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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.

Presentation of Ministra TV-Platform.

External portal is a Web application that is a client–server  computer program covered two sides - client side is implemented on STB, server side acts on MiddleWare (MW) server which is a bridge between STB and various services of the OTT / IPTV platform. STB interacts to MW server by HTTP protocol. External portal address has the form of HTTP URL. In order to make connection between particular external portal and STB, this portal address (URL) should be pre-specified in STB. External portal settings can be specified by operator in  SW image or by user in STB Settings. STB connects to the Portal (in other word: Portal loads to STB) every time STB (re)booting or after forced portal restarting.

Connection to external portal may include authentification stage: to access a portal, user should enter, in proposed Authentication form, a personal log-in and password obtained from the operator (service provider).

After STB has been connected to portal, user gets access to OTT / IPTV services provided by operator (audio-video content play back, recording / playback services, access to games and other applications, 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 between particular STB model and Middleware server becomes possible after mutual pre-integration. STB models of MAG family are integrated with Ministra TV platform.

See list of STB models and corressponding version of MW Ministra/Stalker.

Full list of OTT / IPTV platforms that integrated in particular STB should be indicated in technical specifications of the STB.

Specifying 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 operator's portal that is specified this way, will be loaded in STB automatically during STB boot.

In open platform STB models, access to external portal and Embedded portal can be configured in the following ways:

  1. Portal URL is specified by operator in STB software within software image creation. This way of Portal definition can be used in case of operator and custom software images. This portal will automatically load in STB. In addition, during image creation you can block ability to display and make changes of Portal section of System settings, as well as to disable ability to access entire Embedded portal - see Instruction.
  2. Portal URL is manually configured by user in Portal section of System settings. In case of operator image and custom image, access to Portal section can be enabled or disabled by operator (see Instruction). In public and factory images that are provided by STB manufacturer, manually configuration of portals is available by default.

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 Embedded portal in Select a portal for loading and Page loading error (Page 404) windows.

Configuring access to portals in Embedded portal

Portal section (Normal portal settings)

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

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Multiportal mode (Extended portal settings)

Extended portals settings are configured in System settings Portal More section. If Multiportal mode is enabled (Multiportal mode option set to ON), additional options open in More window:

  • first group (Default portal, Portal load delay) determines extended rules of portal loading in STB;
  • 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 multiportal mode;
  • OFF - disable multiportal mode.

Value ON opens additional options to set up portal loading and to add additional external portals.

Default portal

User can set Embedded or external portal as default portal. 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 a portal for loading window will appear on the screen in which 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 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). Optional value of adding portal.

URL N

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

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

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How to add external portal

An example of configuring connection to external portal is given below. Screen keyboard is used as input device.

Normal settings of External portal:

Take as an examplePortal 1 (Name: stalker, URL: http://10.1.3.1/stalker_portal/c).

  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: stalker.
    Note. Portal name - is not a 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. Bring up the screen keyboard (with KB button on RC).
  7. Specify Portal 1 URL value: http://10.1.3.1/stalker_portal/c/.
    Note. The value of Portal URL has form of http page. If incorrect value is specified, the appropriate notice will be displayed during attempt to save.
  8. After edition completing, click Enter on keyboard to save entered data.
  9. Exit from Portal settings (Exit on RC). To check connection to Portal 1, restart portal: System settingsRestart Portal. The specified portal (Portal 1) must be auto loaded.
  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: http://192.168.1.1).

  1. In Embeded 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 portal to be edited (in 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: http://192.168.1.1).
    4. If necessary, make additional settings for other portals similarly as described in items a...с.
    5. Choose one of 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) must be auto loaded.

When portal loading happens

Portal loading starts 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 restart of Embedded portal;
  • on exit from some External portal (if this option is enabled, in SW image, bу operator).

Portal loading variants: autostart and manual start

There are two variants 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 in the settings, autostart of the specified external portal is applied;
  • if both external portals are specified in the settings, manual start is applied.

Multiportal mode

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

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

For example, in order to configure Portal 2 autostart for 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 following:

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

  • When after the set delay time (unless loading was not interrupted), the portal autoloading starts. After succesfull loading, a start page of Portal is displayed. If loading gets failed, the Page loading error is given in the screen.

Select a portal for loading window (Manual portal start)

Select a portal for loading window provides users to connect to 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 to select manually a portal to be loaded (Embedded or external). In addition, 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 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, user may:

  1. Select different external portal to be loaded (this portal must be pre-specified in STB) from the list in Select a portal for loading window.
  2. Enter to System settings, change portals settings (inluding new portal creation), 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, 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.
  4. Load Embedded portal.

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

  • If initial boot takes place (logotype and Starting... messages are visible on the screen), but external portal does not load (loading ends with Page Loading Error page), the reasons can be as follows:
    • check URL of the portal;
    • check network connection;
    • IPTV provider's portal is not available;
    • locked access to service from IPTV provider.
  • If network availability has checked but portal does not load then restart STB.
  • If connection to 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 indicated problem by yourself, reboot STB.

DHCP portal

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

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

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

DHCP-portal has higher priority comparing to portal values assigned in Portals section.That is, if after STB restart a particular value of DHCP portal was obtained, STB will try to make auto start this portal despite the values of other portals (Portal 1, Portal 2, ...).

Need Help

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

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