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Internet television (or online television) is the digital distribution of television content, such as TV shows, via the public Internet (which also carries other types of data), as opposed to dedicated terrestrial television via an over the air aerial system, cable television, and/or satellite television systems. It is also sometimes called web television, though this phrase is also used to describe the genre of TV shows broadcast only online.
Internet television is a type of over-the-top content (OTT content). "Over-the-top" (OTT) is the delivery of audio, video, and other media over the Internet without the involvement of a multiple-system operator (such as a cable television provider) in the control or distribution of the content. It has several elements:
The public Internet, which is used for transmission from the streaming servers to the consumer end-user.
Not all receiver devices can access all content providers. Most have websites that allow viewing of content in a web browser, but sometimes this is not done due to digital rights management concerns or restrictions. While a web browser has access to any website, some consumers find it inconvenient to control and interact with content with a mouse and keyboard, inconvenient to connect a computer to their television, or confusing. Many providers have mobile software applications ("apps") dedicated to receive only their own content. Manufacturers of SmartTVs, boxes, sticks, and players must decide which providers to support, typically based either on popularity, common corporate ownership, or receiving payment from the provider.
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