What is IPTV?
Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) delivers video and audio content over a managed computer network based on the Internet protocol (IP). This can include a private local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), or a managed service provider network.
Because managed networks can support multicast streaming, a single video source can be shared with all viewers on that same network making it fairly simple to managed bandwidth utilization. However, when a person is away from their desk and on the road, they may need to view content via OTT.
What is OTT?
Over-the-top content (OTT) is television or video transmitted as a standalone product via the Internet. OTT providers deliver video content, live or on-demand, over the internet, as opposed to a traditional cable or satellite TV service. OTT streaming is also used by organizations who want to share internal video content with employees on the road or to customers viewing from a desktop or mobile device.
Because the internet does not support multicast streaming, each OTT viewer needs to establish a unique connection in unicast mode with the server, commonly called an origin server, providing the video content. Because each OTT viewer may use a different type of device, smartphone, PC, or tablet, and experience fluctuating levels of network bandwidth, they will also need to use a video player supporting ABR (Adaptive Bit Rate) technology in order to dynamically switch between parallel streams with different levels of video quality. Newer web browsers that support HTML5 can also display OTT video.