The term IPTV first appeared in 1995 with the founding of Precept Software by Judith Estrin and Bill Carrico. Precept developed an Internet video product named IP/TV. IP/TV was an Mbone compatible Windows and Unix-based application that transmitted single and multi-source audio and video traffic, ranging from low to DVD quality, using both unicast and IP multicast Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) and Real time control protocol (RTCP). The software was written primarily by Steve Casner, Karl Auerbach, and Cha Chee Kuan. Precept was acquired by Cisco Systems in 1998. Cisco retains the IP/TV trademark.
Internet radio company AudioNet started the first continuous live webcasts with content from WFAA-TV in January 1998 and KCTU-LP on 10 January 1998.
Kingston Communications, a regional telecommunications operator in the UK, launched Kingston Interactive Television (KIT), an IPTV over digital subscriber line (DSL) service in September 1999. The operator added additional VoD service in October 2001 with Yes TV, a VoD content provider. Kingston was one of the first companies in the world to introduce InsightIPTV Subscription and IP VoD over ADSL as a commercial service. The service became the reference for various changes to UK Government regulations and policy on IPTV. In 2006, the KIT service was discontinued, subscribers having declined from a peak of 10,000 to 4,000.
In 1999, NBTel (now known as Bell Aliant) was the first to commercially deploy Internet protocol television over DSL in Canada using the Alcatel 7350 DSLAM and middleware created by iMagic TV (owned by NBTel’s parent company Bruncor). The service was marketed under the brand VibeVision in New Brunswick, and later expanded into Nova Scotia in early 2000 after the formation of Aliant. iMagic TV was later sold to Alcatel.
In 2002, Sasktel was the second in Canada to commercially deploy IPTV over DSL, using the Lucent Stinger DSL platform.
In 2005, SureWest Communications was the first North American company to offer high-definition television (HDTV) channels over an IPTV service.
In 2005, Bredbandsbolaget launched its IPTV service as the first service provider in Sweden. As of January 2009, they are not the biggest supplier any longer; TeliaSonera, who launched their service later now has more customers.
In 2007, TPG became the first internet service provider in Australia to launch IPTV. By 2010, iiNet and Telstra launched IPTV services in conjunction to internet plans.
In 2008, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) launched IPTV under the brand name of PTCL Smart TV in Pakistan. This service is available in 150 major cities of the country offering 140 live channels.
In 2010, CenturyLink – after acquiring Embarq (2009) and Qwest (2010) – entered five U.S. markets with an IPTV service called Prism. This was after successful test marketing in Florida.
In 2016, Korean Central Television (KCTV) introduced the set-top box called Manbang, reportedly providing video-on-demand services in North Korea via quasi-internet protocol television (IPTV). Manbang allows viewers to watch five different TV channels in real-time, and read find political information regarding the Supreme Leader and Juche ideology, and read articles from state-run news organizations.