What is IPTV/ VOD/ OTT streaming? - Blog

What is IPTV/ VOD/ OTT streaming?

By Alex on 06/10

What is IPTV/ VOD/ OTT streaming?

IPTV Streaming

Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) is the newest wave of telecasting that uses Internet Protocol (IP) network, unlike cable and satellite TV.

This revolutionary way of delivering multimedia creates a system where viewers can instantly enjoy programs without having to download them.

Even though IPTV relies on internet protocol, it can serve other purposes other than internet television. IPTV provides high-speed data transfer which is why most telecommunication, private and corporate networks use it for streaming multimedia. Files are shared through an external network which users access easily.

IPTV is cutting edge with better features compared to traditional telecasting. For instance, it allows the TV to integrate with IP based services such as VoIP and high-speed internet access.


  • Quality: video is top notch and has close to zero buffering time because it runs on a privately managed delivery network
  • Programming: Updated shows on the release date or available on demand
  • Installation: No need to fix stuff, only needs a set-top box and steady internet access


  • Price: Cable TV is still cheaper
  • Quality: Internet services can downplay the quality especially in peak hours

IPTV Services May Be Classified Into Three Main Categories

  • Live media and live television, with or without related interactivity
  • Video on Demand VOD): open and view items in a stored media listing
  • Time-shifted media: e.g. catch-up TV (watch a show that played days or hours ago) and start-over TV (watch the live show from the start)

VOD Streaming

Video on demand (VOD) provides the option of choosing from a wide range of media to watch or listen, as opposed to having to wait for scheduled events to be broadcasted.

IPTV is frequently used with VOD on televisions and computers. However, video quality is limited by internet speed.

TV VOD systems can stream via most devices like the set-top box, a computer, or any gadget that allows live streams or downloading to watch later.

Most cable and telephone companies offer:

  • Live VOD streaming through a computer or phone
  • Video files that you can download to local storage or rented digital video recorder


  • Convenience: VOD is provided by popular vendors like Amazon Prime and Netflix which have a vast catalog of videos to choose from to watch on demand, as many times as you wish.
  • Connectivity: Needs only a computer or TV connected to the internet
  • Cost: It comes with more programs than satellite or cable, at a great cost
  • Variety: You can choose from sports shows, news, TV series, and other movies that go back longer than time, anywhere, anytime, on any device that has a good internet connection.
  • Devices: Access any file at your own convenience from any device at any time, as many times as you want to.


  • Bandwidth Use: Streaming will require higher bandwidth more so in better quality videos
  • Desired content might not be accessible in your location: Some content may not be available in your country, or area of residence.
  • Desired content may not be available on your on-demand platform: The service provider controls what is available and may filter out some videos based on what majority of customers view.

OTT streaming

Over The Top (OTT) is a term referring to a service provider that independently supplies videos to internet viewers but doesn’t rely on traditional broadcasting or telecommunication channels which often control what is broadcasted.

Amazon video, Netflix, Hulu, and fuboTV are some service providers under this category which give on-demand but subscription-based access to videos. Most programs are live streams but unlike regular TV, they are accessed over the public internet but can also use set-top boxes.

OTT services are online based, only accessed using a computer, TV, and other devices that have access to the internet.


  • Price: Friendly prices can go as low as $5
  • Installation: You only need a phone, computer or a streaming TV box
  • Programming: There are many providers that offer superior services to cable (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon video)


  • Quality: Better quality means faster internet speed, and slow connections buffer longer.
  • Programming: Most online shows are available in OTT after the end of the season
  • Data caps: The ISP can dictate how much data you use limiting the number of shows you will watch.

If you would like to try UCView IPTV offering we can provide you a free consultation to see how our solution would fit into your ecosystem.