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Introduction to IPTV

IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) is a digital television service delivered using the Internet. Unlike traditional broadcast and cable TV, IPTV transmits television content, including live TV and video on demand (VOD), through packet-based internet technology. This approach enables more interactive and flexible multimedia services.

IPTV in Zoom Player

Zoom Player IPTV support covers two distinct features, a channel stream list and an electronic program guide.

The channel stream list is based on the ".M3U" playlist format which can be downloaded from your IPTV provider or through one of the free IPTV services (see below). The Electronic Program Guide (or EPG) is an ".XML" data file containing all the program information for the channels specified in the channel playlist file. The EPG XML file should be available through your IPTV provider or using one of the 3rd party EPG sites (see below).

When opening the IPTV interface for the very first time, Zoom Player will prompt you to download a free IPTV channel list from the Free-TV project on GitHub. Even if you choose not to, you can later on click a button in Zoom Player's advanced options dialog to add the Free-TV project channels.

Free IPTV Channels

There are two popular GitHub projects that maintain a list of publicly available IPTV channels:
1. Free-TV

Free Electronic Program Guide

Here are some more resources and information on free EPG:
2. EPGGuide.net
3. EPG.best

Xtream Codes

Xtream Codes support is not yet implemented in Zoom Player. Most service providers should provide links to Stream Playlists (M3U) and Program Guide (XML). Xtream Codes support may be added in a future version, make sure to keep up with the latest releases.

IPTV configuration

To configure IPTV in Zoom Player, first open the Advanced Options dialog to the "Playback / IPTV" page.

Local Stream Lists

Specify channel playlist files that reside on your PC or local network (".M3U" file extension).

Network Stream Lists

Specify channel stream lists URLs (links) that Zoom Player should download from the internet. You can specify an auto-update refresh rate (in days) for each link.

Local Electronic Program Guide

Specific EPG files that risde on your PC or local network (".XML" file extension).

Network Electronic Program Guide

Specify EPG stream lists URLs (links) that Zoom Player should download from the internet. You can specify an auto-update refresh rate (in days) for each link.

Number of description lines to use in the Electronic Program Guide

Controls the number of lines to use for the program description in the EPG side-panel.

Stream List Logo Size

Control the Channel Logo size on the channel list.

EPG Font Size

Controls the Electronic Program Guide's font size.

Stream List / Electronic Program Guide screen ratio

The IPTV interface (when the EPG side-panel is visible) is split into two panels, a Channel stream list and an Electronic Program Guide. This setting controls the on-screen width ratio between the two.

Play Program live stream offset (seconds)

When playing a program from an Archive channel, it often takes the IPTV server several seconds to create a play buffer. Specifying a program play time that falls on this buffer period can cause the stream to fail loading. By specifying a live stream offset of a few seconds, this issue can be avoided.

Archive Channel Symbol

This setting allows you to customize the icon that appears next to IPTV archive (VOD) channels.

Safe Mode

Enabling "Safe Mode" prevents editing favorites, hiding groups or time shifting channels, all features you don't want accidentally changed by inexperienced users sharing your PC.

IPTV window should remain on-top when entering fullscreen

Keeps the IPTV window as "Stay on top" when Zoom Player enters fullscreen mode.

Sort the Stream List (alphabetical order)

If enabled, the Channel Stream list is sorted in alphabetical order. Most channel lists are already sorted by group, region, genre or some other factor so enabling this setting is rarely required.

Ignore Grouping

Since some IPTV providers may list 1000's of channels, the IPTV provider will segment the channels into groups such as Region or Genre. By enabling this setting you will see all the channels in one long list without any grouping.

EPG filter using program description

Zoom Player allows you to quickly filter through the program listing in the EPG. By enabling this setting, both the program title and description is used to filter (otherwise just the program title is used).

Hide outdated EPG entries

Hides all EPG entries that are older than the current time.

Hide outdated archive channel EPG entries that are too old to stream

Archived IPTV channels provide a limited number of archival days, beyond these days older content can no longer be played. Enabling this setting hides old EPG entries that are no longer playable.

Increase Font Size along with Logo Size

Enabling this setting locks the Channel stream list font size to the Channel's Logo size (specified above).

Playing an IPTV channel clears the playlist

With this setting enabled, playing an IPTV channel will first clear the current playlist, otherwise the channel is added as the last playlist entry.

Merge multiple EPG files/links containing info on the same channel

If you are using multiple sources for your electronic program guide, these sources may contain duplicate information for some of the channels. By enabling this setting, Zoom Player tries to merge EPG data from multiple sources (which can slow down the initial load time).

Auto-Close IPTV Window after

Specify the number of seconds until the IPTV window auto-closes on inactivity.

EPG and Stream List colors

You can modify any color used in the channel stream list or EPG display.

Hidden Groups

This interface allows you to unhide groups previously hidden through the right-click menu or hide new groups by their Group title.

Logo Cache (Clear)

Zoom Player caches the IPTV channel's logo. Pressing the clear button wipes this cache and new logos will download the next time you browse through the channel list.

Using Zoom Player's IPTV interface

You can open Zoom Player's IPTV interface by pressing Ctrl+"G", right-clicking the video area and looking under the "open interface" sub-menu. Or pressing the "Custom Action" button (unless you changed its default behavior) which looks like a star-burst on the top-left section of Zoom Player's skin (assuming you're using the default skin).

The Stream List Panel

By default on the stream list, you will see a list of groups. Each group contains multiple channels. You can open and close a group by clicking it. Using the right-click menu on a group allows you to hide the group. Using the right-click menu on a channel allows you to add it to your favorites for quick-access later on.

When you add channels to your favorite list, they will appear as the first channels in a new "Favorites" group. The right-click menu on a favorite channel allows you re-order the list and to remove the channel from your favorites.

Use the "Filter Streams" box to filter channels based on their name and the "X" button to clear the filtering.

To play the channel live, double click the streaming channel's entry or select it and press "Play Stream".

The Electronic Program Guide Panel

When clicking on a channel's entry in the Stream List panel, Zoom Player tries to display the channel's program guide (if it exists, some channels may not have any information to display).

Right-clicking a program in the EPG displays more information and options for this program and channel. You can choose to create a notification which alerts you that the program is about or start or select an option to play the channel automatically right before the program starts. If the EPG is out of sync with the live broadcast, you can specify a time-shift value to correct the listing for this channel.

If the EPG is listing an archive channel, you may see the "Play Program" button enabled for some of the listed programs. Double clicking the program or clicking the "Play Program" button starts playback of the selected program.

The Small Buttons

Above the stream list panel, you will notice several small buttons:

Hide/Show the EPG

Toggle 50% IPTV window transparency

New EPG/Stream List downloaded, click to update.