IPTV vs. OTT: Internet TV Delivery Systems Explained


The video streaming industry is facing tremendous technological advancements in recent years. The two most popular tech-driven video streaming services are IPTV and OTT. Each shares the same period in the market and has its significance and functions.

Non-technical consumers are a little confused with these two terms. There are more similarities in their features and at the same time they have their differences too. It is ideal to analyze their key functions and how they differ from each other.

Here we will get into details about what is IPTV vs. OTT service. We also comprehend the operation of these internet video streaming platforms and the key elements that make up the system.

IPTV Vs OTT services – quick comparison

Online video content shares 53% of the internet traffic in 2011 and it has exceeded more than 85% globally in 2022. The video content is delivered online to consumers either through IPTV vs. OTT service.

What is IPTV?

IPTV stands for Internet Protocol Television, which acts as a digital TV system that broadcast live Tv channels and on-demand video content through an internet connection in a very controlled manner directly to the users’ device.

A private network which could be a LAN or WAN or an internet service provider carries out the delivery part of both live TV channels and also on-demand video content. Best IPTV streaming apps will have a dedicated and higher bandwidth that assures greater video resolution. Without any interruptions, users can view their favorite video content.

The working structure of an IPTV service

The IPTV service provider stores all video streaming content on dedicated servers that broadcasts a copy of the video whenever a user request to watch. Through the multicast method, the video is delivered to consumers.

The multicast method means, videos are transmitted to a group of users and it will focus on the individual user and sends individual video copy to each user. Every IPTV streaming app uses the network infrastructure and also the bandwidth efficiently.

Pros of IPTV service

  • Unbeatable video quality – With the help of the bandwidth assigned to the IPTV network, users will get access to high-definition videos that will enhance user experience.
  • Lesser buffering – Buffering has a huge impact in affecting the viewing experience of the consumer. By possessing a private network connection, users can get the fastest IPTV app and can enjoy all videos without buffering issues.
  • Original content – If you opt for the best free IPTV streaming apps, you can get genuine video content that can never be seen in any other online video resources.
  • Military-grade security protocol – The best IPTV will AES encrypted security protocol and offers better privacy to all users. Many standard security procedures will be strictly followed by any IPTV streaming provider.
  • Device compatibility – Best IPTV for Firestick supports users to watch their favorite video content on their Firestick device. Likewise, any IPTV app subscription will offer device compatible video streaming solution.
  • Multiple genre support – IPTV service is not only to watch live TV channels. Users can find several genres like entertainment, news, sports, etc. If you are a sports lover then you can find the best free sports streaming apps and can watch all your favorite sports events on your device.

Cons of IPTV service

  • Expensive video services – When compared with normal and traditional cable systems, IPTV charges its customers with higher subscription plans which are not affordable for all users.
  • Network slows down – During peak time, as many users will access the internet service provider, you will automatically face a slow network that reduces the speed. This slow-down network will result in buffering.
  • Limited video content – Viewers once they subscribe to any IPTV streaming platform, get locked with the platform. They can only view content that the platform offers and cannot watch any other video material.
  • Complex installation – Accessing the best free sports streaming sites in our mobile browser is easy. Likewise, you can install the best free IPTV streaming app on your mobile and can watch videos. But, setting up IPTV service with your TV is rather difficult, and you’ll require full technical support and extra parts.

Examples of IPTV services are Orange TV, Hulu TV, DIRECTV STREAM, etc.

What is OTT?

OTT stands for an Over-the-top video streaming service that delivers on-demand video content and TV programs to users through an internet connection. You can access the content from any of your devices like mobiles, laptops, PC, tablets, video consoles, etc.

No dedicated network is used to access the content. So, it is available to users across the world. This video streaming technology adopts the unicast method where the video is delivered to an individual user at his request.

The working structure of an OTT service

OTT service does not follow any organized or structured operation in delivering video content like IPTV platforms.The OTT service provider will look for the requested content in its video library whenever a user requests it. And will deliver it to that particular user with the unicast method.

An internet service provider is a necessary aspect to stream video content through any OTT platform. OTT hosting solution also depends on a steady internet connection. The OTT streaming platform does not any responsibility for the content and its copyrights.

Pros of OTT services

  • Cost-effective – The subscription charges of all leading and best OTT platforms start with minimum pricing which is affordable to all user groups. To access more features, users can go for premium packages.
  • Huge video collection – The OTT service provider supports huge videos through its application. And users can get connected with the platform from any part of the world and can access all video content.
  • VPN-friendly – Many OTT platforms may contain content without a license which is not allowed to access by the particular country’s law. In those cases, users can use VPN services and can unlock all restricted content and enjoy viewing them.

Cons of OTT services

  • Performance is not guaranteed – The viewing experience is not guaranteed by the OTT platform as it all depends on the speed of the internet connection that the user uses. This will have an impact on the video quality and the loading speed.

Examples of OTT streaming platforms are Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Hotstar.

How IPTV differs from OTT services?

  • Network type – OTT service providers use an open network to deliver the content directly to the individual user. On the other hand, the IPTV service provider will use a dedicated and closed network to deliver content to a group of users of the IPTV platform.
  • Components for functioning – OTT does not require any additional components. Users just need to download the app on their device and subscribe to any plan and start using the service. To connect to IPTV on the TV, you need a set-top box and a reliable internet connection.
  • Quality of service – OTT does not assure its users regarding the quality of video content that is streamed through the OTT platform as it relies on the network speed of the end-user. IPTV offers a reliable internet connection and can assure high-definition video quality.
  • Type of content supported – IPTV services support Live TV videos, time-shifted TV, and also on-demand video content. OTT supports only on-demand videos and TV programs.


Now we will all end up with the question of which video streaming service is the best one and how well it suits us. Either best OTT service or IPTV service, it all depends on the users’ requirements. As per your demand, you can wisely choose the video streaming service IPTV vs. OTT. Before finalizing you can make use of the free trial version offered by the streaming platforms. And then can decide on the right one for your needs..



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