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Import Content from Streaming URLs with Stream Files

With Channels DVR Server, you can import movies and TV shows using streaming URLs right into your library.

This is a simple way to add external content directly to your Channels library.

What is a Stream File?

Stream Files are like Stream Links but instead of a link to a streaming service’s content, they contain a URL to an actual video file. This means that it will play directly in Channels.

Stream Files are simple plain text files with URLs pointing to a video file. They import into your Channels library just like Local Content. You simply use the appropriate naming conventions and add them to your Imports folder in your DVR data folder.

Instead of a video on your hard drive, Channels knows that they are links and will load the URL to play them.


When creating a stream file, you should use the appropriate format. Use a title for the filename. use strm for an extension. The content of the file should be a URL to another service.

For example:

Imports/Movies/Turning Red (2022).strm

The content of this plain text file would be a simple URL to the content on Disney+

TV episodes would look like this:

Imports/TV/The Office/Season 1/1x01.strm

Protip: For more information on directory and filename formats, read the Local Content documentation.

Where do you put them?

Once you have your stream files created, you’ll want to put them where Channels DVR Server will import them.

Inside your DVR data folder, the folder where all your recordings are saved, you will find an Imports folder. Inside the Imports folder, you’ll see folders for Movies and TV. Move your stream files into the appropriate folders for Channels DVR Server to find them.

Channels DVR Server routinely scans for stream files and adds them to your library. If you want to add them right away, you can run a manual scan in the Local Content section of Settings in your Channels DVR Server web admin.

What about watch state?

Since Stream Files appear as normal content and play right inside Channels, watch state is fully supported. You can resume where you left off and content will be marked as watched.