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Definition: IPTV


(Internet Protocol TV) Also called "TV over IP" IPTV refers to streaming scheduled and video-on-demand (VOD) TV programs using the IP protocol. Beginning in the 1990s, IPTV was offered by several companies, but the content did not necessarily stream from the Internet. Telephone companies offered IPTV over DSL lines.

IP Enables the "Triple Play"
All website and email traffic travels in IP packets, and voice has become almost all IP based (see VoIP). By adding TV over IP, a data-voice-video "triple play" service can be offered over the same network infrastructure. See triple play.

IPTV Vs. Traditional TV
IP-based TV is delivered like a Web page. When a subscriber wants to view a TV channel, that channel is routed to the user's set-top just like a Web page is routed to a browser. In contrast, the traditional cable TV and satellite services transmit hundreds of channels simultaneously, and the user tunes in to the one desired. See Internet TV, Internet Protocol, streaming video and IP on Everything.