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5KPlayer > Live Streaming > Plex IPTV
Written by Kaylee Wood | Last update: October 28, 2020 | 5 Mins Read
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you can combine Plex with IPTV? With the most popular media server out the market and the new way to watch live TV, you will have a lot freedom to enjoy VODs, time-shifted media and live TV channels on various platforms whenever you want. So, here is the detailed Plex IPTV guideline to help you set up IPTV on Plex to watch live broadcastings.
What is Plex? A Home for All Media
Plex is a media server that collects various media files including movies, TV shows, home videos, music and photos from all users. Simply put, after you setting up the Plex Media Server, you can upload your media files to Plex server and then access them on different devices (including smart phones, tablets devices, TVs, streaming devices, game consoles and personal computers) running the Plex app anywhere anytime. Also, you can share these media files with others.
What is IPTV?
IPTV, aka Internet Protocol television, is a way to deliver television contents over Internet Protocol (IP) networks instead of via the traditional cable, OTA or satellite way. Besides providing digital live television programs, IPTV also allows for watching network VODs and time-shifted media resources.
Does Plex Support IPTV?
Yes, it does but only if it is set up properly. When watching IPTV on Plex, you do not need a separate IPTV box. After ransacking the internet, I have found that there are two mainstream methods to set up Plex IPTV feature and below are the detailed explanations.
Caution: Because of the legality issues of IPTV that may cause lawsuit, this guide is only for information purpose if you intend to get IPTV services from unknown providers. This page also does not recommend any IPTV service that infringes copyright.
On July 23, 2020, Plex launched free live TV channels with 80+ programs that worldwide Plex users can get access to. Including free users and subscribers alike, any Plex visitor can get the most comprehensive and least expensive streaming TV services covering popular TV shows, movies, news and more coming soon. The channel lineup includes fubo Sports Network, Toon Goggles, Yahoo Finance, AFV Family, Cooking Panda, Reuters, etc, but none of these are big names. Besides the limited channel numbers, you can’t record anything either. For more advanced features like pausing and recording your favorite HD broadcast channels, you are suggested pay $4.99 USD/month plus a home tuner and antenna for a premium Plex.
After upgrading to Plex Pass by paying some fees plus a digital antenna and tuner connected to the Plex Media Server, you can get access to more local channels and major networks like NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, CW and PBS. At the same time, you can have more manual controls over your TV programs including capture and record live TV, cast live TV stream via Chromecast, Picture-in-Picture watch live TV, etc.
Step 1. Get a Plex Pass
Plex gives you three choices of getting Plex Pass including $4.99 USD/month, $39.99 USD/year and $119.99 USD/lifetime options. It may sacrifice your pocket but it is much cheaper than the cable way indeed.
Step 2. Install Your Hardware
Plex supports a wide variety of tuners and antennas which you can choose the one you prefer here. The officially suggested ones will cost you some, if you need free ones, xTeVe and TVTelly are the two most popular TV tuners at the moment that are free and open source.
Step 3. Set up Live TV & DVR
After the aforementioned two steps, you can start customizing your guide and adding IPTV to Plex.
• Plex official guide: https://support.plex.tv/articles/225877347-live-tv-dvr/
1. Go to Settings > Live TV & DVR in Plex Web App.
2. Click the DVR Setup button, which will open the wizard to guide you through the setup of a DVR.
* If it is the first time to open the wizard, your server will automatically search the network to try and find the compatible devices. If your DVR device isn't automatically detected, you can click the link to manually specify the device's location.
3. After that, select the DVR and you will see channels that have been found. You can also choose to Scan Channels manually here. In addition, you can choose whether the input is via Antenna or Cable as well as set your country.
4. Once you have the channels scanned and you continue on, you will need to specify your location so that an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) can be found for you. Select your language and input your postal code, then continue.
5. It will quickly search and find the best program guide to match your channels and location.
6. Once the appropriate program guide is located, you will see a mapping of the channels from your device alongside the channels from the program guide. You can uncheck a channel to not include it for your DVR as well as adjust which IPTV channel from the program guide maps to which channel from your DVR.
7. Once you save, your server will begin downloading data for your Program Guide. You can wait until it completes here or you can close the wizard and continue using your server as normal.
Now that you have set up DVR for Plex IPTV, you can feel free to browse your Program Guide and access different TV channels.• xTeVe setup guide: https://github.com/xteve-project/xTeVe-Documentation/blob/master/en/configuration.md
Kindly remind, Plex itself does not provide XMLTV data to users. If you need the EPG guide, you can prepare the XML EPG data yourself but it is not explicitly required.
The reward of this way is the ability to watch IPTV on Plex on every major media device including PS4 and Xbox One. Costing much lesser than that of the regular cable, you are allowed to watch live TV shows as many as possible around the world. Though the Plex Pass is cost-effective, the investment in additional hardware is hard to say. Besides, I have to say the setup process is quite complicated and time-consuming, let alone the IPTV legality issues in some cases.
Notice! Plex had ended the support for Plugins in September 2018. That decision was made may because the free live TV channels would conflict with Plex’s goal to stream ad-supported content and make paid channels available.
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