Find + Use an HLS (m3u8) Link

This article explains how BoxCast uses HLS to live stream and shows where you can locate the M3U8 link in the BoxCast Dashboard.

Mindy Worley avatar
Written by Mindy Worley
Updated over a week ago

BoxCast streams to viewers using a technology called HTTP Live Streaming (HLS). Created by Apple and used by companies worldwide, HLS utilizes standard web servers and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to distribute streaming media in small chunks.

The URLs to these chunks are presented in a list, called a playlist or an M3U8 (so named because of the file extension), which players use to download and present media. When combined with adaptive bitrate streaming, another playlist is used to serve multiple quality levels of content.

Other Options

  • If your integration provides a web view, you can use the App Embed option, placing the embed code in the web view contents. This will utilize the BoxCast player within the integration. See our article on embedding for more details.

  • Use our viewer SDKs to natively integrate BoxCast broadcasts into your app. We have viewer SDKs for Apple TV (TVML), Apple native (iOS, MacOS, etc.), Roku, and Android.

  • For even better integration, use our developer API to list, find, and play broadcasts. This will save you the effort of entering information for each and every broadcast.

Please reach out to with any questions about integrations.

If Other Options Won't Work

You can fetch the M3U8 URL from the Embed page under Static M3U8.

In general, here's how the M3U8 will work:

  • When you are live, your integration will receive the live broadcast.

  • When you are not live, your integration will receive an error that there is no live video. Depending on your integration, their video player may interpret this error in different ways such as a loading spinner.

Please note that the caveats above apply, namely that viewer analytics will be lost for those who watch on this link.

There's a chance the M3U8 for the entire account won't work for your app provider. In that case, we encourage you to reach out and encourage them to work with us on a simple, direct integration.

Common Questions

Does the M3U8 link ever expire?

Do I get viewer analytics with static M3U8 URLs?
No. You must consider a different type of integration if you want to retain viewer analytics.

Can I use privacy or ticketing features with the M3U8 link?
No. You must consider a different type of integration if you want to retain those features.

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