DTT channels may not be enough for some users who want to search for new content or channels that they cannot see due to the geographical area in which they are located. These may be regional channels from other communities or from other countries that are not available. Be that as it may, if you want to see more free channels on your TV, IPTV technology will interest you.
With a few simple steps to install what you need on your smartphone, Android TV, smart TV, or PC , you will have everything to start enjoying thousands of television channels with all kinds of content. From documentary channels, movies, cooking, to other series, for adults, for children, etc.
When you browse the net, there are many websites that try to attract you to their content with succulent titles or with supposed solutions to watch paid channels for free. Keep one thing in mind, if they give you something for free it is because it is not very legal, or even worse, some try to claim your attention to compromise the security of your computer when what you need is hosted on dubious websites with malware.
In this guide I will show you my experience as an IPTV user and the legal options you have to be able to enjoy it without illegal or illegal services, as well as using safe apps that do not pose threats to your system and that really work properly. I’m telling you from my own experience, since many of those that tell you that they are wonderful don’t work so well or you end up getting tired of some shortcomings.
What is IPTV?
IPTV is a name of a technology that comes from Internet Protocol TV , that is, a medium that allows you to watch television using the Internet as a medium to transmit the content. Instead of cable, web, or satellite TV, because in this case you don’t need antennas or decoders, just an Internet connection and an app to watch the channel.
If you are getting tired of always seeing the same channels that DTT offers you, a good improvement may be to use an IPTV service to have more channels available to you for free . The truth is that it sounds pretty good right?
Basically, this is achieved by creating a private and direct network between your connected device that you have chosen to watch the channels (smart TV, smartphone, tablet, PC…) and the operator that offers the channels. You only need a router or modem for the connection and nothing else.
What you should know is that while you are using IPTV, a percentage of the bandwidth of your line will be reserved, which is usually around 30% so that the image does not go jerky or the signal is cut off due to lack of data. This way you can have a buffer to load chunks and you can see them smoothly, as is the case with YouTube videos, which are loaded before playback.
For everything to work properly and you can use other connected devices without affecting too much, you need to have an ADSL or high-speed connection . In my personal case, I have 12MB speed WIMAX, which is not too high either, and IPTV works perfectly on my smart TV while I have the computer connected and my mobile. Obviously, the more bandwidth and speed you have, the better, especially if you are going to watch content in HD or higher.
In some paid IPTV providers you need a decoder, a small device connected to your network and to the TV that decodes the content so that you can watch those channels that cannot be accessed for free (at least legally).
The only component that would be missing to complete what is necessary for IPTV is the software . It will take care of sending the IP address of the client requesting the connection to establish the link and so you can start viewing the content.
Advantages, disadvantages and alternatives
Regarding the advantages and disadvantages , the main advantage is that you do not need anything to start enjoying free IPTV, just a connected device to view the content and an Internet connection.
But, obviously, you may run into some problems such as a channel being unwatchable (although it would be solved by updating your list), or sometimes being cut off because the connection is not adequate. This does not happen in other services such as OTT (Over The Top) , that is, in streaming such as HBO, Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc., since if your connection is good it should work correctly as long as the servers of the contracted services are good.
And since I have introduced OTT, I can say that there are alternatives to IPTV such as free or paid OTT such as the services that I have mentioned, and also paid IPTV such as Movistar TV, Vodafone TV, Orange TV, etc., and even other packs such as from other operators such as Sky, Rakuten TV, MiTele, A3Player, Loves TV, etc. Mostly streaming services for very specific content, such as series and movies.
Is it legit?
IPTV is totally legal , what is not legal is how IPTV is used by some users, especially those encouraged by those dubious websites that promise lists of paid channels for free. For example, many offer you lists such as free Movistar TV channels through IPTV. You should know that this is illegal, since it is a Movistar payment service and they are pirated servers.
So be careful with the content you see, because you could be committing a crime and not know it . Another of the things that seem legal within the IPTV world are those payment services that exist on the Internet. They are servers that make you pay amounts that vary depending on the service, but can be €70 or €90 a year, although there are also 3-month, 6-month packs, etc. In these cases, lists of thousands of channels are also offered, many of them paid. In those cases it is something illegal, although it could be considered illegal in many cases.
But luckily, you should know that there are lists of channels that broadcast free on other channels and that you could watch through a VPN from Spain or by capturing the signal through a satellite dish or decoder, but that are not pay channels in their respective countries. If those channels, if you catch them on IPTV, it will not be illegal. So you can get thousands and thousands of channels from all over the world, even the regional ones from Spain.
The best apps for IPTV
There are many apps for Android and iOS for IPTV, and also for your Rapsberry Pi and PC. One of the best known is Kodi, which you can install on various platforms to install addons or complements and be able to add your channel lists. You can also use apps like VLC Player to watch some channels by adding the link.
For mobile platforms
For mobile devices :
- Android – Personally, for Android mobiles and tablets, and Android TV Box as well, I like IPTV Extreme, which together with Kodi I consider to be the best option. A free app that you can install from Google Play and easily insert the list of channels to start watching the content. I have tried many others, but I did not like them as much, such as TriviMate IPTV Player, Perfect Player IPTV, GSE Smart IPTV, etc. I leave you the names in case you prefer to try different ones than the one I suggest. If you have opted for IPTV Extreme, follow these steps to add the channel list:
- Once installed, open the app.
- Then go to this website to add the link to your list.
- In the first section that appears on the web, put the MAC of your Android TV Box or your smartphone/tablet to identify it. Also put the link and click save.
- The list will already be added, restart the app and you will have the channels ready to watch.
- iOS – I don’t use this platform, but Kodi can be a good option. Although you can opt for Ottplayer, LiveNet TV, GSE Smart IPTV, etc.
On a smart TV
But if what you are looking for is to watch it on your smartTV :
- LG with WebOS: I have two TVs of this type and after installing and uninstalling several apps from the LG app store for IPTV that I saw on various websites and that they told you were wonderful, in the end I went back to the one I was using in a beginning, which is the one that convinces me the most. It is about Smart IPTV . It is not free, but it is worth paying the €5.49 it costs to have it forever. The steps to install and configure it are:
- Go to the app store of your LG Smart TV.
- Search Smart IPTV.
- Click on it and then on the Install button. Wait for it to install.
- Then you will have it on the menu. You can open it, but it remains to activate it.
- Look at the code or MAC of your TV that shows you on the screen. With him, go to the next step.
- From a connected PC or from your smartphone, enter this website .
- Now enter the MAC of your TV that will be the identifier. Then put an email and choose a payment method, such as credit card or PayPal to pay the €5.45 that is worth buying it.
- Once you pay, you can close the app on your TV and open it again and you will see that it is no longer the trial version.
- Now you can start adding the channel lists you want. In the case of Smart IPTV it is done online. You just have to go to this website and insert the .m3u file or the link from the list to add it. Put the MAC of your TV and press Send, confirm that you are not a robot with the Captcha and it will be ready.
- Once added, refresh your Smart IPTV app or close it and reopen it on your TV and you will have all your channels ready to watch.
- A small detail that they don’t tell you on other websites is that if you add a new list, the previous one will be deleted. Therefore, if you want to add several at the same time, use the + option on the web to enter the lists so that they are not overwritten, but are added all at once.
- Others : there are more brands, some based on Android or TizenOS (eg Samsung), there will be no problem locating this app, SSiPTV, or others that I have mentioned above for Android and installing it from the app store on your TV.
For PC you have Kodi, although there are others like VLC Player. I recommend Kodi, although VLC can also work. Both are cross-platform, so they will work for you whether you have macOS, Windows, or Linux. Whatever platform you are using Kodi on, you can follow these steps:
- Once Kodi is installed, open the app.
- Then go to Add-ons and find the one you want to use for IPTV. There are several, I recommend for example PVR IPTV.
- Instala PVR IPTV Simple Client.
- Now choose Client Settings you just installed.
- In the General tab of the PRV Client settings select URL.
- There paste the link of the list you want to add
Finally, here you will find what you need to know about the channel lists that will give life to IPTV apps.
Apart from the dubious quality of some lists, you also have to take into account that what some services do is offer paid channels and offer them through pirated servers for free. What others do is use paid content, capturing the signal directly from the air, recoding it and retransmitting it so that you can see it, charging money for it.
Those channels are going to have advertising in some cases, they are going to be cut, some channels are not going to load, others that are seen may stop doing so, or they are going to have poor quality. But the worst thing is not that, but the websites where they are hosted may have malware that will infect your system , code to mine cryptocurrencies using the hardware resources of your computer, etc.
Channel lists can come in various formats, such as m3u, w3u, m3u8, TXT files, and links. Thanks to them you will be able to access those channels or content that you can have with IPTV. But you can’t always trust it, since not all servers are secure. In addition, some illegal lists have dubious durability, they are cut over time and no longer work, many other channels will fail or have poor quality.
In fact, the channel lists that you will find on the Internet when you do a Google search will be 99% of the time illegal . With pay channels that do not broadcast openly. But if you don’t want to risk it, you can also see some that are legal when broadcasting channels that are seen openly in other countries.
I personally spent months searching the internet for lists that were legal , because I didn’t want to use the illegal ones. Bored I stopped doing it when I couldn’t find anything. And after a while I decided to resume the search. By chance I came across some lists that are on GitHub and that are from legal channels.
Therefore, so that you do not have to waste time, I will show you directly:
- International : some 8000 international channels classified by theme or by country. Channels of all kinds and from many countries for free. Some of movies, music, documentaries, children’s, sports, motor, adults, etc.
- National and regional : all DTT channels in Spain and regional and even regional channels that you cannot see in your community.
I hope now you are much clearer on how to use IPTV. Remember that I am not responsible if you use it illegally, that is at your own risk.