The widespread of the Internet has changed the world. And TV is one of the areas that the Internet is changing dramatically. Because of the Internet, we now have IPTV and m3u playlists. We no longer need to watch our TV through old channels such as satellite and cable. IPTV and m3u allow us to stream whatever we want as long as we have access to the network. This gives us more freedom to customize our TV experience and to control our watching habits more; we no longer have to abide by what the broadcasters decide.
In this article, we will talk about IPTV and m3u playlists. To learn more about them, keep reading.
IPTV is probably something you’ve been using without realizing what it is. IPTV has been introduced to the market for a while now. And it’s replacing the old broadcasting methods. The driving force behind this development is the advent of the internet and its accessibility to everyone.
Here, we will explore the most relevant IPTV information that you need to know as a consumer.
A brief definition of IPTV
IPTV stands for Internet Protocol Television and as the name suggests, you get your delivered through the IP. This method of broadcasting differs from the old methods like satellite, cable, and radio in its efficiency and the extended options that it offers. With IPTV all you need is a compatible device such as a Smart TV, an Android Box, an Amazon Fire Stick, a PC, or a Smartphone… and a premium IPTV subscription service. And all of that is delivered through an m3u playlist.
What is an M3U link/File?
The abbreviation M3U stands for MP3 URL. This is a format that is mostly associated with the audio playlists but it has been expanded to be used for multimedia files and visual information. Multimedia players like VLC use M3U links/files to queue files for playback. This format is used with IPTV.
Shortly, M3U files contain the information necessary for IPTV to play what you want.
What are the features of IPTV that come with m3u?
IPTV users can access Live Broadcasting TV such as sports and live events just like regular TV. Only that quality is way better and with less latency, especially if the Internet is good.
Time-Shifted Media allows you to access the TV programs that you missed because you couldn’t watch it on time. You can go back and access the program and enjoy it.
Video on Demand also known as VOD is perhaps the most exciting feature in IPTV. With this feature, you can watch movies and TV series whenever you want. The best example of this service is Netflix, which is a multi-billion company that provides VOD for people with a monthly payment.
All of these can be accessed through m3u links or files.
How IPTV works?
IPTV, unlike the old methods of broadcasting TV, does things differently. The old methods of broadcasting TV use radio waves, which are beamed through the air, then they get captured by the antenna that you have on the roof of your home. The signal that was captured by the antenna gets converted into an electrical signal that the TV can read. Cable, on the other hand, doesn’t work the same way. With cable, they use fiber-optics instead of radio waves, but the main concept is the same with both antennas and cables.
The way IPTV does things will be discussed in more details below:
- Storage of content
Storage is a very important step and it’s the most essential feature of VOD. While live TV gets broadcasted as it’s recorded, other programs that are prerecorded need to be stored up until they are used. All of that needs huge amounts of digital space.
- Preparation of content
In the process of delivering IPTV, the content needs to be ready. First, the content has to be converted into a digital format that digital devices can read. However, that’s not a big of a deal nowadays, since almost all the content is recorded using a digital format. After that, the content needs to be compressed. To ensure that the program gets broadcasted smoothly, they compress it. After the process of compression ends, they add adds and encrypt the content. This is where m3u is needed.
- Streaming of content
The process of streaming from the internet is essentially receiving information from another computer using m3u files. The most important components in this process are servers. The servers are what allow such a thing as streaming videos to be a possible thing.
How do I use M3U Files?
Media players create playlists of your favorite songs, movies, or shows… They are then compiled into a single M3U playlist file.