Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) is the transmission of television programming over Internet Protocol (IP) networks.
IPTV enables live TV programming as well as the ability to stream content from the places where it is produced or stored (broadcast locations, servers, or cloud) immediately. IPTV can take the form of live broadcast TV that includes or lacks interactivity. It can be time-shifted, as in catching up with a previous live show. Or, it can be start-over, where the user watches a live show that is currently on the air from its beginning. Or, IPTV can be VOD, or video on demand, such as Netflix where a library of one’s shows can be started, paused, and the like. Hulu+ is an example of a service that combines many features of IPTV by going beyond the Netflix model of on-demand and time-shifting, because Hulu+ offers live broadcasts as well.
Other forms of TV delivery are terrestrial that is broadcast from radio towers, satellite television, and cable television. Downloaded media provides an on-demand experience similar to that of IPTV but it requires the user to have it stored on their device.
“IPTV makes it possible for streaming services to provide robust, feature-rich platforms because the user can manage the content flexibly. It’s turned our viewing experience from a static one based on the time of broadcast, and on its download availability, to an on-demand one.”