(Live) streaming TV can be defined as "over-the-top content", also known as OTT. This refers to the instant delivery of video, sound and other digital signals using a (broadband) internet connection. In this case, there will be no MSO (multiple system operator) responbile for distributing the media content. This will be included when opting for a satellite and/or cable TV subscription, unlike with a streaming provider.
1) Media Distributor (Provider of Content)
This includes (samples):
- An independent provider or company (Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Hulu, Netflix,..)
- A particular set of services offered by tradtional TV providers
- International brands featuring films etc.
- Streaming services offered by tradition televisional networks or simple TV channel brands
- P-2-P hosting services for (live streaming) video such as YouTube
- Services who combine stricht online televison with media uploaded by a variety of members (part of a community)
- Services who only provide music (audio) with being a strict provider of streaming internet TV
2) Internet Connection
The internet, which is vastly used by the general public, requires access eather by paying a fee to your internet provider or by getting access using (free or paid) using public/private wifi hotspots. An internet connection would NOT be required when accessing media files on the hard disk of your streaming device. In any other case, you would be required to connect with a streaming server (bandwidth use!). Depending on the quality of the media that is streamed to your device, the bandwidth may be higher. Beware of high costs involved with streaming HD and FULL HD media through a wireless telecommunications network (for example, 4G).
How Streaming TV works (Video Presentation)
3) Hardware/Software (Internet Receiver)
This will include the following elements:
Mobile apps, browsers on mobile devices or PC, digital media players such as Roku or Apple TV (boxes ur USB sticks), SmartTV's, game consoles, or a device that records digital video are all potential receivers that each have their own benefits and drawbacks.
4) Display Device For Streaming Media
It is quite obvious that an LCD, TFT, AMOLED or Retina display screen, either from a PC, laptop, television or mobile phone is an important and mandatory element of using streaming media content.
Comparing Streaming TV to IPTV
IPTV delivers television content using signals based on the Internet protocol (IP), through the open, unmanaged Internet with the "last-mile" telecom company acting only as the Internet service provider (ISP). As described above, "Internet television" is "over-the-top technology" (OTT). Both IPTV and OTT use the Internet protocol over a packet-switched network to transmit data, but IPTV operates in a closed system- a dedicated, managed network controlled by the local cable, satellite, telephone, or fiber-optic company. In its simplest form, IPTV simply replaces traditional circuit switched analog or digital television channels with digital channels which happen to use packet-switched transmission. In both the old and new systems, subscribers have set-top boxes or other customer-premises equipment that communicates directly over company-owned or dedicated leased lines with central-office servers. Packets never travel over the public Internet, so the television provider can guarantee enough local bandwidth for each customer's needs.
The Internet protocol is a cheap, standardized way to enable two-way communication and simultaneously provide different data (e.g., TV-show files, email, Web browsing) to different customers. This supports DVR-like features for time shifting television: for example, to catch up on a TV show that was broadcast hours or days ago, or to replay the current TV show from its beginning. It also supports video on demand-browsing a catalog of videos (such as movies or television shows) which might be unrelated to the company's scheduled broadcasts.
Shifting From Cable to Streaming TV
Altough streaming TV technology has existed for more than a decade, slowly but surely the traditional cable and satellite TV providers are feeling the pressure. More and more people have "cut the cord" and more are expected to follow. Still, satellite dishes and antennas are not going to disappear overnight, that's for sure. For more insight on how the increasing streaming TV market is eating up the competition, please click here.
Streaming TV Technology: Some Advantages
In the early days of the Internet, if a webmaster wanted to add videos to his website he had to post it as a link. Web site visitors then had to download the file completely before playing it back. This all changed with streaming video. Content is served in a way that allows files to play almost immediately after the file begins to download. Special streaming media servers also allow viewers to jump forward and backward through a video file. Also, by allowing your visitors to download video files, especially copyrighted material, you will make it much easier for videos to be pirated. Your downloaded video files could be shared with others through file-sharing networks and other methods. Streaming video technology is harder to copy and prevents users from saving a copy to their computer if you don't want them to. While it's not perfect, it may give you better peace of mind about distributing your content online.
Streaming TV Technology: Some Disadvantages
Streaming videos require sufficient bandwidth to play, especially at higher quality. For example, Netflix's streaming service requires a Internet speed of at least 5 Mbps for HD quality, 7 Mbps for "Super HD" quality, and 12 Mbps for 3D streaming. While these speeds are generally available with most cable/DSL connections, those with slower connections may experience issues with playback and/or poor quality, since some services will reduce video quality in order to ensure uninterrupted playback.While the advantage of giving your users instant playback and yourself protection from content pirates might be attractive, these can also work against you as streaming video works only when there is an available Internet connection. If the viewer's Internet connection is cut during playback or they need to watch your content offline, they will be out of luck. In these cases consider offering the user an option to both stream and download the video file, and using copy protection to prevent piracy.