What are the formats of IPTV?
Generally speaking, IPTV can come in one of three flavors: Video on Demand, Time shifted media, and Live IPTV.
• Video on Demand:
As the name suggests, Video on Demand is all about getting the content you want when you want it. One prime example of this that you are probably very familiar with is movie-streaming sites, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. (These are all OTT content providers, but you get the picture)
What’s more, so long as the content you want to watch is owned by your streaming service, you can demand to watch it, regardless of how old it is. Even though this may seem obvious, it stands in stark contrast to the next type of IPTV.
• Time shifted media:
This type of IPTV is very similar to “catch-up TV,” where you can watch shows that you might have missed earlier. However, unlike VOD, the content won’t be available indefinitely; instead, you have a specific window of time when you can watch the content.
Once this time has elapsed, the content will be removed from the broadcaster’s selection. What this means for you is that you can’t rewatch a show that aired a couple of years ago. In short, the main difference between VOD and time shifted media is the shelf life of the content.
With that said, one of the best examples of this format is BBC’s iPlayer.
• Live IPTV:
This format is probably the most similar to ordinary broadcast TV. In other words, live IPTV lets you watch shows live, which is ideal if you want to enjoy a certain sports event as it is happening. In fact, if you subscribe to a live IPTV channel, you can watch the game on your phone while you’re on the go.
Aside from coming to you via the internet instead of cable or satellite, live IPTV is more or less the same as ordinary TV.
Some excellent live TV channels you can check out are Sling TV, Hulu Live Tv, FOX Sports Go, and CBS Sports HQ.
If you look through the internet, you might find more types of IPTV service, but odds are anything you’ll find will be derivative of the three types above. For instance, here are two more types you might come across:
• Near Video on Demand:
This is a pay per view service. The idea is that there is a specific broadcasting schedule which viewers can look at and choose to watch the content that interests them the most. This model is ideal for multiple users, all of whom would be subscribed to the same service.
However, this type of IPTV service is almost a mixture between the live TV model and video on demand.
• TV on Demand:
Rather than having to watch specific programming, you can watch a particular channel online. However, unlike ordinary TV, you can watch the channel whenever suits you at whatever point in the channel’s programming.
It’s basically VOD; even its acronym is TVOD. The only difference is in what the viewer can demand to watch.