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Streaming television is the
digital distribution Digital distribution (also referred to as content delivery, online distribution, or electronic software distribution (ESD), among others) is the delivery or distribution of digital media content (media), content such as Sound recording and repro ...
of
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Gre ...

television
content, such as
TV shows This is a list of television show Image:MDR Kripo live.jpg, upright=1.35, A live television show set and cameras A television show – or simply TV show – is any content produced for viewing on a television set which can be broadcast via Terres ...
, as
streaming media Streaming media is multimedia Multimedia is a form of communication that combines different such as , , , , or into a single interactive presentation, in contrast to traditional mass media which ...
delivered over the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
. Streaming TV stands in contrast to dedicated
terrestrial television Terrestrial television is a type of television broadcasting Broadcasting is the distributionDistribution may refer to: Mathematics *Distribution (mathematics) Distributions, also known as Schwartz distributions or generalized fun ...
delivered by over-the-air aerial systems,
cable television Cable television is a system of delivering television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Media (communication), medium used for transmitting moving images in grayscale, black-and-white or in color, ...
, and/or
satellite television Satellite television is a service that delivers television programming to viewers by relaying it from a communications satellite A communications satellite is an artificial satellite that relays and amplifies radio telecommunication signals v ...
systems. The use of streaming
online video Internet video (online video / cloud-based video) is the general field that deals with the transmission of digital video over the internet. Internet video exists in several formats, the most notable being MPEG-4 AVC, AVCHD, Flash Video, FLV, and MP ...
and streaming television is concentrated on streaming
video on demand Video on demand (VOD) is a media distribution system that allows users to access videos without a traditional video playback device and the constraints of a typical static broadcasting schedule. In the 20th century, broadcasting in the form of ...
platforms such as
Netflix Netflix, Inc. is an American subscription The subscription business model is a business model in which a customer In sales Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods sold in a given targeted time period. Th ...

Netflix
,
Tubi Tubi is an American over-the-top content platform and ad-supported streaming Streaming media is multimedia Multimedia is a form of communication that combines different content forms such as text, audio, images, animations, or video ...
, Crackle,
Hulu Hulu () (stylized in all lowercase) is an American subscription video on demand service fully controlled and majority-owned by The Walt Disney Company, with Comcast's NBCUniversal as an Equity (finance), equity stakeholder. The service was init ...

Hulu
,
Amazon Prime Video Amazon Prime Video, or simply Prime Video, is an American Video on demand#Subscription%20models, subscription video on-demand Over-the-top media service, over-the-top Streaming media, streaming and Renting, rental service of Amazon (company), A ...
,
HBO Max HBO Max is an American subscription-based video on demand service owned by AT&T's WarnerMedia, through its WarnerMedia Direct subsidiary. The service was launched in the United States on May 27, 2020, in Latin America and the Caribbean on Jun ...
,
Vudu Vudu is an American digital video Digital video is an electronic representation of moving visual images ( video) in the form of encoded digital data Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology an ...

Vudu
, Showmax,
Peacock Peafowl is a common name for three bird species in the genera Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the ...
,
Disney+ Disney+ (pronounced Disney Plus) is an American subscription video on-demand over-the-top streaming service owned and operated by the Media and Entertainment Distribution division of The Walt Disney Company. The service primarily distribute ...
,
Apple TV+ Apple TV+ is an advertisement, ad-free subscription video on demand streaming television service of Apple Inc. that debuted on November 1, 2019. It was announced during their list of Apple Inc. media events#Apple Special Event (March 25, 2019), ...
,
BET+ BET+ (pronounced "BET plus") is an Over-the-top media services, over-the-top Video on demand#Subscription models, SVOD service operated by Tyler Perry Studios and the BET Networks unit of ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks, a division of ViacomCBS ...
, and
Paramount+ Paramount+ is an American subscription video on-demand over-the-top streaming Streaming media is multimedia Multimedia is a form of communication that combines different content forms such as text, audio, images, animations, or video ...

Paramount+
.


History

Up until the 1990s, it was not thought possible that a
television programme Image:MDR Kripo live.jpg, upright=1.35, A live television show set and cameras A television show – or simply TV show – is any content produced for viewing on a television set which can be broadcast via Terrestrial television, over-the-air, sat ...
could be squeezed into the limited
telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Gr ...
bandwidth Bandwidth commonly refers to: * Bandwidth (signal processing) or ''analog bandwidth'', ''frequency bandwidth'', or ''radio bandwidth'', a measure of the width of a frequency range * Bandwidth (computing), the rate of data transfer, bit rate or thr ...
of a
copper Copper is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

copper
telephone cable Image:Phone pole3.jpg, Utility pole with electric lines (top) and telephone cables. A telephone line or telephone circuit (or just line or circuit industrywide) is a single-user telecommunication circuit, circuit on a telephone telecommunication ...

telephone cable
to provide a streaming service of acceptable quality, as the required bandwidth of a
digital television Digital television (DTV) is the transmission of television audiovisual Audiovisual (AV) is electronic media 200px, Graphical representations of electrical audio data. Electronic media uses either analog (red) or digital (blue) signal pr ...
signal was around 200
Mbit/s In telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over , radio, , or other systems. It has its origin in the desire of humans for communication over a distance greater than that fea ...
, which was 2,000 times greater than the bandwidth of a speech signal over a copper
telephone wire A telephone line or telephone circuit (or just line or circuit industrywide) is a single-user circuitCircuit may refer to: Science and technology Electrical engineering * Electrical circuit, a complete electrical network with a closed-l ...
. Streaming services were only made possible as a result of two major technological developments:MPEG
video compression In signal processing, data compression, source coding, or bit-rate reduction is the process of encoding information using fewer bits than the original representation. Any particular compression is either Lossy compression, lossy or Lossless comp ...
and
asymmetric digital subscriber line Asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) is a type of digital subscriber line Digital subscriber line (DSL; originally digital subscriber loop) is a family of technologies that are used to transmit digital data Digital usually refers to so ...
(ADSL)
data transmission Data transmission and data reception or, more broadly, data communication or digital communications is the transfer and reception of data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more techn ...

data transmission
. The mid-2000s were the beginning of television programs becoming available via the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
. The video-sharing site
YouTube YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform Social media are interactive technologies that allow the Content creation, creation or information sharing, sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, an ...

YouTube
was launched in early 2005, allowing users to share illegally posted television programs.Waterman, D., Sherman, R., & Ji, S. W. (2013). The economics of online television: Industry development, aggregation, and “TV Everywhere”. Telecommunications Policy, 37(9), 725-736. YouTube co-founder
Jawed Karim Jawed Karim ( bn, জাওয়েদ করিম; born October 28, 1979) is an American software engineer and Internet entrepreneur of Bangladeshi and German descent. He is a co-founder of YouTube and the first person to upload a video to ...

Jawed Karim
said the inspiration for YouTube first came from
Janet Jackson Janet Damita Jo Jackson (born May 16, 1966) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer. She is noted for her innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate stage shows. Her sound and choreog ...

Janet Jackson
's role in the 2004 Super Bowl incident, when her breast was exposed during her performance, and later from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Karim could not easily find video clips of either event online, which led to the idea of a video sharing site.
Apple An apple is an edible fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this fie ...
's
iTunes iTunes () is a media player, media library, Internet radio Internet radio (also web radio, net radio, streaming radio, e-radio, IP radio, online radio) is a digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or ...

iTunes
service also began offering select television programs and series in 2005, available for download after direct payment. A few years later, television networks and other independent services began creating sites where shows and programs could be streamed online.
Amazon Video#REDIRECT Amazon Prime Video Amazon Prime Video, or simply Prime Video, is an American Video on demand#Subscription%20models, subscription video on-demand Over-the-top media service, over-the-top Streaming media, streaming and Renting, rental se ...
began in the United States as Amazon Unbox in 2006, but did not launch worldwide until 2016.
Netflix Netflix, Inc. is an American subscription The subscription business model is a business model in which a customer In sales Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods sold in a given targeted time period. Th ...

Netflix
, a website originally created for DVD rentals and sales, began providing streaming content in 2007. In 2008
Hulu Hulu () (stylized in all lowercase) is an American subscription video on demand service fully controlled and majority-owned by The Walt Disney Company, with Comcast's NBCUniversal as an Equity (finance), equity stakeholder. The service was init ...

Hulu
, owned by NBC and Fox, was launched, followed by tv.com in 2009, owned by CBS. The first generation
Apple TV Apple TV is a digital media player A digital media player (also sometimes known as a streaming device or streaming box) is a type of consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic Electronic may refer ...

Apple TV
was released in 2007 and in 2008 the first generation
Roku Roku ( ) is a brand of hardware s manufactured by American company They offer access to content from various online services. The first Roku model, developed in collaboration with , was introduced in May 2008. Roku devices have been conside ...

Roku
streaming device was announced. Digital media players also began to become available to the public during this time. These digital media players have continued to be updated and new generations released. Smart TVs took over the television market after 2010 and continue to partner with new providers to bring streaming video to even more users. As of 2015, smart TVs are the only type of middle to high-end television being produced. Amazon's version of a digital media player,
Amazon Fire TV Amazon Fire TV (stylized as amazon fireTV) is a line of digital media player A digital media player (also sometimes known as a streaming device or streaming box) is a type of consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electron ...
, was not offered to the public until 2014. Access to television programming has evolved from computer and television access to include mobile devices such as
smartphones A smartphone is a portable device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can per ...

smartphones
and
tablet computers A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a mobile device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations auto ...
. Corresponding apps for mobile devices started to become available via app stores in 2008, but they grew in popularity in the 2010s with the rapid deployment of LTE
cellular network A cellular network or mobile network is a communication network A telecommunications network is a group of nodes In general, a node is a localized swelling (a "knot") or a point of intersection (a Vertex (graph theory), vertex). Node may re ...
. These
mobile apps A mobile application, also referred to as a mobile app or simply an app, is a computer program or software application designed to run on a mobile device such as a smartphone, phone, tablet computer, tablet, or smartwatch, watch. Mobile applicat ...
allow users to view provided
streaming media Streaming media is multimedia Multimedia is a form of communication that combines different such as , , , , or into a single interactive presentation, in contrast to traditional mass media which ...
on mobile devices which support them. In 2008, the
International Academy of Web Television The International Academy of Web Television (IAWTV) was founded in 2008 and is devoted to the advancement of the arts and sciences of streaming television Streaming television is the digital distribution Digital distribution (also referred t ...
, headquartered in Los Angeles, formed in order to organize and support television actors, authors, executives, and producers in
web series A web series (also known as a web show) is a series of scripted or non-scripted online videos Internet video (online video / cloud-based video) is the general field that deals with the transmission of digital video over the internet ...
and streaming television. The organization also administers the selection of winners for the
Streamy Awards The YouTube Streamy Awards, also known as the Streamy Awards or Streamys, are presented annually by Dick Clark Productions and Tubefilter to recognize and honor excellence in online video, including Television director, directing, acting, Televi ...
. In 2009, the
Los Angeles Web Series Festival The Los Angeles Web Series Festival, more commonly known as the LA Web Fest, is a web series A web series is a series of scripted or non-scripted online videos, generally in episodic form, released on the Internet The Internet (Capita ...
was founded. Several other festivals and award shows have been dedicated solely to web content, including the
Indie Series Awards The Indie Series Awards (formerly the Indie Soap Awards) is an annual event hosted by '' We Love Soaps'', based in Los Angeles County, California, Los Angeles, California, honoring the best in independently produced, Web series, scripted entertainm ...
and the
Vancouver Web Series Festival The Vancouver Web Series Festival, also known as the Vancouver Web Fest, is a web series Film festival, festival based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is known as the first ever Canadian festival dedicated solely to Web television, ent ...
. In 2013, in response to the shifting of the soap opera ''
All My Children ''All My Children'' (often shortened to ''AMC'') is an American television soap opera that aired on American Broadcasting Company, ABC from January 5, 1970, to September 23, 2011, and on The Online Network (TOLN) from April 29 to September 2, 20 ...
'' from broadcast to streaming television, a new category for "Fantastic web-only series" in the
Daytime Emmy Award The Daytime Emmy Award is an American accolade bestowed by the New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northe ...
s was created. Later that year, Netflix made history by earning the first
Primetime Emmy Award The Primetime Emmy Awards are bestowed by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS), also colloquially known as the Television Academy, is a professional honorary organization dedicated to th ...
nominations for a streaming television series, for ''
Arrested Development ''Arrested Development'' is an American television sitcom A sitcom, Clipping (morphology), clipping for situational comedy (situation comedy in the U.S.), is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who (mostly) carry over fro ...
'', ''
Hemlock Grove ''Hemlock Grove'' is a 2012 Horror fiction, Horror-thriller debut novel by American people, American author Brian McGreevy. The book was released on March 27, 2012 through Farrar, Straus and Giroux and is set in the fictional town of Hemlock Grove ...
'', and ''
House of Cards Six-story classic card castle A house of cards (also known as a card tower or a card castle) is a structure created by stacking playing cards on top of each other, often in the shape of a pyramid. "House of cards" is also an Expression (language), ...
'', at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards. Hulu earned the first Emmy win for Outstanding Drama Series, for ''
The Handmaid's Tale ''The Handmaid's Tale'' is a dystopian novel Utopian and dystopian fiction are genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over t ...
'' at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards. Traditional cable and satellite television providers began to offer services such as
Sling TV Sling TV is an American streaming television Streaming television is the digital distribution Digital distribution (also referred to as content delivery, online distribution, or electronic software distribution (ESD), among others) is the ...
, owned by Dish Network, which was unveiled in January 2015.
DirecTV DirecTV (trademarked as DIRECTV) is an American multichannel video programming distributorMultichannel television in the United States has been available since at least 1948. The United States The United States of America (USA), commonl ...

DirecTV
, another satellite television provider launched their own streaming service,
DirecTV Now AT&T TV is a family of streaming multichannel television services offered in the United States by AT&T AT&T Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate holding company, Delaware-registered but it is headquartered at Whitacre Tower i ...
, in 2016.
Sky The sky is the panorama obtained from observing the universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and energy. The Big Bang th ...
launched a similar streaming service in the UK called Now TV. In 2013,
streaming video Streaming media is multimedia Multimedia is a form of communication that combines different such as , , , , or into a single interactive presentation, in contrast to traditional mass media which ...
website
Netflix Netflix, Inc. is an American subscription The subscription business model is a business model in which a customer In sales Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods sold in a given targeted time period. Th ...

Netflix
earned the first
Primetime Emmy Award The Primetime Emmy Awards are bestowed by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS), also colloquially known as the Television Academy, is a professional honorary organization dedicated to th ...
nominations for original streaming television at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards. Three of its web series, ''
House of Cards Six-story classic card castle A house of cards (also known as a card tower or a card castle) is a structure created by stacking playing cards on top of each other, often in the shape of a pyramid. "House of cards" is also an Expression (language), ...
'', ''
Arrested Development ''Arrested Development'' is an American television sitcom A sitcom, Clipping (morphology), clipping for situational comedy (situation comedy in the U.S.), is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who (mostly) carry over fro ...
'', and ''
Hemlock Grove ''Hemlock Grove'' is a 2012 Horror fiction, Horror-thriller debut novel by American people, American author Brian McGreevy. The book was released on March 27, 2012 through Farrar, Straus and Giroux and is set in the fictional town of Hemlock Grove ...
'', earned nominations that year. On July 13, 2015, cable company
Comcast Comcast Corporation (formerly known as American Cable Systems and Comcast Holdings)Before the AT&T AT&T Inc. is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in mult ...
announced an
HBO Home Box Office (HBO) is an American pay television Pay television also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, refers to subscription-based television Tel ...
plus broadcast TV package at a price discounted from basic
broadband In telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over , radio, , or other systems. It has its origin in the desire of humans for communication over a distance greater than that fea ...
plus
basic cable Cable television Cable television is a system of delivering television programming to consumers via radio frequency (RF) signals transmitted through coaxial cables, or in more recent systems, light pulses through fibre-optic cables. This c ...
. In 2017, YouTube launched
YouTube TV YouTube TV is a streaming television Streaming television is the digital distribution Digital distribution (also referred to as content delivery, online distribution, or electronic software distribution (ESD), among others) is the delive ...
, a streaming service that allows users to watch live television programs from popular cable or network channels, and record shows to stream anywhere, anytime. As of 2017, 28% of US adults cite streaming services as their main means for watching television, and 61% of those ages 18 to 29 cite it as their main method. As of 2018, Netflix is the world's largest streaming TV network and also the world's largest Internet media and entertainment company with 117 million paid subscribers, and by revenue and market cap.


Technology

The
Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV The HbbTV logo Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) is both an industry standard (ETSI ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) is an independent, not-for-profit, standardization organization in the field of information and c ...
(HbbTV) consortium of industry companies (such as
SES SES, S.E.S., Ses and similar variants can refer to: Business and economics * Socioeconomic status * Scottish Economic Society, a learned society in Scotland * SES, callsign of the TV station SES/RTS (Mount Gambier, South Australia) * SES S.A., ...
,
Humax Humax (휴맥스) is a consumer electronics company. Founded in South Korea South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korea, Korean Peninsula and sharing a Kor ...
,
Philips Koninklijke Philips N.V. (in Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer t ...

Philips
, and ANT Software) is currently promoting and establishing an open European standard for hybrid set-top boxes for the reception of broadcast and broadband digital television and multimedia applications with a single-user interface. BBC iPlayer originally incorporated
peer-to-peer Peer-to-peer (P2P) computing or networking is a distributed application Distributed computing is a field of computer science that studies distributed systems. A ''distributed system'' is a system whose components are located on different co ...

peer-to-peer
streaming, moved towards centralized distribution for their video streaming services. BBC executive Anthony Rose cited network performance as an important factor in the decision, as well as consumers being unhappy with their own network bandwidth being used for transmitting content to other viewers. Samsung TV has also announced their plans to provide streaming options including 3D Video on Demand through their Explore 3D service.


Access control

Some streaming services incorporate
digital rights management Digital rights management (DRM) tools or technological protection measures (TPM) are a set of access control In the fields of physical security and information security, access control (AC) is the selective restriction of access to a place ...
. The
W3C The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the main international standards organization A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SSO) is an organization whose primary ...

W3C
made the controversial decision to adopt
Encrypted Media Extensions Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) is a W3C specification for providing a communication channel between web browsers and the Content Decryption Module (CDM) software which implements digital rights management (DRM). This allows the use of HTML5 vide ...
due in large part to motivations to provide
copy protection Copy protection, also known as content protection, copy prevention and copy restriction, describes measures to enforce copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that in ...
for streaming content.
Sky Go Sky Go is an online television service from Sky Group Sky Group Limited is a British media conglomerate, media and telecommunications conglomerate, which is a division of Comcast, and headquartered in London, England. It has operations in t ...

Sky Go
has software that is provided by
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation which produces Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Its best-know ...

Microsoft
to prevent content being copied. Additionally, BBC iPlayer makes use of a parental control system giving users the option to "lock" content, requiring a password to access it. The goal of these systems is to enable parents to keep children from viewing sexually themed, violent, or otherwise age-inappropriate material. Flagging systems can be used to warn a user that content may be certified or that it is intended for viewing post-
watershed Watershed is a hydrological term, which has been adopted in other fields in a more or less figurative sense. It may refer to: Hydrology * Drainage divide, the line that separates neighbouring drainage basins ** European watershed * Drainage basin, ...
. Honour systems are also used where users are asked for their dates of birth or age to verify if they are able to view certain content.


IPTV

IPTV Internet Protocol television (IPTV) is the delivery of television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Media (communication), medium used for transmitting moving images in grayscale, black-and-white ...

IPTV
delivers television content using signals based on the
Internet protocol The Internet Protocol (IP) is the network layer In the seven-layer OSI model The Open Systems Interconnection model (OSI model) is a conceptual model A conceptual model is a representation of a system, made of the composition of concept C ...
(IP), through the open, unmanaged Internet with the "last-mile" telecom company acting only as the
Internet service provider An Internet service provider (ISP) is an organization that provides a myriad of services for accessing, using, or participating in the Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that ...
(ISP). As described above, "Internet television" is "over-the-top technology" (OTT). Both IPTV and OTT use the Internet protocol over a
packet-switched network In telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence and the nature of ...
to transmit data, but IPTV operates in a closed system—a dedicated, managed network controlled by the local cable, satellite, telephone, or fiber-optic company. In its simplest form, IPTV simply replaces traditional circuit switched analog or
digital television Digital television (DTV) is the transmission of television audiovisual Audiovisual (AV) is electronic media 200px, Graphical representations of electrical audio data. Electronic media uses either analog (red) or digital (blue) signal pr ...
channels with digital channels which happen to use packet-switched transmission. In both the old and new systems, subscribers have
set-top box A set-top box (STB), also colloquially known as a cable box and historically television decoder, is an information appliance A Newton PDA An information appliance (IA) is an appliance that is designed to easily perform a specific electronic ...
es or other
customer-premises equipment In telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence and the nature of ...
that communicates directly over company-owned or dedicated leased lines with central-office servers. Packets never travel over the public Internet, so the television provider can guarantee enough local bandwidth for each customer's needs. The Internet protocol is a cheap, standardized way to enable two-way communication and simultaneously provide different data (e.g., TV-show files, email, Web browsing) to different customers. This supports DVR-like features for
time shifting In broadcasting, time shifting is the recording of programming to a storage medium to be viewed or listened to after the live broadcasting. Typically, this refers to TV programming but can also refer to radio shows via podcast A podcast is a ...
television: for example, to catch up on a TV show that was broadcast hours or days ago, or to replay the current TV show from its beginning. It also supports
video on demand Video on demand (VOD) is a media distribution system that allows users to access videos without a traditional video playback device and the constraints of a typical static broadcasting schedule. In the 20th century, broadcasting in the form of ...
—browsing a catalog of videos (such as movies or television shows) which might be unrelated to the company's scheduled broadcasts. IPTV has an ongoing standardization process (for example, at the
European Telecommunications Standards Institute ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) is an independent, not-for-profit, standardization Standardization or standardisation is the process of implementing and developing s based on the consensus of different parties that in ...
).


Streaming quality

Streaming quality is the quality of image and audio transmission from the servers of the distributor to the user's screen. High-definition video (720p+) and later standards require higher bandwidth and faster connection speeds than previous standards, because they carry higher spatial resolution image content. In addition, transmission packet loss and latency caused by network impairments and insufficient bandwidth degrade replay quality. Decoding errors may manifest themselves with video breakup and macro blocks. The generally accepted download rate for streaming high-definition (1080p) video encoded in
H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC), also referred to as H.264 or MPEG-4 MPEG-4 is a method of defining compression of audio and visual (AV) digital data. It was introduced in late 1998 and designated a standard for a group of audio and video codin ...
is 6000 kbit/s, whereas 4K Ultra HD requires upwards of 16,000 kbit/s. For users who do not have the bandwidth to stream HD/4K video or even SD video, most streaming platforms make use of an adaptive bitrate stream so that if the user's bandwidth suddenly drops, the platform will lower its streaming bitrate to compensate. Most modern television streaming platforms offer a wide range of both manual and automatic bitrate settings which are based on initial connection tests during the first few seconds of a video loading, and can be changed on the fly. This is valid for both Live and Catch-up content. Additionally, platforms can also offer content in standards such as HDR or Dolby Vision or at higher framerate, framerates which can require additional costs or subscription tiers to access.


Usage

Internet television is common in most US households as of the mid 2010s. About one in four new televisions being sold is now a smart TV. Within the same decade, rapid deployment of LTE
cellular network A cellular network or mobile network is a communication network A telecommunications network is a group of nodes In general, a node is a localized swelling (a "knot") or a point of intersection (a Vertex (graph theory), vertex). Node may re ...
and general availability of
smartphones A smartphone is a portable device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can per ...

smartphones
have increased popularity of the streaming services, and the corresponding apps on Mobile device, mobile devices. Considering the popularity of smart TVs, smartphones, and devices such as the Roku and Chromecast, much of the US public can watch television via the Internet. Internet-only channels are now established enough to feature some Emmy-nominated shows, such as
Netflix Netflix, Inc. is an American subscription The subscription business model is a business model in which a customer In sales Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods sold in a given targeted time period. Th ...

Netflix
's ''
House of Cards Six-story classic card castle A house of cards (also known as a card tower or a card castle) is a structure created by stacking playing cards on top of each other, often in the shape of a pyramid. "House of cards" is also an Expression (language), ...
''. Many networks also distribute their shows the next day to streaming providers such as
Hulu Hulu () (stylized in all lowercase) is an American subscription video on demand service fully controlled and majority-owned by The Walt Disney Company, with Comcast's NBCUniversal as an Equity (finance), equity stakeholder. The service was init ...

Hulu
Some networks may use a proprietary system, such as the BBC utilizes their iPlayer format. This has resulted in bandwidth demands increasing to the point of causing issues for some networks. It was reported in February 2014 that FIOS, Verizon is having issues coping with the demand placed on their network infrastructure. Until long-term bandwidth issues are worked out and regulation such at net neutrality Internet Televisions push to HDTV may start to hinder growth. Aereo was launched in March 2012 in New York City (and subsequently stopped from broadcasting in June 2014). It streamed network TV only to New York customers over the Internet. Broadcasters filed lawsuits against Aereo, because Aereo captured broadcast signals and streamed the content to Aereo's customers without paying broadcasters. In mid-July 2012, a federal judge sided with the Aereo start-up. Aereo planned to expand to every major metropolitan area by the end of 2013. The Supreme Court ruled against Aereo June 24, 2014. Some have noted that as opposed to broadcast television, with demographics of mostly "unspokenly straight" white viewers, cable, and with streaming services, dollars from subscription can "level the playing field," giving viewers from marginalized communities, and representation of their communities, "equal power."


Market competitors

Many providers of Internet television services exist—including conventional television stations that have taken advantage of the Internet as a way to continue showing television shows after they have been broadcast, often advertised as "on-demand" and "catch-up" services. Today, almost every major broadcaster around the world is operating an Internet television platform. Examples include the BBC, which introduced the BBC iPlayer on 25 June 2008 as an extension to its "RadioPlayer" and already existing streamed video-clip content, and Channel 4 that launched 4oD ("4 on Demand") (now All 4) in November 2006 allowing users to watch recently shown content. Most Internet television services allow users to view content free of charge; however, some content is for a fee. Since 2012, around 200 over-the-top (OTT) platforms providing streamed and downloadable content have emerged. Investment by
Netflix Netflix, Inc. is an American subscription The subscription business model is a business model in which a customer In sales Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods sold in a given targeted time period. Th ...

Netflix
in new original content for its OTT platform reached $13bn in 2018.


Broadcasting rights

Broadcasting rights (also called Streaming rights in this case) vary from country to country and even within provinces of countries. These rights govern the distribution of copyrighted content and media and allow the sole distribution of that content at any one time. An example of content only being aired in certain countries is BBC iPlayer. The BBC checks a user's IP address to make sure that only users located in the UK can stream content from the BBC. The BBC only allows free use of their product for users within the UK as those users have paid for a television license that funds part of the BBC. This IP address check is not foolproof as the user may be accessing the BBC website through a VPN or proxy server. Broadcasting rights can also be restricted to allowing a broadcaster rights to distribute that content for a limited time. Channel 4's online service All 4 can only stream shows created in the US by companies such as
HBO Home Box Office (HBO) is an American pay television Pay television also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, refers to subscription-based television Tel ...
for thirty days after they are aired on one of the Channel 4 group channels. This is to boost DVD sales for the companies who produce that media. Some companies pay very large amounts for broadcasting rights with sports and US sitcoms usually fetching the highest price from UK-based broadcasters. A trend among major content producers in North America is the use of the "TV Everywhere" system. Especially for live content, the TV Everywhere system restricts viewership of a video feed to select
Internet service provider An Internet service provider (ISP) is an organization that provides a myriad of services for accessing, using, or participating in the Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that ...
s, usually cable television companies that pay a retransmission consent or subscription fee to the content producer. This often has the negative effect of making the availability of content dependent upon the provider, with the consumer having little or no choice on whether they receive the product.


Profits and costs

With the advent of broadband Internet connections, multiple streaming providers have come onto the market in the last couple of years. The main providers are Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. Some of these providers such as Hulu advertise and charge a monthly fee. Other such as
Netflix Netflix, Inc. is an American subscription The subscription business model is a business model in which a customer In sales Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods sold in a given targeted time period. Th ...

Netflix
and Amazon charge users a monthly fee and have no commercials. Netflix is the largest provider; it currently has over 217 million members. The rise of internet TV has resulted in cable companies losing customers to a new kind of customer called "cord cutters". Cord-cutting, Cord cutters are consumers who are cancelling their cable TV or satellite TV subscriptions and choosing instead to streaming media, stream TV shows, movies and other content via the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
. Cord cutters are forming communities. With the increasing availability of video sharing websites (e.g.,
YouTube YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform Social media are interactive technologies that allow the Content creation, creation or information sharing, sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, an ...

YouTube
) and streaming services, there is an alternative to cable and satellite television subscriptions. Cord cutters tend to be younger people.


Overview of platforms and availability


Notes


See also

* Comparison of streaming media systems * Comparison of video hosting services * Content delivery network * Digital television * Interactive television * Internet radio *
IPTV Internet Protocol television (IPTV) is the delivery of television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Media (communication), medium used for transmitting moving images in grayscale, black-and-white ...

IPTV
* Home theatre PC * List of free television software * List of Internet television providers * List of streaming media systems * List of streaming media services * Live streaming world news * Multicast * P2PTV * Protection of Broadcasts and Broadcasting Organizations Treaty * Push technology * Smart TV * Software as a service * Television network * Video advertising * Web-to-TV * Media psychology * Webcast * ''WPIX, Inc. v. ivi, Inc.''


References


External links


IPTV future
''The Register'' 2006-05-05

''New York Times'' 2006-03-12 * [https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2008/sep/11/internet.socialnetworking TV's future stars will come from the web]''The Guardian'' 2008-09-11 {{DEFAULTSORT:Streaming television Digital television Film and video technology Internet broadcasting, Television Streaming television, Internet television channels Multimedia Streaming media systems Television technology Video hosting Video on demand Streaming Digital media New media