This detailed guide will show you how to watch IPTV through your Plex Media Server.
Unfortunately Plex has decided to retire the entire plugin system. This means if you want to watch IPTV in Plex you’ll need to use an older version of the server, which isn’t recommended. Even if you use an older version of the server, you’ll only be able to access an IPTV plugin via the web based Plex client. You are much better off simply using a different method to watch IPTV (here are guides for Windows and macOS).
We’re keeping these instructions up and online in case you do decide to find an older version of Plex Media Server and use it. A good place to start looking for an older version would be the Plex Community Forums.
We’re going to cover two ‘types’ of IPTV plugins (called “Channels”) for Plex – an .m3u playlist based player and a “pre-loaded” player. The M3U-based player allows you to input your IPTV providers .m3u file or URL – meaning you need an existing IPTV service in order to use it. The “pre-loaded” player comes with content already available for you to stream – ie. no IPTV provider is required.
If you need help installing ‘unsupported’ plugins (Channels) in Plex, see this tutorial.
As with all things “online streaming” – using a VPN while watching TV online strongly advised. It’s no one’s business what you’re watching. If you need help setting up a VPN we’ve got you covered. We have detailed, step by step guides for setting up/configuring VPNs in Windows, macOS, iOS and Android and Linux. If you’re already using a VPN give yourself a pat on the back and carry on :)
M3U playlist IPTV Player for Plex
- First up, install the Cigaras IPTV Channel. Once it’s installed, visit the Channels section of Plex.
- Locate the IPTV addon and hover your cursor over it until the Settings icon (the “cog”) becomes visible, and then click it.
- There are a number of settings you can change, but the most important one is the very first. It’s here that you’ll want to paste the URL to your IPTV .m3u file. If your IPTV provider also includes an XMLTV/EPG URL, paste it in the space provided.
- After you’ve reviewed the other settings, click the SAVE button.
- Now open the IPTV plugin by clicking it.
- Look in the View playlist section for a list of TV channels or groups of TV channels and select one.
- Ta-da! Streaming television right within Plex!
Pre-loaded IPTV Player for Plex
- If you don’t have an IPTV provider, you can try your luck with quite a few free ones. The problem, as you’ll quickly discover, is that they aren’t very reliable and don’t offer as much content. The one I’ve found to be consistently solid and has a decent variety of content (for a free service) is CCloud TV. This one requires absolutely no setup or configuration, so once you’ve installed it – you’re done.
- Launch it up from the Channels section of Plex. Select the Channels button from the first group of options.
- From here you’ll be presented with a series of ways to start viewing TV shows, movies etc. If you select List View you’ll get a list of every ‘channel’ – but it will take a long time to load (and may timeout). Instead, select Page View
- This lets you go through all of the channels in groups of 10, which will load much more quickly.
- One feature to look at which will save you time is the Bookmark option. They really speed up the time it takes to find your frequently watched channels.
- As it happens, CCloud TV actually does support m3u file support as well :) Just open its settings and paste the URL into the space provided. Note: I have found that CCloud TV times out and/or outright crashes more frequently than Cigaras IPTV, so if it’s m3u support you’re looking for, I would recommend Cigaras IPTV over CCloud TV.