Internet Protocol television (IPTV) is a system through which Internet television services are delivered using the architecture and networking methods of the Internet Protocol Suite over a packet-switched network infrastructure, e.g., the Internet and broadband Internet access networks, instead of being delivered through traditional radio frequency broadcast, satellite signal, and cable television (CATV) formats.
IPTV services may be classified into three main groups:
1) live television, with or without interactivity related to the current TV show;
2) time-shifted programming: 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);
3) video on demand (VOD): browse a catalog of videos, not related to TV programming.
IPTV is distinguished from general Internet-based or web-based multimedia services by its on-going standardization process (e.g., European Telecommunications Standards Institute) and preferential deployment scenarios in subscriber-based telecommunications networks with high-speed access channels into end-user premises via set-top boxes or other customer-premises equipment.
The number of global IPTV subscribers is expected to grow from 28 million in 2009 to 110 million in 2014. Europe and Asia are the leading territories in terms of the over-all number of subscribers. But in terms of service revenues, Europe and North America generate a larger share of global revenue, due to very low average revenue per user (ARPU) in China and India, the fastest growing (and ultimately, the biggest market) is Asia.
Although IPTV is in the very nascent stages, the future of IPTV in India is promising. Check out the following view point .
Future of IPTV in India a detailed analysis. ( Good read )