M3U8 files play a very important role in live streaming. Video players use the information in these text files to locate audio and video files for a stream.
Paired with HLS streaming technology, M3U8 makes it possible to stream to mobile and Smart TV apps via Roku, Apple TV, and the like. Combine this duo with the HTML5 video player, and you’re all set for all-device streaming.
In this post, we’re going to discuss how to convert a live stream to M3U8. Before we get started, it’s important to note that the M3U8 feature is not activated by default on Dacast, so you’ll have to activate it manually.
Since the M3U8 links are unsecured, Dacast users will have to contact the Sales or the Customer Success teams and request access to the M3U8 privilege.
We will do some verification before enabling the M3U8 for your account. This feature is available for free, again based on verification and our discretion, and the additional steps for verification are simply a standard security procedure.
How to Generate and Use the M3U8 Link
In order to use the M3U8 link, you must navigate to the “Advanced Links” section under the “General” tab of your Dacast dashboard. Drop down the “Advanced Links” tab and locate the “M3U8” link.
Copy this link and paste it into Roku TV, Apple TV or any private web TV channels and mobile app;
The full link in this example is:
Testing Your M3U8 Link
Follow these steps to test your new link:
- Launch your stream
- Double-check that your live stream is playing correctly, using the preview button in the back office or the share code
- Open VLC media player
- Click on “Media” and select “Open a Network Stream”
- Paste your new M3U8 link into the field
Once you complete these 5 steps, Your live stream should appear in VLC.
What to Know About M3U8 Playlists on Dacast
As you dive into mobile streaming, you should be familiar with M3U8 playlists.
Like we mentioned, Dacast offers the option of using M3U8 playlists to ensure compatibility with Roku and the development of mobile apps.
The technology behind M3U8 playlists is sound in all areas but security. M3U8 playlists don’t support some video security features like password protection, referrer restrictions, and geographic/IP restrictions.
In order to make up for these unfortunate downfalls, Dacast offers SDKs as an alternative to supplement this option.
If you have any questions about M3U8 links, live streaming, or channel playlists or need help with this Dacast feature, feel free to contact us directly.
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