Recently we have seen the emergence of cable television over the Internet, or IPTV. In this article we will take a look at what IPTV is, how it works, and who is going to benefit from it.
I did an article a while ago on VoIP. This involves using your Internet connection instead of your traditional phone line to make calls. It had many advantages and disadvantages over traditional phone systems. The technology was just getting out the door when the article was written, and is now readily available to nearly everyone. It still hasnít caught on as much as I thought it would. It appears most people are just using cell phones and ditching their household phone. But now we are seeing another common household feature moving to the Internet.
What it is
The name speaks for itself: IPTV, TV over the Internet. Itís a rather simple idea, though it's much more difficult than it seems, as I will explain later. Faster computers and quicker Internet connections are making IPTV more of an option. As the technology advances, we will see more IPTV with more channels and HD support as well. Chances are that you have probably even used IPTV without even knowing it.
IPTV first hit the Internet in 1994, right as the masses were starting to get online. Back then it wasnít as abundant as it is now, and most people probably never even knew about it. Fast forward to 2008, and we have many different types of IPTV, from ESPNís video highlights on their home page to IPTV on your cell phone. IPTV has really taken off and is still on a steep rise.
ABC was the first to use IPTV in 1994, and continues to lead the way with IPTV. Their first show needed a fast connection, special video conferencing software, and had to be online during the time it was being aired. Now ABC has their shows in full episodes online for anyone to stream from their browser at any time. No longer are you tied to the time the TV show airs to catch it; you can now watch it from your computer at the time you choose. Also IPTV is set to come into the "big picture" of your home entertainment soon. Kiss your cable or satellite provider good-bye, and say hello to IPTV.
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