You can not sit in front of the TV hoping for your favorite show to pop up. You probably have other stuff to do and a limited time for watching TV. Thats why broadcasters use a teletext form of informatory system called EPG to inform their viewers which channel shows what and on what specific time.
EPG stands for Electronic Program Guide. Each channel has a separate EPG which helps you figuring out what are the up-coming TV programs, when they start and how long will each show be plus a paragraph (usually) of the content description. On satellite, it is automatic and you can see it in a brief form below the channel name when you are just opening a new channel and in full details when you click the EPG button on the remote controller. However, with IPTV it is a bit different. It depends on whether the provider has equipped their service with EPG, are you going to use a third party source for it or if your player app supports EPG. For instance if you are running the IPTV service on PC using VLC player, there is no way -at least not at the moment- you can run or receive EPG on that.
In this article, you`ll learn how to understand and find EPG source for your IPTV service but installation guides for each device and player app will be provided on other articles.
An IPTV client may receive EPG from the following sources:
-The IPTV provider providing EPG
-Player apps with manual epg importing
-Using free or paid 3rd party sources
The IPTV provider providing EPG:
Well, what can be better than that: the IPTV player you are subscribed to also provides EPG with the service (yeah you`re gonna hear a BUT), but the thing is it wont always appear automatically on every device. So let`s break it down in details and see when a client gets it automatically and when it needs manual importing:
There are devices like MAG which if you are familiar with them, do get everything through a Stalker Portal Link including EPG data if provided by the provider. So whenever you open a stream, you can view full EPG of the service by clicking on the EPG button of the MAG box. We also have some example of apps and plugins like Xtream Enigma 2 plugin which the client installs it on an Enigma 2 box. It works same as MAG but a different interface and whenever you open a channel EPG is shown. Another example is Smart IPTV App which can be run on Samsung and LG smart tv`s. When you pair the m3u file with your TV MAC address on portal app, it will detect and sync the proper epg if the list provided by the source has all channel names titled properly. Don`t worry about this devices and apps names ;) all will be explained in other articles.
Player apps with manual epg importing:
Let`s say Perfect Player, a well known app which can be installed on android based platforms like smart tv`s, android boxes and so on. This app does not detect epg coming from a m3u file. It has a separate field in which the client needs to provide the EPG source link. here you have two choices:
Assuming the m3u link has epg embedded, you can extract a XMLTV format epg link from the m3u link. It`s simple, let`s say our m3u link is the one below:
This delivers video and audio so you can run a stream through it but by changing "get.php" to xmltv.php and removing "&type=m3u&output=ts" you`ll have yourself an EPG link just like this:
So this is how you make an EPG link out of a m3u link. Now you can place this link in EPG field of your player app to have it available on all channels.
Using free or paid 3rd party sources:
If your IPTV provider is not providing EPG, then you need to use 3rd party sources. There are quite a few sources for this, free and paid. You can ask google! he will confirm I`m telling the truth ;) once you get the desired epg link, you`ll simply put it in the proper field of your player app and it will start syncing. Also, There are specific softwares for channel grouping in desired bouquets and adding EPG. The most wanted one of them is called E Channelizer. Tutorials of this software will be provided on other articles.
That was a brief overview on EPG and how it can be received with an IPTV subscription.
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