Internet Protocol television (IPTV) is the delivery of television content over computer networks based on the logical Internet Protocol (IP), rather than through traditional terrestrial, satellite, and cable television formats. Unlike downloaded media, IPTV offers the ability to stream the source media continuously. As a result, a client media player can begin playing the content (such as a TV channel) almost immediately. This is known as streaming media.
Although IPTV uses the Internet protocol it is not limited to television media streamed from the Internet, which is known as Internet television. IPTV is widely deployed in subscriber-based telecommunications networks with high-speed access channels into end-user premises via set-top boxes or other customer-premises equipment, as well as IPTV deployment for media delivery around corporate and private networks. IPTV in the telecommunications arena is notable for its ongoing standardisation process (e.g., European Telecommunications Standards Institute).
IPTV services may be classified into three main groups: