IPTV & Smart TV

The origins of this page. It all started when we finally decided to replace a 10-year old plasma TV with a Smart TV on offer in the post Xmas 2018 sales. Our old TV was connected to a flat-panel satellite antenna (looking at Astra 19,2° Est) and a set-top box with a TNT decoder card for French programs. I started by looking at replacing the old box and card for HD. This would have involved obtaining a new TNT Sat card and buying a new set-top box (the card would not have worked in the PCMCIA card slot on the TV). All this to get 27 French ‘télévision numérique terrestre’ channels. 

Fortunately my brother pointed me to the alternative IPTV option that is available on our new Smart TV. So this page documents that move to IPTV. 

Let’s start at the beginning. What is a Smart TV?

Wikipedia tells us that a Smart TV is a ‘connected TV’ that integrates Internet and ‘interactive Web 2.0 features’. In fact ‘connected TV’ was the original name given to the technology, whilst the mention Web 2.0 is just being used as a marketing buzzword to mean that the TV provides built-in access to things such as YouTube, Amazon, NetflixInternet radio, video-on-demandWeb apps, etc. In my humble opinion the real meaning of Web 2.0 (post-2001) was linked to greater user participation and control, e.g. BitTorrent, Napster, Wikipediablogging,…, and the introduction of such things as Amazon reviews and eBay reputation scores, etc.

In any case the key for the Smart TV is that it goes beyond being a device for broadcast media and provides access to a ‘content store’ which is home to information resources and apps. Another key element is that lots of different external devices can be connected to the TV, i.e. games consoles, media players, smartphones, and increasingly speech recognition tools and smart home devices.

Essentially the Smart TV is a computer, and in fact it runs its own pre-loaded operating system along with a set of pre-loaded apps. My new LG Smart TV runs webOS 3.5, the latest version for TV’s.

This page is not about my LG TV but you can find a very complete and detailed description of the TV at The Complete Guide To Your 2016 - 2017 LG TV (and at the end of this page I have including my own set of key hints on the TV’s day-to-day use).

If your interested in LG’s WebOS 3.5 check out this review.  


Almost every TV manufacturer makes a SmartTV, but there are also set-top-boxes (or digital media players) that provide the same type of services, e.g. Android TV Is a digital media player designed to exploit Google strengths with Chromecast and Google Play Store.

What is IP TV?

So we have a SmartTV and the question now is what is IP TV? Well, its simply TV over an Internet Protocol (IP). Now you can do this through a desktop-box (just search on Amazon to see 100’s of different ones with lots of Android TV boxes or MAG254 to MAG 256 IPTV), but you do not need this box with a SmartTV. 

Lets bootstrap this whole process by having a look at these two videos, How Do You Get IPTV on your SMART TV? -  The Beginners Guide and/or SAMSUNG and LG SMART TV Owners Need to Watch This (both by Honest Fred). 

List of the key steps and messages:

Look in the content or store for an ‘app’ such as Smart-STB (I use the app SmartIPTV)

Smart-STB or SmartIPTV are like DVD players, to watch movies you first need the player and then you need to buy DVD’s (i.e. the subscription service) 

These apps provide a ‘demo’ version to show how you can use the app to watch your subscriptions

If you are convinced, you can buy the app (Smart-STB is a one-off $27.99, and SmartIPTV is a one-time 5.49 €)

Now you will need from System Setting - Device Info. on the LG TV the Device MAC address (not the Virtual MAC address)

MAC means Media Access Control, and is a unique identifier which is used as a network address, and the device MAC address is a hardware stored address of the network interface controller installed inside the TV.  

For example for Smart-STB you will need to input your MAC address and the portal URL of your subscription service (i.e. the service that will actually provide you with a playlist of channels you can watch)

Then by clicking on Smart-STB it will display on your computer the collection of channels from your subscription service

You give the Virtual MAC address to your subscription re-seller

For example, Smart-STB allows you to have two subscription services

But what about the subscription service, well the one mentioned in the video is https://ultra-iptv.weebly.com who claim to have locally located servers and provide access to 7000+ SD, HD, Full HD, and 4k channels (access retails at 120 €/year for VPN + VPS)

I actually picked to use the SmartIPTV app. It was already on the LG menu, so I could install the app, open it, and later purchase it at http://siptv.eu

Virtual MAC address should be on normalised MAC (default) 

So what actually is the SmartIPTV app?

Above we can see the range of apps, and services on offer, and going to the LG Content Store we can see  offered a number of content services and apps, including the app SmartIPTV.


So one of the content apps in the LG Content Store is SmartIPTV. But what is SmartIPTV? 

The answer is in two parts. What is IPTV? What is SmartIPTV? Firstly, SmartIPTV is an app or tool to stream online video content from a playlist to a specific Internet connected device (i.e. my TV). 

Secondly, IPTV is simply TV content delivered (streamed) over Internet Protocol (IP) networks. The TV content is the same but the IPTV technology is different from terrestrial (including Digital Terrestrial Television), satellite (free-to-air (unencrypted) or subscription based such as video-on-demand and pay-per-view), and cable delivery.

It is important to understand that apps such as SmartIPTV stream content from your playlist. They host a small playlist for test and demonstration, but they DO NOT provide content channels. You pay a few $’s for the app, and then you need a subscription to TV content. The SmartIPTV is like a DVD player, and you need  to separately have purchased the DVD’s, or with the TV, subscribed to TV channels. So just as the DVD player is an ‘interface’ to the DVD, so SmartIPTV is an interface to the content in your playlist if subscriptions.

This might appear complex or confusing, but in fact there are providers who, for a fee, will provide a complete program package of preselected and pre-paid content, including subscriptions. You pay once per year (say) and get access to 1,000 of channels of TV programs.  

What are the pro’s and con’s of IPTV?

Before we look at the details of playlists, etc. let’s consider why we should use IPTV, as compared to more ‘traditional’ delivery methods? 

Fans of IPTV claim that you can stream what you want, when you want it, and at much lower prices. 

In addition, there are no regional restrictions, or so-called ‘regional lockout’ and ‘geo-blocking’. 

‘Regional lockout’ is a class of digital rights management used to prevent people using certain products or services outside a particular region. This approach can be justified for legal (e.g. censorship laws) or intellectual property reasons (e.g. a distributor does not own the rights outside their specified region). Examples, are DVD region code, regional locks on games consoles, or even on printer cartridges which do not work in different regions. 

‘Regional lockout’ is also used to reinforce price discrimination, i.e. forcing people to pay different prices for the same services or products provided in different markets or in different regions. 

‘Geo-blocking’ is another from of ‘regional lockout’ where access to Internet content is only licensed for playback in a certain region. For example the user's IP address is checked against a list to determine if access is allowed or denied. The claim is that stuff such as films and television shows must be ‘geo-blocked’ for copyright and licensing reasons. There are other uses for ‘geo-blocking’, such as blocking malicious traffic, blocking location-aware authentication, and blocking online gambling (where gambling laws vary by region). Naturally ‘geo-blocking’ also can be used to enforce price discrimination.

And people who have a valid regional/national subscription to a video, music or gaming service rightly want to continue to use their subscription whilst travelling.

Others want to watch their favourite programs but can’t because they are not available in their country or region. 

One must look carefully at what you want to watch and what’s on offer and at what price. People who want to watch live sports events should look at their options.    

Bandwidth is important, and a broadband connection is essential for IPTV services to work properly. 

IPTV running on a new SmartTV does not mean that the image is better, recent HDTV’s already produce excellent pictures. 

So the idea is simple, IPTV is television services delivered using the internet protocol suite over a packet-switched network such as a LAN or the internet. Technically speaking there are two options, IPTV and Internet TV. Internet TV travels over an open internet connection in the same way as any other internet traffic such as email or web pages (and Web television are just programs created for Internet TV). On the other hand, IPTV services are specifically designed to use private, direct IP connections between the user and the provider. So technically speaking streaming video over the Internet is not IPTV. IPTV is about customers with known IP addresses in known locations, receiving ‘broadcast’ quality TV with a controlled ‘Quality of Service', usually through a set-top box

The IPTV box (set-top box) connects to the Internet (via an Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi), decodes the signal, and displays the picture on the TV. 

This Webpage is about a specific installation of a IPTV option on a specific Smart TV.

The Smart TV is the LG OLED 55C7… running webOS 3.5. WebOS is a multitasking operating system for ‘smart devices’ such as the Smart TV. Different devices run different version of webOS, and the latest generation of LG Smart TV’s run webOS 3.5 (as of early 2018). Technically speaking webOS 3.5 is an incremental improvement of webOS 3, but it adds a number of new features.

Starting at the beginning:

Now let us assume that we have a SmartTV, and can see the SmartIPTV app in the LG Content Store. We go to the site www.siptv.eu and pay our 5.49€ for activation. 

Firstly we will need a MAC address, and specifically the Mac address of our SmartTV. 

We now need to pick a IPTV provider. Maybe the first place to look is IPTVInsider who provides reviews and suggestions concerning the best boxes and IPTV providers.  

LG WebOS Review

LG WebOS 3.5 Tips & Tricks on 2017 OLED TV

How to Setup Your LG Smart TV with webOS (2016 - 2017)

How to Use Your LG Smart TV: Understanding the Launcher (2016 - 2017)

How to Use LG Smart TV Magic Remote (2016 - 2017)

How Do You Get IPTV on your SMART TV? The Beginners Guide

Watch IPTV on SMART TV Without A Box

smart iptv on lg

Strictly speaking this page is about IPTV and Smart TV but I have included here some tricks and hints about using the LG TV and the webOS 3.5 operating system.

LG webOS 3.5 tips and tricks on OLED55B7 UHD OLED TV reminds us about using the Magic Remote:

The ‘little house’ or HOME button calls up the main menu, but hold down the button and RECENTS comes up with what recent  …. were being viewed (and they can be edited and removed)

With QUICK ACCESS you can allocate a specific channel to one of the numerical buttons, see them and edit them on 0


Key messages from the 17 different videos in The Complete Guide To Your 2016 - 2017 LG TV:

To reset the Magic Remote press the BACK and HOME buttons simultaneously for about 15 seconds until you see the red power button blink 3 times - then point the remote at the TV and click the wheel to re-register

For voice command press and hold the search button on the Magic Remote until the microphone icon appears on the screen 

bernard.smith@mac.com  © Bernard Smith 2017-18