A Simple Explanation of How IPTV Streaming Works

Bored by the TV program selection that you have? Wish you have a wider watch list to explore?

Entertainment is a key part of life. It is how most people unwind after a long day and week at work. Unfortunately, traditional TV broadcasting doesn’t quite meet the demand of modern-day watchers.

You not only want a wide range of programs but also to select your favorite shows whenever you want, whether on your TV or portable smart device. The good news is there is technology already available to address this demand. We are talking about IPTV, arguably the future of Television.

So, what is it? And how does it work? Here is a simple explanation:

What Is IPTV?

IPTV is an acronym for Internet Protocol Television. Basically, IPTV is a service that provides television programming, movies, web series, and other types of video content through the Internet Protocol (IP) or Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). For you, the end user, that means watching your favorite TV programs on your phone, laptop, PC, or smart TV via an internet connection instead of traditional cable TV.

IPTV services are managed by service providers, with a provider typically supporting up to thousands of channels on one platform. There is a wide range of IPTV providers, from larger network providers to smaller niche-specific companies.

Now, IPTV services are paid subscriptions. However, most providers offer free trials ranging from 24 hours to a few days.

How Does IPTV Streaming Work?

IPTV streaming varies from traditional TV, including how it works. That said, let us delve deeper into the workings of IPTV streaming:


With traditional TV, all programs are broadcast simultaneously in a multicast format. In other words, the program signals stream out, and you choose what programs to watch by switching TV channels.

However, IPTV streaming sends only a single program at a time (unicast format). All the content remains on your internet provider’s network, and only what you choose to watch is transmitted to your device. When you switch the channel, the IPTV service provider transmits a new stream directly.

Program Preparation

With IPTV streaming, all TV programs (whether live or pre-recorded) are converted into a digital format that can be transmitted over the internet through packet switching. All videos are compressed to reduce buffering when streaming, and ads are not included unless necessary. Most of all, the information is encrypted to hinder unauthorized access.

Streaming Programs

One thing about IPTV streaming is that it is pretty much like surfing the web. In both scenarios, you initiate a temporary connection between two computers such that yours receives information from the service provider’s computer. When your computer receives the data, it is often sent from a powerful server that sends information to other users simultaneously. This process is called unicasting.


While IPTV streaming and IPTV have considerable differences, there are a few similarities, among them infrastructure. Like cable TV, IPTV streaming needs a set-top box to connect to a regular television. There is also a need for other user devices, e.g., a Wi-Fi router, broadband internet connection, or fiber optic.

What’s to Love About IPTV?

No doubt, IPTV offers great convenience and flexibility to users, as you can access programs you want to watch instantly as long as you are connected to the internet. But the benefits are much more than these. IPTV is also:

  • Easy to set up: all you need to start streaming is good internet connectivity and a reliable IPTV service. If you want to use your TV, but it is not internet-enabled, you must buy a set-top box.
  • Cost-effective: you can watch many more programs for one inclusive price, making IPTV quite affordable.
  • Great for simultaneous streaming: most IPTV services allow you to access multiple programs on your connected devices. You could stream a show on TV and a different one on your phone simultaneously.
  • Ad-free experience: we can all agree that ads suck. With IPTV, you can fast-forward or skip them.

Find the Best IPTV Service Providers & Stream 1000s of Channels from Your Device

The days of having to contend with whatever is on the air are slowly coming to an end. If you want to enjoy your favorite program without waiting a minute longer, IPTV streaming might just be right for you. Check out reviews and guides of different services and providers for the best tips on improving your IPTV streaming experience.