titles, actors or categories.
The final piece in the Iptv subscription uk jigsaw is the set top box. Ultimately this is the device which brings the content to the television, runs the middleware and decodes the information. Ultimately it needs to perform effectively, not be too expensive and also robust enough to withstand the wear and tear of a home. Alternatively, there are some services which allow IPTV to be viewed over other devices.
IPTV services can be divided in three main groups of services broad cast services, content on demand and personal video recorder services. IPTV technology is bringing Movies-on-demand to television which permits a customer to browse an online program or film catalog, to watch trailers and to then select a selected recording. Play the selected item starts nearly instantaneously on the customer’s TV or PC.
The Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) provides you with a proactive and intelligent way of watching TV. Reach your desired channel by browsing through genres and catching a glimpse of the current program being broad cast. IPTV is all about watching what you want and when you want. The On-Demand service lets you set up you favorite movie, music track or even a cookery show at any time convenient to you. There is a reminder set up let IPTV remind you minutes before the programme is about to start.
You don’t have to worry about electricity cut anymore, you can see whatever you want, whenever you want. With IPTV, watch auto recorded programs of past 7 days on most viewed 50 channels, even sports channels at your own convenience. The two-way nature of an IPTV connection makes it ideal for providing person-to-person communication services. Instant messaging services will allow viewers to chat via text messages while continuing to watch TV.
Video conferencing over television will allow virtual family gatherings when family members are spread across the world. IPTV services will be used both as stand-alone applications, and as add-ons to programming. Friends will be able to chat while watching a programme together in different locations. Phone-in shows will be able to display callers, linked directly from their home.