What is IPTV, What are M3U Playlists and How to Set Them Up?
The internet is a magical place. It has shifted the manner in which we consume different media. No longer are we restricted to watching our favorite shows or listening to our favourite music on traditional channels such as television and the radio. Because of the internet, we can now stream our favorite TV shows, watch our favorite movies, or listen to our favorite songs on-demand.
When it comes to watching television shows, cable and satellite television used to be king. Not anymore. With the introduction of IPTV, we have experienced a huge shift in the way we consume television media.
What is IPTV?
Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) is a service that delivers television programming and other video content through a TCP/IP network. This is a direct contrast to traditional television programming, which is delivered through traditional cable and satellite signals. IPTV gives you the ability to continuously stream source media through an internet connection, which is more efficient than other traditional media.
What is an M3U File?
M3U stands for MP3 URL. It is a format mostly associated with audio playlists but has expanded to contain visual information and can be used for multimedia files. Multimedia players use M3U files to queue files for playback. It is one of the most widely-used formats on MP3 players for audio compilations and for live streaming, which is very popular in the IPTV industry.
An M3U file contains information on the media that you intend to add to your playlist. For IPTV services, you can add data on the channels you want to watch using a text file to edit and compile the file.
How do I Open M3U Files?
Multimedia, or even audio players, can create playlists of your favorite songs, movies, shows, or video clips using the application itself. They are then compiled into a single M3U playlist file, which can also be opened using any text editor because the information compiled in the file is text-based.
Each channel description will have two lines. The first line contains the name of the channel in the playlist and the second line will contain the direct channel address on the server. It should also contain the username and password of the user for proper identification as well as the channel ID for access. Your player will read both lines that correspond to each channel and each name will be displayed on the channel list. A request is sent to the intended server and the player will then send encrypted requests to the server. The received packets will be converted to images on your preferred device and the desired channel will then be displayed.