How To Setup a PVR in Kodi
The all-conquering Kodi media center really can be all things to all people. It plays movies, music, TV shows, documentaries, and can even watch and record live TV. This last feature is the one I’m going to discuss today as I have just installed and set up a PVR in Kodi myself. So now is a good time to share it, while the knowledge is fresh.
First, for those who aren’t familiar with the term, a PVR is a personal video recorder. Some people also call it a DVR or digital video recorder. Either way, it’s a device you can use to record digital media to an external storage device like a memory card. Often a PVR is a separate device that hooks up to a television, but it can also be a piece of software you use alongside your media player. Since I’m all about optimizing my Kodi setup, a software PVR client is what I went with.
I use the Simple PVR as it is easy to use, still being supported, and works like a charm. Plus, a friend also uses it and walked me through the installation and configuration. Hopefully now I can explain it to you just as well.
There are two types of PVR in Kodi: the type where you connect your aerial to your computer and use live feeds, and the type where you use M3U files from reputable providers. As I don’t actually have an HD antenna, I used the latter. It is only a single extra step after adding the PVR add-on and it works like a charm.
Adding Simple PVR to Kodi
Adding the PVR to Kodi works the same as adding any other add-on, except you don’t need to add a repo first.
- Launch Kodi and select the Settings cog icon.
- Select Add-ons and toggle “Unknown sources” to “on” if this isn’t already enabled.
- Navigate to the Kodi home page.
- Select Add-ons and My add-ons.
- Select PVR IPTV Simple Client and install.
- Select Configure and select M3U Play List URL.
- Enter either http://ccld.io/atom.m3u from cCloud or https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/36b1wtkkee3mced/iptv.m3u from Fluxus into the box and select OK.
- Select OK and go back to the home page.
You should see a message telling you a certain number of channels have been loaded. You will then need to reboot Kodi to get your PVR working. Once it’s rebooted, you should see lots of options within the TV menu from the Home page.
The cCloud M3U source is very good and currently loads 480 IPTV channels. Many of those are non-English so you will probably need to filter them by language. To do this, select the Options button at the bottom of the TV Channels page, toggle Filter to “on,” and add English as your filter. You should see lots of channels removed with over 200 English channels remaining.
Create your own IPTV channel list for Kodi
The M3U sources above offer a huge range of IPTV channels and are regularly updated, but you can create your own if you prefer. You will need to find some channels first. Then we can create the necessary file to import into Kodi. We will use Pastebin to create the file and URL.
To find channels, Google is your friend. Search for IPTV channels and copy a list of the ones you’re interested in watching. There are a few Facebook groups dedicated to channel listings, too.
- Navigate to Pastebin. If you don’t have an account there, you can do what you need as a guest.
- Copy and paste all the IPTV channels you collected into Pastebin.
- Edit the list into the format below so it is usable by Kodi.
- Select Submit at the bottom of the Pastebin page.
- Complete the Captcha to prove you’re real.
- Copy the URL at the top of the page.
- Open PVR IPTV Simple Client in Kodi.
- Select Configure and paste in your M3U Play List URL.
- Select OK and restart the app.
There is a very specific format you need to use to get your own M3U playlist working.
It should be:
#EXTINF:-1,Channel 1 Name
#EXTINF:-1,Channel 2 Name
A working example of an M3U file is:
rtmp://$OPT:rtmp-raw=rtmp://rtmp.jim.stream.vmmacdn.be app=vmma-jim-rtmplive-live playpath=jim live=1
#EXTINF:0,Student Live Stream
#EXTINF:0,BigBuckBunny 2 Levels
You can add other data to your playlist such as language, group category, a parental control PIN code, audio track options, and more depending on what you find. This page at the Simple IPTV website explains your options. They aren’t necessary to get this working–they’re optional.
There is a bit of work involved in creating your own IPYV list but you have full control over what is featured. The ready-made list cover a wide range of languages and interests. If you wanted to create a list only with your language and interests, this is the way to do it. Just add it to Kodi as above and see how it works.
When you’re obtaining IPTV URLs from online, they won’t all work. Some will work fine while others will come and go. It pays to keep your M3U file up to date as much as you can for best results.
Have you created your own M3U list? Know of other published lists better than cCloud or Fluxus? Tell us about it if you do!