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Network exchange using SMB / SAMBA protocols

One way of accessing from STB to files located on network computers is SMB / CIFS protocol (hereinafter SMB is used). SMB is a standard protocol used by the Microsoft Windows network file system.
Samba is a free implementation of the SMB protocol for UNIX-like and other types operating systems.

SMB / Samba protocols using makes possible to share files between STB (Linux) and PC (Windows, Linux, etc.). Thus, STB users are enabled to play media files (video, audio, pictures) located on networked computers run OS which supported SMB
protocols
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SMB / Samba is an application layer protocol (in terms of OSI networking model). For data exchange, it uses transport protocol TCP / IP.
SMB / Samba protocol uses client-server architecture: server is a PC that hosts certain network resources (folders) with media files, client is a STB from which media files are played.

Shared network resources (as shortcuts) are displayed in STB, in Home media menu, in accordance with standard network LAN architecture of Windows OS: Network / Workgroup / Computer / Folder.

By default, access to computer resources is closed on computer side. If STB user wish to get network access to certain computer folder, computer user should open access to the folder using File Sharing procedure.

There are two accessing modes to network recourses (i.e. specific network folders) that set on server side:

  • password-protected - to open computer folder from STB, user is obliged to pass Authorization procedure - i.e. to enter login (computer user name) and password (computer user password);
  • without password - to open computer folder from STB no password is requested.

Discovering of shared network resources on STB side performs automatically (exept when it is prohibited by the computer user or it is impossible due to networking issues). Connection to network folder is established when STB user opens folder. In case of password-protected access to folder, STB user will be asked to specify login and password.

It is also possible to manually connect STB to specific network folder (if it was not discovered automatically). For accessing and setting up network resources using SMB / Samba protocol on STB, the Home media menu is used.

Example of how to connect a network folder, located on PC run Windows 10 OS, to STB is desctibed below.

Parameters used in example

Computer (file server):

  • Operating system - Windows 10 64-bit;
  • Computer name - My_computer;
  • Working group - WORKGROUP (default working group name in OS Windows);
  • PC IP address - 192.168.1.133.
  • Resource for sharing (folder with media files) - Video_E1.
  • User name - Usr.

STB (client)

  • IP-address of STB - 192.168.1.205

Setting up connection on server

Checking availability of network connection PC - STB

Before setting up connection, make sure that network connection between PC and STB is accessible -  send ICMP Echo Requests (PING) from PC to selected STB.

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SMB protocol enabling checkup

  1. Open Control PanelAll Control Panel Items Programs and Features.
  2. In the left pane, select Turn Windows features on or off.
  3. Make sure that Support for SMB 1.0 / CIFS File Sharing Support option is enabled.

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Sharing settings for Windows profiles

  1. Оpen Control PanelAll Control Panel Items Network and Sharing Center
  2. In the left pane, select Change advanced sharing settings.
  3. Set sharing settings for three profiles (Private, Guest or Public and All Networks):

Private

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Guest or Public

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All Networks

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Providing access to folder on PC

1. Open access to folder Video_E1: PropertiesSharingShare.
2. In opened window File sharing select and add users to access the folder:

2.1 To provide password protected access to the folder, select and add required users from user list (in example - Usr). This case, when trying to open the folder from STB side, user will be asked to enter login (PC user name) and password (PC user password) in order to connect the folder.

Take into account! PC user account must comprise a specific password value (not empty). In case of empty user password access the folder will be impossible!

2.2 To provide access to the folder without password (to all network users), select and add user All from user list.

3. Set permission level (read or read&write) for users and open access by clicking Share button.

Figures below demonstrates example how to configure passwordless access (to all network users).

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Network folder connection auto setup on STB

  1. In Embedded portal go to the Main menuHome MediaNetworkWORKGROUP

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2. The WORKGROUP folder contains shortcuts of network computers. Click on My_Computer shortcut. This opens list of shared computer folders.

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

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4. Open folder Video_E1. Inside the folder, follow the path to a media file that you want to play. If folder is shared (on PC) to all users, it opens automatically.

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5. If folder is password-protected or STB can not mount the folder by any reason then Network connection window opens. For getting access, you must select OK - the Authorization window opens, in which you should enter parameters for accessing the folder: Login and Password.

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6. After list of files opens , run the file you want to play.

Manual connection to network folder

In some cases (when folder auto connection is not performed), user can manually configure access to a network folder:

  • In Embedded portal go to Main menuHome MediaNetwork
  • 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.
      Note. In case of passwordless access, Login and Password options should be empty!

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Disconnecting network folder, changing folder settings on STB

To forced disconnecting certain network folder, use Disconnect NFS/SMB command.

If settings of established connection to certain network folder should be changed (for example, when networking settings was changed on PC side), use Edit share command for this folder.

Folder mounting

Establishing connection to certain network folder (described in Network folder connection setup on STB and Manual connection to network folder) leads to mounting this folder on STB. If certain folder has been mounted on STB, its shortcut puts on top level of Home media menu.

User can mount certain folder manually (this leads to its connecting too). For this purpose, command Mount share is used.

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To unmount folder on STB (this leads to its disconnecting too), command Unmount share is used.

Problems of accessing network resources

  1. Follow these steps:

2.When you have set passwordless access to the folder (for all users), but you are prompted to authorize when you open the folder:

5. If, when opening folder on STB, it is requested to perform authorization (enter login, password), but the password value is not set (empty password):

  • Set specific password value for PC user;
  • If access to folder not resumed, restart STB.

6. If any file does not open:

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

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

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