XBMC v13.1 "Gotham" has been released! See Gotham FAQ for details.
HOW-TO:Play free P2P (peer-to-peer) online streaming TV
Some information in this article or section has not been updated or refers to XBMC features that have been superseded, and may not be reliable.
This article descibes how to use XBMC to play online-streaming peer-to-peer (P2P) TV. These are a few collected guides on how to stream and play peer-to-peer (P2P) TV online from the internet via a different application softwares running on your computer. The applications that are covered here are TVUPlayer, TVAnts and PPStream. Other peer-to-peer (P2P) online-TV applications that have not been tested with XBMC yet can be discussed on this page's talk page.
1 The Computer Applications
TVUplayer (viidoo.com or tvunetworks.com ) is a closed source project run similarly to a BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) network. In a peer-to-peer (P2P) network, you as the peer that is streaming the content is also uploading to a other peer, and that peer is in turn uploading the stream to another peer, and so on. Thus reducing the bandwidth strain on the original uploader (in this case the stream source), and allowing streams to buffer fast and stay mostly glitch free all over the world. A few key programs shown in TVUPlayer at the writing of this article are Comedy Central, USA Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, HBO Asia (in English though), Cartoon Network, CNN Channels(Multiple), and Network Channels such as ABC CBS NBC FOX. TVUplayers original intent was for those who had to move out of the USA to still be able to watch the TV-programing where they were.
TVAnts (www.TvAnts.com website in Chinese) is nearly the same as TVUplayer in the way it runs, utilizing the mulitple peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing method. TVAnts also seems to have higher quality channels, however they take longer to buffer and sometimes may have more glitches if you have slow bandwidth. A few English programs showing in TVAnts at the writing of this article are ESPN, ESPN 2, Discovery Channel, HBO, ABC, FOX, MTV, and many other Sports channels.
PPStream can broadcast TV programs stably and smoothly to broadband users. Compared to traditional stream media, PPStream adopts p2p - streaming technology and supports full-scale visit with tens of thousands of users online. There is a native linux (Debian or Ubuntu) version of their viewer available on their website.
Currently the majority of PPStream TV channels are from China, Hong-Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.
2 Configuration of XBMC and your computer
First let's download TVUPlayer at http://dl.tvunetworks.com/TVUPlayer.zip After downloading, unzip it using programs like Winzip or WinRAR. Now navigate to the directory you unzipped it to and double click the setup.exe. Go through the setup to install, Use the default buttons for the easiest install. Once installed there should be a TVUplayer shortcut on your desktop, double click it, a green orb with TVU inside of it should show up as an icon in the bottom left hand corner of your screen. After a little while a screen will popup with a player window, and a channel list. If no Channels show up you may need to allow tvuplayer access through your firewall. Also you may need to open ports. The following is taken from http://www.ghacks.net/2006/06/13/little-tvu-player-faq-list/
"At start TVU Player uses UDP 3950, 3951 and 3952 then at least one of TCP 3950, 3951 or 3952. The TV channels list is obtained from a connection on port TCP 8080. All those connections are made to the server previously mentioned by others. When you choose a TV channel it uses UDP 3940 and then a TCP connection to 3940. Then you just get a rain of connections to other servers using UDP/TCP combinations. In the end it settles to only UDP streaming between peers and an brief TCP reconnection for control and status I guess."
Now after you are able to see the channel list, double click a channel, after a few seconds of buffering the channel should start playing, put the volume bar all the way to the top and click the mute button. Now go download URL Paster from http://www.xbmcscripts.com/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=18&Itemid=Array Unzip it, ftp the xbox python script part to your XBMC script folder. And then unzip the dll files and send them to your windows/system32 directory. Next go to your xbox and go to your scripts folder and start the URLPaster.py, it should say Running, now go back to my pc and load the URLPaster.exe and type in the URL http://yourcomputerip:8901 For example on my computer I put in http://192.168.1.100:8901 XBMC should load a dialog that is filling a bar up and once that is finished the video will play along with sound. To watch other channels, close the stream on your xbox, go to your PC double click the new Channel, and go back to your xbox, click the URLPaster(LOG).py and click the link that you previously sent to your xbox, it will buffer, and play the new channel.
Alternatively, you can use a .strm file instead of using urlpaster. Open up notepad, on the first line, write your computer's ip (http://yourcomputerip:8901, as explained above). Save the file as tvuplayer.strm (make sure "save as type" is set to "all files"). FTP the file to your xbox. Start a channel on your tvuplayer and then open the .strm file in xbmc.
First let's download TVAnts at http://download.tvants.com/pub/tvants/tvants1/win32/bin/TvantsSetup.EXE Double click the exe file and go through the setup using default options and make sure both main programs and active x controls are checked and finish the install. Now go to Start>Programs>TVAnts>Tvants this will load the program. Make sure you have allowed TVants access through your firewall. You may also need to open port 16800 on your firewall/router. Now open TVAnts, click Tools>Settings, Broadcast Tab and check enable access from other computers. Now click apply and ok then go to the search tab on the main tvants box, it should load a 100 or so channels. Double click the one you want to watch, buffering may take a few minutes, once it starts playing, right click on the video box and click properties and check the location of the stream it is usually mmst://localhost:16900/x Example mmst://localhost:16900/8. Now you can close the video box, and minimize the main tvants channel program. Now load up the PC Urlpaster app (Make sure the URLPaster.py is running on your xbox) and send the url of the stream over except instead of mmst use mms, so mms://Yourcomputerip:16900/x Example I would put mms://192.168.1.100:16900/8 XBMC should start buffering the stream and eventually load it.
Download PPStream from http://www.pprecorder.com/ppstreamsetup.exe. Once installed, start your favourite stream. This will open your default PC media player (usually WMP). Once the stream has buffered and is running, do a File, Properties to get the local URL of the stream. Now use the URLPaster app outlined above, modifying the stream details so XBMC can reach your PC.