The increase in demand for IPTV services has created a huge influx of service providers in the market. This has made it difficult for viewers to identify the best IPTV provider. This post will help you understand IPTV dynamics and enable you to make an informed decision on how to select an IPTV service provider.
In short, the following factors need to be evaluated when deciding on which IPTV provider to choose:
- Device Compatibility
- User Experience and Reputation
- Content Quality and Buffering
What is IPTV
IPTV refers to a system where television content is propagated to the viewers through the internet. It enables you to view live shows and also choose a program you would like to watch at your own convenient time.
IPTV vs Traditional Transmission modes
IPTV is the fastest-growing mode of television content transmission. Research has shown millions of viewers prefer it over traditional TV transmission formats. Traditional tv transmission modes include satellite, cable, and terrestrial transmissions.
- With IPTV you can view content on-demand. Cable TV or satellite the content is transmitted in real-time.
- Cable TV uses coaxial cable to transmit data and satellite uses radio waves. IPTV uses the internet for data transmission.
- IPTV gives an option to select a package with your favorite channels. Cable and satellite TV broadcasts tend to be less flexible.
- IPTV services are usually much cheaper than traditional TV providers.
What are the services provided by IPTV providers?
Before you decide on an IPTV provider it’s vital to know the services that you should expect from different service providers. IPTV service offers a number of interactive services.
These services include:
- Live Television: This service automatically broadcasts currently aired TV shows.
- TV on Demand: This service gives you an opportunity to view selected TV channels at your own convenience.
- Video on Demand: This service allows you to access videos from the server media library at any time.
How to select an IPTV provider
In this section, we will give an overview of what you should look for when making your pick for the best service provider that will meet your TV needs. Below are the most important considerations every viewer has to take into account when choosing an IPTV service provider.
Location is one of the most important factors when choosing your IPTV service provider. The location takes into account two aspects explained below;
The first aspect of location is your current area of residence and the likelihood to move to a new location. Note that some services are only available in specific regions. It is important to find out if the service is available in your current area of residence. If you are also likely to move to another region find out if the provider will be available in your new location. This is not applicable to all providers as they may have global access schemes.
Some IPTV service providers cover a large geographical area. These will be the best choice for you if your job or even a hobby requires you to travel from time to time.
The second aspect of location is where your provider streams from. Some providers will stream exclusively from the US, Canada or UK while others offer a number of international options. The streaming location has an effect on the time lapse of certain shows which you may want to view at specific times. This affects live television services and near video on demand television. For instance, looking at an episode of a TV show airing from the US and your provider is located in Europe. The show may appear with a delay of one or multiple delays.
Additionally, the distance between yourself and the service provider’s server will also affect the streaming performance.
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Most IPTV service providers use apps to stream content. A number of providers may stream only using a smart TV or PC with an internet connection. While some providers offer an option of streaming content concurrently on a number of different devices, it’s important to note that some only allow access using specific devices at a time.
With this in mind, you have to decide on how and when you want to access your content. Once you decide on your device of choice then you will have to narrow down your options to providers that meet your device needs.
Personally, I love a provider who offers an option to stream content on a number of devices concurrently. If you have a family then this is the best option. It enables everyone to access and watch their program of choice on their tablet or phone.
I believe everyone has their own preference for content that they love to watch. Before you make a decision on your next IPTV service provider it is important to go through the list of channels on offer. Ask yourself if they meet your entertainment needs.
A number of providers will offer different packages. Take time to check which package will work for you or your family. More often the best provider will offer a combination of channels that feature sports, TV shows news, and movies.
Some providers, however, give an option to further customize the packages to include only your favorite channels. This type of provider can be your best bet although their services may come at a higher cost.
User Experience and Subscriber Reputation
There is a reason that people go to stores and buy a specific brand of sneakers or clothing even though the store offers a number of options. Reputation is equally important when selecting an IPTV service provider.
Slow Streams or Buffering?
Are your streams loading too slow? Getting constant buffering? Not able to stream at full resolution? Check out these tips to improve your streaming experience:
- Use a modern Router that has advanced features like QoS to prioritize video content. Check out our recommended Routers for Streaming.
- If you are using a Wifi connection, be sure to check out our 9 easy steps to improve your Wifi for Streaming.
- Some Internet Service Providers throttle video streaming traffic without telling their customers. A VPN encrypts all your traffic and circumvents throttling, blocking and geographical restrictions.
The increase in the number of providers has not made it easier for users when selecting an IPTV service provider. It’s important to find out the popularity of a certain provider. Find out what others are saying about the service before making a decision. Ask for references from friends and check online for reviews from users. This helps you gauge the popularity of the provider and the reasons for their popularity.
Find out if the service provider provides after sale services. In this case, they may include support, timely response to requests and configuration help.
Usually, you will not go wrong with a popular service provider however take time to know the reason for their popularity.
Content quality and Buffering
Who doesn’t like to get value for their money? We both know the answer to that question. In this part, we look at the quality of the picture and sound.
Is the sound audible? Is the picture crisp clear? Is there an option for subtitles? Does the service provide a number of language options? These are questions you should ask yourself before subscribing. Most IPTV providers offer trial periods. These trials can be used to check if the channels of your choice are available and their quality of sound and picture.
You should also look at the download speed and the loading time of content from the provider’s server. Check if it takes a long time loading or if it is fast enough. As much as the speed and quality of the IPTV service are dependent on your internet speed, note that the providers usually state the recommended bandwidth for their services.
Always find out if the recommended bandwidth is matching your internet connection before subscribing. This practice will save you the buffering nightmare when enjoying your favorite TV shows.
Taking into account all the aforementioned factors, last but not least your budget now comes into play. Ask yourself if you are ready to part with the subscription fee charged by the provider. Subscription price plays a major role when making a choice of your IPTV provider with some offering different plans at different rates. The higher the price of the package, the more features and add-ons you should expect in return. Find out from the provider if you can trade off some of the features for a smaller subscription fee.
Proper research on prices of different plans offered by the service providers can gift you a nice package without having to break the bank. Normally, people will go for the cheapest but more often the quality may be compromised. Take your time and go through reviews and comparison websites. You may be lucky to get the best at the lowest possible price.
I hope you have learned all you need to know about IPTV and this post will help you select the best IPTV provider that will meet your personal needs and give you the best television experience for your budget. Remember it is always advisable to ask for trials before making the final decision. Happy Viewing!