IPTV, formerly known as Internet Protocol Television is the technology that delivers media content over the internet. It includes VOD titles covering movies and TV shows. Moreover, users can stream live sports events and PPV events on this platform. The best part of IPTV services is that they offer affordable subscription plans that users can choose from.
There are multiple reasons for IPTV services to be the best replacement for cable and satellite subscriptions. Users can access these services on various streaming devices. Also, these services are available worldwide to stream. You may take advantage of streaming IPTV at home or on the go.
This section will discuss complete information about the IPTV services. It is better to go through this article before using the IPTV service.
What is IPTV?
The default question “What is IPTV?” arises in everyone’s mind while surfing on streaming sites. IPTV, also called Internet Protocol Television, delivers media content using the Internet Protocol/Transmission Control Protocol (TCP/IP). It is the best alternative to traditional cable and satellite TV services. It allows you to stream both live and on-demand video content.
Apart from these, users are allowed to record live streams. IPTV provides access to plenty of movies, TV shows, news, sports, and live TV channels from all parts of the world. Using IPTV, you can stream media files 24/7 continuously, without any interruptions. All you need is a proper and stable internet connection.
How Does IPTV Work?
Generally, traditional cable and satellite services work based on the same model. The cable TV service provides the content through coaxial cable connections. On the other hand, satellite services transmit channels and other content via radio waves. However, IPTV is completely different from the above two services. In other words, the entire process is performed online.
As mentioned, any IPTV requires an active internet or Wi-Fi connection. It uses Internet Protocol (IP) and delivers the TV channel to the respective device of the user. When you click on any stream, videos from multiple sources (servers) are split into data packets and sent via the internet. So, the videos requested and received by the user use IP. i.e., the video server transmits the program using a fiber-optic cable to the TV via the Internet.
Finally, the video file that the user has requested will be compressed and optimized before the user receives it. With IPTV, you can experience a secure and reliable streaming experience.
TV providers in recent times prefer the hybrid IPTV approach. It resolves the issues which otherwise occur on fully IP-enabled broadcasts. An IPTV requires higher bandwidth to transmit the data at a higher speed. Hybrid IPTV is a mix of traditional TV services with IP. It delivers content to multiple users from a single box. With this, the IPTV service can add new products and services without making any changes to the set-top box.
Is IPTV Legal?
No. In general, not all IPTV services are legal to use worldwide. It applies as long as the service provider has incorporated licensed channels and contents to access. However, in the case of third-party apps, websites, and plug-ins, they are not promising and depend on the source.
It is really hard to find if the IPTV is legal and if the associated IPTV provider has obtained the licenses. However, you can find out if it is legitimate with the following tricks.
- Check for a dedicated streaming app.
- Most legit IPTV players link to their partners.
- There will be fewer ads, and you will have the subscription option.
- Those legal providers sell other services besides IPTV, like the Internet.
Why do you need to avoid Illegit IPTV Services?
Streaming illegal IPTV services is extremely unsafe, and the device you’re using will be more vulnerable to hacks. Though the content provider faces most of the legal issues, there is a possibility that the user might face legal problems.
The illegal IPTV service and its content may disappear at any time when the original content provider files a legal suit. You will be scammed in most cases with illegal IPTV. Your device will get infected with viruses and malware.
As a result, your private data may get stolen. It will bring you video buffering or loading issues, and thus you cannot expect smooth playback. As a result of using an illegal IPTV service, your ISP might downgrade the internet service or disable it entirely.
IPTV Compatible Devices
Internet Protocol Television services are accessible on different devices. Some providers offer IPTV boxes that can be connected to a monitor or TV. Smart TVs are built-in with IP supports that can be connected to the internet or Wi-Fi connection. Other than Smart TV, IPTV can be accessed on a laptop or PC, Smartphone (Android & iOS), streaming devices (Firestick, Roku, Chromecast, Android TV, etc.), and Gaming Consoles like Xbox and PlayStation.
Precautions While Accessing IPTV Providers
It is hard to know whether your IPTV provider is legal. In that case, you need to be careful while streaming content on your devices.
Enable a VPN
You can choose the best VPN for IPTV that can help you with getting the best online security. It will also unblock any geographical restrictions on your provider’s end. Therefore you can access the whole library of the service.
Some of the IPTV providers include ads while streaming content. It is a way to monetize from streaming these contents. However, some of the ads might be a little sketchy. For instance, you can see ads for games and unnecessary products. It is better to use an ad-blocker while you same IPTV content on your device.
The IPTV providers who include pirated content do not use mainstream payment platforms. Instead, they use sketchy payment methods, which are the targets of hackers. So, when you provide your credit card details, they can be obtained by these hackers. That is why you need to choose a payment alternative like cryptocurrency. Make sure that the payment method does not link to your real identity.
Do You Need a Set-Top Box for IPTV?
The answer is yes and no. If you’re using a smartphone or PC to stream IPTV, then you don’t need a Set-Top Box. There are lots of best Set-Top Boxes available, and they are used only for streaming IPTV on Smart TVs. It translates the internet broadcasting and converts them to a convenient format supported by your home device. Nowadays, most IPTV services offer their own set-top box with the M3U URL and other login credentials. This is because traditional TVs are not designed with the ability to support IPTV directly from the internet.
Types of IPTV Formats
IPTV delivers its streaming content and channels in three formats, namely Live TV, Video on Demand, and Time Shifted Media. We shall take a look at them in brief.
Most IPTV services offer live broadcasting from various international and local networks. It lets you watch your favorite TV programs, sports events, and many more online from anywhere. Some IPTV-compatible networks are FOX Sports Go, CBS Sports, Sling TV, Hulu Plus Live TV, etc.
Video On Demand is one of the effective and useful features. It allows you to choose movies, TV shows, and other videos from the library. You can watch them any number of times whenever you want. On-demand content is accessible only over the internet.
Time-shifted media, otherwise called Digital video recording. Live broadcasting actions are captured and released digitally by the network. Various action replays, memorizing moments, and many more are officially recorded by the streaming network and uploaded on its digital platform after a few days of original airing.
In PPV, you can pay for your desired movie or TV show to watch. If you’re looking to stream more content at an affordable price, then PPV is the best way to stream.
Do I Need a VPN to Stream IPTV?
Most IPTV service providers are not legal to use, and their channels and contents don’t have proper copyright permission. On the other hand, some of the services are accessible only in a particular region or country. In such cases, you need to use premium VPN services like NordVPN or ExpressVPN to protect your internet presence and access the geo-restricted content.
Moreover, using a VPN will enhance your security by hiding your real IP address and location. So it becomes difficult for hackers to track your online activity. VPN is a mandatory tool while accessing public WiFi networks.
Pros and Cons of the IPTV service
Before getting into the IPTV service, you should clearly know the advantages and disadvantages of the service.
There are lots of benefits you will get with IPTV. They are,
- It features an interactive TV guide, and you will find the programs for the day with timings.
- The bi-directional nature of IPTV enables personalization. With this, you can choose what and when to stream.
- With automatic switching, mark shows, movies, series, etc., in the TV guide and schedule the channel to switch it automatically.
- It provides an option to record any content and stream it at your convenience timings.
- You can set parental control as a code on channels or content to restrict children from streaming them.
- IPTV supports streaming certain channels in HD with better and sharper pictures or colors.
- The service is not limited to TV as it works on multiple other devices like phones, PCs, tablets, etc.
- Use the time-shifting feature to shift the program to your preferred time and stream them.
A few disadvantages of using IPTV are as follows.
- IPTV uses IP to send and receive info, and this may bring you loss or delay when the connection is not fast.
- Many IPTVs have a suspicious origin, and illegal sources cannot be tracked easily.
- At times, you require a decoder to receive, decompose, and decode the signal.
Top-Rated IPTV Service Providers and Players
There are two types of IPTV services – IPTV provider and IPTV Player. There are various best IPTV providers available, some may offer free streaming, and some require registration along with the subscription.
On the other hand, you need an external IPTV player to load and play the video content. However, some IPTV providers will have a dedicated IPTV player to stream their video content. In such cases, you don’t need an extra IPTV player. Like IPTV providers, there are tons of free and paid IPTV M3U player apps available in the market. So, whatever IPTV provider or IPTV player you choose, make sure to know about its features.
Factors to Consider While Choosing an IPTV Service
If you wish to get a subscription with an IPTV provider, you need to consider a few factors. Considering these factors can let you shorten the list of popular IPTV services and choose the best one for your device.
You can find a lot of free IPTV services today. However, these free services will include a lot of ads that will interrupt your streaming. At the same time, subscription-based IPTV providers are ad-free and provide many features. You can choose an IPTV provider who has an affordable subscription rather than an expensive one. Also, getting a monthly subscription to your IPTV provider is better. This is because these services are not always stable.
Customer support is one of the essential features of an IPTV provider. Most paid IPTV services have dedicated customer support. The customer support team will help you with fixing any issues that you have with your service. You can also get their help when you are setting up the IPTV app on your device.
You should ensure that the IPTV provider has all the TV channels that you are looking for. Some providers include global TV channels, while others have only a limited number of channels. So, go through the channel list provided by your IPTV service.
Most of the streaming platforms offer exclusive titles of movies and TV shows. In other words, you might not be able to access this content on competitor platforms. That is why you need to choose a provider who has the best collection of shows that you like.
Before subscribing to an IPTV service, make sure the application is compatible with all the streaming devices you have. Therefore, you can access IPTV content wherever you are. Some of the IPTV services are compatible with popular IPTV players making it easy to access on multiple devices.
Before subscribing to an IPTV service, make sure that you go through the customer reviews. If an IPTV service frequently has streaming issues like buffering and freezing, it is better not to choose it.
The Future of IPTV
Predicting the future of IPTV isn’t possible at the moment. This is because many providers include formats and pirated content that cannot be tracked. Without any doubt, IPTV services will find a large user base and popularity over time. According to a report, there is a high chance for subscription-based IPTV to gain users in the next decade.
Getting a subscription to IPTV services is recommended as they offer thousands of live TV channels, VOD, and other multimedia content. All of this content is available at very reasonable prices. Moreover, they demand only a stable internet connection. It is one of the noteworthy qualities of the provider. Still, make sure that the provider is stable and offers proper customer assistance before subscribing.