EPG. Abbreviation for Electronic Program Guide: A list on the TV screen showing which programs will be broadcast on which channels. I believe this is easy to understand, it’s the same list that people use to select channels when watching TV. However, this article will introduce more details about EPG, what is EPG, what is XMLTV file, what is EPG website, etc.
What is EPG for?
EPG stands for Electronic program guide. EPG is the same as a guide you would view on a cable or Sky box. Why do we need EPG? Tivimate Displaying EPG: EPG is used to show you a guide of what is on TV and what will be there next.
Who uses EPG?
EPG Guide displaying several days. We all use EPG at one time or another to see what is on TV and What is next hour or even schedule what will appear tomorrow or have it recorded while we are outside the house.
What is the EPG URL?
EPG URL is an XML file saved on the web, written with a plain text editor such as Notepad ++, and viewed by IPTV programs such as Tivimate.
What is an XMLTV file?
XMLTV was created for IPTV providers to corporate an Electronic Program Guide with their service, this isn’t new if you know what an XML (Extensible Markup Language) file is, you know what this is, the information within this XML file is for IPTV, hence “XMLTV” filename.
How to make EPG?
To make your EPG Guide, you will need some requirements listed below but also depends if you want Automatically created or manually created. In both Auto and Manual the EPG will be created for you but it all depends if you want a service/website to do it for you or a specific application generate for you manually.
Requirement for Automatic creating of EPG with your IPTV
Although the automatic sounds wonderful, I found this to be so much work in the long run for me personally. as most of the automatic contain countries and EPG codes that are mostly for UK or USA or some countries that I am not used to and even the UK and USA did not work very well.
Also some of the automatic can not be shared with other users so for me again this was a bad idea as I wanted to make something for everyone.
You will need:
- IPTV M3U – you need an IPTV subscription, and the IPTV subscriber must give you your M3U link. Usually doesn’t matter if its M3U or M3u8 but try to take M3U only for EPG as it is easier
- Website to create the EPG for you – Check the list of EPG website auto-creation posted on this page. Usually, there is a charge or free depending on the website
Requirement for Manual creation EPG for your IPTV
Although it sounds like a big job to make manually create an EPG, I found it to be more useful to manage and control and update myself. I did find that I can make my own free 30 channels and by using software I can donate a small annual charge ( I donated 5 euros a year ) and I managed to get to do 250 channels automatically updated.
I found this to be easier for me to do, this is because I am always looking for Arabic tv and Arabic sports and wanted to share my EPG with my users.
- IPTV M3U – you need an IPTV subscription, and the IPTV subscriber must give you your M3U link. Usually doesn’t matter if it’s M3U or M3u8 but try to take M3U only for EPG as it is easier
- You will need to get the EPG software which you can donate 5 euros a year for 250 channels – any more you have to ask the software dev Which I will list here.
- EPG Editor
- Location to publish your XML files such as your website, GitHub, or Pastebin.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s go back to basic information
What is an Auto EPG website?
Websites that will make an EPG based on a list of countries of EPG they have and are willing to automatically make it for you.
What are the EPG websites lists?
There are a number of websites that offer live EPG creation, some do it for free and some do it for money. The free ones will do it for you to try to make you an EPG there and then for your own M3u list and the Paid ones will allow you to download the XML to share it with everyone. Check out the list below
- M3u4u – Link – m3u4u.com/ – Completely Free
- I came across this when someone posted it on my youtube channel and asked me did I do EPG using this website, I was surprised at the time that there is a website but unfortunately, it was more like EPG for my own only and I was working on a program for everyone.
- Also, this website did not have most of the Arabic channels I wanted and I already had managed to get more doing it myself
- EPG Guide – link – epgguide.net/ – Monthly costs and charges begin at 4.99 for one country or 179.99 a month for all countries
- Not something I was going to go for, and I don’t think most of my readers will appreciate the costs, but I am leaving it here for you IPTV companies that is interested in already creating your own M3U and sharing it with your users.
- More links – please add more website pages below in the comments or send me via my contact me page in the order I expand this list if you feel there is more out there that is better or even does this easier or harder either way, but so far I found these are most helpful.
Please note that for the websites, you don’t need much software, it basically clicks and goes, there will be a small manual intervention depending on the website.
Which is the best EPG software to use?
Listed here is the EPG software you need to make your own EPG Guide for your IPTV M3U from your providers. And unlike the website for EPG which auto-creates everything for you, This software is a simple more robust easy to manage your EPG. I felt it was simpler to use software than using an automatically generated website that will create loads of EPG that I did not know anything about.
I tried a different list of apps and finally settled on webgrabplus, this was an easy-to-use software and very simple to make an EPG. Pretty straightforward if you ask me. Although it is an auto-generated EPG software, is does require manual work to get the best from this software ( I had to learn that the hard way ).
Requirement for webgrabplus
- Download the latest version from the Website – www.webgrabplus.com
- Create a Webgrabplus Forum user ( GO with me on this one, the software is linked to this forum ID ) go to this URL and generate a forum User ID
- in order to generate more than 20 or 30 EPG lists you will need to donate to webgrabplus developers and become a donator.. full instructions located here www.webgrabplus.com/content/support-us
- Download EPG Editor to see the EPG list you created and if it is working after creation. Reading an XML file is very hard. it’s best to see what you create in an editor to see if the channel you requested is actually going to work or not and if it even has EPG data
- Download from this link www.webgrabplus.com/content/new-version-v14
The Information below will be about Webgrabplus setting up and configuration in Windows 10. I am using Windows 10 since this is the OS that is mostly used. I am sorry APPLE devices, but since Steve Jobs died.
Windows 10 yes, not Windows 95, XP, Windows 7, or any other. there is just no point to help you with these old OS. I recommend you get Windows 10, please.
How to download Webgrabplus?
The latest version for Webgrabplus is available at www.webgrabplus.com/download
How to set Webgrabplus XML config files?
When you install webgrabplus, the XML config file will already be downloaded to your system, in my case these files are saved in C:UsershushaAppDataLocalWebGrab+Plus.
for Windows users click Start and type Run and then click %appdata% then go to local and then webgrab+plus folder.
you will end up in a similar folder as me.
How to set us your First Webgrabplus XML?
Ok once you got the app install and ready to make your OWN EPG then we need to configure the Web.
locate WebGrab++.config.xml and open it using a text editor I recommend Notepad ++. This is where you will need to add your channels to EPG.
The default one should be something similar to the below.
So follow the simple steps below to extract EPG.
ok we need to edit the Webgrabplus XML so follow the below step by step by using a notepad++ or a text editor.
we need to modify line by line ( at this point I ask you to make a copy of the webgrabplus just in case you missed up big time).
- Change the line <filename>guide.xml</filename> and have to point to your location of the XML. the default is guide.xml. but I think you would agree if you change it to EPG.xml and may point to another folder so for example if you want to save it to a newly created folder called c:EPG then save it to c:epgepg
- so the line should <filename>c:epgepg.xml</filename>
- the line that said <!–<decryptkey site=”site-name”>decrypt_userkey</decryptkey>–> change to equal to the site.ini file that you are taking the encrypted EPG from. I think this line is too hard… this line can be ignored if the EPG files are not encrypted but we will cross that bridge later.
- the line <!–<license wg-username=”your webgrab+plus username” registered-email=”your registered email address” password=”optional-password” />–>
- First, make sure you have made a webgrabplus forum user name, and then click the top right on your name and open it you will see a password which you will need to put in the above line – you will need to put these in the
- <license wg-username=” your user name” the email you used to register with=” your registered email address” password=” your password” /> check the image below
- This image is simply showing the user name and password you need to put
- Donate, If you are doing more than 30 EPG links or even encrypted sites such as SKY or FOX or some premium encrypted sites then you donate
- donation is simple just follow the instructions in www.webgrabplus.com/content/support-us and make sure you put your user name of the webgrab forum in their information.
- the next few lines you can leave as below
- <logging>on</logging> <retry time-out=”80″>4</retry> <timespan>4</timespan> <update>i</update>
- now you add channels lines that you want EPG to be extracted to and make sure you get the line that is exactly how it shows on your M3u
- for example, the below line is for a URL in my M3u for channel name ART Aslam 2 <!– channels we want to grab from streamingtvguides.com (channels copied from streamingtvguides.com.channels.xml –> <channel update=”i” site=”streamingtvguides.com.E” site_id=”ARTAF2″ xmltv_id=”ART Aflam 2″>ART Aflam 2</channel>
- Now you are ready to Run. You can either click the icon on your desktop for Webgrabber or use the CMD line to go to that folder and click Run see the image below
- Once completed you now go to your XML file which you pointed to in step 1 and you can either put it in your IPTV apps such as Tivimate or edit/view first.
How to View or EDit the XML EPG file the easy way?
There are so many ways to view an XML file, you can use a very simple text reader such as Notepad ++ or I prefer using the EPG/Editor program located.
This EPG Editor is actually a very basic and functional app. It meets the standard to know what is going on. You can also redo the EPG setting from here if you want as well.
How I created an EPG XMLTV file on m3u4u.com
Head over to m3u4u.com and create an account, the service is amazing and it’s 100% free.
once you have your account and you’re logged in, click Playlists in the top menu and, manager.
Click Create Playlist
Give your playlist a name, and click Select a source, if you received a Username, Password, and URL from your IPTV provider you should select API Line, if you have a dedicated URL to your IPTV M3U select M3U Url, if you have an M3U file on your computer you can upload it.
Once you are done importing or creating your IPTV M3U playlist, click EPGs then Manager, click the pencil edit tool and make sure Under Source EPG you select m3u4u and hit Save.
Head over to Playlists, and Editor, select your playlist, click More group tools and Create a new group as you need at least one group to create your EPG, so think of groups as categories for your channels ex. Sports, News, Movies, Live.
Once you are done with your groups, click More channel tools and Bulk move channels to move your channels to the appropriate group, once your done click Move.
Now click EPGs and Assign TVG id, select your playlist and then select the group, and select your TVG Country ID, or just select All to have m3u4u look through all the available channels, but to get the best EPG I recommend selecting the correct country code according to each channel, now click Auto Assign TVG id, m3u4u will try to automatically assign the id’s to each channel.
For the channels highlighted in red simply type in the channel name and as you type notice the drop-down menu and select the channel.
Once you’re done click Save changes, navigate up to the top menu, select EPGs, Manager and click the down arrow for download.
Now just copy the link by clicking the Copy link button, if you are going to use an IPTV program on your computer you can just paste this link over, but if you are going to use the link on another device then I recommend using bitly to shorten the link, simply past link and click shorten, you then get a nice short link.
Now head over to your IPTV software and place the link to your new EPG XMLTV file within the setup menu under EPG or XMLTV.
I don’t know how much you understand about the EPG from the above explanation, but it doesn’t matter, you just need to understand that the EPG plays an important role in your channel management and TV viewing. And you only need to find the right IPTV provider to get an IPTV subscription, Family4K IPTV subscription not only gets EPG and m3u links but also has a huge number of channels and more roles for you to discover.