TL;DR: OTT, short for Over the Top, delivers content over the Internet without requiring cable or satellite, while IPTV, short for Internet Protocol Television, also transmits content over the Internet but using a dedicated, managed network . Unlike OTT, IPTV requires a special decoder and a broadband connection.

Internet video streaming has been growing rapidly and this trend will continue to expand. Although many people think that all videos on the Internet are transmitted the same way, the truth is that this is not the case. Videos on the Internet can be offered in different ways, among which we can cite IPTV and OTT.

If you don't work at a TV station or in the video streaming industry, it's very likely that you've never heard these terms, but it's also very likely that you're unknowingly using these services since many years.

But what are these technologies and how do they work? In this article, we will explain it to you.

IPTV is actually a protocol. This is Internet Protocol Television. In short, it is television programming that is broadcast over the Internet to be received on a dedicated device. Boxes and TVs that include IPTV services will allow you to access traditional TV channels such as CBS, CNN, FOX, HBO, etc. IPTV has the advantage over downloaded media of allowing streaming directly from the source, with smaller file sizes (something very technical that would require another article to fully explain).

After reading this, you will probably think that services like Netflix or Disney plus are also IPTV, but that is not the reality. These services are actually based on OTT (Over-The-Top) technology. Are you confused? Don't worry, we'll try to clarify the differences.

The difference, fundamentally, is that OTT services are based on the distribution of VOD, better known as video on demand. OTT is a concept that is emerging as an alternative to cable or satellite television, seeking a new way to deliver content to audiences and includes all video content that can be distributed over the Internet without the need for a TV service provider. The only thing needed is a subscription to the service, if it is a paid service.

IPTV vs OTT, main advantages and disadvantages

For IPTV services, a private distribution network is used and managed by the telecommunications operator and this factor determines its great advantages, such as image and sound quality (usually without interruptions) thanks to the complexity and the capacity of the infrastructure, as well as the bandwidth reserved exclusively for streaming. The big disadvantage is that a signal decoder (box) is required, in addition to the Internet connection essential in any service of this type.

On the other hand, OTT video streaming services are based on a public internet connection. This implies that anyone can have access to it. By having a reduced infrastructure cost, the prices of OTT services are also more accessible. Additionally, they have another great advantage, which is ease of installation, as all you need is an internet-connected device to stream the content.

The biggest problem with OTT is that the quality of service depends on the end user's Internet connection speed, which can lead to an unpleasant experience when content starts to get cut off by buffering.

Advantages of OTT:

*Low cost
*Varied programming
*Minimal or no installation required

Disadvantages of OTT:

*Streaming quality depends on internet speed
*No access to cable TV channels, only shows or movies
*Some ISPs impose a data limit on bandwidth

Advantages of IPTV:

*High-quality video with fewer interruptions
*Does not require special installation, just the housing
*Watch on demand and get shows on the release date

Disadvantages of IPTV:

*Sold as subscription packages
*Internet speed can affect streaming quality
*Requires device to be connected to a dedicated network


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