IPTV is essentially the delivery of media content, videos or live television over an IP (Internet Protocol) network. The IP can use either the public internet or a private local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN).
IPTV systems may be classified into three main groups:
- Live television – with or without interactivity related to the current TV show;
- Time-shifted television – catch-up TV (replays a TV show that was broadcast hours or days ago), start-over TV (replays the current TV show from its beginning);
- Video on Demand (VOD) – browse a catalogue of videos, not related to TV programming.
For a more technical explanation, an IPTV is a system which manages the delivery of TV services using the IP suite over a packet-switched network such as a LAN or the internet. An IPTV system replaces the delivery of the TV services through traditional terrestrial, satellite signal, and cable television formats.