Industry Knowledge

The different between OTT and IPTV

IPTV is referred to as TV delivered through Internet. IPTV is simply the delivery of TV services through an Internet Protocol Suite over a Packet Switched Network, instead of traditional signal, cable or satellite networks.

In broadcasting, Over-The-Top content (OTT) is the delivery of audio, video, and other media over the Internet without the involvement of a multiple-system operator in the control or distribution of the content.

The Internet provider may be aware of the contents of the Internet Protocol packets but is not responsible for, nor able to control, the viewing abilities, copyrights, and/or other redistribution of the content.

The major difference between OTT & IPTV is that the OTT content is delivered over a public network (i.e. http) and IPTV is delivered over a private network (Something like UDP), which is generally the MSO’s own infrastructure. OTT here can be a broader term from a consumer/viewer’s point of view as they get to access a variety of content through an OTT service, aggregated on a single platform, along with the flexibility of accessing this content on-demand. IPTV too allows all models for broadcasting its content including Live TV, on-demand and pay-per-view but the problem can be that it is only a limited choice of content for viewers.

Below are some the key differences:

Comparison CategoryOTT ( Over the Top)IPTV ( Internet Protocol TV)
Content Delivery

Uses open internet,un-managed

network.Open ecosystem

Uses dedicated, managed

network.Walled garden 


Network Type

Delivered from content provider 

/ aggregator to the viewer using

open network. Usage of CDN

Closed, proprietary 

network,accessed via

a specific internet

service provider
Network Relationship

Without the need for intervening

carriage negotiations, or 

infrastructure investments

Services are delivered 

on optimized and custom 

high bandwidth network

Service Examples

Popular Video on Demand services

like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon 

LoveFilm, Hulu,Sky Go, BBC iPlayer 


IPTV services like 

U-Verse (AT&T),Prism

 TV (CenturyLink)

Delivery Protocol

Delivered over HTTP / TCP, a

connected transport protocol. 

Movement towards adaptive 

streaming technologies HLS

(Apple), Smooth Streaming 

(MS)and HDS (Adobe)

IPTV uses Transport Stream 

(TS)transmission technology.

Uses RTP (Real time protocol) over UDP, a connectionless protocol

Content Catalog

Widely used for freemium and

economical subscription VOD

Used primarily for premium

VOD and real time content

delivery like broadcast TV

Routing TopologyUnicast (HTTP), Simulated Multicast

Multicast. Initial unicast 

burst during channel change

leading to Multicast join

Service CategoryComplementary Service

Main service, similar to

Satellite/Cable TV services

Major Platform Players

OVP (Online Video Platforms)

like Kaltura,Brightcove, CDN 

Players like Akamai, L3,Limelight,

Cloud Service Providers like


TSP ( Telecom Service

Providers)and IPTV platform 

vendors -Microsoft 

Mediaroom ( now Ericsson),

ALU, Cisco
Key Benefits

Low cost, flexible model, Easy to 

manage and operate

High quality of service

and quality of experience.

Monitoring and control,

interactive services

SDMC smart stbs and turnkey solutions for your IPTV / OTT Solution

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Android IPTV OTT set-top boxes 

amlogic s905x tv box.png


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