There are two basic ways in which the material for IPTV can be handled. It can be sent out as broadcast or "multicast" material to many users simultaneously or it can be used to provide video-on-demand where the material is sent to just one subscriber who has requested that particular item.
It is also necessary to ensure that bandwidth is used efficiently. To achieve this, the IPTV video is compressed and two main formats are used for this. One is MPEG-2, and the other is the newer MPEG-4 standard. Of these the MPEG-4 standard is being used increasingly in view of its superior performance.