What is IPTV?
IPTV stands for Internet Protocol TV. IPTV serves television signals to customers using Internet Protocol, which is the same method used to communicate data over a computer network. IP technology allows information to be sent and received over a network connection.
IPTV is often confused with Online TV, which includes streaming content via the Internet. 100% IPTV programming, however, is carried over a private, managed network and sent direct to your TV screen via a router. Nevertheless, the category of IPTV is new and still being defined. IPTV could eventually evolve to include Web TV services such as Google TV, as well as content delivered to smartphones or other alternate devices via the Internet, like TV Everywhere from DISH Network or DIRECTV’s Mobile DVR Scheduler.
Using computer networks to deliver live programming leaves customers susceptible to the same delays that Internet service is known for, including packet loss. IPTV providers also may not support HDTV broadcasts. Nonetheless, IPTV is a relatively efficient way to broadcast television. A central location holds TV data and pipes in channels as viewers choose them. This can create more bandwidth for better-quality broadcasts.
With improvements to infrastructure and the increasing availability of broadband across the country, many people believe that IPTV is the trend for future television broadcasting. IPTV includes live television, interactive TV services and video on demand. As broadband networks grow and become more reliable, so may IPTV services across the country.
The two-way communication that an IPTV network enables is key to future innovations in home entertainment. Satellite and cable TV providers already use this concept for features that allow you to see your subscription television programming through your phone or computer. The technology behind IPTV supports true cooperation of technologies across your home. Customers can theoretically integrate television, computer, phone and other media and wireless devices.
AT&T: AT&T has built a private IP network exclusively for fiber-to the node television and technology. Available under the brand U-Verse, it can be found in select markets of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.
Verizon: FiOS, offered through Verizon, is sometimes categorized as IPTV, though the service technically operates over a fiber-optic network much like cable TV. The difference is that FiOS uses fiber-to-the-home or fiber to the premises technology to deliver channels directly to subscribers.
NEP Datavision:Offers Broadband Internet, IPTV and Wireless phone services in Pennsylvania
Qwest Choice TV:Provides digital cable/ IPTV to customers in Phoenix, Denver and Omaha
NeuLion: IPTV company providing technology and services to content aggregators / owners
SureWest: A communications company that serves telephone, VoIP, DSL and IPTV in California, Kansas and Missouri