Every year, IPTV services capture a larger market share from their competitors – cable and satellite television. It’s no wonder. The evolving broadband technology and wider Internet access make television more user-friendly and accessible.
The growing demand attracts new players to the market. There are so many operators that users struggle to find out which service is the best iptv one for them. This article isn’t going to recommend this or that operator because there are dozens of them in every city. Instead, we’ll give you seven questions, and by answering them, you can find the perfect IPTV service provider.
1. What channels are on IPTV?
This is the question to start your search with. Everyone has their content preferences. That’s why the first thing you should do before signing up is to check the list of channels.
Decide which genres it should include to meet the needs of your entire family. Please note that providers often include sports, animated cartoons, new movies, and other popular categories in a separate package you’ll have to pay extra for. Some companies allow setting up a custom package that includes only the channels you’re interested in. This might be the best solution for you.
2. What’s the iptv provider’s geography?
Geography is one of the most important factors when you select an IPTV provider. It includes three aspects, each to be considered before buying your subscription.
- Broadcasting area. The type of your content depends on it. If an iptv provider works exclusively within one city, it may offer more local channels. If it’s a large video service, you’ll be able to watch content from different countries and regions but have to get local news from another source.
- Your location. The second aspect follows from the first one. As many services are only available in certain regions, you want to consider your possible movements, including relocation, before buying a subscription. Find out whether the service is available while traveling or at a new address. If you travel frequently, it would be better to choose a provider working in a wide area.
- Provider’s location. Your provider’s location is no less important than the receiving point. If it works from another continent, the programs may be shifted in time. In other words, depending on the provider’s time zone, you may find that the prime time shows will be on late at night in your area. To avoid such inconveniences, we advise you to choose providers offering the time shift service.
And here’s one more but no less important aspect: the distance between you and the provider’s server affects the data transfer rate. You may have noticed that a file of the same size downloads faster if the server that stores it is located closer to you. To get to another point on the planet, the data passes through several intermediate servers. With each such transition, the data rate decreases. This isn’t critical to smaller files, but streaming is all about a huge amount of data.
3. What devices is the content available on?
So where and how would you like to watch TV?
Some video services offer their apps. Users can view content using Smart TV, a TV with a set-top box, a tablet, a smartphone, or a PC.
Other providers offer a multi-screen feature that enables you to play content on the majority of popular user devices. If you have a large family or don’t want to part with your favorite shows at work or when traveling, this is the best option for you.
Also, many providers offer connections through an IPTV set-top box. It can be your device or a popular device on the market. This solution is of interest to users who don’t have smart TVs and subscribers whose TVs don’t support certain functions. As a bonus for set-top boxes, operators can offer a list of additional features, such as access to other services, games, and other useful apps. See the SwitchOnShop catalog for popular models of modern set-top boxes and their specifications.
4. Can an iptv provider guarantee high-quality broadcasting?
Even an interesting program can be spoiled by a fuzzy picture and low-quality sound. To make sure technical aspects don’t affect your viewing experience, find out what maximum resolution your operator offers: HD, FullHD, or 4K.
Also, it’s important to consider the capabilities of your equipment.
If you have a small screen, it makes no sense to look for the 4K content – you simply won’t notice the difference between such videos and UHD format.
High-definition content requires a sufficient Internet connection speed. Providers often specify the recommended bandwidth for uninterrupted content streaming. The indicator below the specified figure will cause buffering.
It’s worth paying attention to the speed of downloading content from the provider’s server. If it’s not high enough, even the most advanced user equipment won’t help you avoid interference.
Check the audio quality. The audio track mustn’t be interrupted or distorted. You should be able to adjust the volume to a comfortable level. It’ll be an advantage if your provider offers audio tracks or subtitles in various languages.
5. How flexible is the operator’s pricing policy?
This is a broad question that we advise breaking down into several aspects.
- Subscription price. As a rule, operators offer various tariff plans depending on the content and functionality. This way, users can choose the most suitable and affordable plan.
- Payment methods. Make sure monthly payments are not a hassle by finding out whether your provider accepts payment in a convenient way for you. This can be cash, credit card payments, PayPal payments, and even cryptocurrencies in some countries.
- Refund & trial period. Many providers don’t have a return policy. This is due to the specifics of their work: watched hours can’t be returned like wrong-sized clothing.
However, many may offer refunds if you have been unable to watch TV for a while due to a breakdown on the operator’s side. Some services offer a refund option within a short period after signing up if users choose to unsubscribe.
An alternative to this can be a trial period, e.g., 1–2 weeks, during which users test the iptv service for free. If your provider offers this option, make sure the trial period is given exactly for the package that you plan to buy. Some providers may give you trial access to the premium package and—after receiving payment—switch you to the standard one. It’s better not to deal with such operators.
6. Does a provider have a customer support service?
Even the best iptv providers experience breakdowns. A key indicator of quality is their willingness to respond to such situations. Having a support team, especially 24/7, is a good sign.
The technical support service will help you not only when you experience any problems. Specialists will assist you in setting up new equipment or connecting new services.
7. What do other users say about IPTV service?
If you have carefully read the previous paragraphs of this article, you should have made a small list of several suitable providers by this time. You may even have picked a favorite one.
Do a little research before subscribing. Find out what others say about the iptv service by checking online reviews or asking your friends. This way, you’ll exclude scammers and services that employ competent marketers but don’t provide high-quality services.
If you have no one to consult with, select a popular provider. It’s impossible to remain a market leader by providing low-quality services.