What Are the Differences Between IPTV and OTT? – IPTV Guides

In recent times, the cable and dish industry has been declining sharply. There are various factors that contribute to it, but the most notable cause is the enormous rise of video-consumption industry online platforms. There are several terms that are relevant to this, such as satellite TV, IPTV, OTT, etc.

Differences Between IPTV and OTT 1

Presently, the biggest niches in the entertainment industry are IPTV and OTT. What do these mean? What are the differences between IPTV and OTT? Do not get overwhelmed if these things sound new to you. In this article, we have everything covered for you to get an insight into the modern era.

What Is IPTV?

IPTV stands for Internet-based Protocol Television. It is a term that refers to streaming media content over the internet. As the name suggests, an internet connection is required for availing of IPTV service. It works in a manner that is very similar to surfing the internet.

They can tune into live TV shows being aired in real-time or access media content from servers that store them. The advantage of the latter option is that the viewer can enjoy media any time they wish to as it can be accessed at any time.

In summary, IPTV service providers offer the following:

  • Video-On-Demand (VOD)
  • TV-On-Demand (TVod; recorded telecast)
  • Live Television

Related topic: The 15 best IPTV service providers in 2022
Related topic: The 5 cheapest IPTV service providers in 2022

What Is OTT?

The full form of OTT is over-the-top, which refers to delivering content over the internet in a non-conventional way. More or less, almost everything that we see or do on the internet is a form of OTT, i.e., video streaming websites, IM applications, etc., are different categories of it.

In this case, OTT is a method of streaming media content through the internet by service providers but without any control by ISPs (Internet Service Providers). This means that ISPs are responsible only for transferring the content from the providers to the consumers.

Unlike IPTV, OTT content cannot be controlled or redistributed by the ISP.  In brief, OTT is similar to IPTV, but the former works in a different method.

Related topic: The 10 best OTT streaming services in 2022

What is the difference between OTT and IPTV

Over-the-top distributes videos via the public internet while IPTV suggests content via Local Area Network/Wide Area Network. OTT platforms fully depend on internet bandwidth and speed; IPTV platforms provide sleek delivery as they do not demand much from internet bandwidth.

Which Is Better Between IPTV and OTT?

This is a very subjective question as IPTV and OTT have their own advantages and disadvantages. In some cases, IPTV is better than OTT, and in other cases, vice versa. With that being said, let us speak about the pros and cons of each of the services.

Pros of IPTV

  • The quality (video resolution or audio bitrate) of the content delivered is much higher than other forms of media services
  • Most IPTV services come with Program Guides that make it easier for the user to navigate and find their favorite shows
  • As the service providers themselves maintain IPTV connections, there are none or few interruptions in streaming
  • Easy installation as just a set-top box has to be used

Cons of IPTV

  • Only available in subscription packages; more expensive in comparison to other streaming solutions
  • Since the streaming service relies on the internet, it may be affected during outages or under heavy loads during peak hours.

Pros of OTT

  • Very wide range of providers with most of them providing lucrative features and offers
  • Reasonably cheap or even free for some cases.
  • Nothing to setup, can directly be streamed on a computer or a phone, i.e. no external devices such as a set-top box are required

Cons of OTT

  • Quality may be subjected to internet speed; buffering occurs more frequently than it happens on IPTV services
  • No access to TV-only shows

With the pros and cons above, it is up to your perspective, which seems better than who. In some cases, OTT has the upper hand, for example, its price clearly is a winning factor, but in some cases, IPTV is the optimal choice with its nearly endless options for accessing entertainment content.


Are OTT and IPTV the same?

In the case of OTT, it distributes content via the public internet. IPTV, in its turn, offers content via Local Area Network (LAN) or Wide Area Network (WAN).

How is IPTV different from Netflix?

In practice, IPTV services offer live streaming broadcasts. Netflix, in contrast, offers on-demand entertainment. It’s possible to have one service offer both. For example, Hulu offers IPTV channels as a bolt-on subscription to its basic on-demand video service.

What is the difference between IPTV and streaming?

The primary difference between IPTV and OTT streaming is that OTT streamed content comes over the same open, unmanaged network as your email and web browsing while IPTV uses a private, dedicated network to deliver more consistent service.

What is the difference between OTT and streaming TV?

While CTV is the device used to watch TV content via the internet, OTT is the delivery mechanism for online TV content. OTT delivers such content through video on demand or streaming over the top of traditional providers versus passing through cable, satellite, or broadcast TV providers.

What is OTT in TV?

OTT (over-the-top) is a means of providing television and film content over the internet at the request and to suit the requirements of the individual consumer. The term itself stands for “over-the-top”, which implies that a content provider is going over the top of existing internet services.


OTT is a technology that uses publicly available internet connections for streaming content from third-party sources. On the other hand, IPTV platforms provide content through privately managed networks. While OTT is a cheaper alternative, IPTV has its fair share of advantages.

However, it should be noted that OTT services are growing substantially and it may just take over the entertainment industry in the future! Hope that you have gained the knowledge regarding what are the differences between IPTV and OTT to reach a conclusion.

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