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Thread: Video Streaming

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    191

    Default Video Streaming

    HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) Wikipedia is a video streaming protocol. The HLS protocol is currently being used on a variety of video streaming sites.

    How do you play HLS streams? The site that is hosting the streaming service will provide a player on the webpage. The player comes with a set of instructions on how to build up a request to ask the server for a playlist with information about the stream. Depending on how the streaming service is setup, the playlist link might be valid or seconds, minutes, or even hours.

    Do the HLS streams need to be viewed through the provided player? Not necessarily. The reality is that: it is all about the playlist. Getting access to the proper playlist can be the tricky part.

    What can we do with a valid playlist? There are multiple things that can be done with the playlist.
    1. There are browser extensions that can directly play the playlist in the browser Google Chrome Store - Native HLS Extension. This extension can be used to view a playlist. If you have the url to the playlist, the extension can be used to play the playlist. In chrome, with the extension installed the following is a url that will load up the extension
    Code:
    chrome-extension://emnphkkblegpebimobpbekeedfgemhof/player.html
    That link itself is not entirely useful. We need to tell the extension the url of the playlist to play:
    Code:
    chrome-extension://emnphkkblegpebimobpbekeedfgemhof/player.html#https://fake.fake/more/url/parameters/manifest.m3u8
    The previous link would tell the chrome extension to load the playlist located at the "fake.fake.more ...../manifest.m3u8". If the playlist is valid, the extension will show a video player in the page and be ready to stream the video.

    2. There are tools that can download the stream, one such tool is called ffmpeg. There are also tools that can be used to take the playlist and stream it directly to a video player, such as VLC.

    This concept is also used for things like Plex Channels and Kodi Plugins. The plugins are used to extract the playlist from a site and then stream the video to the user.


    With access to a valid m3u8 playlist, it is possible to stream online HLS streams without using the streaming sites player.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    191

    Default

    This information is still valid.

    "Native HLS Playback" extension is still available and working.

    One update from last post. You do not need to paste the "chrome-extension://........" into the url. If you have the full url to the m3u8 file, you can just paste it into to your location bar as if it were an actual web page. The browser extension will launch and the video will play.

    We should thank WatchStadium for their high quality HLS streams this season. Thank you WatchStadium.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    191

    Default

    Here is another chrome browser HLS player plugin:
    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/d...ojbgllenffajdc

    Here are two websites that do essentially the same thing as the browser plugin: given a m3u8 playlist, they will play the stream.
    https://castr.io/hlsplayer
    https://www.hlsplayer.net/

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