Computers and Technology

What is the difference between IPTV vs OTT ?

These days, customers no longer have time to sit in front of the television every day at a fixed time to watch their favorite shows. Thanks to internet-based streaming services, they no longer have to wait. The primary driving force behind the television industry’s revolution is increased accessibility.

Being a TV provider or publisher, what are your options if you wish to pivot your business and switch to online video delivery? OTT and IPTV are the two main internet-based distribution models to consider.

But, what are the main distinctions between these two, and how do you know which is better? Let’s find out!

How about a quick tip to get you started? IPTV and OTT both use the IP protocol to distribute video content over the internet. They differ primarily based on the service they provide, their infrastructure, and their delivery method.

Without further delay, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of IPTV and OTT.

What is IPTV Platform?

IPTV stands for Internet Protocol Television. From the viewer’s perspective, this means watching TV through your internet connection rather than through fiber-optic cable or radio waves, as with traditional television. In addition, instead of crowding around the television, you can now watch your favorite TV shows on computers, laptops, and mobile devices via IPTV services.

How Does IPTV Work?

Traditional television sends analog signals directly to users via cables, who can only access currently broadcasted content. In these cases, users can only control when and what they see via external recording devices.

The way IPTV works vary significantly. Unlike traditional television, which can only broadcast content in real-time, IPTV has servers where content is stored. It gives users the ability to request to view programs whenever they want. When a user selects a show to watch, it is converted into digital format and delivered in packets to their playback device via the internet protocol. Before reaching end users, the transferred files will be compressed and optimized for streaming. 

Unfortunately, not all TVs can immediately set up an IPTV service because most cannot read the signals received without the help of a third-party party. If your TV is not IPTV compatible, you will need to purchase an IPTV set-top box.

What is OTT Platform?

Let’s go over the basics of OTT meaning here.

Over-the-top (OTT) content refers to any video or television program delivered or streamed over the public internet. Unlike traditional television, where the provider controls the programming, With an OTT solution, each connected device has a unique internet connection to the source of the content, making it “unicast delivering” one stream to one device.

How Does OTT Work?

OTT services are content providers that distribute their video content via a free transmission system (the public internet). They only deliver content on-demand and in a unicast or one-to-one transmission mode. It means that each end-user device has a unique connection to the content source, allowing only one stream to be served to a single device or recipient every time.

IPTV vs OTT – Pros and Cons

IPTV and OTT providers are vying for the lion’s share of the Gen Z market.

Let’s take a look at who will win the race here- IPTV/OTT Platform?

# Content Delivery and Network

OTT Video- delivered over an open network, with no infrastructure investment or carriage negotiations required. In contrast, the IPTV solution distributes content through a specific ISP via a closed, proprietary, and optimized high bandwidth network. IPTV is more reliable, maintains a high quality of service, and is far easier to monitor, but it is more expensive and complex to deploy, manage, and update.

# Components Required

IPTV requires three main components to display content: an internet connection, a router, and a set-top-box or IP-based connected TV. OTT Platform, however, only requires an internet-compatible device connected to data or Wi-Fi.

# Video Quality

The quality of video served by the best OTT platform depends on the available bandwidth and speed of our internet connection and device. Because IPTV uses a private content delivery network to reach specific IP addresses, we can expect higher image and audio quality.

# Pricing

IPTV, in general, sells subscription packages at comparable rates to traditional cable or satellite TV. OTT services, however, can cost as low as $4.99 per month or even be free for the user if they are ad-supported (e.g., AVOD).

# Content Types

IPTV only provides premium content, as opposed to OTT, which does not charge a premium due to security and the lack of DRM.

IPTV or OTT? What’s More Relevant for Your Service?

As you can see, OTT easily wins in the majority of categories. Despite these findings, it is impossible to ignore IPTV’s benefits in terms of control and content quality. That is why we cannot say that one is superior to the other. Both OTT and IPTV have upsides and downsides. 

OTT Platform is more affordable and flexible for both providers and customers. Conversely, IPTV provides high content quality and scalability at the expense of higher operational costs. However, choosing IPTV & OTT services highly depends on your business goals and budget.


When deciding to expand your online video business, the question “OTT or IPTV- which is best?” can be tricky. When it comes to over-the-top, a significant benefit is that virtually any video creator or company can create an OTT application and use it to expand their business. This model is suitable for those who are new to the online video market. IPTV, however, is related to high content quality and exclusive video access, even though this approach is more expensive. 

The choice of one among these two streaming services highly depends on the company’s goals and the amount of money available. That is why understanding the distinction between IPTV and OTT is critical. If you find that OTT is a good fit for your needs, prefer a better team can lend a helping hand.


Interested in digging deep into video/audio streaming media tools and Love to blog, discuss and share views on the latest technologies tips, and tricks. He's also passionate about photography loves to capture the pure essence of life.

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