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IPTV Set-Top Boxes: A Guide and Review

IPTV Set-Top Box

Last modified on June 2nd, 2023

In recent years IPTV set-top boxes have become gradually more popular because of their ability to offer users access to a massive range of TV channels and cinemas through the Internet. There are already several inexpensive set-top boxes available on the marketplace today, and even more so, at a preliminary glance, numerous of these options are equal. 

To pick a set-top box, you need to balance its features and content, and the right choice would be what you consider the best fit for your requirements. In this article, we will provide a complete guide to everything you need to know about these devices, from how they work to their features and advantages.

What is an IPTV set-top box? 

Since most TVs are not equipped for IPTV so far, you will need to invest in a set-top box to be capable of enjoying this service. An IPTV set-top box is a unit that translates info that you obtain from your Internet connection into a format that is readable by your TV. It usually has an external source of the signal and display output to your TV set.

How Do IPTV Boxes Work?

These Set-Top Boxes receive television signals from an internet connection, which are then decoded and shown on your television screen. This means you do not need a satellite or cable connection to access TV channels, making these devices more appropriate and flexible for many users. 

Why Is a Set-top Box Important?

The main purpose of an IPTV encoder is its capability to stream TV series and movies. A set-top box is considered the leading entry into a digital home for television services. It is a device that has progressed far beyond its historical role of being a large black box that took a seat above a TV set.

It is now considered a small multi-functional device for interactive TV applications. A universal phenomenon amongst service providers has been to upgrade their kit in such a way thus they could support the move from analog TV to digital TV. The high penetration in the market involving digital TV subscriptions is eventually what is driving the use of set-top boxes. If you read this article, you have already recognized this demand.

There are numerous benefits to using an IPTV box, including:


IPTV boxes are more appropriate than traditional cable or satellite TV, as they do not need any equipment or physical installation.


IPTV boxes offer more flexibility than old-style cable or satellite TV, as you can watch your favorite television shows and cinemas on your schedule.

Access to an extensive range of TV channels and movies

You can access television channels and cinemas worldwide, making it a great choice for individuals who enjoy international programs. 

What are the significant features of an IPTV set-top box? 

IPTV set-top box decodes the video signal; thus, it can be shown on your TV. A special chip inside the IPTV set-top box does the decoding procedure. This chip is named a graphics processing unit. The GPU decodes the video signal and then sends it to the TV. The television then shows the image on the screen. 


This feature might come in handy if you are not in the house when your desired TV show comes up. It allows you to switch between channels at your preferred time; thus, you can record that display on your recorder.  

Parental lock and content filter

Having a parental lock and content filter feature would benefit your kids. It allows you to filter what your kids can and cannot watch on your TV. The feature gives you control to block channels that are improper for them. 

Multi-purpose remote control

Several IPTV set-top boxes have remote controls. It allows you to control the basic functions of your TV, like switching between channels, turning it on and off, and adjusting volumes.

Electronic Program Guide

The EPG, or electronic program guide, offers viewers updated menus showing schedules for existing or upcoming programs on various television channels. The EPG feature of the IPTV set-top box makes lives easier by telling us when our favorite shows will be aired and when the repeats will be telecast. The EPG is one of the greatest gifts of contemporary digital TV.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Set-top Box

Since no single IPTV encoder offers it all, you have to decide what features matter the most when you select which IPTV middleware want to invest in. Some of the things to consider are:

Hard drive

If you want to record television shows, you will need a set-top with an in-built hard drive. Expect to select between 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB of storage space. As a guide, you could record up to 300 hours of SD shows; otherwise, about 125 hours of HD shows on a 500GB hard drive.

HD or SD

Most of the best IPTV set-top boxes can obtain HD channels, but not all can. Some only provide you access to SD quality. Several boxes go further and offer the maximum 4K video quality. But it is worth noting that this is not yet available on broadcast TV and is more related to your connected streaming services.

TV streaming services

Some set-top boxes let you stream online TV shows and movies without a different device, but you will require an internet connection. The services vary between boxes. Some only offer the major catch-up services, while others include subscription-based apps like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, or Disney+.

Internet connection

Most set-top boxes have an Ethernet port; thus, you can run a cable between your router and the box. If the router is in another room, you might need to trail cables through the house. The best set-top boxes have wifi to place them away from the router.

The Bottom Line

While it might seem overwhelming to consider everything, you need to consider it while choosing the best set-top box. Considering the simple yet effective tips above will make your buying and selling verdict much easier.

This article emphasizes the difficulties clients face when deciding on a set-top box. You will get a detailed guide and review of IPTV Set-Top Boxes.