With the new developments in IPTV, a new generation of television entertainment is coming to the market. IPTV or internet protocol television has revolutionized the television industry. It has offered a flexible means to deliver high-quality television programming by allowing subscribers to watch TV programs via a broadband Internet connection (IPTV). IPTV has enabled subscribers to watch IPTV channels on a TV set, on a computer, on a mobile phone, on an iPad, on their tablet computers, and many other IPTV-enabled devices. The use of IPTV technology has allowed for the expansion of high definition television viewing into a new audience base. The growth of IPTV has led to improved quality of channels and VODs.
A handful of cable operators in Albania are offering IPTV services. Three IPTV stations have launched IPTV services in Albania – KPN Albania, SKY Sports, and MTN Star. These IPTV stations offer a combination of high definition TV channels and on-demand pay-per-view movies and events.
Cable operators have been slow to adopt IPTV technology. The slow adoption is due to the fact that the benefits of IPTV are not yet fully recognized by operators. Currently, cable operators can offer IPTV using a digital subscriber line (DSL) which offers fixed-line connections at a higher bandwidth. However, these IPTV service providers cannot provide a complete solution because they have limited capacity to carry high definition channels and do not have the capacity to support HD channels. Many cable operators in Malta are exploring the option of bundling digital television services with IPTV services in the near future.
KPN Albania is one of the IPTV operators who are offering IPTV services in Albania. They are able to offer both standard Definition television services as well as high definition broadcasts through satellite dishes. Cable operators in the area also offer the Internet as an additional service along with standard-definition television service. In this way, cable operators are offering IPTV services through two separate lines. They are able to manage their IPTV infrastructure using software and are also able to offer IPTV services to customers who subscribe to their service. KPN is offering a wide range of IPTV packages including Digital Video Recording (DVR) and Digital Video Co-ordinate (DVC) – an important addition to the market as it enables cable operators to offer IPTV services in different areas.
The launch of MTN Star Digital TV has also marked the entry of Albania into the expanding IPTV market. MTN Star Digital TV is offering IPTV services with a digital home box – a set-top box that can be used to watch IPTV content via home computer or mobile device. This service allows users to watch IPTV on compatible computers or mobile devices. This digital TV service can be accessed with a minimal monthly subscription fee. The MTN Star Digital TV platform provides a wide selection of IPTV channels in Maltese, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, British and Thai languages. The service is supported by more than 200 popular IPTV websites that can be viewed online through free software or through software downloaded from the MTN website.
MTN Star Digital TV is also offering different IPTV packages based on different multimedia features such as high definition (HD), high-speed internet, 3D, digital music and news, sports, TV shows, and movie channels. There are various packages offered with different monthly prices. Some of them include premium IPTV services with free IPTV content, an option for DVRs with VCR-like capabilities, and special IPTV service options such as HD ready channels, multi-room recordings, streaming HD content, and PC synchronization. In addition, MTN offers special IPTV promos and discount offers such as gift cards, free subscriptions,s and IPTV bundles. These IPTV programs are developed by various international studios such as JVC, Sony, Philips, and several other studios.