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What is a IPTV service?
With an IPTV set top box or Firestick any TV turns into a media entertainment hub!
IPTV is not just about Live TV broadcast or Video-on-demand. Complete list of services with descriptions would not fit to several pages. Here are some of services listed, according to ITU and they welcome all contributors to edit this list, which means there are even more than what ITU has listed:
- Linear/Broadcast TV (audio, video and data)
- Linear Broadcast TV with Trick Modes
- Multi-angle service
- Time-shift TV
- Pay Per View (PPV)
- Video/TV on Demand (VOD)
- Near VoD (Video on Demand) broadcasting
- Real VoD
- Download Based Video Content Distribution Services (Push VOD)
- Content download service
- PVR service (network or client-based)
- Interactive TV (iTV)
- Consumer Originated content (Video, etc. and applications)
- Consumer Originated broadcast TV (e.g. C2C hosting)
- Linear Broadcast Audio
- MoD (Music on Demand) including Audio book
- T-Learning (education for children, elementary, middle and high school student, languages and estate, etc.)
Why do we need IPTV service?
There are two good reasons why IPTV evolved so fast and so many vendors have developed their own solutions of this kind. People are watching TV, lots of people. Despite the success of video hosting websites that took part of video broadcast market away from Pay TV providers, quality content is still available mostly from subscription based services. IPTV made viewer experience much richer and truly interactive, so that anybody who ever tried quality IPTV service will never revert to regular TV.
What are the services provided by IPTV providers?
Before you decide on an IPTV provider it’s vital to know the services that you should expect from different service providers. IPTV service offers a number of interactive services.
These services include:
- Live Television: This service automatically broadcasts currently aired TV shows.
- TV on Demand: This service gives you an opportunity to view selected TV channels at your own convenience.
- Video on Demand: This service allows you to access videos from the server media library at any time.
How to select an IPTV provider?
Location is one of the most important factors when choosing your IPTV service provider. The location takes into account two aspects explained below:
The first aspect of location is your current area of residence and the likelihood to move to a new location. Note that some services are only available in specific regions. It is important to find out if the service is available in your current area of residence. If you are also likely to move to another region find out if the provider will be available in your new location;
The second aspect of location is where your provider streams from. Some providers will stream exclusively from the US, Canada or UK while others offer a number of international options. The streaming location has an effect on the time lapse of certain shows which you may want to view at specific times. This affects live television services and near video on demand television.
2. Device Compatibility
Most IPTV service providers use apps to stream content. A number of providers may stream only using a smart TV or PC with an internet connection. While some providers offer an option of streaming content concurrently on a number of different devices, it’s important to note that some only allow access using specific devices at a time. With this in mind, you have to decide on how and when you want to access your content. Once you decide on your device of choice then you will have to narrow down your options to providers that meet your device needs.
I believe everyone has their own preference for content that they love to watch. Before you make a decision of your next IPTV service provider it is important to go through the list of channels on offer. Ask yourself if they meet your entertainment needs. A number of providers will offer different packages. Take time to check which package will work for you or your family. More often the best provider will offer a combination of channels that feature sports, TV shows news and movies. Some providers, however, give an option to further customize the packages to include only your favorite channels. This type of provider can be your best bet although their services may come at a higher cost.
4. User Experience and Subscriber Reputation
There is a reason that people go to stores and buy a specific brand of sneakers or clothing even though the store offers a number of options. Reputation is equally important when selecting an IPTV service provider. The increase in the number of providers has not made it easier for users when selecting an IPTV service provider. It’s important to find out the popularity of a certain provider. Find out what others are saying about the service before making a decision. Ask for references from friends and check online for reviews from users. This helps you gauge the popularity of the provider and the reasons for their popularity.
Find out if the service provider provides after sale services. In this case, they may include support, timely response to requests and configuration help.
5. Content quality and Buffering
Who doesn’t like to get value for their money? We both know the answer to that question. In this part, we look at the quality of the picture and sound. Is the sound audible? Is the picture crisp clear? Is there an option for subtitles? Does the service provide a number of language options? These are questions you should ask yourself before subscribing. Most IPTV providers offer trial periods. These trials can be used to check if the channels of your choice are available and their quality of sound and picture.
You should also look at the download speed and the loading time of content from the provider’s server. Check if it takes a long time loading or if it is fast enough. As much as the speed and quality of the IPTV service are dependent on your internet speed, note that the providers usually state the recommended bandwidth for their services. Always find out if the recommended bandwidth is matching your internet connection before subscribing. This practice will save you the buffering nightmare when enjoying your favorite TV shows.
Taking into account all the aforementioned factors, last but not least your budget now comes into play. Ask yourself if you are ready to part with the subscription fee charged by the provider. Subscription price plays a major role when making a choice of your IPTV provider with some offering different plans at different rates. The higher the price of the package, the more features and add-ons you should expect in return. Find out from the provider if you can trade off some of the features for a smaller subscription fee.
I hope you have learned all you need to know about IPTV and this post will help you select the best IPTV provider that will meet your personal needs and give you the best television experience for your budget. Remember it is always advisable to ask for trials before making the final decision. Happy Viewing!