IPTV technology : the benefits and the risks

In the last period, IPTV has returned to the honors of the national news. Recent news is in fact the discovery, by the Guard of Finance, of a clandestine network dedicated to the dissemination of copyrighted material, upon payment by subscribers to the service. There have been many cases recorded in recent years, also thanks to the spread of broadband. But what is IPTV really? In this special we will try to explain it, along with the risks that you face if you use it in the wrong way.

What is IPTV

Before the arrival of the internet, television signals were broadcast over the air, via cable and satellite. Each of these methods has its pros and cons, but the fact remains that with the spread of the network, the television and film industry immediately sniffed the deal, trying to exploit this means of communication to convey video content. Thus was born IPTV, which in the next few years could even become the favorite viewing channel, given the uncontrolled rise it is going through. IPTV stands for Internet Protocol Television, a broadcast standard that uses the network to send video streams. There are two broad categories of IPTV: those that broadcast live content and those that instead rely on video on demand. Examples of the former can be live channels broadcast by Top Dog IPTV (https://iptvsubscription.site/top-dog-iptv/)
or those of SKY, while the latter include services such as Netflix (https://www.netflix.com) , Mediaset Infinity or Sky On Demand. This premise is a must to make it clear that IPTV is not born as a tool in the hands of video pirates, but is actually perfectly legal and is used every day by millions of users.

Illegal IPTVs

When it comes to copyrighted video broadcasts it is impossible not to think about the phenomenon of piracy. In the 1980s and 1990s the illegal VHS market was thriving; with a relatively small expense, recent content could be accessed easily and easily. The phenomenon was widespread, but limited by the quantity and quality of pirated cassettes, of low level due to the analogue size of the recordings: in practice, copied cassettes purchased illegally often had video and audio problems, problems that with the advent of digital disappeared. Not only the media were pirated, but also the satellite signals. Just think that in the days of Tele + and Stream TV, an inexpensive PIC programmer was enough to bypass the protections of the two satellite services. The codes downloaded from the internet were programmed into the PICs and then inserted into a special card, which in turn was placed in place of the decoder smart card. In a few minutes you had access not only to the entire programming of Tele +, but also to that of the competitor Stream TV, including all Pay per View channels.

Today, piracy has moved to other shores. From the internet you can download movies and TV series in a much easier way than in the past, not to mention the websites that stream illegal content directly via the browser. Today’s protections of satellite and digital terrestrial pay TVs have improved compared to the past, but this has not prevented pirates from getting around the obstacle, using IPTV as a transmission protocol.

How illegal IPTVs work and what you risk using them

Illegal IPTVs attract users by aggregating all the best television offer available today. A subscriber to an illegal service often has access to the entire Italian and international pay schedule, from cinema to football matches, passing through TV series to pornography. As you can well understand, this is a very rich package, proposed with a net saving compared to the vision through common subscriptions. An illegal IPTV often offers the entire programming of SKY, including First Row, in addition to that of Mediaset Premium. Then we find films and TV series in streaming, not included in the packages of the two operators just mentioned, often including films still in programming in cinemas. On the video quality front, even if you don’t get to the levels of the original proposal, the compromise is often bearable, certainly a whole different story compared to the pirate VHS of the 80s.

Access to an illegal IPTV is subject to the presence of three elements: a software capable of reading the video stream, a file containing the list of channels and a server that streams the video stream (on whose operation there are no guarantees , even after paying the subscription). The software used by pirated IPTVs are all legal, and range from VLC to Android / iOS apps created specifically to manage video streams. Without the channel list, also called string, the software cannot connect to the streaming server, and it is on these strings that the business of modern video pirates is based. Retrieving one online is really simple, even free of charge. In this case, they are almost always test strings, which show the potential of the service but which remain active for limited periods of time, or offer a lower quality of vision than those for sale online. To have access to a 100% functioning channel list, you need to purchase a paid string, which is also quite simple to find. Very often it is word of mouth that brings interested parties into contact with the world of illegal IPTV. Just a friend who has subscribed to the service and that’s it. If, on the other hand, you do not know anyone who uses pirated IPTV, just a tour on the web to find dedicated portals or borderline forums, which connect the offer with the demand, obviously without any guarantee on the functioning of the service. Once in contact, after paying a sum that varies according to the length of the subscription, you get a complete and ready-to-use channel list. Obviously, untraceable systems are used for the payment, in order to limit problems in the event that pirates are discovered, which is certainly not remote.