It dates back to the mid-90s.Yeah! And it’s still going today. All those “free” channels you can get on SelectTV and similar providers? Well, you can get them yourself, without anything other than an Internet connection and a video player. It’s a lot like streaming music or your favorite radio station. Does your local TV station have a “live” section where you can stream their current program? That’s likely done with IPTV. WABC in New York City? Hit https://content.uplynk.com/channel/ext/72750b711f704e4a94b5cfe6dc99f5e1/wabc_24x7_news.m3u8 and watch it, live and free. WGN in Chicago? http://trn03.tulix.tv/teleup-mBm5MQ50rA/playlist.m3u8. CNN International UK? https://cnn-cnninternational-1-gb.samsung.wurl.com/manifest/playlist.m3u8. And that’s not all – movies, weather, shopping (QVC, HSN). And, yes, there are program guides, too, so you can find out what’s on, when.
A good collection of information is at https://github.com/iptv-org/awesome-iptv#channel-data-sources and a pretty concise list of stations at https://github.com/iptv-org/iptv.