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Web TV, IPTV, DVB-C and analogue cable TV: how to choose

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Web TV, IPTV, DVB-C and analogue cable TV: how to choose

Web TV, IPTV, DVB-C and analogue cable TV: how to choose




With the advent of modern technology for receiving and transmitting television signals, the question arises more and more often — how to understand which type of TV is right for you? In this article, we describe the main features of the technology, focus on the features important to the viewer and give advice on the choice.


Depending on the type of data transmitted, there are analogue, digital and IPTV television, and according to the method of broadcasting, TV can be terrestrial, cable and satellite.

Today, digital terrestrial television, has replaced analogue terrestrial television, which involved transmitting a signal from powerful TV towers to subscribers' receiving antennas. However, the number of channels is limited and you need both an antenna and an additional digital T2 set-top box.

Cable television involves transmitting a signal over coaxial cable or fibre optic cable. The television signals are transmitted to the receiving equipment of the cable operator, then they are encoded and delivered in digital or analogue form to the subscribers. The list of channels is limited to the number of frequencies (maximum 70: one frequency — one TV channel), but there are thematic and rating channels.

IPTV is a modern standard for interactive television over the Internet (IP). It is characterised by high picture resolution, the widest choice of programmes and interactivity. Typically, IPTV is connected via a router and a special player, also called a tuner, set-top box or STB (set-top box).

Web TV is a kind of interactive TV and allows you to watch television via the Internet. One of the main features of its work is that there is no need for a separate cable from the provider's equipment to the TV. For example, to use the Web TV service from Maxnet, you just need to download the «WEB TV» programme from Google Play or the App Store.

In this way you get high-quality Internet television within minutes, which you can use not only on your television, but also on other iOS- or Android-enabled devices. The service is also very easy to control, because you can do it directly on your smartphone.

To use the Web TV service, you must have a set-top box or TV set-top box with Android OS higher than version 5 (or iOS). If you have a Smart TV that supports the installation of apps from Google Play, you don't need to buy a set-top box additionally. Otherwise, you need an Android media player (set top box).

Satellite television is a technology in which a signal is delivered to a subscriber from a satellite orbiting the Earth in geostationary orbit. This type of broadcasting also requires a receiving antenna and a special receiver.

In order to watch digital television, you need to have a TV set with this option or to buy a special equipment — a tuner.

Terrestrial Cable IPTV Satellite Web TV
- analogue (-) - analogue (-) Digital (+)
- digital (+) - digital (+)

+ — additional equipment is required;
– — no additional equipment is required.

About advantages and disadvantages

Let's compare four technologies: analogue cable TV, digital cable (DVB-C), IPTV and Web TV.

Analogue cable TV

The most unpretentious format of television to install: you just need to bring the coaxial cable from the chosen provider into the flat and plug it into the TV. The technology has the following advantages over the now defunct terrestrial TV:

  • increased picture quality;
  • increased immunity to interference, no receiving problems due to high-rise buildings in the city;
  • increased set of channels (up to 70);
  • no additional equipment required; will work without converters even on older TV sets;
  • possibility to connect several TV screen points from one cable.

Disadvantages of the technology include:

  • the analogue signal form still suggests slight distortion and interference;
  • the picture quality may lag behind the «digital picture»;
  • limited range of channels, lack of additional thematic packages.

Digital cable (DVB-C) TV

A more modern format that requires a coaxial cable to be connected to the television, a tuner (if necessary) and an accessory module to decode the channels. The number of channels varies. Advantages of the technology include:

  • a large number of channels, the possibility to connect additional packages;
  • possibility to use in parallel with analogue CTV;
  • excellent quality of digital images;
  • no antennas and no interference.

DVB-C technology has been criticised for the following disadvantages:

  • in most cases, additional equipment is required;
  • if there are several televisions, equipment will be needed for each one;
  • lack of interactivity.


This technology is based on Internet protocol, but it shouldn’t be confused with Internet television. To connect, you need a network cable connected to your flat, a router and a receiver or Smart-TV-enabled TV. Main advantages:

  • the sharpest possible picture in HD format;
  • if you connect several televisions to a powerful router you don’t have to worry about degradation of the service quality;
  • interactivity of the technology (one can watch video on demand, exchange rates and weather);
  • a maximum of available channels.

There are also disadvantages:

  • if the Internet doesn’t work, the television doesn’t work either;
  • if your TV only has a composite input, you will have to buy expensive equipment to receive and process the signal.

In essence, IPTV and DVB-C differ only in the way they transmit, but their definitions and codecs (the devices that convert the signal) are the same.

Web TV

The main function of this television format is the ability to display web pages. With a Web TV box, your television becomes a web browser.

Compared to standard TV, online TV has the following advantages:

  • easy and inexpensive connection to the Internet;
  • possibility to connect several devices (computer, tablet etc.);
  • possibility to pause programmes and then resume or end them;
  • possibility to insert captured images from TV programmes with audio overlay in the electronic messages.

But Web TV has disadvantages:

  • the inability to access television without an Internet connection;
  • inability to download and start programmes and to use many other services not in Web format (for example Telnet, FTP);
  • inability to see most of the page without scrolling due to low definition.

The main benefits of any TV from an ISP are:

  • its own antenna field, which ensures reception of TV channels from all satellites with as many TV channels as possible;
  • professional adjustment of the antenna field in case of annual solar interference;
  • official cooperation of the provider with TV channels allows you to continue watching channels in case they are encoded.

What to look out for

First of all, the decision depends on the area in which you live. If you live in the countryside, you should definitely opt for satellite TV, which doesn’t depend on the coverage area of providers or over-the-air towers.

Residents of flats on the top floor of a high-rise can save money by opting for terrestrial broadcasting. For terrestrial digital broadcasting you still need additional equipment (receiver or CAM module). In this case the set of channels will be small.

If you live in an apartment or a private house within a city and don’t want to be limited to a couple of dozen over-the-air channels, you have to proceed from personal preferences. In case you already have a coaxial cable in your flat, it's better to choose DVB-C. If you want to save money on connection equipment you can choose cable analog TV.

Finally, if you don't have a TV cable and you don't want any extra wires in the walls, choose IPTV. All you need is a network cable and your provider's ability to provide you with the service. You get accurate colour reproduction, high definition and the possibility to watch anything in any language.

The last and often decisive factor in your choice is the cost of connection and the monthly fee. We don't compare prices. But we remind you that Maxnet is offering subscribers the Basic TV package, as well as an additional thematic packages of sports, entertainment and educational themes. We care about the quality and variety of content supplied, so that every subscriber can find something that is of interest to him.



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