What is Internet Protocol Television?

As technological advancement continues to change the way people live, the broadcasting industry is also evolving rapidly to adapt to these disruptive advances. One the technological advancements in the broadcasting world that emerged not too long ago is Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). This is a development that is threatening the dominance of satellite television services across the globe. License has also been acquired for its use in Nigeria and a number of service providers are utilizing this technology to engage audience members.

Internet Protocol television refers to the delivery of television content over Internet Protocol networks. This is in contrast to delivery through traditional terrestrial, satellite, and cable television formats. As different from downloaded media, IPTV provides the ability to stream the source media continuously. It gives opportunity for live streaming via the internet. Video On Demand (VOD) services or Over The Top (OTT) services adopt IPTV protocol format in reaching the audiences. You might be wondering what Internet Protocol is.

The term, Internet Protocol (IP), is just a set of rules governing the format of data sent over the Internet or other network. It refers to a set of rules, for routing and addressing packets of data so that they can travel across networks and arrive at the correct destination. Protocol here refers to the set of rules for relaying data across boundaries. The set of rules refer to the routing function that enables internetworking, and essentially establishes the Internet.

So IPTV bypasses the conventional routes such as terrestrial, satellite and cable formats to get messages across to the audience through Internet Protocol or Web Protocol networks. In Nigeria, some viewers now prefer to watch programmes directly from the internet instead of via satellite tv channels. Instead of going to sources that use wired cables, people can now view channels they like on the Internet through Internet Protocol format. They don’t only see the programmes as they appear but also watch past episodes. There are several Video On Demand (VOD) services in Nigeria adopting that adopt this technology to satisfy information needs of their audience. Such popular services as iRoko tv, Ibaka tv, Arewa 24, Pipul tv, and Netflix Nigeria provide IPTV services to numerous audience members in the country.

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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