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Doping of the lead telluride and related alloys with the group III impurities results in appearance of unique physical features of the material, such as persistent photoresponse, enhanced responsive quantum efficiency (up to 100 photoelectrons/incident photon), radiation hardness and many others. We review physical principles of operation of the photodetecting devices based on the group III-doped IV-VI including possibilities of fast quenching of the persistent photoresponse, construction of a focal-plane array, new readout technique, and others. Comparison of performance of the state of the art Ge(Ga) and Si(Sb) photodetectors with their lead telluride-based analogs shows that the responsivity of PbSnTe(In) photodetectors is by several orders of magnitude higher. High photoresponse is detected at the wavelength 116 micrometers in PbSnTe(In), and it is possible that the photoconductivity spectrum covers all the submillimeter wavelength range.