Flussonic Media Server documentation

How do I create my own IPTV channel (playlist)?

Provider's custom channels, or playlists Anchor Anchor x2

With Flussonic, IPTV operators can create custom playlists on the server and distribute video files and streams through these playlists.

For example, you can create an information channel (info channel) – a special channel where you distribute important information to your subscribers and advertise new services. Or it can be a channel that broadcasts movies.

Technically, a custom channel is a playlist that contains links to sources (such as files and streams) that are located on Flussonic Media Server. A custom playlist can run on a schedule and it plays the sources on a loop.

We will show an example of a channel that broadcasts pre-prepared video files.

To start broadcasting, you need to:

  • prepare content (video files)
  • create a playlist for the broadcast
  • create a stream that will broadcast the playlist.

Then, you can use additional features:

  • start the video on a schedule
  • add a logo.

Playlist creation Anchor Anchor x2

We'll use files in our playlist. However, adding streams to a playlist is quite similar, refer to Server-Side Playlists.

Important. Files and other sources must be identical in their characteristics: codecs, resolution, and bitrate.

Step 1. Set up a file storage location

1) Specify the path to a directoy with video files (a VOD location).

The default directory for files is /opt/flussonic/priv, and it is already present in the configuration file /etc/flussonic/flussonic.conf.

Example of the default path:

# VOD locations:
file vod {
  path /opt/flussonic/priv;
}

or:

# VOD locations:
file vod {
  path priv;
}

We'll use the directory that is specified in vod. If you want to use another directory, you can create another VOD location or just change the path in vod.

Alternatively, you can use the Flussonic UI to specify a storage for playlist's files.

2) Place the files in the specified directory. In the example, we'll use bunny.mp4 and beepbop.mp4, which already exist in /opt/flussonic/priv/.

Step 2. Create a playlist

Playlist is a text file with a list of links to sources. To edit the playlist, we'll use nano, a text editor for Linux systems.

1) To install nano, run these commands:

apt-get update

and then

apt-get install nano

2) Create a file playlist.txt in the directory /opt/flussonic/priv/ by using this command:

nano /opt/flussonic/priv/playlist.txt

The file immediately opens in the editor. Now add links to video files that we are going to broadcast:

vod/bunny.mp4
vod/beepbop.mp4

To exit and save the changes, press CTRL + X and agree to save the changes by pressing y.

Step 3. Create a stream

1) Add to the configuration file/etc/flussonic/flussonic.conf the directive stream NAME:

stream infochannel {
  url playlist:///opt/flussonic/priv/playlist.txt;
}

Alternatively, you can create a static stream in the UI: Media > click add next to Streams. Specify the stream name (infochannel) and URL (playlist:///opt/flussonic/priv/playlist.txt).

For information about static streams, see Live streaming .

2) Reload the server configuration by running this command in the Linux command line:

service flussonic reload

A new stream will appear in the list of streams in the web interface (Media > Streams) and it will play the specified files on a loop. You can play it and check how it works.

Adding a logo and setting up the schedule Anchor Anchor x2

Logo

Our example of creating a logo uses transcoding and is considered resource-intensive. This method burns a logo image into the video track. It is suitable for channels distributed in IPTV networks.

To add a logo, you need an image file in the PNG format. An example can be found on the server in /opt/flussonic/wwwroot/flu/images/erly-small.png. Let's use it as a logo in your video stream.

Add the transcoder directive to the infochannel stream settings and specify erly-small.png as the logo:

stream infochannel {
  url playlist:///opt/flussonic/priv/playlist.txt;
  transcoder vb=2048k preset=fast logo=/opt/flussonic/wwwroot/flu/images/erly-small.png@10:10 ab=128k;
}

Reload the server configuration, and the logo appears in the upper left corner of the screen.

Learn more in Overlaying a logo.

Schedule

Open playlist.txt that you created earlier.

With the #EXTINF tag (control command), you can set the playback duration for each playlist item. For example, broadcast the first 30 seconds of the first file and the first 60 seconds of the second file:

#EXTINF:30
vod/bunny.mp4
#EXTINF:60
vod/beepbop.mp4

With the tag #EXT-X-UTC, you can set the Unix Timestamp of the time when you want to play the playlist item:

#EXT-X-UTC:1522839600
vod/bunny.mp4
#EXT-X-UTC:1522843200
vod/beepbop.mp4

Using the #EXT-X-PROGRAM-DATE-TIME tag, you can set the start time of the playlist item, in the ISO 8601 format:

#EXT-X-PROGRAM-DATE-TIME:2018-04-04T11:00:00Z
vod/bunny.mp4
#EXT-X-PROGRAM-DATE-TIME:2018-02-04T12:00:00Z
vod/beepbop.mp4

Learn more about the tags in Server-Side Playlists.

Distribute the channel over UDP multicast Anchor Anchor x2

Add the push directive to the stream's configuration and specify a multicast address for distribution in a local network:

stream infochannel {
  url playlist:///opt/flussonic/priv/playlist.txt;
  transcoder vb=2048k preset=fast logo=/opt/flussonic/wwwroot/flu/images/erly-small.png@10:10 ab=128k;
  push udp://239.0.0.1:1234;
}