[TUTORIAL] How to have custom channel numbers in IPTV Simple Client

For a long time, my biggest complaint of IPTV Simple Client was the inability to have custom channel numbers. If you don’t know what I mean, let me explain.

Typically, your channel numbers increment in IPTV Simple. You can have it start a custom number, but it always goes up by one for each channel. Your lineup always looks like this–1,2,3,4,5,6…–, even though sometimes you wish it would look like this–1,3,20,35,48,60. Why custom numbers? It best emulates real TV. You’re stuck with all of your channels in one line…until now.

This works with Kodi 16+. Look at the layout of this sample .m3u below:

#EXTINF:-1 tvg-name="001" tvg-id="" tvg-logo="" group-title="-",
#EXTINF:-1 tvg-name="002" tvg-id="" tvg-logo="" group-title="-",
#EXTINF:-1 tvg-name="003" tvg-id="" tvg-logo="" group-title="-",
#EXTINF:-1 tvg-name="004" tvg-id="XMLTV ID1" tvg-logo="LOGO1" group-title="GROUP",CHANNEL 1
#EXTINF:-1 tvg-name="005" tvg-id="" tvg-logo="" group-title="-",
#EXTINF:-1 tvg-name="006" tvg-id="" tvg-logo="" group-title="-",
#EXTINF:-1 tvg-name="007" tvg-id="XMLTV ID2" tvg-logo="LOGO2" group-title="GROUP",CHANNEL 2
#EXTINF:-1 tvg-name="008" tvg-id="" tvg-logo="" group-title="-",
#EXTINF:-1 tvg-name="009" tvg-id="" tvg-logo="" group-title="-",
#EXTINF:-1 tvg-name="010" tvg-id="XMLTV ID3" tvg-logo="LOGO3" group-title="GROUP",CHANNEL 3

This looks like a mess, but look at what it yields:

[Image: UUBLO6n.png]

Custom channel numbers! So, what does all this mean?

Here’s the key for each channel:

tvg-name=”###” — This is simply the name I’ve given each channel. I make sure they’re the channel numbers, so I know what channel will be what when I’m done
tvg-id=”***” — My XMLTV id for that channel for EPG purposes
tvg-logo=”***” — The url for the channel’s logo icon
group-title=”***” — This is important. Make sure all of your channels have a group. Even if it’s just “Channels.”

So, let’s look at what I call a placeholder:

#EXTINF:-1 tvg-name="001" tvg-id="" tvg-logo="" group-title="-",

In this example, it is a placeholder for channel 1. It has no XMLTV id, no logo, and most importantly, the group is called “-“. Note how it has NO name after the comma. This is critical. It must have a URL for IPTV Simple to parse it, so I made it http://null. It goes nowhere, but IPTV Simple thinks it does.

In my setup, I wanted to go to channel # 10. So, I needed to have placeholders for every number up to 10. This is how you get your custom numbers. You have to essentially trick IPTV Simple into thinking there are channels.


You must have the following settings selected:

PVR IPTV Simple Client settings: General -> Numbering channels starts at -> **Any number you want to start at. I suggest 1…keep it simple**
Settings -> TV/PVR -> General -> Use channel order from backend(s) -> ON
Settings -> TV/PVR -> General -> Use channel numbers from backend -> ON

When you do all of this, restart TV/PVR or restart Kodi. When you open your TV Channels, you will see something like this:

[Image: qHxfALi.png]

There is a minor bug with this method that’s easy to remedy. You’ll notice that there’s a channel called “Unknown channel 9”. When using this method, you will always have a channel somewhere that’s unknown. You’ll only have one, and it’s usually at the end. Here’s how to hide it:

CONTEXT MENU on any channel -> Manage -> Channel Manager -> Scroll to channel with Unknown name -> Channel options -> Active = Off -> OK

The channel should be hidden! Now, do the following to hide the placeholder group from your PVR:

CONTEXT MENU on any channel -> Manage -> Group Manager -> Available Groups -> “-” -> “Hide Group” -> OK

Note that your channels that you want to keep MUST HAVE A GROUP OTHER THAN “-“

If there’s interest, I’ll leave a blank template for a .m3u file for use with IPTV Simple Client that will save you countless hours making the numbers for your lineup. I have numbers from 1-1500 in my lineup with no adverse effects. Have fun!