IPTV streaming line extensions and formats

Nearly all of IPTV consumers know streaming lines. It is very well known by the phrase "M3U line", but streaming lines come into different formats and extensions.

An IPTV streaming line is the most commonly used method to install and stream IPTV on any device unlike others like Stalker Portal which is used on devices like MAG which is specific to MAG. But a M3U streaming line, for instance, can also be installed on MAG device as well as any other device. This shows how versatile streaming lines are. Another good thing is, if you get your IPTV subscription as in a streaming line format, you can install it on any device and only run one of them at a time if your IPTV provider limits the concurrent connection to only 1.

There are two things to understand first about streaming lines:

Formats: Are the video output formats of the IPTV feed which come in 3 forms: MPEGTS (Also known as .ts), HLS and RTMP.

Extensions: These are different forms in which a streaming line can be provided e.g "Simple M3U List", "M3U with Options", "Enigma 2 OE1.6 Autoscript" and so on. These basically are different form of installations which you can ask from a streaming line.


Understanding IPTV Video Formats:

MPEGTS or .ts: This is the most favorite extension. You might wanna know what this MPEGTS stands for. MPEG stands for Moving Picture Experts Group, a company founded in late 1980' and later joined Adobe, specialized in video content creation. TS, however, stands for Transport Stream. This format is capable of carrying audio, video and some form of metadata like EPG and subtitles. It also has some form of error correction feature which can protect the integrity of the video whenever the video signal is low.

HLS: Stands for HTTP Live Streaming. In this video format, the data is divided and send to client in 10 seconds chunks. The advantage of this is that it enables the broadcaster to enable multiple streaming qualities and the client can choose the right streaming bitrate according to their network bandwidth. The downside, however, is that it might cause a 10 to 30 seconds of delay so if Live Streaming is vital, this might not be the ideal option.

RTMP: It stands for Real Time Messaging Protocol which was invented in early 2000' and nowadays we know it as Flash. IPTV streaming sources who rip the original feed from the broadcaster using this format to relay the stream and then stream it to their clients through MPEGTS or HLS.


Now let's take a look at most commonly used Extensions:

Simple M3U: the line may look like this


The value after Type= shows it is a simple M3U line and the Output= is .TS which we spoke about above. It carries all the channels but without any categories or any metadata like Picons.


M3U with Options: This is also known as M3U_Plus and should look like this:


It carries streams as well as categories and Picons.


Enigma 2 OE1.6:


This will give you a "userbouquet.favourites.tv" file which you will place in /etc/enigma2 folder and after restarting your box the content of this file will appear right beside your satellite bouquets. The file type is enigma2 OE1.6 which is based on python 1.6. It is good for majority of enigma 2 boxes except for Dreambox.


Enigma 2 OE2.0:


Same as above but it is used for Dreambox.


Enigma 2 OE1.6 Autoscript:

wget -O /etc/enigma2/iptv.sh "http://providerdns.com:80/get.php?username=user1&password=pass1&type=enigma216_script&output=ts" && chmod 777 /etc/enigma2/iptv.sh && /etc/enigma2/iptv.sh

You need to connect to your box using SSH terminal, then paste and execute the autoscript command. The result will be the same as normal Enigma2 OE files above, adding IPTV channels right beside your satellite bouquet. The only difference is that it does the download and file placement automatically.


Enigma 2 OE2.0 Autoscript:

wget -O /etc/enigma2/iptv.sh "http://providerdns.com:80/get.php?username=user1&password=pass1&type=enigma22_script&output=ts" && chmod 777 /etc/enigma2/iptv.sh && /etc/enigma2/iptv.sh

Same as above but its used for Dreambox.


About the Enigma 2 installations, do keep in mind that having thousands of streams in one single folder will cause issues to your box as well ass making it hard for you to manage the list. So it is best to find another installation method for Enigma 2 device, use a different plugin which provides channels properly categorized or even better use an android device.