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Note

We are happy to inform you that Catena is under construction. This summer the use of all the functionality of Catena will be available. Stay tuned for new versions.

Catena

Before we get to the main part let's distinguish two terms that are essential for the further understanding:

  • Streams — used within Flussonic and refers to the streams that are transferred throughout the Flussonic pipeline.
  • Channels — used within Catena and refers to the streams added into Catena from Flussonic Media Server. It is the content itself that your viewers watch.

Flussonic Catena is a platform (web control panel, IPTV middleware) that enables you to manage live streams, VOD assets, customers and resellers via a unified web interface. Catena is not a video streamer but it uses one or more Flussonic Media Servers as streamers.

Note. Flussonic Catena was intended to replace the Flussonic's IPTV plugin and add more functionality.

With Flussonic Catena you can:

  • Manage thousands of stream sources
  • Manage subscribers
  • Manage TV packages
  • Provide a web UI for playing TV content
  • Provide m3u playlists to your subscribers
  • Protect channels from restreaming
  • Manage a group of Flussonic streamers by using a unique Pipelines solution
  • Load balance channels among a group of servers
  • Load balance clients among Edge servers

The huge benefit Catena offers is that you can keep all channels' and users' data in a centralized database and don't have to worry about backing up each streamer. Also, with the Catena's single unified web interface you can conveniently manage your entire service.

On this page:

See also:

Installing Flussonic Catena

Catena requires PostgreSQL 10+ and Ubuntu 18.04 and running on http/80 and https/443 ports. PostgreSQL is installed automatically with Catena.

Note: Make sure that you are not running any web or streaming services on the server where you want to install Catena.

To install Flussonic Catena and PostgreSQL on Ubuntu 18.04, run this command in the Linux console (command line):

curl -sSf https://flussonic.com/public/install_catena.sh | sh

Now open the Catena UI at http://123.123.123.123/admin and specify the administrator password you'll use to log in.

Note: Replace 123.123.123.123 with the real IP address of your Catena server.

Catena first login

Learn more about system requirements, updating Catena, and resetting the password

Configuring Flussonic Catena

Flussonic Catena works with one or more Flussonic Media Servers as streamers. All connected streamers use Catena as the authorization backend and main source of truth concerning the configuration.

This is why it is important to serve Catena on an Internet server (VPS or dedicated server) with a static IP address and a real domain name. So the first configuration step is setting the external address of Flussonic Catena.

To change the Catena's external URL:

Go the Config tab of the admin UI and edit the URL.

It can be just the IP address of the server where you install Catena, like in http://123.123.123.123, but we strongly recommend using domain names like in http://mycatena.example.com.

Catena set hostname

If you have specified a valid fully qualified domain name, the message about the hostname will not appear, and your channels will be protected via the Catena database.

Now you can add servers, streams, pipelines, subscribers, and packages to Catena.

Let's Encrypt and Catena

The Let's Encrypt service automatically provides certificates for setting up HTTPS in automatic mode. Catena has built-in support for Let's Encrypt — no need to install extra packages and manually configure your web server.

To get a Let's Encrypt certificate:

Go the Config tab and click the Issue LetsEncrypt certificate button:

Catena config tab

If the certificate was obtained successfully, you will see a message about it:

Catena successful lets encrypt

To apply the changes, restart Catena via the command line:

service catena restart

After Catena has restarted, go to the Config tab in the web UI and change the protocol from http to https.

Importing the configuration from XC

We would be glad to help you import your sources and customers from any other IPTV panel or IPTV middleware. At the moment, we offer the HTTP API and XC Migration tool (MySQL database client). Learn more in Migrating data into Catena

For support purposes, we have a utility that mends the Catena database. If some error occured during import and the database was corrupted, you can reinitialize your Flussonic Catena instance by using the following commands:

/opt/catena/bin/setup reset
/opt/catena/bin/setup init

After running /opt/catena/bin/setup init you'll see a new password for the admin UI.

Customer Portal and M3U playlists

Your subscribers can log in to Customer Portal, where they can get M3U playlists, payment information, and play available TV channels in the browser.

The Customer Portal link is http://catena-ip/. Please don't confuse it with the admin UI link: http://catena-ip/admin.

Catena customer portal

Catena web player

Customers can manually reset playback tokens by clicking Reset token. This button can be useful if someone steals your link.

Channels accessibility

You can define different lists of channels or packages for different subscribers in Catena. For instance, one can access only IPTV, other - only channels related to gaming.

Provided you added Flussonic Media Servers into Catena, you will be able to assemble the package of channels and give an access to it to your subscribers.
You can do that without the need toassign the servers to a certain step in a pipeline as it was in the previous versions of Flussonic. Subscribers will only see a certain set of channels you provide them with. It will be shown in the Customer Portal.

How does it work?
What Catena does is receives the request from a subscriber and then searches for the desired channel from the range of servers added into it. If you have enabled the Autobalancer, then the request will be sent to the balancer first. It will redirect the subscriber to the least loaded server with this particular channel being active and provide him with the link for a playback.

Kodi support

Catena channels can be played with the Kodi player. DVR archive playback (Timeshift, Catchup) is supported. You can learn more about Kodi in Kodi PVR addon for IPTV support