M3u lists how they work

by | May 30, 2022 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

on the web we often hear about free M3u lists associated with IPTV but what exactly are these lists also called m3u strings?

M3U lists are collections of internet addresses (URLs) that allow you to watch streaming broadcasts. More precisely, they are text files that contain a sequence of channels / contents with different information relating to them. We speak of channels when the address leads to a live broadcast , of contents when the address leads to a film, a series or in any case to a Video On Demand (VOD).

Each group of channel / content information can contain:

  • EXTINF is the duration of the content, since it is streaming the value is -1 (without duration)
  • tvg-id is a reference index (not unique)
  • tvg-name is the name of the content
  • tvg-logo is the channel logo or movie / series poster
  • group-title is the group to which the content has been assigned
  • URL is the internet address from which to take the stream

An M3U list is a playlist , a long list of content addresses and information relating to them. M3U lists are therefore text files saved with the M3U extension, this extension is the one that, in operating systems, associates the list of contents with a multimedia player. The media player will show you the list of available contents by playing the one you have chosen directly from the URL.

Where to find M3U lists

Normally M3U files in their textual version are not found on the network but the addresses from which these files can be downloaded are found; consequently an IPTV M3U list will look like a URL. This URL is called a connection string when, in addition to the address, it also contains the service access credentials and other additional information.

The best known connection strings are those in the Xtream format , an Xtream connection string looks like this:


in fact it is a URL with additional parameters:

  • username
  • password
  • type
  • output

On the net there are many playlist files to copy and paste into our streaming devices to watch IPTV channels. The free ones can be searched on Google, found on more or less reliable sites. The paid ones you usually buy from a streaming content distribution service. Viral Tv is one of these and is among the best. The fact is that IPTV has become a jungle where it is difficult to navigate and it is therefore necessary to choose the most reliable ones.