How To Install DizqueTV to create IPTV Channels in Plex

by Danny
7 comments

READING TIME: 14 MINUTES

In this guide, I’m going to show you how to install dizqueTV on Windows Server 2019. DizqueTV is an awesome application that lets you create pseudo “TV channels” from your locally stored Plex media.

There are installers for Windows, Linux, MacOS, Docker, and raspberry pi, so anyone can set this up! I have Plex installed locally on my Windows Server 2019 server (to take advantage of hardware transcoding), so I’m using the Windows executable for dizqueTV.

My step-by-step install guide below is for Windows users because I assume the majority of Plex users have it running on Windows computer rather than something like Docker.

This is a pretty long guide that I wrote it as I set it up for myself. As long as you follow the guide exactly, you should no trouble setting this up yourself.

If you’re looking for DizqueTV channel icons, here’s a 50+ pack of them you can download: https://smarthomepursuits.com/download/5404/ .

I honestly can’t remember where I found these, but they all look like this in various categories:


What is dizqueTV?

DizqueTV is a service that allows you to create “TV channels” from your your local Plex Media. You can create as many channels as you want, and sort them in whatever fashion meets your needs.

For example, you could:

  • Create a “Kids” channel and add cartoons.
  • Recreate a network TV channel like TNT, and add shows like Animal Kingdom.
  • Create a music video channel.
  • Create an Action channel, where you add your favorite action TV shows or movies.

DizqueTV is also capable of playing random videos from a list and inserting them in-between TV shows, which could be used as commercial breaks, countdowns, advertisements, etc.

It’s great for those nights where you don’t know what to watch, to play something in the background, or for when guests come over.

Another application which is similar to DizqueTV called ErsatzTV could also be installed instead. I recommend reading that guide to see which option you prefer.


How Does DisqueTV Work?

It works by creating a spoofed HDHomeRun (HDHR) server and uses IPTV streams. If you’re using a Plex Pass, then you can add this service as a DVR tuner within your Plex settings.

This sounds more complicated than it is. Once your dizquetv server is running, you basically just paste in the path to an XML file in the Plex Live TV & DVR settings.

Then, you can view the guide and play any channel you’ve created.


Limitations of dizqueTV

If you want to play TV channels within Plex, then you’ll need a Plex pass. However, you don’t have to add this to Plex at all if you don’t want. You can simply view the .m3u streams from another application.

It also doesn’t dynamically add content to existing channels. For example, if you have Sonarr grab new episodes automatically, you will have to manually update the TV channel to include those episodes. There is a handy script here you can use to add them automatically.

If you do add this to Plex DVR, it will constantly record and transcode which can use up your available CPU or GPU resources.

While it’s not necessary to add to Plex, you do get the added benefit of viewing these TV channels from any device that has the Plex client application installed. You also get a handy “guide” in Plex which makes it look and feel like a regular cable provider.


Does DizqueTV work for shared users?

DisqueTV will only work for Plex users added to your local ‘Home’ network. If you share your Plex library with others, they will not be able to use it.

Technically, there are ways to allows shared users to access it (which is out of scope for this guide) , but you should understand the security risks of doing so. Here’s some more info on that.

If your Home users have the Plex client installed, and you have Remote Access enabled, then your Home users should be able to use this remotely as well.


Install DizqueTV in Windows

Follow the steps below to setup and install dizqueTV.


Step 1: Download installer

Download dizqueTV from the Github link here: https://github.com/vexorian/dizquetv/releases

Scroll down to locate the latest version. It will be called dizquetv-win-x64.exe. Save it to your Downloads folder.


Step 2: Create dizquetv folder

Create a folder somewhere on your server. I have my media on my M:\ drive, so I’m creating it there.


Step 3: Copy .exe into Folder

Copy the dizquetv-win-x64.exe into your new folder.


Step 4: Change directory via CMD

Open Command Prompt and change directory (cd) to the folder you just created.

If you created the dizquetv folder on your C:\ drive, here’s the command you’d use:

cd C:\dizquetv

If you have it pointed to a different drive letter, then CD into that by:

cd

Followed by the drive letter:

m:

and then cd to that folder (hint: after typing cd, hit tab to cycle between folders)

cd m:\dizquetv

Then, start the application using this command:

start dizquetv-win-x64.exe --port 8000 --database .dizquetv

You should see a command prompt window open after a few seconds. You also need to make sure the .dizquetv folder was created successfully. This folder contains your configuration files and channels.

At the end of the guide, I’ll show you how to create a batch file to start the disquetv server automatically whenever your PC restarts.


Step 5: Open WebUI

Now that it’s running, you can launch dizquetv from your web browser. Type http://localhost:8000 in a web browser (or if accessing from your phone/another computer – use ServerIPAddress:8000).

To find your IP address, open CMD and type:

ipconfig

Under the ipv4 address is your IP address:


Step 6: Configure Plex Server in Settings

Once the page loads, click Settings:

Click the Plex tab. Then click Sign In/Add Servers.

A Plex authentication window will popup. Sign in with your Plex account. Enter your 2FA code if/when prompted.

In the web UI, it should begin to start looking for your server:

Once it adds them, make sure the UI Route and Background Route have green checkmarks:


Step 7: Verify FFMPEG version or install

Click the Version tab. If you don’t see a version for FFMPEG and it says Error, then you just need to install FFMPEG.

Mine had an error, so I installed from here with all defaults. Choose the blue Windows package.

Click the release builds tab and download FFMPEG 4.2.3 or later:

Save to your Downloads folder. Right-click > Extract All.

Create a new folder called ffmpeg. (I put this on my M:\ drive as well – i.e. M:\ffmpeg) Copy the extracted contents to this folder:

Then, in the disquetv web UI, go to Settings > FFMPEG and update the path to point to the ffmpeg.exe. Then click Update.

M:\ffmpeg\bin\ffmpeg.exe

Click the Version tab again. This time, there shouldn’t be an error message. If you still see an error, check your paths again:


Step 8: Create a Test Channel & Add Shows

Now comes the fun part: creating your first TV channel!

Click the Channel tab > + button.

Give your channel a number and name. Leave the icon alone for now during testing. We can update this later once we confirm it’s working.

In the Programming tab, click the blue + button. Add a few random TV shows (individual episodes, not seasons) and click Done.

It should now show your selected show programming. Click Add Channel.


Step 9: View Your TV Channel

Next, click Guide. Wait a minute or so for it to populate.

Then, click the Play button (Note: You must have VLC Media Player or something similar to play the downloaded file).

Clicking the play button will download a .3mu file. Once downloaded, double-click it to ensure the video plays in VLC.

If it does – you can continue to the next step where we add it to Plex.


Step 10: Add DizqueTV as a Plex DVR

First, you need to add the spoofed HDHomeRun tuner to Plex.

To do this, log into your Plex web interface: http://localhost:32400

Click your Plex Settings:

Under the Manage tab, click Live TV & DVR.

Click Set Up Plex DVR.

It should automatically find your dizqueTV tuner. If not, you can add it manually by clicking the “Don’t see your HDHomeRun device?” Mine found it automatically.

Click Setup Device.

Under Postal Code, click “Have an XMLTV guide on your server?”

Next, you need to find the path of your xmltv.xml file. This should be in your .dizquetv folder. You could also use the URL (i.e. – http://192.168.68.137:8000/api/xmltv.xml):

Add the path to the XMLTV Guide field in Plex. You could also change the guide name during this step, if you’d like.

M:\dizquetv\.dizquetv\xmltv.xml

Then, just click Continue. It will take a moment to download the EPG data, however you can click View Guide while you’re waiting.

Under your Plex Server, click Live TV & DVR. You should now see the new channel you created!

Once you add more channels, they will all show up under the Guide tab.


Step 13: Create Additional Channels

To create more channels, just follow Step 8 again.

If adding to Plex, it won’t automatically pull in the new channel, so you’ll also need to:

Go to your Plex web UI > Settings > Live TV & DVR. Under your Tuner devices, it shows only 1 our of 3 channels is enabled, so you’ll need to click into it to enable the new channels.


Other Customizations

At this step, you are 100% complete. You have installed the dizquetv server, created a few channels, and added them to Plex.

A few things I would recommend doing are:

  1. Setting a fallback image. dizquetv > Channels > pick a channel > Flex.
  2. Setting a channel icon. Properties tab > Set a channel icon.
  3. Create a Filler List. These are basically commercials you can have randomly play in between shows. There’s a list of filler repositories in the wiki.
  4. Customize playback. Whenever you first added shows, it added them in sequential order. If you go to Channel > Programming, there are some options to do a Random Shuffle, Cyclic Shuffle, configure Time Slots, and much more.

Adding Custom Channel Logos to DisqueTV

To add new images, the location they are stored is here: M:\dizquetv\.dizquetv\images.

Here are about 54 channel logos you can use for various categories: https://smarthomepursuits.com/download/5404/

Here is the Plex template in .psd form so you can create your own: https://smarthomepursuits.com/download/5411/

They all look similar to this:


Make sure the channel icon path is changed from localhost to your server’s IP address!


Create Batch File To Run Dizquetv

In Step 2, I mentioned that you should create a batch file to autostart dizquetv after a restart. Otherwise, whenever you reboot your computer or server, you’ll have to type that command in again.

Create Batch File

Open Notepad. Paste in the code below > Save As > Name it DizquetvAutoStart.bat. You can save it to your desktop for now.

Change drive letter M: with whatever drive letter you are using.

M:
cd dizquetv
start dizquetv-win-x64.exe --port 8000 --database .dizquetv

Now that the batch file is created, let’s test it out. Close out of the CMD window if it’s open. This will close and exit dizquetv.

Double-click the batch file. The CMD window should open and you should see green text if it launched correctly.

After that, you have a couple options. You can either:

  • Start the server automatically after signing into the server
  • Start the server automatically without needing to sign in

Both methods are documented below.


Launch Automatically After Reboot (requires signing in)

To configure the application to launch on startup:

Press your Windows key+R to open “Run”. Then type Shell:Common Startup.

Copy and paste the .bat file into the startup folder. The next time your computer reboots and you sign in, it’ll automatically launch! This method definitely works, but it does require that you sign into the computer first.


Use Task Scheduler (Launches without signin)

A better method would be to create a Scheduled Task that launches the .bat file.

Move the batch file to folder (like C:\Scripts). Then, create a task with the parameters below.

  1. Search Windows for Task Scheduler.
  2. Right-click Task Scheduler Library > Create Task.
  3. Give it a name, choose Run whether user is logged in or not > and configure for Windows 10.
  4. Under Triggers, begin the task At Startup. Make sure the Enabled box is checked.
  5. Under Actions, choose Start A Program
    1. Program/Script: point to the location of your Autostart Home Assistant batch file. (for me, this is “C:\Scripts\DizquetvAutoStart.bat” )
  6. Then click OK and enter your credentials.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully this guide helps you create your own IPTV channel to be used in Plex!

If you run into any issues during your setup, let me know in the comments and I’d be glad to help you out.


My Homelab Equipment

Here is some of the gear I use in my Homelab. I highly recommend each of them.

The full list of server components I use can be found on my Equipment List page.

7 comments

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7 comments

Curious one September 29, 2021 - 9:16 pm

This is a great article but I noticed you say you have to be a Plex plus user to install this feature if you’re already a Plex plus user what is the real need to set this up to create your own iptv channels when Plex just pulls from wherever your source files are.

Reply
Dwain Pittman September 30, 2021 - 1:33 pm

I installed dizqueTV and am loving it. One question though….. I was able to point to an external guide file but I can’t seem to figure out (or if it is even possible) to point to an external m3u file that goes with the guide file. Thanks for all your hard work!

Reply
Howard September 30, 2021 - 7:02 pm

Suggestion to add to the article a section describing why do this to create a “kids channel” vs just creating a “kids library”. Pros? Cons?

Reply
Danny September 30, 2021 - 7:20 pm

I could add something like that. Offhand, it would randomize the shows they are watching rathe than playing 20 episodes of the same thing.

Reply
Sanj October 11, 2021 - 12:12 pm

Thanks for these instructions very useful, I have a question regarding step 9, if the M3u file does not work how do you fix it. All that is in my file is :
#EXTM3U
http://localhost:8000/video?channel=1

Reply
Danny October 11, 2021 - 5:42 pm

Do you have VLC Media Player installed? If so, right-click the file > Open With > VLC.

Reply
Sanj October 13, 2021 - 5:50 pm

Hi Danny,
Yes I do have VLC Media Player installed, When I try opening the file in VLC it gives a error.

Reply

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