|What is IP television?|
|Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) is digital television delivered on your television (and not PC) through high speed internet (broadband) connection. In this service, channels are encoded in IP format and delivered to the TV through a set top box. IPTV service also includes video on demand, which is similar to watching video CDs/DVDs using a VCD/DVD player.|
|How does it work?|
IPTV converts a television signal
into small packets of computer data like any other form of
online traffic such as email or a web page. There are three main
components of IPTV. First, the TV and content head end, where
the TV channels are received and encoded and also other content
like videos which are stored. The second component is the
delivery network, which is broadband and landline network
provided by a telecom operators such as MTNL.
The third component is the set top box, which is required at the customer location. The packets are reassembled into programming by software in the set-top box. This box is connected between the operator’s broadband modem and customer’s TV.
|What are the advantages of IPTV?|
The quality of digital video and
audio is much better compared with the traditional analogue TV.
With additional features, it can become interactive. For
example, viewers may be able to look up a player’s history while
watching a game. They also may be able to schedule a recording
of their favourite programme when they are not home. With video
on demand, they can browse an online movie catalogue and watch
the movies instantly.
Because IPTV uses standard networking protocols, it promises lower costs for operators and lower prices for users. Using set-top boxes with broadband internet connections, video can be streamed to households more efficiently than cable.
|What are the limitations of IPTV?|
|Because IPTV is based on internet protocol, it is sensitive to packet loss and delays if the IPTV connection is not fast enough.|
|When was IPTV service first used?|
|In 1994, ABC’s World News Now was the first television show to be broadcast over the internet, using the CU-SeeMe video conferencing software. Internet radio company AudioNet started the first continuous live webcast in January, 1998.|