Since the growing evolution of streaming, there are more and more ways to view content. And it is that in addition to all the services offered by official channels and platforms such as Netflix, HBO Max, Prime Video, Disney + and company, operators have been using another way of being able to reproduce their content for some time: IPTV.
In this article we wanted to focus on explaining what IPTV is, how it works, and the difference that exists with the streaming platforms that exist on the Internet. In addition, we will also mention what IPTV lists are, an alternative method to see the content that companies broadcast.
What is IPTV?
IPTV, from the acronym Internet Protocol TV, relies on streaming technology to offer its content. It is usually used by operators, being able to access this content through their television packages and a decoder. In this way, if we pay a monthly fee for any of the television services offered by companies such as Movistar, Orange, or Vodafone, among others, we are accessing this content through IPTV.
IPTV makes use of the bandwidth of our Internet connection to offer content live and on demand. To access these services, we communicate with a private server of the company through our decoder and router, hardware in charge of receiving the signal, decoding it and compressing it so that we can see the content.
To watch traditional television channels, we have generally always needed an antenna, satellite or cable to watch the content. However, with abonnement IPTV you just have to have the decoder connected to the router and the television through an HDMI cable, or another compatible means to transmit the audio and video signal.
In addition to the content that is offered through IPTV, we can also have additional functions of the decoder itself, such as the possibility of recording television content, or rewinding a program.
What is the difference between IPTV and OTTs?
The services that work through IPTV are different from those that companies offer us with their OTT (Over the Top). Here the content is offered through the Internet and streaming, as is the case with Netflix, HBO Max, Prime Video, Disney + and company. The main difference is that the services offered through OTTs are visible to the public, as long as one registers on the platform in question, while IPTV is only accessible by the client of the company that has contracted. these services.
With regard to OTTs, there are also companies that offer this type of service. A very clear example is that of Movistar+ Lite, since to access the content you only need to be subscribed and have the app on mobile devices, consoles and televisions, or access through the web. Here the offer is somewhat more limited and we do not have the special functions of the decoder, but we are not tied to the hardware.
Another important issue about OTTs is that they are not assigned a fixed bandwidth on our network, but the quality of the streaming will be linked to the bandwidth that is free on our network. On the other hand, IPTV does have a specific bandwidth assigned, making the quality of the content more stable.
In short, IPTV is the mechanism that companies use to offer us their live and on-demand television content, with a decoder and Internet connection as the main requirement. However, there is another way to access the content of the operators and that circulates on the Internet: IPTV lists.
What are IPTV lists?
These IPTV lists are usually found in .m3u, .m3u8 or w3u format, and are basically a collection of streaming channels that can be accessed through programs such as Kodi, VLC, or any application that has the ability to decode these lists. Most of the lists that circulate on the Internet are compilations of free national channels, although there are also paid lists (illegal) that depend on the user who has contracted the IPTV services of their operator to re-encode and retransmit their signal over the Internet, communicating with this list by means of an IP address linked to the equipment.
IPTV lists for Smart TVs
If we want to access these lists through our television, on Android TV or Fire TV OS we have Kodi, VLC, and many other alternatives, but for Smart TVs with a closed operating system such as Tizen or webOS, we must resort to other apps , which are found in the application store of our television. For other applications we also have the option of using a USB stick to install them.
Some examples of these free apps are OttPlayer, SSIPTV, or Smart IPTV, among others. To add IPTV lists, just enter the IP address of these lists to the application, and the channels will be automatically added to the list. We can also choose to add the URL of these lists or upload the corresponding M3U file to the application.
The main disadvantage of IPTV lists is their low security, since many of them can be a gateway to compromise the security and privacy of our network. And it is that being hosted on a website of dubious origin, there is the possibility that our computer will be infected with some type of malware.