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IPTV set-top boxes MAG allow users to receive third-party audiovisual content (such as television channels, movies, series, etc.). STB does not contain any pre-loaded content. In order to get access to content, you should turn to a local operator (owner of the OTT / IPTV platform) that provides respective services. STB manufacturer does not distribute any content and is not responsible for the quality of content-provision services. On all issues relating to the operation of the External Portal and, in particular, about troubles with the content, it is necessary to contact your service provider.
While using STB, please take into account that the content received may be subject to copyright or related rights protection, and the distribution of such content may be exercised solely upon the authorization of rights holders. 

External OTT/IPTV portal

External Portal is a Web application that is loaded in STB in order to get access to multimedia services of particular OTT / IPTV platform.
Being a client-server computer program, External Portal covers two sides - client-side that is loaded to STB and server-side that acts on the MiddleWare server (MW) which is a bridge between STB and various media services such as access to audio-video content, recordings, other applications, etc.

STB interacts with MW by HTTP protocol. Accordingly, the External Portal address is an HTTP URL. In order to make the connection to a particular MW, the URL of its Portal should be pre-specified in STB.

STB can be configured in a way that during STB booting Portal is loaded (in other words, STB connects to Portal) automatically or manually by choosing a particular Portal from the list.

Connection to External Portal may include the authentification stage: this case to access Portal, the user is asked for entering, in the proposed Authentication form, a personal log-in, and password that were obtained from the Operator (service provider). After STB connects to Portal, the user gets access to OTT / IPTV services provided by Operator.

The External portal of each OTT / IPTV platform has original User Interface (UI) designed on the Desktop environment principle and contains general tools of service management and portal settings like windows, icons, folders, menu, etc.

  UI of MW Ministra portal - Main menu and Settings

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Interaction between a particular STB model and MW becomes possible after mutual pre-integration. STB models of MAG family, as default, are integrated with Ministra TV platform.

See the list of STB models and the corresponding versions of MW Ministra/Stalker.

Specifying External portal in Software image and in System Settings

In open platform STB models, access to External Portals can be configured in the following ways:

  1. Portal URL is specified by the operator in STB software within software image creation (in case of operator and custom software images). This Portal will be loaded in STB automatically. In addition, during image creation operator can ban access to Embedded Portal - see Instruction.
  2. Portal URL is manually configured by the user in System settings of Embedded Portal - see below. This way of Portal specifying
    is available by default in public and factory images that are provided by the STB manufacturer.

Configuring access to portals in Embedded portal

Portal section (Normal portal settings)

To configure access to External Portals the following section of Embedded Portal is used: System settings Servers Portals.
In Portals section, by default, it is possible to specify one or two External Portals.

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Multiportal mode (extended portal settings)

In the multiportal mode, STB can store information about up to 8 External Portals. Extended portals settings are configured in System settings Portal More section. If Multiportal mode is enabled (Multiportal mode option set to ON), additional options are opened in More window:

  • the first group (Default portal, Portal load delay) defines extended rules of portal loading in STB;
  • the second group (Use portal N, URL N, Portal Name) is intended to add additional (more than two) external portals.

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Options Descriptions

Multiportal mode

  • ON - enable the multiportal mode;
  • OFF - disable the multiportal mode.

Value ON opens additional options to set up portal loading and to add additional External Portals.

Default portal

Users can assign the Embedded or External portal to be default portal. The default portal can be automatically loaded in STB (see description of Portal load delay option). The External Portal must first be configured (see options Portal N, Use portal N, URL N).

Portal load delay

Option values:

  • Without auto start - a portal to be loaded is selected manually. During STB loading, the Select a portal for loading window will appear on the screen in which the user should select a portal to load (Embedded or External).
  • 3 s, 5 s, ... 2 min - a portal to be loaded is selected automatically (see Default portal option) after the set delay. See the description of Portal autostart

Portal N

The number (N=1...8) of External Portal whose parameters are currently displayed and are available for editing (Use portal N, URL N, Portal Name).

Use portal N

  • ON - the external portal is allowed to be used;
  • OFF - the external portal is not allowed.

If option is set to ON then this portal (N-th) can be used to load in STB (it is displayed in Select a portal for loading window).

Name N

Name of External Portal to be added (N-th). This is an optional value.


Address (URL) of External Portal to be added (N-th). Mandatory value.

In the multiportal mode, the information in the Portals window becomes grayed out. It indicates that extended portals settings are being applied.

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How to add External Portal

An example of a manual configuring the connection to External Portal is given below. To enter configuring data the screen keyboard is used.

Normal settings of External Portal:

Take as an examplePortal 1 (Name: stalker, URL:

  1. In Embedded portal open: System settingsServersPortals.
  2. Bring up the screen keyboard (with KB button on RC).
  3. Specify Portal 1 name value (do not click Enter). In example: Test_portal.
  4. Remove the keyboard (with KB button on RC).
  5. Go to Portal 1 URL option (with Down button on RC).
  6. Bring up the screen keyboard (with KB button on RC).
  7. Specify Portal 1 URL value:
    Note. If an incorrect value is specified, the appropriate warning will be displayed when you attempt to save.
  8. After edition completing, click Enter on the keyboard to save entered data.
  9. Exit from Portal settings (Exit on RC). To check the connection to Portal 1, restart portal: System settingsRestart Portal. The specified portal (Portal 1) must be autoloaded.
  Video example. How to add Portal 1 (the portal setting information is entered by the on-screen keyboard)

Extended setting of Portals (Multiportal mode):

Take as an examplePortal 2 (URL:

  1. In Embedded portal open: System settingsServersPortals.
  2. Click More (F1 on RC). In appeared Multiportal mode field, set ON. This opens extended Portals options:
    1. In Portal option select number of the portal to be edited (in the example: Portal 2);
    2. Set option Use portal 2 to ON. This opens Name 2, URL 2 options.
    3. Set required values in Name 2, URL 2 options (in example: URL 2:
    4. If necessary, make additional settings for other portals similarly as described in items a...с.
    5. Choose one of the portals to be as default (auto-started) portal - specify this portal in Default Portal option (in example: Portal 2).
    6. Select value of Portal load delay option (for example, 3 sec);
    7. Save the changes with command Save (OK on RC).
  3. To connect to Portal 2, restart Embedded portal: System settingsRestartPortal. The specified portal (Portal 2) should be autoloaded.

When portal loading happens

Portal loading is getting started in the following cases:

  • after STB reboot (including after SW update);
  • on exit from Embedded portal (i.e. exit from Main menu - use Exit on RC);
  • after a restart of Embedded portal;
  • on exit from External Portal (if this option is implemented in External Portal and enabled in SW image).

Portal loading variants: autostart and manual start

There are two variants of how portal loading can be done in STB:

Normal settings

In case of Normal settings mode:

  • if External Portals are not specified, autostart of the Embedded Portal is applied;
  • if a single External Portal is specified, autostart of the specified External Portal is applied;
  • if both External Portals are specified, manual start is applied.

Multiportal mode

In case of multiportal mode one of the portals (Embedded or External) is assigned as default and portal loading depends on value of Portal load delay option:

  • in case of certain delay time (3 s .... 2 min) - the default portal will automatically be loaded in STB, after a set delay.
  • in case of Without auto start value - manual start is applied.

For example, in order to configure Portal 2 autostart for the above description you should:

  • set Default portal = Portal: 2;
  • set Portal load delay = some value (any except Without auto start).

Portal autostart

How to configure portal autostart (autoloading) is described above. The process of portal autostart is as follows:

  • At the beginning of portal loading the message "Loading portal..." appears on the screen.
    Note. Duration of displaying "Loading portal..." message is 3 sec, as default. In multiportal settings mode this value can be changed with the Portal load delay option.

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  • If during Loading portal... message displaying user presses Menu on the RC, the loading interrupts and Select a portal for loading window opens: user can manually start some portal loading or change required system settings.

  • After the expiration of the delay time (if loading was not interrupted), the portal autoloading starts. After successful loading, a start page of Portal is displayed. If loading gets failed, the Page loading error will be given on the screen.

Select a portal for loading window (Manual portal start)

Select a portal for loading window provides users to connect to the required portal (this is an alternative to auto-start):

  • In case of normal portal settings mode: if both external portals are configured, the manual portal start is applied.
  • In case of extended portal settings (multiportal) mode: if option Portal load delay is set as Without auto start.

There Select a portal for loading window can be brought up during portal loading, as well:

The window Select a portal for loading allows selecting manually a portal to be loaded (Embedded or external). In addition, users can make changes in Portal settings (System settingsServersPortals) or other parameters of System settings before start Portal loading.

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Page loading error

If STB fails to load an External Portal, then Page loading error window (page 404) displays. It contains Try again command (retrying connection to the portal) and other commands that are similar to commands of Select a portal for loading window.

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If Page loading error window is displayed, possible user actions:

  1. Eliminate the cause of the issue (for example, recover network connection) and try to reconnect the Portal.
    1. Check network connection status in Select a portal for loading window. To recover connection, you can change network settings (in System Settings) back to Select a portal for loading window (use Back button on RCU) and try to load the Portal again.
  2. Enter to System settings, change portals settings, and then back to Select a portal for loading window (use Back button on RCU) to load the Portal again.
  3. Load another portal (Embedded or External) from the list.

In case of the portal is not loaded ( 'Page Loading Error', 'Blocking access to portal from Operator' messages):

  • If booting starts (logotype and Starting... messages become visible on the screen) but External Portal is not being loaded (loading ends with Page Loading Error page), check the following:
    • URL of the Portal;
    • network connection;
    • if IPTV provider's Portal is available;
    • if the access to service from IPTV provider is not locked.
  • If network connection has been checked but Portal does not load then restart STB.
  • If the connection to the network is correct but network services are not available then contact IPTV operator.
  • Locked access to services by IPTV operator (messages such as 'STB is blocked', etc.) - attentively read Info message on the TV screen, contact operator or fix the specified issue by yourself, reboot STB.

DHCP portal

An external portal to be loaded in STB can be specified from the DHCP server. This feature is called a DHCP portal and is configured in the next section: System settings ⇒ Servers More.
Set ON in Use DHCP portal field to enable the DHCP portal feature.

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If the DHCP portal option is enabled, then STB, at the booting stage, retrieves the URL of External Portal from the DHCP server. For this purpose, the DHCP server must be pre-configured properly.

See an example of vendor section contents for MAG322 in the DHCP configuration file. Option Infomir.portal.dhcp defines DHCP-portal URL.

The value of the DHCP portal is set in STB environment variables as portal_dhcp. Accordingly, this value displays in More window in the DHCP portal field.

DHCP-portal has a higher priority comparing to portal values assigned in System Settings. That is if after STB restart a particular value of the DHCP portal is being obtained, STB will try to autoload this Portal despite the values of other portals (Portal 1, Portal 2, ...).

How to configure portal settings in software image

Instruction on how to configure portal settings during building of software image:

- Lock/unlock access to Select a portal for loading window during Loading portal... message displaying with Menu button of RC;
- Lock/unlock access to System settings in Select a portal for loading and Page loading error (Page 404) windows;
- Hide/unhide configured portal list (URLs and names) in Select a portal for loading and Page loading error (Page 404) windows;
- Lock/unlock access to the Embedded portal in Select a portal for loading and Page loading error (Page 404) windows.

Need Help

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

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