The Main Differences Between IPTV and OTT

We all know that IPTV is the king when it comes to online streaming, but there are also other options available. One of the main alternatives to IPTV technology is OTT.

In this article, we will go through what OTT means and whether it is a viable alternative to IPTV.

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First, let’s start with some basic definitions. As you may already know, IPTV is short for Internet Protocol Television.

It works through a closed or private connection and gives a user access to live streaming, VOD (Video on Demand), and scheduled shows. OTT is short for “Over The Top.” Content is delivered over a public network.

The term isn’t that common, but it’s likely that you have already used it. Examples of OTT content include Netflix and Youtube.



Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s look at how IPTV and OTT differ. They both deliver content for streaming, but this is done with differing technologies.

Additionally, the type of content on offer also tends to differ. The fact that OTT uses an open network structure means that anyone with an internet connection can access it.

If you want to watch something on Youtube, you simply visit the link. If you want to watch a show on Netflix or Hulu, you simply sign in from any device.

IPTV works differently since it has a private network, and for the best results, you usually need a subscription and a set-top box or Android box to get the best viewing experience.

OTT services usually have popular TV shows available to watch, but the live offering tends to be limited. IPTV is more similar to typical cable or satellite TV, and there is an array of live content to enjoy as well as on-demand content.

IPTV packages are usually specialised which means you can get some which focus on live sports whilst others focus on channels from a specific country.


Advantages And Disadvantages of OTT

As mentioned above, one of the key benefits of OTT is an easy setup. It is highly accessible to most people with a user-friendly interface. But, there can be outside factors that affect your viewing experience.

OTT streams can sometimes buffer and there can be lag. Additionally, ISPs are known to throttle OTTs, which makes them run slower during peak hours.

The last thing that anyone wants when watching a movie is for it to buffer every few seconds.


Advantages And Disadvantages of IPTV

The advantage of a private network is that IPTV usually has a higher video quality available. With reliable subscriptions, you can expect less lag and buffer.

The VOD content tends to be far newer and relevant than what is available on OTT. You can expect the hottest releases to end up on an IPTV subscription.

This is in addition to the array of fantastic live events that are unavailable on OTT.

The drawbacks are the extra devices required for the setup and the potential for a slowdown if many people are watching the same broadcast at once.


Which One Should I Choose?

When it comes to deciding between IPTV vs. OTT, you should realise that they achieve different goals. OTT has many fantastic applications such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, and many more.

Some of these have their own exclusive offerings. You can catch shows and movies which are originally produced by a specific service.

OTTs offer an easy viewing experience for many popular shows, and it is a good option for most people. However, IPTV gives you a true satellite TV experience that simply can’t be matched by OTT.

If you enjoy seeing specific shows not available on OTT and enjoy watching live sports without any buffering, then IPTV is the right choice.


Closing Thoughts

You will now have a clear understanding of the main differences between IPTV and OTT. They both serve different purposes, but IPTV reigns supreme for those that want the full live TV viewing experience.

It may cost a bit extra to get set up, but once that is done, it is just as easy to manage as a typical OTT subscription.

With either service, you are guaranteed to have a high quality streaming service that delivers videos on demand, TV shows and live TV.

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