Internet Protocol television (IPTV)
is the delivery of television content over Internet Protocol (IP) networks. This is in contrast to
delivery through traditional terrestrial, satellite, and cable television formats. Unlike downloaded media, IPTV offers the ability to stream the source media continuously. As a result, a client media player can begin playing the content (such as a TV channel) almost immediately. This is known as streaming media.
(MP3 URL or Moving Picture Experts Group Audio Layer 3 Uniform Resource Locator in full) is a computer file format for a multimedia
playlist. One common use of the M3U file format is creating a single-entry playlist file pointing to a stream on the Internet. The created file provides easy access to that stream and is often used in downloads from a website, for emailing, and for listening to Internet radio.
Although originally designed for audio files, such as MP3, it is commonly used to point media players
to audio and video sources, including online sources. M3U was originally developed by Fraunhofer for use with their Winplay3 software, but numerous media players and software applications now support the format.
M3U playlists have been the cause of vulnerabilities in many music players such as VLC media player, iTunes, Winamp and many others.
IPTV services may be classified into three main groups:
- Live television and live media, with or without related interactivity;
- Time-shifted media: e.g. catch-up TV (replays a TV show that was broadcast hours or days ago), start-over TV (replays the current TV show from its beginning);
- Video on demand (VOD): browse and view items in a stored media catalogue.