How to Get an M3U8 Stream URL Link for Your Live and VOD Streaming

By Jose Guevara

4 Min Read

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Jose Guevara

Jose is a part of the Dacast Customer Onboarding team and started working with the company in 2016. He has vast experience in customer service/engagement and live streaming support.

Table of Contents

    M3U8 URL links play a very important role in live and VOD streaming. Video players use the information in these text files to locate audio and video files for a stream. An essential part of HLS streaming technology, an M3U8 link makes it possible to integrate your stream with mobile apps and Smart TV apps such as Roku, Apple TV, and the like.

    In this post, we’re going to discuss how to generate and create an M3U8 URL for live and VOD streaming. Before we get started, it’s important to note that the M3U8 links feature is not activated by default on Dacast, so you’ll have to activate it manually.

    Table of Contents:

    • How to Generate and Use M3U8 URL Links
    • Testing Your M3U8 Link
    • What to Know About Direct M3U8 links on Dacast
    • Additional Resources

    Since using the M3U8 links directly causes many important features such as detailed analytics to be disabled, Dacast’s live streaming platform users will have to contact their Account Manager and request access to the M3U8 privilege.

    Note that this feature is included with Dacast’s event plans and above, and available with Starter pricing plans for an additional price.

    How to Generate and Use M3U8 URL Links

    In order to use the M3U8 link, you must navigate to the “Advanced Video Links” section under the “General” tab of your live stream or video. Drop down the “Advanced Video Links” tab and locate the “M3U8” link. Copy this link and paste it into Roku TV, Apple TV, or any private web TV channels and mobile app:

    Dacast - Create M3u8 Media Link
    The full link in this example is:

    https://dacastmmd.mmdlive.lldns.net/dacastmmd/e448bec06c5c49bbbe82bdeb170fc32f/manifest.m3u8?p=79&h=3e2e034290e07bc2798b02ba004d7566

    Testing Your M3U8 Link

    Follow these steps to test your new link:

    1. Enable your stream (and launch your stream for live streaming)
    2. Double-check that your stream is playing correctly, using the preview button in the back office or the share code
    3. Open VLC media player
    4. Click on “Media” and select “Open a Network Stream”
    5. Paste your new M3U8 link into the field

    Once you complete these 5 steps, Your stream should appear in VLC.

    What to Know About Direct M3U8 Links on Dacast

    As you dive into mobile streaming, you should be familiar with M3U8 links. Like we mentioned, Dacast offers the option of using M3U8 links to ensure compatibility with Roku and the development of mobile apps. Direct M3U8 links don’t support several valuable features such as the video paywall, in-depth video analytics, referrer restrictions, and geographic/IP restrictions. In order to make up for these unfortunate downfalls, Dacast offers live streaming SDKs as an alternative to supplement this option.

    If you have any questions about accessing or using direct M3U8 URL links for live streaming, VODs, or our SDKs, feel free to contact us directly. Not yet a Dacast user, and interested in trying Dacast risk-free for 14 days? Sign up today to get started.

    Get Started For Free

    Additional Resources

    author avatar

    Jose Guevara

    Jose is a part of the Dacast Customer Onboarding team and started working with the company in 2016. He has vast experience in customer service/engagement and live streaming support.

    Sign up for a 14-Day trial.

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