IP TV is the modern day solution to the issue of people missing out on their favorite TV programmes because of busy schedule. It is a service that allows the customers to stream or buffer their chosen programmes as and when they want, over their internet connections. A broadband line of 10-100MBps is required for one to avail the services of IPTV, in addition to IPTV boxes to act as a go-between the TV and the broadband line.
There are three types of IP TV:
The first type of IPTV is called the VOD, expanded as Video on Demand. Typically, this is the most popular kind of IPTV so far. You select the programmes you want to view from a list of the available ones, pay for it and watch it there and then. For example, your Arabic IPTV box will provide you with a list of Arabic programmes available for viewing. You can choose from among them, make payments and watch.
Second type is the time-shifted IPTV. This kind of service is made available to the customers to view their favorite programmes at a week's time after the broadcasting of that programme. It usually is a web-based exclusive player service. For example, if a UK channel provides these services, then the programmes of that channel will be available in the form of web-based videos on the player of the channel's website. This facility enables the customer to view UK TV online in any other country over his/her internet connection.
The third type of IPTV is the IP Simulcasting. It is a form of live TV, where the programmes are being telecasted as they are being watched. For an example, you can think of this as a form of Live UK TV.
The working of IPTV technology can be explained in simple steps. The VOD service requires a kind of storage that enables the viewers to choose easily. Only a limited number of VOD videos are made available on the internet to limit the impact they would have on the overall bandwidth of the facility. Preparation needs to be done to send the TV programme over broadband lines to the viewers. This is done by changing the TV programme into a digital form. Next, it is made available for streaming. When you stream a video, you're not actually downloading it. You only download a part of it, play it and while it is playing, you download the next part that comes moments after the first. Streaming uses a different set of protocols than downloading.
The future of television is in IPTV technology.