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IPTV set-top boxes MAG allow users to receive third-party audiovisual content (such as television channels, movies, series, etc.). Set-top box (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 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 distribution of such content may be exercised solely upon the authorisation of rights holder. 

External OTT / IPTV portal

External OTT / IPTV portal (hereinafter referred to as External Portal) is designed to allow STB users access to services provided by a particular OTT / IPTV platform.

Example of IPTV/OTT project on base of Ministra TV-Platform - Magic Solution.

External portal is a Web application that is client–server  computer program covered two sides - the client side is implemented on STB, the server side - on MiddleWare (MW) server which acts as bridge between STB and various services of the OTT / IPTV platform. STB interacts to MW server by HTTP protocol. External portal address has format of HTTP URL. If some external portal is intended to load in STB, its address should be specified in STB preliminarily - by operator in SW image or by user in STB Settings. STB connection to the portal is established when STB booting or after current portal being restart.

Connection to External Portal may include authentification stage: to access the portal, user should enter, in proposed Authentication form, personal log-in and password that were got from the operator (service provider).

After STB connected to Portal, user can accesses certain OTT / IPTV services (audio-video content play back, recording / playback services, access to games and other applications and etc.).

External Portal of certain OTT / IPTV platform has original User Interface (UI). Portal's UI is designed on Desktop environment principle and contains general tools of service management  and portal settings like windows, icons, folders, menu, etc. The following example demonstrates the UI of MW Ministra portal - Main menu and Settings:

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Interaction of certain STB model and Middleware server gets enable after preliminary mutual integration. List of OTT / IPTV platforms that supported by STB is indicated in technical specifications of STB - for example, see MAG322 spec (see Middleware supported option). STB models of MAG family are integrated with Ministra TV platform.

Specifying of External portal in Software image and in System Settings

In closed platform STB models, as a rule, URL of IPTV operator portal is specified in STB software (firmware) and access to Embedded STB portal is blocked. The portal of IPTV operator, that was specified this way, is loaded in STB automatically.

In open platform STB models, access to external and embedded portals can be configured in following ways:

  1. Portal URL is specified by operator in STB software during creating software image. This variant is used only for STB software that operator creates, - operator and custom software images. After SW update this portal will automatically load in STB. In addition, during image creation you can block ability to display and make changes of Portal section, as well as to disable ability to enter the Embedded portal - see Instruction.
  2. Portal URL is manually configured by user in Portal section. In operator and custom STB software image, this feature may be opened or blocked (depending on Operator settings in STB software - see Instruction). In public and factory images those are provided by STB manufacturer, this feature is available by default.

How to configure portals settings in software image

Instruction on how to configure portals settings when building software image:

Manual configuring portals in Embedded portal

How to manually configure external portals by user is described in next sections: How to add external portal in Settings of Embedded portal and Portals Setting. When manually configuring portals, one of the portals can be loaded automatically, or user can be proposed to choose which of the portal to load - see Select a portal for loading.

How to add external portal in Settings of Embedded portal

For example, to add Portal 1 (Name: stalker, URL:

Basic configuring External portal (the case of setting information is entered by the on-screen keyboard):

  1. In Embeded portal open: System settingsServersPortals.
  2. Call up screen keyboard (with KB button on RC).
  3. Specify Portal 1 name value (do not click Enter). In example: stalker.
    Note.Portal name - is a not mandatory value (this option may be skipped).
  4. Remove the keyboard (with KB button on RC).
  5. Go to Portal 1 URL option (with Down button on RC).
  6. Call up screen keyboard (with KB button on RC).
  7. Specify Portal 1 URL value. In example:
    Note. The value of Portal URL has format of http page.
    If incorrect value is specified, the appropriate notice will be display when attempt to save.
  8. After completing click Enter on keyboard to save entered data.
  9. Exit from Portal settings. To check connection to Portal 1, restart portal: System settingsRestart Portal. The specified portal must be auto loaded.
  Video example. How to add Portal 1 (the portal setting information is entered by the on-screen keyboard)

Additional configuring of Portal:

  1. In Embeded portal open: System settingsServersPortals.
  2. Click More (F1 on RC). In appeared Multiportal mode option set ON. This opens additional Portals options:
    1. In Portal select requiered portal to be edited;
    2. Select value of Portal load delay option;
    3. Select default portal in Default Portal option;
    4. Make sure that option Use portal is set to ON (if Portal should be used).
    5. Save the changes with command Save (OK on RC).
    6. If necessary, similarly described in item a-e make additional settings for other portals
  3. To connect required Portal, restart Embedded portal: System settingsRestartPortal;

How to set Portal autoloading

One of portals registered in STB can be assigned with autoloading mode. When portal loading happens, this portal will load after set delay time. For example, in order to set Portal 1 autoloading for the above algorithm:

- for item 5 - in Portal load delay option set one of delay value (1 s, 5 s, ..., 2 min).
- for item 6 - select Portal 1 in Default Portal option.

When portal loading happens

Portal loading starts in the following cases:

  • on exit from Embedded portal (i.e. exit from Main menu - use Exit on RCU);
  • on exit from some External portal (if this option is enabled, in SW image, bу operator);
  • after restart of Embedded portal;
  • after STB reboot (including after the SW update).

Portal auto loading

Auto loading of certain portal can be set in STB software image or in System settings of Embeded portal (see How to set Portal autoloading).

If autoloading is set for certain portal, the message "Loading portal..." appears on the screen when portal has to be loaded. Duration of this message displaying before start portal loading is specified in advanced portal setting (in Portal load delay option). After the delay time, the portal autoloading starts.
If during "Loading portal..." message being displayed user presses Menu on the remote control, the loading stops and Select a portal for loading window opens.

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Select a portal for loading

Select a portal for loading window may be displayed on the screen on stage of portal loading in STB. Select a portal for loading window is displayed if at least one external portal is specified in STB and, the same time, autoloading
feature is not activated for any portals.

The window allows to select manually the portal to be loaded (embedded or external one). Moreover, user can make changes of 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 some external portal, then Page loading error window (page 404) displays. It contains Try again command (retrying connection to the portal) and other commands those are similar to commands of Select a portal for loading window.

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If Page loading error window is displayed, user may:

  1. Select from list different external portal to load (if this portal was pre-registered in STB) in Select a portal for loading window.
  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. Check network connection status in Select a portal for loading window. To recover connection, change settings (in System Settings) and reboot STB.
  4. Load Embedded portal.
  Portal is not loaded, blocking access to portal from Operator
  • If initial boot takes place (logotype and messages 'Loading ...' are visible on the screen), but external portal does not load, the reasons can be as following:
    • if in Select a Portal for loading window the message Page Loading Error is displayed - check network connection and URL of the portal;
    • check network connection;
    • IPTV provider portal is not available;
    • blocked access to service from IPTV provider.
  • If network availability has checked but portal does not load then restart STB.
  • If connection to network is normal but network services are not available then contact IPTV operator.
  • Blocking access to services by IPTV operator (messages such as 'STB is blocked', etc.) - attentively read Info message on the TV screen, contact operator or repair indicated problem by yourself, reboot STB.

Portals Setting

Portal section

Network address (URL) of external portals are set in Embedded portal: System settings Servers Portals.
In Portals window by default it is possible to specify data (name, URL) of two external portals. However, STB can store information about more (up to 8) external portals - see Extended portal Settings.

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Extended Portals settings

Supplementary Portals settings are configured in Portal / More section. More window consists additional rules of loading media-portal in STB (default loaded portal, type of loading - automatic or manual selection of portal, etc.). Moreover, additional (more than two) external media-portals can be edited.

  1. Open System settings Servers  Portals More (F1 on RC).
  2. Set option Multiportal mode to ON.

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Options Descriptions

Multiportal mode

ON - enable editing, OFF - disable editing. Value ON opens (gets enable) additional options to set up the portal loading mode and to add additional external portals.

Default portal

Default portal - which automatically loads in STB (see description of Portal load delay option). User can set embedded or external portal as default portal. The external portal must first be configured (see options Portal N, Use portal, URL N).

Portal load delay

Option values:

  • Without auto start - the portal to be loaded is selected manually. During the STB loading the portal loading window will appear on the screen in which the user should select the portal to download (embedded or one of the external ones).
  • 10 s, 10 s, 1 min. or 2 min - the portal to be loaded is selected automatically after the set delay value. Portals loading window displays during the specified delay time making user possible to select the portal. If before this time expiration user does not select any portal then Default portal automatically loads (see option Default portal). 

Portal N

The number (N = 1 ... 8) of external portal whose parameters are currently displayed and are available for editing in Portals window.

Use portal N

  • ON - allow the use of an external portal;
  • OFF - prohibit the use of an external portal.

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).


Address (URL) of external portal to be added (N-th).

DHCP portal

It is possible to specify, from DHCP server, the external portal to be loaded in STB. This feature is called DHCP portal and is configured in the next section: System settings ⇒ Servers More.
If DHCP portal option is enabled, then STB, at booting stage, retrieves external portal address from DHCP server. For this purpose the DHCP server must be pre-configured properly - see an example. The value of DHCP portal is set in STB environment variables as Portal 1. Accordingly, this value displays in Portals and Select a portal for loading window as Portal 1.

Discription of window options - see in Servers section of System Rettings.

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Need Help

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

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