In both cases, the consumer requests and receives content via Internet Protocol. The primary difference between IPTV and OTT streaming is that OTTstreamed content comes over the same open, unmanaged network as your email and web browsing while IPTV uses a private, dedicated network to deliver more consistent service.
Internet networks include:
• OTT Streaming
Internet networks differ from cable and satellite by offering content through the same client-server model that delivers your email, websites, and other Internet-based services. (IP stands for Internet Protocol, the “language” used to transfer packets of data between computers attached to the Internet network.)
In both cases, the consumer requests and receives content via Internet Protocol. The primary difference between IPTV and OTT streaming is that OTT streamed content comes over the same open, unmanaged network as your email and web browsing while IPTV uses a private, dedicated network to deliver more consistent service.
Unlike cable or satellite where content is broadcast in real time, IPTV and OTT streaming services store programming on servers (whether that’s Netflix or an IPTV subscription like U-Verse), allowing users to request the content over the Internet at any time.
• Price: Monthly prices as lows as $5, with much free content on YouTube and Hulu.
• Installation: All you need is a laptop or phone. (Having a streaming TV box like the Roku or Apple TV enhances the experience, though.)
• Programming: Wide choice of providers, with Netflix and others now offering original programming similar to cable.
• Quality: Subject to Internet speed, with “buffering” and other wait-times common for slow connections and peak-hour viewing.
• Programming: While most shows can be found via major streaming services, some are cable-only and they generally don’t reach OTT streaming until the end of the season.
• Data caps: Many ISPs now have limits on how much data you can consume, putting a limit on how much you can watch each month. (Yes, even with “unlimited” plans.)
• Quality: High-quality video with fewer interruptions than OTT streaming due to privately managed content delivery network.
• Programming: View-on-demand and get shows date of release.
• Installation: requires no special installation aside from a set-top box, assuming you already have broadband Internet.
• Price: Sold as a subscription at comparable rates to cable TV.
• Quality: Since it comes over the Internet, it can get slowed down during peak hours.