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What you need to know about Internet TV


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Television watchers have a new way to enjoy their favourite shows, which is Internet protocol television, or IPTV for short. Essentially, IPTV is any service which plays television shows as streaming video files through an Internet connection. Some IPTV services work as applications that you must download and install. However, there are many services that will allow you to enjoy online streaming television by simply visiting a web site. Some IPTV services include BT Vision and Virgin Media, though even popular video-on-demand sites like Netflix and Hulu fit into the category.

Internet TV 400x400 What you need to know about Internet TVThe best part about IPTV services is that users can decide what TV shows they want to watch and when they want to watch them, while traditional TV broadcasts are stuck to a rigid schedule that may not fit into the busy lives of their target audiences.

As any broadband expert can tell you, a large percentage of the world's Internet traffic is currently being devoted to watching streaming videos through IPTV services. During the early days of IPTV, users would have to access these services through their computer. Video could be transferred to a television by connecting the computer with an HDMI cable, but these cables are very costly and not very convenient for desktop computer users.

However, the advent of web-enabled televisions has allowed IPTV users to conveniently watch the service right in their living room, providing stiff competition to traditional over-the-air and cable TV broadcasts. Some television manufacturers that have begun to embrace the growing IPTV trend include Samsung, Philips, LG, Sony, Vizio, Panasonic and Toshiba. Unfortunately, users who want to watch IPTV from a web-enabled TV will also be limited to specific services chosen by the manufacturer. Users who watch IPTV from their desktop or laptop computer will not face such limitations.

Another highlight of IPTV is that the growing popularity of these services are allowing companies to produce TV shows specifically for Internet audiences. Netflix and Hulu have both already began producing their own original content. For example, Netflix recent outbid major cable networks, including HBO and AMC, for the rights for the show "House of Cards," which is set to star Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey.

It is worth noting that IPTV services will also require a significant amount of Internet bandwidth to work properly. Currently, it requires a broadband connection with a download rate between 500 to 1,500 kilobytes per second to access a standard definition video stream over an IPTV network. To watch a high definition stream, connection speeds must be over 3,500 kilobytes for second. But it does not take a broadband expert to realize that most broadband Internet connections will have no trouble handling at least a standard definition video stream.

Overall, IPTV is a great way to enjoy TV without the restrictions placed by normal TV broadcast methods. The technology is still being developed and quality is being improved with each upgrade. In fact, IPTV may soon become the standard for TV watchers around the world.


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