After the success of carrying voice over IP networks, the dream of an IP-based television is being turned into reality with the research and standardization efforts. Today, standardization organizations, researchers, as well as commercial companies are putting huge efforts to make Internet Protocol TeleVision (IPTV) successful. The achieved successes of IPTV are due to many factors, including mainly the advanced video coding techniques, the continuously increasing Internet bandwidth that end users have been enjoying and the mature wired and wireless networking protocols and architectures. Although IPTV still faces many challenges, many content providers as well as Internet Service Providers (ISPs) already started to deliver IPTV services to customers. Nevertheless, the way ahead is still long and more efforts are required. This paper surveys a breadth of research areas related to IPTV. It first discusses the general service architecture of IPTV services and diagnostics in these architectures. It then turns the attention to surveying encoding techniques that can serve as enablers for future IPTV especially Scalable Video Coding. Then, various IPTV distribution approaches including peer-to-peer and Content Distribution Networks are discussed. After that, major work on security and privacy concerns in IPTV is tackled. Finally, a discussion of the major work in wireless IPTV services is discussed with focus on LTE-based service offering. We believe such a survey will be very helpful for researchers who would like to educate themselves in the overall landscape of IPTV before digging deeper to address open research problems to bring IPTV closer to reality.
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