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Network exchange using SMB / CIFS (SAMBA)

One way of accessing from STB to files located on network computers is SMB / CIFS protocol (Server Message Block / Common Internet File System). Samba is free implementation of the SMB / CIFS protocol for UNIX-like operating systems. SMB / CIFS protocol is application protocol (in terms of OSI network model). For data exchange it uses transport protocol TCP / IP.
SMB / CIFS protocol provides possibility of sharing files between Linux (STB) and Windows (PC). Thus, STB users are enabled to play media files (video, audio, pictures) located on networked computers.
SMB / CIFS protocol uses client-server architecture: server is PC that hosts certain network resources (folders) with media files, client is STB from which media files are played.
Support for SMB / CIFS protocol by OS Windows 10 is enabled by default.

To display network resources in STB standard network LAN architecture of Windows OS is used: Network / Workgroup / Computer / Folder. To control access to folders it is used File Sharing procedure. By default, access to computer resources is closed. if access to certain folder is required PC user provides access to folders in one of the ways:

  • password-protecting - to open PC folder from STB user is prompted to enter Login (PC user name) and password (PC user password);
  • without password - to open PC folder from STB no password is requested.

Connection of network resources on STB side occurs automatically. It is also possible to manually configuring network folders. For accessing and setting up network resources using SMB / CIFS protocol Home media section is used.
Example of how to connect network folder at Windows 10 PC is desctibed below.

Example of setting up connection between STB and PC Windows 10

Basic parameters used in example

Computer (file server):

  • Operating system - Windows 10 64-bit;
  • The computer name is My_computer (selected for example);
  • Working group - WORKGROUP (the name of the working group "by default" in the OS "Windows");
  • IP address of the PC:
  • Resource for sharing (folder with media files) - Video_E1.
  • User name is Usr.

STB (client)

  • IP-address of STB:

Checking availability of network connection PC - STB

Before setting up connection, make sure that network connection between PC and STB is accessible - "ping" STB from PC side.

Access to network PC (SAMBA)

PC-side setting

  1. Open access to folder Video_E1: PropertiesSharingShare.

2. If you want to provide access from STB to the folder only for current PC user, leave in user list
current user (Usr) only. This case, access to the folder will be provided by login (user name) and password (user password).
3. If you want to share the folder with all network users, select user All from user list (if it is absent, add it).
4. Select permission level (read or read&write) for PC users (current Usr or user All) and open access by clicking Share button.

Below, figure shows example how to configure passwordless access to all network users.

Access to network PC (SAMBA)

Access to network PC (SAMBA)

Access to network PC (SAMBA)

Access to network PC (SAMBA)

Access to network PC (SAMBA)

5. On PC, open the Advanced Sharing Setting and set sharing settings for three profiles (Private, Guest or Public and All Networks):


Access to network PC (SAMBA) 

Guest or Public

Access to network PC (SAMBA)

All Networks

Access to network PC (SAMBA)

STB-side setting

  1. In embedded portal go to the Main menuHome MediaNetworkWORKGROUP

Access to network PC (SAMBA)

Access to network PC (SAMBA)

2. The WORKGROUP folder displays network computers of Workgroup.
  Login to My_Computer (in the My_Computer folder, computer folders for which you are sharing are displayed).

Access to network PC (SAMBA)

3. To control auto-detection of network resources and type of protocol, select folder and use "i" (INFO) button on the Remote Control:

Access to network PC (SAMBA)

4. Open folder Video_E1. Inside the folder select file that you want to play.

5. If folder is password-protected (or for any other reason) the STB can not "mount" the folder (that is, access it), then when you try to open this folder, Network connection window opens.
For authorization, you must select OK - the Authorization window opens, on which you should enter parameters for accessing the folder: Login and Password.

Access to network PC (SAMBA)

Access to network PC (SAMBA)

6. In some cases (for example, if there are problems with auto-connection), you can manually configure access to the network folder:

  • In embedded portal go to the Main menuHome MediaNetworkWORKGROUP
  • Call Operations window - Menu button on RC
  • Find Tools tab (use left, right buttons) and click Connect NFS/SMB.
  • In Connect network folder window, enter the following connection parameters
    • Server Address - IP address of PC (file server) on which required folders are located;
    • Server folder - name of shared folder on PC;
    • Local folder - name of folder on STB (usually the same as folder name on server);
    • Connection type - SMB protocol.
    • Login - the same as user name of PC. Login is entered if folder is password-prorected;
    • Password - password for accessing folder. It is entered if the folder is password-prorected.

Access to network PC (SAMBA)

Access to network PC (SAMBA)

7. Run media-file.

Problems of accessing network resources

  1. In Home media window does not open tabs Network, WorkGroup
  • Check network settings and network status on STB and computer sides ;
  • To ping STB from PC side (make sure that both devices can communicate over the network).
  • Verify that SMB version 1 and 2 protocol support is enabled on server (PC from which access is configured).
  • Reload STB and PC.
  • Verify that SMB version 1 and 2 protocol support is enabled on server (PC from which access is configured).

2. If Network, WorkGroup tabs are displayed, but network computer is not displayed:

  • Check that the computer appears in Network section of computer;
  • Ping STB from PC side (make sure that both devices can communicate over the network).
  • Restart a computer.

3. If STB does not show available folders or access to the folder is closed:

  • Check that shared folders are displayed in Network section on the computer ;
  • If it possible, check for access to the folder from other networked computers;
  • On the computer, check sharing settings in the folder properties and Advanced sharing settings.
  • Reboot STB.

4.If you are prompted to authorize, but you did not assign a password to the folder:

  • Verify that access to All user is opened in the folder Sharing properties;
  • If access has not resumed, restart STB.

5. If the file does not open:

  • check whether the file is playing locally on PC;
  • try to play from STB other files from the same PC folder, from other network folders;
  • try to play another file format (preferably, check file that was previously played on STB, for example, from USB-drive). Perhaps this file format is not supported by STB.
Need Help

Dave is an expert on the MAG STB and the author of this article.

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