Internet Protocol TV using a data network to deliver television and video services.
IPTV is a method of delivering broadcast television and on-demand rich media content using an Internet Protocol or IP network as the medium.
Any broadband IP network can be used for IPTV, which offers telephone companies and cable or satellite television carriers the ability to deliver digital television and other services to mass audiences over existing communications infrastructures.
Although employing Internet Protocol or TCP/IP network, IPTV generally employs a private network rather than the public internet to provide quality of service.
In particular, IPTV enables the delivery of video, voice and data over a single network. This so-called ‘triple play’ proposition allows consumers to subscribe to a single service that provides television, telephone and online services to the home or office over one connection from one service provider.
Using different forms of digital video compression it is possible to deliver high definition television over the same network.
As it provides an inherently two-way digital network, IPTV is well suited to the delivery of sophisticated interactive services.
Multicast delivery can be used to provide a single stream to multiple clients simultaneously. Unicast delivery can also be employed to provide services to a single client for applications such as Video On Demand.
Additional benefits of delivering video using IP include faster channel changing as there is no need to re-tune and the ability to have multiple picture in picture video windows.
It is also possible to take advantage of the integration of video, voice and data services to create advanced applications that combine these modes in innovative ways.