Computers & Electronics

Practical Guide to IPTV / Cut The Cord / What to buy / How to Start (Updated)

[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Jul 30, 2003
5055 posts
200 upvotes
Toronto

Practical Guide to IPTV / Cut The Cord / What to buy / How to Start (Updated)

Hi, there seems to be a lot of confusion about cutting the cord / IPTV / etc. I found out some information so I thought I will share. I am not involved in this whole industry in anyway (other than a regular end-user). I found out all this information from here and there and figure someone should put it out there in layman terms so people can understand and make better decisions.

What is IPtv (layman terms)? IPTV is a the new way to deliver digital media content to end-users. Anyone can setup an IPTV server and then broadcast your media (or channel) to multiple users. IPTV uses Stalker.


What is Stalker? Stalker is a middleware protocol that is used to deliver the content to you. To put it as an analogy, the website is like an IPTV channel - and just like website uses HTTP protocol, IPTV uses middlware protocol to transfer data/media to you.


Is IPTV available for me? Short answer maybe. IPTV require as stable internet connection AND good latency timing with the server. If your router or internet is overloaded your channels will freeze / skip often. If the server sending the IPTV signal to you is over-loaded then that will cause freeze / blank screen etc. as well. What I have gathered a normal channel uses about 0.5MB stream. What everyone recommends is that you should have 20mbps download connection (I have unlimited internet, so I didn't bother checking how many MB it takes with 1 hour of watching TV)

Is IPTV legal? IPTV is just a protocol, you can setup your own server and host whatever content you wish.

Is Dish Service through IPTV legal in Canada? I have no idea. Better call saul, he probably knows more :p

How do I get IPTV? you will need a "box" to handle the IPTV service. You will need to know what server URL is providing you the content (Servers usually authenticate through MAC address of the box).

What is MAC address? Any device that gets on to the internet has a name that is burnt onto it (that can't be changed) - Although KODI allows you to spoof it. It is called MAC address, sometime it has different name (Lexmark calls it UAA, apple something else). It’s in format xx:xx:xx:xx:xx


How do I get on to a server? Go on kijiji and look for IPTV providers. Most of them are resellers. You can expect to pay anywhere from $7 to $20 / month. The cheapest solutions aren't the best. Their prime channels freeze on prime hours (when everyone is watching). Different providers provide different channel line up. Some providers are better for certain ethnic channels. Some are better for other content. There are new ones popping everyday - you can ask you reseller, sometime they can give you couple of hour preview to a provider before you pay.


What is this "box"? A box can be virtually any media box (hardware). Linux based. Android Based. PC. There are tons and more coming as time progresses. Let me categorize them for you:
  • Android TV: Cost:$100 to $300. E.g. NVidia Shield. Xiaomi MiBox. Android TV is different than regular Android. Its more suited for remote use. You have most apps available from playstore.
  • Android OS (generic Chinese):Cost:$25 to $100. E.g. BeeLink, S95, Anything with S905/s905x/Realtek chipsets.
  • Android OS (Brand Names):Cost: $50 to $300. E.g.
  • Linux: MAG254 / MAG256. Cost: $100 to $150.
Once you have the Box (physical hardware). You have to worry about Software that will run IPTV. Following are the choices:

- Anything that runs newer KODI (15.2 and above) - that includes HTPC / PC / shield / nexus box / roku / fire stick/ etc.
- Download STB Emulator app from googleplay (or pay $7 for ad-free version). Android ONLY.
- Dedicated app on certain boxes (that cannot be ported to other box / system). This also includes MAG254 box or AVOV TvOnline boxes or Android box.
- *Some IPTV service have their own app, so doesn't matter what box do you have - as soon you enable it - Service Provider GUI will show up. Hence, you are using MAG254 box and you subscribe to them their interface will show up.

COMPARING INTERFACES:
- MAG254:


- Xiaomi Mi Box (international version) = SMART IPTV APP =


- AVOV / IPTV Service Provider GUI:


- BUZZ XPL 3000:



BEST of the BEST:
Edit: Its not as simple to pick THE BEST. It comes down to your needs.

- If you are looking for best IPTV experience *ONLY* - you should get Mag256 by Infomir. (Apparently there are lot of fake ones out there so careful you are getting it from someone who is not shady). Problem with Mag256 is that it can only do YouTube and IPTV channels. The "dish" experience on it is as good as actual satellite receiver. Changing multiple channels will be in real-time with no lag. The box doesn't crash / freeze. The firmware upgrades is just one click away. If you are getting something for older parents - this is the one to get. The infra-red remote is better than most android boxes I have tried so far.
(I have not tried Mag256 myself, only played a little bit with it and it seems as fast as Mag254. There used to be issues with MAg256 but they seem to be sorted out.)

MAg254 box runs Linux and only have youtube and vimeo on it. If you want Netflix etc, you have to look at other solutions.

- If simplicity is not a huge concern - I will say suggest:
1. Amazon FireTV 2nd / 3rd Gen: It supports Netflix in HD/4k resolution (only authorized devices can have HD / 4k mode). For IPTV, use the provider that provides APK or use stbEmu or PRO
2. Buzz 3000 XPL : This is Android 6.0 with powerful CPU allows most apps (netflix is still in "tablet" mode. Meaning no 4K). Dedicated IPTV App - can also use APK from appstore

Quality of Channels: Most of the ethnic channels are 380 / 480 range. If you have local Canadian channels (usually in HD) HD means 720p. Its extremely rare that you will run into 1080p "channel" on IPTV. All this is dependent on the server. E.g., you could have TBS as HD on one server but if you subscribe to another service they may have it on Low quality. I personally find that even low quality is generally very good (similar to free to air non-HD channels). Some services are starting to use H265 codec (half the bandwidth for same quality). If your box doesn't support H265 codec (e.g. FireStick Gen1, MAg254) Software decoding maybe an option that will still be workable.

Video-on-Demand: Virtually all servers provide "Video Club" option. They load latest torrent movies in there (not all but generally big titles). That you can watch with just a click. You can fwd / reverse as well. (There are no TV shows or PPV events etc - generally speaking). They are *NOT* streaming through torrents.

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What box do I recommend?
If you do need liveTV streams - MAg254 is best
If you need LiveTV and other options - Xiamo Mi Box (international version?) , Buzz XPL3000 should be your top choices. You compromise the least. You have newer OS so you can keep up with things.

What are these other content that I mentioned above? I think RFD policy doesn't allow me to say much about it - so you will just have to google it.


As mentioned above - I don't know it all. Feel free to ask and I can try to answer any Qs.

If you do want to fund me - feel free to send me money or press like below :)
Last edited by PrinceMS on Jan 29th, 2016 2:54 pm, edited 4 times in total.
For Sale:
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193 replies
Deal Addict
Sep 12, 2007
1227 posts
242 upvotes
FireTV: Can run KODI but it seems to crash a lot on latest firmware. I didn't troubleshoot or checked it a lot. I will not recommend this for IPTV

Crashed how? Kodi is super stable on my aFTV1, aFTV2, FTVs.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 26, 2011
2486 posts
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Toronto, ON
I have FireTV1 and have run KODI on it without issues (tried it a few days ago).

Any particular add-on giving you trouble?
Sr. Member
Jan 19, 2013
751 posts
67 upvotes
Surrey
Wow great post!! I always seen iptv, but actually looked into it today. You advised going on to kijiji and finding iptv providers, which are mostly resellers, is there an alternative?

Thanks
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 15, 2006
2942 posts
212 upvotes
Kingston
tonysoprano wrote:
Jan 31st, 2016 7:39 pm
Wow great post!! I always seen iptv, but actually looked into it today. You advised going on to kijiji and finding iptv providers, which are mostly resellers, is there an alternative?

Thanks
Go to Satfix.to and scroll to their IPTV section and you'll see all kinds of servers that ppl are offering for a fee
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Jul 30, 2003
5055 posts
200 upvotes
Toronto
vodka wrote:
Jan 29th, 2016 6:37 pm
Crashed how? Kodi is super stable on my aFTV1, aFTV2, FTVs.
What version are you running? I have 15.2 (latest stable)
mobifree wrote:
Jan 29th, 2016 7:48 pm
I have FireTV1 and have run KODI on it without issues (tried it a few days ago).

Any particular add-on giving you trouble?
I only have two plugins - even youtube crashes.
tonysoprano wrote:
Jan 31st, 2016 7:39 pm
Wow great post!! I always seen iptv, but actually looked into it today. You advised going on to kijiji and finding iptv providers, which are mostly resellers, is there an alternative?

Thanks
Goto any small mall e.g., the mall in woodbine has like millions of sellers :p and I met a guy who sells it in Kennedy Square mall (Brampton)
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Looking for: Sony Camera for video (for a good price)
Sr. Member
Apr 21, 2009
858 posts
284 upvotes
Toronto
Good guide.

I was able to buy a MAG254 box a few days ago on Kijiji, was quite a deal. Set it up with IPTV ($15/m) and it's working great.

I was wondering if it is possible to get the same IPTV service running on a Nexus 7. I tried a few emulators and their pretty crap and not compatible with the IPTV provider.

My parents use the Nexus 7 a lot as they can just take it anywhere with them as opposed to being stuck on the couch watching TV.

Edit: Just realized this thread is from a year ago. LOL.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
25875 posts
2879 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Now that it is a year old. It is a good time for an update on the best IPTV providers
Member
Nov 1, 2009
463 posts
61 upvotes
Might as well chime in.

Is MAG254 is still the go to box or has it been replace?
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
25875 posts
2879 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
hugs29 wrote:
Feb 1st, 2017 5:04 am
For some reason most iptv providers still recommend the 254 over the 256
Not sure why. From my research, the 256 has double the RAM, double the processor speed.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 25, 2014
2165 posts
318 upvotes
Mississauga
You can buy any android box and use stb-emu for any provider. No need to buy mag boxes.
Oh sada kehra bapu karda black nee, Jehra tere shahir (Toronto), Le lawan flat nee
Newbie
Jun 18, 2015
27 posts
2 upvotes
MAG boxes supports all features stalker middle ware based hence people recommend. Only with mag boxes you can watch recordings from server no other devices support it.

If the provider (voodo,ipguys,iptvexpress,gemtv,startv,mytv,bluesky) is stalker based back end you can watch on KODI/ROKU/MAG/AVOV/Android STB EMU
If the provider (iptvsubs) is based on xtreme code back end you can watch on KODI/ROKU/MAG/AVOV/Android STB EMU/VLC/Samung/LG TV using smartiptv app

don't go out buy any box, do a research try it on kodi (free) and then invest in correct device.
Newbie
Jan 31, 2017
1 posts
Ok I've got an account with iptvexpress . Using stbemu works ok

Would love to use on kodi if possible . Any tutorial? I've tried everything .

Also any way to stream from kodi or stbemu to my Xbox one via dlna ?

Thx in advance

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