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What Does HW (Hardware Decorder) Mean In IPTV Players

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If you have been using IPTV for a while then you may have seen on all IPTV streams an option for HW or SW but not of known which one is best to get the smoothest running IPTV stream.

We will explain what HW (Hardware Decoding) and SW (Software Decoding) is in IPTV players so you can be sure to have the best settings for your IPTV channels.

What Is A Video Decoder

A video decoder is a piece of software that sits on IPTV players and helps play streams by decoding the IPTV streams from transmission format to a format that can be easily read by many different IPTV-enabled devices.

Video decoders play a vital role in all types of streaming you watch as without them the content you stream would be harder to decode and work on fewer devices but video decoding helps convert all source transmissions much easier.

What Is The Difference Between HW (Hardware Decoding) And SW (Software Decoding)

The main difference between hardware decoding (HW) and software decoding (SW) is hardware decoding will use any dedicated hardware such as a GPU (graphics processing unit) which can be separate hardware on your IPTV device.

Whereas with software decoding the IPTV device will look to use the CPU (central processing unit) when it comes to decoding the IPTV streams.

So a quick breakdown of this is HW will use your GPU if your device has one and SW will use up the processing power of your CPU only.

What Does HW (Hardware Decoding) Mean In IPTV Players

Hardware Decoding in IPTV players is best reserved for decoding high-resolution heavy bandwidth type IPTV streams such as 4K IPTV streams or higher 1080p HD streams which have a higher framerate and refresh rate.

Using Hardware decoding (hardware-accelerated streaming) will use up more of your IPTV devices memory, power, and resources so you will need to make sure you are using a good-performance IPTV device, to begin with, such as the Nvidia Shield to get the best performance out of the HW setting.

What Does SW (Software Decoding) Mean 

Sofware Decoding (SW) is best to be used with smaller IPTV devices on your IPTV player. This can be lower gen Amazon Firesticks and devices where the is a limited amount of RAM and CPU performance so again older types of IPTV-enabled devices.

If most of your IPTV streams from your IPTV provider are in 720p we would recommend using SW or if your actual TV is only a 720p TV then we advise sticking to SW (software decoding) when using IPTV players.

Final Thoughts

If you use SW (software decoding) it can keep your IPTV device using fewer resources but it won’t load up IPTV channels as fast as HW (hardware decoding) will and HW will deal with the decoding faster giving you a little better overall IPTV experience when using any IPTV player.

We hope we cleared up the confusing topic of what does HW (hardware decoding) mean in IPTV players, this also confused some of our team for a while when using the leading IPTV players so it’s always best to know what setting you should have it on.

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