IPTV or Internet Television is an untraditional way of broadcasting television content. Instead of using antenna, fibre-optic cable and satellite dish, it uses Internet Protocol (IP) signals, or what we know as internet connection, to deliver television programs. In other words, IPTV is the internet TV, video streaming, online streaming, and live video streaming anyone can enjoy.
Video on Demand, or VOD, is the most common kind of IPTV. Examples of VOD are Netflix, iFlix, Hulu, etc. In this, viewers need to pay a subscription fee to access the television programs. Once subscribed, they can be able to watch and download programs they want to view. VODs can be accessed using TV with set-top box and computer and cellular phones with internet connection.
There is also a kind of IPTV on which viewers can access a program using web-based streaming video player. This kind of IPTV is very convenient and real time because it lets a viewer watch a scheduled program even without accessing a television. The last kind of IPTV is called live IPTV or IP simulcasting because it broadcasts live TV shows across the internet. This one is free and can be accessed by anyone who has a subscription account.
One example of illegal IPTV are android TV boxes that are fully loaded. More often, buying these boxes require you to pay a one-time subscription to the device manufacturer. Another example of IPTV is free but illegal. These are android apps not available on Google App Store, IPTV URL stream that can be accessed through VLC, and video streaming websites. You will know that an IPTV is illegal when the subscription fee is way cheaper than the others, if the quality of the content is gibberish, and if you see a lot of advertisements.
The question here is whether IPTV is legal or illegal. The difference between legal IPTV and illegal IPTV is that when a viewer paid for the content the streaming is considered legal. Whereas, when the viewer did not pay for the content but is able to watch and download a program, the stream is illegal. Therefore, watching and downloading free movies and sports streams is illegal. But then again we have a thing called copyright protected. It is not because you paid for the content you can freely broadcast it to public. Once you do it, you are violating the law. Much more if you redistribute a content you acquired from an illegal source.