In the past decade a range of new technologies such as digital cable, HDTV, satellite and the internet have left its mark on the television landscape. With the popularisation of internet consumers have increasingly begun using the internet for entertainment, information and education due to its interactivity. Yet it could not replace television's ability to give a high quality video image due slow connections, which could only offer users low quality video images from the internet. With the introduction of broadband internet users now have access to much faster information transfers. This has facilitated a new powerful entry to delivering of video content called Internet Protocol Television (IPTV).
With the introduction of broadband internet access, which is a high data-transmission rate internet connection, real Internet Television became a reality. With the introduction of broadband that includes DSL, cable, iBurst (wireless broadband technology ) and other high-speed internet services, which are digital and not analogue, and could stream data up to 100 megabits per second resulted in the invention of IPTV, a system whereby a digital video content are delivered via a network with broadband capability. This could include an organization's LAN, a high speed cable or a DSL connection.
IPTV could cover live broadcasting called multicasting (se...
The user could access IPTV through a normal personal computer or a TV with a "set-top box." The formats that are normally used to stream video content to users are MPEG 2 or MPEG 4. IPTV uses standard protocol such as IGMP version 2 for live TV and RTSP for VoD.
Broadband data transfer services facilitate a host of different advantages by using the IP-based platforms, including the ability to integrate television with other IP-based services such as high speed internet and VoIP. In addition this offers the customers the ability to choose what content they want to watch when they choose to do so. Further more IPTV content can be developed to offer viewers interactivity such as menus, picture in picture and duel screen where viewer could watch video on one side of the screen and monitor web cameras on the other.
IPTV uses a much better compression than the standard television, resulting in much smaller file sizes with higher quality images. Combined with this the user could choose to subscribe to what is called a Triple Play, where he can get telephone, data and video on one connection, reducing the clutter and amount of wires that is needed for each one of these functions. Another advantage of an IP-based network is the ability to integration and convergence of all telecommunications and IP related services. This will mean consumers will have access to content on their televisions, cell phones and PC's anywhere at anytime.
Due to the fact that IPTV is based on Internet Protocol it is sensitive to packet loss and delays if the IPTV connection is not fast enough. In addition IPTV do not yet support HDTV, and when it does it will need even faster data transfer rates due to the size of the HD format.