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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 involvement 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 supported SMB or Samba protocols.
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 display 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 ways of getting network access (defined for specific folder on computer 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 occurs 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 configure on STB connection 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 network folder at PC run Windows 10 OS is desctibed below.
Note. Windows 10 OS supports SMB protocol by default.

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 (assigned for example);
  • Working group - WORKGROUP (the name of the working group "by default" in the OS "Windows");
  • IP address of the PC: 192.168.1.133.
  • Resource for sharing (folder with media files) - Video_E1.
  • User name is Usr.

STB (client)

  • IP-address of STB: 192.168.1.205

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.

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PC side settings (folder sharing)

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 password-protected - STB user will be asked to enter login (PC user name) and password (PC user password) in order to connect the folder.

Take into account! You must use a specific password value for PC user account (not empty).

3. If you want to share 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.

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5. On PC, open the Advanced Sharing Setting and 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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Network folder connection setup on STB

  1. In embedded portal go to the Main menuHome MediaNetworkWORKGROUP

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

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3. To control 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 that contains the media file that you want to play.

  • If folder is shared (on PC) to all users it opens automatically.
  • If folder is password-protected or STB can not mount (by any reason) the folder, then when you try to open this folder, Network connection window opens. For getting access, you must select OK - the Authorization window opens, on which you should enter parameters for accessing the folder: Login and Password.

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5. After openning list of files, run a file you want to play.

Manual connection to network folder

In some cases (if there are problems with folder auto connection), user can manually configure access to 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.

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Disconnecting network folder, changing folder settings on STB

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

In case of need to change settings of established connection to certain network folder, use for this folder Edit share command.

Folder mounting

Establishing of connection to certain network folder (described in Network folder connection setup on STB, Manual connection to network folder) is accompanied this folder mounting 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.
For unmounting folder on STB (this leads to its disconnecting too), command Unmount share is used.

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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 ;
  • 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.

2. If Network, WorkGroup tabs are displayed, but network computer shortcut 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 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 (on PC);
  • If access to folder not resumed, restart STB.

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 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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