The equipment required for IPTV:
When discussing the differences between IPTV and OTT, we mentioned that IPTV requires special equipment to function. Now, we are going to look at what that equipment exactly is.
In a nutshell, users need three pieces of equipment to enjoy IPTV:
A set top box:
Upon subscribing to a particular service, a viewer is given a set top box, shortened as STB, by their service provider. The STB is the equipment responsible for decoding and decrypting the TV and VOD streams coming to it through the private network.
It should be noted that set top boxes come in many shapes and sizes, from actual boxes you place next to your TV to little sticks you can just plug in. The bottom line that an STB is integral for your TV to be able to interpret the signal it is receiving from your service provider.
In order to be able to receive any content, you need to connect your set top box to the private network through the use of a router. Once connected, the STB will be able to send in requests and demands to the central servers.
A display terminal:
Simply put, you need a TV to be able to enjoy the IPTV programming delivered to you.
According to this set up, there are a few things you should notice. First of all, the set top box is the main mode of communication the viewer has with their service provider: The STB is sort of like the receiver used for satellite TV, a necessary tool for the viewer to be able to surf the channels.
Second of all, seeing as the set top box is given to you by your service provider, it comes preprogrammed and ready to have you tune in to your favorite channels after you set up your router.
Third of all, if you want to enjoy IPTV but don’t want the hassle of a set top box, you can use your computer instead. The thing is that your computer can decode the packets it receives over the internet, allowing you to watch your favorite programming on IPTV. But, your TV isn’t capable of performing the same feat, explaining the need for the set top box.