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Import Content from Streaming Services with Stream Links

Pre-Release

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

This is a simple way to aggregate content from other sources into your Channels library.

Stream Links are simple plain text files with URLs pointing to content on other services. 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 that is played back, Channels knows that they are links and will open the appropriate streaming app to play them.

Format

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

For example:

Imports/Movies/Iron Man (2008).strmlnk

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

https://www.disneyplus.com/video/8eaccf77-9e46-47f5-9b7a-fdc1e65cd1b4

TV episodes would look like this:

Imports/TV/The Mandalorian/Season 1/1x01.strmlnk

https://www.disneyplus.com/video/30ea8a44-797d-4da8-b776-2e3636a2bf5a

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

Where do you put them?

Once you have your stream links 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 links into the appropriate folders for Channels DVR Server to find them.

Channels DVR Server routinely scans for stream links 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?

Unfortunately, Channels has no means to know if you’ve watched something on a streaming service. Fortunately, Channels is really easy to use to manage this yourself right inside the app.

This means that a show based on Streaming Links can’t automatically partake in Up Next. But by manually marking episodes as watched, stream links can work just like the rest of your watchable content in Channels.

Supported Services

Channels supports Stream Links for quite a few services. Here’s a list.

  • Amazon Prime
  • Apple TV+
  • CBS All Access
  • Disney+
  • HBO Max
  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • Peacock

URLs for Services

When creating Stream Links for specific services, you should use a specific URL format. The following lists an example format for each service.

Amazon Prime

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072B9N6Z1

Apple TV+

https://tv.apple.com/us/episode/the-cellar/umc.cmc.6lb489nnik0je6wf3sm61wj2k?showId=umc.cmc.15p55n2osur6c56uam2gxhye3

CBS All Access

http://www.cbs.com/shows/seventh_heaven/video/ro6TKz5Z_zp0f0F7yK1SfR_ipb3uto_q/7th-heaven-pilot/

Disney+

https://www.disneyplus.com/video/1170bf6f-19ce-4acd-b018-7c02252416b7

HBO Max

https://play.hbomax.com/episode/urn:hbo:episode:GWi8EDAB0G66BwgEAAAFm

Hulu

http://www.hulu.com/watch/e7b4c8f5-068b-47b4-9ce5-e1038d517dd2

Netflix

http://www.netflix.com/watch/80117471

Peacock

https://www.peacocktv.com/watch/playback/vod/GMO_00000000028363_01/9f6a3909-c36c-38de-ad33-fa4b19a0a2f4