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IPTV set-top box supports access to multimedia content that placed on media server (network computer) using UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) technology. This makes possible from STB to play media files (video, sound, pictures) that are shared in local area network. To configure playback of network media resources from STB it is necessary that computer(s) and STB are on the same local network (in general, connected to the same switch/router or connected via Wi-Fi Direct).

Enabling and disabling UPnP on STB

To activate UPnP support on STB, you need to enable UPnP client for specific network interface (Ethernet or Wi-Fi) connecting STB to local network.
To disable UPnP support, UPnP client should be off.

  1. Open SettingsSystem settingsAdvanced settings
  2. In the UPnP client enabled option select:

a. Disabled - UPnP client is turned off;
b. LAN - UPnP client is enabled on LAN interface (Wired network);
c. Wireless - UPnP client is enabled on Wi-Fi interface (Wireless network).

After UPnP client enabled, UPnP folder adds in Home media menu that contains network resources shortcuts.

After UPnP client disabled, UPnP folder removes from Home media menu.

Configuring access to media resources on computer using standard Windows tools

Windows Media Player program is standard tool for Microsoft Windows OS to provide access to media resources of computer using UPnP technology. In addition, access can be organized using third-party software, such as the Home Media Server program, etc.

Enabling UPnP on the computer

Microsoft Windows OS supports UPnP technology. Beginning from Windows Vista this function is called Network discovery.
Network discovery function enables / disables in the Network and Sharing Center section. To enable Network discovery on a computer running Microsoft Windows 10:

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Select Network and Sharing Center.
  3. In the left pane of the window, click Change advanced sharing settings link.
  4. In Network Discovery section, select the Turn on network discovery option and click Save Changes button at the bottom of the window.
  5. UPnP will automatically start after computer restarts and will be started every time you turn on the computer.

When you are using network router, if you have problems accessing media resources, you need to make sure that UPnP function is properly configured in the router configuration.

To enable UPnP function in Windows OS versions below Vista, use description of the required version settings.

Accessing media resources from STB

After UPnP function is enabled on both sides (computer and STB) folder UPnP is created in Home media tab of Main menu. In the folder UPnP available network media resources are displayed. By default, content of standard Windows Media Player folders are displayed: Video, Music, Image. In STB, these resources are displayed by path, respectively:

  • Home media / UPnP / Video
  • Home media / UPnP / Sounds
  • Home media / UPnP / Pictures

After UPnP client disabling, UPnP folder removes from Home media tab.

  Example. Accessing media resources from STB

Configuring media server (UPnP)

Configuring media server (UPnP)

Configuring media server (UPnP)

Opening and closing access from STB to specific folder on your computer

To open or close access from STB to specific folder on your computer you must use settings of Windows Media Player program. For example, consider algorithm for adding or deleting folder with video files:

  1. On your computer, start Windows Media Player.
  2. In Windows Media Player window select Video (located in the left pane), open context menu (right mouse button) and select Manage video library.
  3. To add folder:
    1. In Video Library window that opens, click on Add button, select folder (within computer) for which you want to open UPnP access, and click on Add folder button.
  4. Required folder should appear in the list and will be displayed in STB by path: Home media / UPnP / Video / Folders
  5. To delete folder from STB UPnP-list - in opened window Paths to the library Video select the folder to be deleted and click on Delete button.

Similarly, folders are added (deleted) to Music and Image sections.

To achieve correct displaying of media resources in STB:

  • After UPnP settings changing (on both sides) you need some time to wait.
  • Some cases, it is required to restart PC.

Advanced media streaming settings

With Windows Media Player you can also access various media streaming settings:

  1. In Windows Media Player window open (in the left pane) desired folder (for example, Video).
  2. Select required video file in the center of the window.
  3. Select Stream / Advanced Streaming Options ...
  4. In Multimedia streaming settings window that appears, make required settings:
    1. Allow or deny access to stream (file) from certain network devices;
    2. Enable or disable network discovery - via Select sharing and home network settings tab;
    3. Select power scheme - via Select power options tab. This setting might be necessary, for example, if playback of stream interrupts due to the computer going to sleep.

Playback interruption due to computer going to sleep

During playback of media files via UPnP, computer may go to sleep and hence interrupt playback at STB. To avoid interrupting of media stream playback, you need to stop computer entering sleep.

For example in Windows OS:

  1. Enter power settings (Control Panel / Power Options).
  2. Turn on power scheme High performance.

Factors affecting playback quality

The ability to playback and quality of media content playback depend on many factors:

  • technical capability of each individual STB model to playing certain content (depends on performance of STB processor, supported screen resolution modes, codecs, etc.);
  • bandwidth of network equipment (router);
  • local network load level, speed of Internet access;
  • performance and congestion of computer (media server);
  • quality of wireless connection of STB or PC, etc.

UPnP Linux OS, Mac OS

Creating of UPnP-connection to devices running OS Linux and Mac OS can be carried out using third-party software. For example: MediaTomb, TVersity.

Need Help

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

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