The newest trend in television, connected or “Smart” TV, is becoming more and more popular. With features like custom programming, streaming content, web browsing, and applications – it’s easy to see why more and more families are making a Smart TV the center of the entertainment system. These connected televisions run off what’s called “IPTV” or Internet Protocol Television, but what does that mean?
What is IPTV?
An IPTV system delivers content and programming through a broadband connection rather than through the conventional cable and broadcast formats. Netflix and Hulu are delivered to your TV via IPTV. It also allows for your TV to communicate with other internet applications such as Twitter, Facebook, and a general web browser. Both live TV and Video on Demand services are delivered with an IPTV service.
IPTV connects your whole home
With an IPTV set up in the house, it becomes a common “language” for all your communication services to use. Your TV, PC, home phone, and wireless devices can communicate with each other and work together to give you a wealth of features, more control, and entertainment personalization beyond anything ever before. Users can program your DVR from your mobile phone, or view an incoming call on your television screen all because of IPTV.
IPTV IS NOT cable
IPTV is an improvement upon cable or satellite service. With more flexibility than either of those two, IPTV utilizes a two-way road of communication, compared to the one-way street of cable and satellite, giving users access to all those new features mentioned above. There is also no “tuning” with IPTV, instead users are simply switching between a multicast (live TV) groups. The service providers home office receives the request for the switch, then authenticates the user to ensure they are allowed access to that set of channels. This all seems like a slow process but, advances in technology have made this process incredibly fast to where you don’t notice any lag
IPTV, although far beyond what it began as, is still in its infancy stage. What will we see as its technologies advance? More programming, more customization options for that programming, more applications and home entertainment will shift towards a whole-home scenario as opposed to just a singular room.
If you really want to dive in deep to IPTV, check out this article on arstechnica.com.
What do you think? Where will IPTV go and where will it take us? The comments are yours for the taking.
– Scott H.