Traditional television as it is known has been in decline for several years now due to changing global trends and technological development. The spread of the Internet has made everything more accessible, including in the television and radio sector. Today, you can access your favorite shows and movies at will, thanks to internet protocol television (IPTV). Since convenience is the number one need of consumers in today’s fast-paced world, IPTV has quickly captured the market with its growing user experience.
But what exactly is IPTV? How does it work? What are its advantages and what about the disadvantages? These are just some of the questions we will answer in this article.
What is IPTV?
IPTV is short for Internet Protocol Television. With IPTV, users receive TV programs through the internet instead of using simple antennas, satellite dishes, or fiber optic cables. In other words, IPTV streams audio and video content directly over the internet.
Although IPTV content delivery is different from online video platforms like YouTube or Netflix, it shares many of their advantages. For example, IPTV allows users to access video-on-demand (VOD) content on a subscription model and watch live broadcasts. This gives viewers the freedom to access their favorite shows at will while still having the ability to enjoy live events and programs like on traditional television.
This flexibility is why IPTV surpasses traditional television and is considered the future of television.
How does IPTV work?
Traditional television as we know it in its classic version sends analog signals directly to users via cables, which can only access the content currently broadcast. In this case, users can only control when or what they watch through external recording devices. At this level, it must be recognized that traditional television has made efforts because there are replays but to benefit from them you need to have a box at home.
How IPTV works vary greatly. Unlike traditional television which can only stream content in real-time, IPTV has servers on which it stores content. This gives users the freedom to request to watch programs at will. Once a user selects a show they wish to watch, the content is converted to digital format and delivered in packets to their playback device via Internet Protocol. The transferred files will be compressed and optimized for streaming before reaching end users. It’s simply brilliant this operation that offers choice and freedom to the user.
But for all this to be possible, your TV must be able to read the signals received by the Internet Protocol. Unfortunately, not all TVs can set up an IPTV service from the start, as most cannot play the received signals without outside help. If you have a television that is not compatible with IPTV, if you do not have a smart TV, you will have to buy an IPTV decoder also called an IPTV box or IPTV box.
What is an IPTV decoder?
An IPTV box or set-top box is a device used to convert streaming signals received via the Internet Protocol into a format that a TV can play. In other words, IPTV set-top boxes translate the Internet Protocol language to enable reception on the TV. These boxes are often connected to the television by HDMI cables, or even by a Wi-Fi connection for more recent models.
What is an Android TV box? What is an Android TV Box?
An Android TV box or TV Box Android is simply a TV box running on the Android operating system. It’s the same operating system that runs on your smartphone, tablet, and millions of other devices around the world.
You’ve probably heard a lot of different terminologies on sites, forums, and on social media groups. These include in particular:
- Internet TV program streaming apparatus
- TV box
- IPTV box
- Media broadcaster via the internet
- Kodi box
- The Android TV box
It’s actually the same type of device: a device that streams content from your home network or the Internet to your TV.
The aim of the TV box is to make access to your favorite content as easy on your television as it is on your mobile phone. You can access services like Netflix through its native Android app, which makes the experience more seamless and enjoyable.
Content formats offered by IPTV
As we have already mentioned earlier in this article, IPTV offers many additional services and video formats, beyond the simple distribution of traditional television programs. Most IPTV services offer three main content formats:
- Live TV: Live IPTV allows users to watch TV shows in real-time, just like traditional TV. Live TV is most often used to broadcast live events like sports events, movies, news, entertainment shows, etc.
- Video on Demand (VOD): IPTV VOD services work the same way as most VOD providers. You pay for a subscription and, in exchange, you get access to a vast library of videos that you can request to watch at will.
- Delayed TV or replay: This service is also known as catch-up TV or replay and allows users to watch previously aired TV shows at a later date. There is, however, an important difference between delayed television and VOD. Timeshift TV offers users the ability to rewatch old content for a limited time. More often than not, shows are available for a few days before disappearing. Anything older than that is considered VOD.
With the ability to choose between watching live broadcasts, re-watching shows they missed and enjoying on-demand content, it is evident that IPTV offers superior options and user experience compared to its traditional counterpart: traditional television in its classic version. Even if IPTV has many advantages, as you can imagine, as with everything, it also has disadvantages
Advantages and disadvantages of IPTV
Although IPTV offers incredible flexibility and usability, it is not just about that. It is also essential to look at both sides of the coin, as IPTV is not perfect from all angles either. Here are some of the most notable pros and cons of IPTV
The benefits of IPTV
Here are very quickly some main advantages of IPTV.
- IPTV is easy to install and use: to get started, all you have to do is buy a decoder or an Android TV box and connect it to your television. Plus, the Wi-Fi connectivity that the newer models have makes the process much easier.
- IPTV is a 100% digital TV solution: the world is becoming more and more digital. The switch to digital television is therefore an excellent basis for the future and new technologies.
- IPTV allows the simultaneous and smooth broadcasting of several programs: IPTV services allow users to simultaneously broadcast several programs on different devices (TV, PC, mobile phone, etc.).
- IPTV offers a variety of services: The multiple types of services offered by IPTV exist to meet the different tastes of consumers.
- IPTV allows users to have an ad-free experience: many people hate ads. So being able to skip them or fast forward them is a great quality of life improvement.
- IPTV offers incredible time savings and flexibility: not having to wait for the start of the broadcast at specific times and the possibility of skipping advertisements explain the appeal of IPTV for users around the world. entire.
The disadvantages of IPTV
In addition to the advantages mentioned above, it is important to also know the disadvantages of IPTV.
- Network overloads can cause technical problems: if too many users are watching a show at the same time, the network can become overloaded and cause buffering or playback problems.
- Users have little or no control over issues with channels offered via IPTV: if an error occurs on the side of a channel, viewers can do nothing but wait to fix the problem.
- Sync and picture quality issues are common: Due to natural fluctuations in network speed and quality, viewers may experience sync issues. If this happens, the quality of the user’s experience suffers greatly.
As you can see, IPTV is not omnipotent but has some disadvantages compared to traditional television. But since technology is changing rapidly, we wouldn’t be surprised if these few issues were resolved sooner than expected. Plus, the UX improvements brought about by IPTV far outweigh these potential issues, right?
Is IPTV the future of television?
It is difficult to assess the future of IPTV, but we have enough data to make a fairly accurate estimate.
People have less time to watch TV these days and the demand for personalized content has never been greater. This is why the flexibility offered by IPTV becomes essential in today’s world. And since online video platforms offering on-demand content have never been more important, the television industry must find a way to compete with them. Fortunately, IPTV turned out to be the perfect solution!
The benefits of fiber for IPTV
In order to benefit from the best image quality, and to avoid micro-cuts as much as possible when watching a program or a film via IPTV, you must have a very good internet connection. Indeed, some providers will offer you the same channel in low quality, high definition, very high definition, 4k, etc. If you have an ADSL connection, it is quite possible that the quality may not be there. If you don’t have fiber in your home, now might be the time to do what it takes to get a better whole-house connection. In this case, we advise you to check your fiber eligibility with an internet service provider such as RED by SFR. The fiber connection undoubtedly offers better quality for IPTV. However, it is possible that despite the fiber, you will encounter some cuts if there is a large influx of viewing of your channel by many people. This is the case, for example, on the evenings of major sporting events. In the vast majority, fiber will offer you peace of mind to make the most of your channels and films via IPTV. Think of RED by SFR or your favorite ISP.
Is IPTV legal?
Every year, an increasing number of consumers are turning away from traditional cable or satellite television services. Millions of households have already cut the cord in recent years and this number is expected to continue to rise.
Consumers nowadays want more freedom and choice, so many broadcasting companies have turned to IPTV services to stay competitive in the market. However, with such a big change comes a lot of doubts about the legality of it all. Many consumers felt that having access to hundreds of channels and TV shows at all times was too good to be true, and a burning question arose: is IPTV legal? Is it possible to legally turn to IPTV without any fear of legality?
Why is IPTV legality important?
Although the IPTV market is relatively new, it has already grown to gigantic proportions. According to a recent study, the IPTV market was worth over $40 billion at the dawn of 2020 and is expected to exceed $100 billion by 2025! For the French, we let you do the conversion into Euros.
These numbers are surefire indicators that more and more consumers are interested in IPTV services. This is why it is crucial to introduce legal and sectoral regulations in this new online audiovisual market. This can be beneficial for both consumers and IPTV service providers.
Suppliers must have a predefined set of rules that all companies must follow to ensure a level playing field. These rules also serve as a protection and guarantee for consumers that the use of IPTV services is safe and completely legal. The absence of legal protection and affirmation could deter many potential customers, which would have an impact on the revenues of IPTV providers and therefore on this new mode of television consumption.
However, the legality of IPTV is quite a complicated matter, and there are many aspects to consider.
Is IPTV legal or illegal?
The short answer to this complex question is: it depends. But as this does not tell us much, we will have to go into the details in order to shed a little more light on this gray table.
The first thing to mention is that IPTV is an online service, and internet laws are still in their infancy. This means that most of the existing regulations related to the internet are quite vague (imprecise) or outdated. However, there are still many that relate to IPTV and ensure consumer safety.
Let’s make things clear right away: all major IPTV providers have licenses for the content they offer and their services are completely legal.
When is IPTV legal?
IPTV is legal as long as the service provider follows copyright infringement laws. This means that he must obtain a license for each show or program he chooses to provide or stream online directly to your smart TV or via an Android TV box.
However, it is difficult to determine whether an IPTV provider has the correct licenses. However, here are some decent indicators of their legitimacy:
- Legal IPTV providers link with their partners.
- They have a dedicated and secure streaming app.
- Most legitimate IPTV providers use minimal ads and opt for a subscription monetization model instead.
- Most legal providers also sell other services (eg internet, telecommunication) apart from IPTV.
If a provider meets all or most of the above conditions, then it is probably safe to subscribe to them.
When does IPTV become illegal?
Most of you are probably wondering how illegal IPTV works. There is no single answer to this question, but there are many clues or leads that will allow you to spot illegal IPTV services and therefore beware of them:
- Illegal IPTV providers are usually hosted overseas.
- The provider is associated with streaming or downloading TV content without permission or license.
- They offer channels that are not allowed in your country.
- They do not mention their partners.
- Their services are free or exceptionally inexpensive (licenses are normally expensive).
- They suggest you use a VPN for the best experience.
- They encourage payment with non-trackable payment methods like cryptocurrencies.
If you notice any of the above when researching an IPTV provider, beware: they might be offering illegal services. Avoid these vendors at all costs!
Why You Should Avoid Illegal IPTV Services?
If you’re thinking, “It’s not me breaking the law, it’s the IPTV provider,” you’re both right and wrong. Remember that no one is supposed to ignore the law. Although most of the legal burden falls on the provider streaming copyrighted content, viewers can also be prosecuted and penalized. Although it rarely happens, there are many reasons to avoid illegal IPTV services besides the legal consequences:
- You can get scammed: nothing prevents the fraudulent provider from accepting payment for your IPTV subscription and then disappearing from the face of the earth. As the provider is operating fraudulently, you have no legal way to protect yourself from scammers.
- Viruses and malware are everywhere: many of these illegal IPTV sites are covered in malware. In today’s world, where our PCs store most of our private data, it’s not worth risking having that data stolen.
- Bad User Experience: These illegal IPTV streaming sites usually provide a bad user experience. Whether due to the many intrusive advertisements or poor player loading times, your experience will be far from smooth.
- Your internet service provider could suspend your connection: in some countries, users who regularly participate in hacking activities may suffer consequences from their internet service provider. ISPs may decide to suspend your connection.
As you can see, using illegal IPTV can have many consequences other than legal action. We don’t know what the situation is for you, but we don’t think it’s worth the effort!
There are still three main types of illegal IPTV services to be wary of.
Dubious websites that offer IPTV
There are many reliable IPTV services that offer users streaming and video-on-demand services, but there are at least twice as many illegal services. This is why it is essential to thoroughly research an IPTV site before subscribing to its services. Check if the owners of the site have licenses to distribute the content offered to make sure that you do not risk breaking the law.
Illegal plugins, extensions, and apps
Most IPTV services require a decoder to work, and some even come with special plugins used to access IPTV streams.
However, while there are many official plugins in the market made by reputable IPTV providers, there are also illegal ones. Some of these third-party plugins are designed to take streaming streams from legitimate IPTV providers and pass them off as their own, without paying for a license.
It must be perfectly clear that the above is illegal and may have serious consequences. So only use IPTV plugins from trusted sources!
Third-Party Subscription Services
Last but not least on this list is third-party IPTV subscription services. All it takes is a quick Google search to find dozens of websites offering a worldwide IPTV streaming service for just a few dollars a month. It is not even necessary to specify that such low prices are synonymous with illegality or almost. Obtaining a license, especially for global IPTV coverage, is expensive! Even some of the biggest legal IPTV providers don’t offer it!
Some of these illegal sites seem surprisingly trustworthy, and even offer their own apps or comprehensive guides. But don’t be fooled by appearances: always do thorough research to determine whether the site you’ve stumbled upon is legal or not.
As you can see and in conclusion, some IPTV services are legal, while others operate on the fringes of the law. The only way to stay safe and ensure you’re streaming from a reputable and legal provider is to do your research thoroughly and keep our advice above in mind! As long as you don’t rush out and subscribe to the first site you find, you’re sure to make the right decision!
Our final word: good luck finding the best IPTV provider for you, and stay safe while streaming!
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