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Home Media is a file manager of the Embedded portal. Main purpose of Home Media is to provide the user with access to multimedia files and auxiliary files that placed at local and network storages.
Folders and files are displayed in a hierarchical tree based on their directory structure.

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Sections of Home Media

The next sections of Home Media are designed:

  • Network - this section is used to connect and access shared network resources (directories and files) by SMB or NFS protocols.
    • Shortcuts to network computers with nested directories that connected by SMB protocol are situated in Network menu (see below example of Network menu). After directory becomes mounted, it shows on top level of Home Media menu.
    • Shortcuts to directories that connected and mounted by NFS protocol are situated on top level of Home Media (in example of Home Media - these are data_AA and share directories).
  • UPnP - includes shortcuts of network computers that contained directories shared by UPnP technology. UPnP shortcut becomes visible in Home media window after enabling UPnP client in System settings.
  • USB media - connected to STB drives (local storages). Every USB drive connected to STB is represented with single shortcut that displayed on top level of Home Media menu.
  • Records - recordings of media files (located on USB drive connected to STB, in Record folder) that were created using the Records Manager or in the IPTV channels window. This section displays when USB drive, that connected to STB, contains Record folder.
  • Favorites - list of favorites IPTV channels and playlists that selected by user of STB for later fast searching and running them. Favorites data is stored in User data.

Network

Network section of Home media is intended to configuring connections and getting access to connected network resources (directories and files located at network computers).

Network connectivity is provided by SMB or NFS protocols. Referring to these network protocols, network computers with shared folders are as servers, STB is as client.

Configuration data of network directory connections is stored in STB flash memory, in User data. STB connection to network directory remains valid until it is disconnected on the STB side (forced manual disconnection or reset of User data), or until the corresponding settings on the server side is changed.

Every shared directory must be connected to STB before use. STB connection to shared network directories can be set up automatically (when opening network folder) or manually (if automatic connection is not provided or not possible). Manual connection is performed by command Connect by NFS/SMB.

Shortcuts to directories, shared by SMB protocol, are displayed by next path: Home media ⇒ Network Workgroup ⇒ <Computer name> <Shared directory name>. When opening network directory it connects automatically. If it is impossible to automatically connect, user is prompted to establish connection manually. After directory was automatically connected to STB, user can manually mount it (by Mount share command) and its shortcut will be appeared on top level of Home Media menu. Manual directory connection is accompanied by its automatic mounting.

NFS protocol connections are set up manually only. If directory connects correctly, it mounts on STB automatically and its shortcut becomes displayed on top level of Home Media menu (in the example below, these are data_AA and share directories).

Network directory disconnection is made by command Disconnect NFS/SMB. In case running Reset User data command all set up network directories are disconnected.

STB connection setup to shared network directory by SMB protocol is described in Access to network PC (SAMBA) section.
STB connection setup to shared network directory by NFS protocol is described in Example of network directory connecting by NFS protocol section.

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Example of network directory connecting by NFS protocol

In the context of NFS protocol, STB acts as client and network computer - as server. Description on how to set up STB connection to required directory is given below.

Note. Corresponding settings on the network computer side (NFS server) must be preconfigured. For example, see Configuring NFS Linux on Ubuntu.

  • In the Embedded portal go to Main windowHome MediaNetwork
  • Open Operations ⇒ Tools menu - press Menu and Right buttons on the remote.
  • In Operations menu, click Connect NSF / SMB.
  • In Connect network folder window that opens, enter the access parameters and confirm the entering with OK button:
    • Server address - IP address of the networked computer that acts as NFS server;
    • Server folder - network folder name to be connected to;
    • Local folder - the name that assigns to this folder on STB. If value of this parameter is not specified, it is automatically assigned the value of Server folder option;
    • Connection type - you must select NFS value.
  • If access settings are correctly configured on both sides (STB and computer), the warning message Network folder successfully mounted displays. The directory can be used. Only files with valid format (multimedia, playlists, subtitles) are shown.

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UPnP

UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) technology is used to play on STB media content (video, sound, pictures files) located on network computers called as media servers.

To provide networking by UPnP technology:

  • STB and network computer(s) must belong to the same local network (generally, connected to the same switch/router or linked via Wi-Fi Direct).
  • On STB, the UPnP client must be enabled.
  • On computers (media servers), corresponding directories with media content must be shared.

UPnP shortcut is situated on top level of Home media menu.
UPnP
shortcut becomes visible after enabling UPnP client on STB. UPnP section of Home media displays all network computers with nested directories that are accessed by UPnP.

Description on how to set up UPnP connection see in Configuring media server (UPnP) section.

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USB media

USB drive access mode

Settings of access to USB drives connected to the STB: System settings / Advanced settings / Storages access mode.

The folowing access modes can be set:

  • full access - read (play) and write (record) from/to drive are allowed;
  • read only - only read operation is allowed.

Full access to USB drives is required for the folowing functions:

USB drives connecting and displaying

When USB drive connects to STB being in operation, a message is displayed on the screen. The message indicates that USB drive has been successfully connected (mounted to STB). After STB rebooted, USB drive connects (mounts) automatically. After successful connection of USB drives, its icons are displayed in Home media window (on the top level). In the below example, single drive is connected named Kingston Data Traveler 3.0.

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Current carrying capacity of USB interface

The number of ports and the maximum allowable current for various STB models are shown in the table below.

MAG- Type and number of ports and maximum allowed current
USB 2.0 USB 3.0
250 2х0,5А
254 2х0,5А
254w1/254w2 1х0,5А
256 1х0,5А 1х0,5А
256w1/256w2
1х0,5А
322/322w1/322w2 2х1,5А
324/324w1/324w2 2х1,5А
349/349w3 2х0,5А
351
2х1,5А
424/424w3 1х1А 1х1А

The maximum volume and type of hard disk without external power supply, which can be connected to the STB and work stably, depends on the current consumption of this device (taking into account peak loads). It should also be noted that the total load on the USB interface is made up of the load of individual devices that are simultaneously connected to the STB via USB ports (USB-drives, external keyboard, mouse, etc.).

Supported file system types

File system types that various STB models support (can be used on external USB storage devices and network resources) are listed in the table below.

File system types

MAG-
250 254 256 322 324 349 351 424
ext2/etx4 + + + + + + + +
fat/fat32 + + + + + + + +
ntfs + + + + + + + +
jffs2 + + -

-

- -

-

-
ubifs - - + + + - - -

Records

Records shortcut is located at the top level of Home media menu. It opens contents of records folder located in the root of a USB drive connected to STB.

Records shortcut (in Home media menu) and records folder (on USB drive) are created automatically, during first start of recording any of IPTV channels on STB.

Records shortcut automatically deletes from Home media menu if USB drive containing records folder disconnects from STB.

Records of media-stream fragments are automatically stored in the records directory of USB drive. The records can be created in one of the following ways:

  • Record Manager application (located in the Main menu of the embedded portal). In the Record Manager, the list of fragments to be recorded is pre-configured: you can specify IPTV channel, Start recording, End of recording, Recording time, Recording name, Device (USB-drive storing the records).
  • Recording feature of IPTV channel menu. It brings up while playing a certain channel (in IPTV channels press F1 on remote. In Recording channel window the current channel recording is configured, similar to the Record Manager application.
  • Timeshift feature of IPTV channel menu. It is possible to save video fragment that recorded in Timeshift buffer. It is stored in records directory of USB drive.

To perform writing on USB drive, full access mode to USB drive must be enabled: System settings / Advanced settings / Advanced / Drive access mode = full access.

Stored media records can be reached in Records menu in accordance with following structure of folder and files:

1 level - folder named of IPTV channel from which the recording was made (in the example - Sony SCI-FI);
2 level - folder named of recording date (in the example - 2018-05-30);
3 level - record files with .ts extension. Their names indicate the start time of the recording  (in the example, files 09-43-11.ts, 10-16-41.ts).

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Supported file types

When using resources of network storages (network directories) and local storages (USB drives), STB displays files of those formats with which STB can work. The following file types are used:

  • Multimedia files (video, audio, image) - to be played back (viewed), required file is selected and launched by OK button on RC. Files are played back using STB player. Only file formats supported by STB player can be displayed. Supported file formats are given in the Specifications.
  • Playlists - files with extension m3u. Description how to handle with Playlists see below.
  • External (connected) subtitles files (.srt, .txt, .sub, .ass) - are used to display subtitles while playing back video files. Formats of supported subtitles for various STB models are described in IPTV channels section. To connect subtitles file user should open it and after rebooting STB - subtitles file becomes available for connection while watching channel.

Suppotred multimedia file formats

Supported multimedia formats are given in the Specifications

Playlists operations

When user opens Playlists m3u-file, Open playlist window brings up, where user is prompted to perform one of the following operations:

  • See playlist content (F1 on remote) - opens file and makes possible selectivly to perform next operations with playlist entries:
    • Open (play back) - user may play back (ОК on RC) every entry and return back to list (Back on RC), or in play back mode to navigate through entry list similar to channels in IPTV channels window (use Up and Down on remote);
    • Add entry to favorits (F3 on remote);
    • Copy entries to pass them to IPTV channels window (for this purpose go to IPTV channels and use Paste to add copied playlist entries);
    • Sort list entries by name, size, file type or file extantions;
    • Display only stream entry (not local files).
  • Start playing all records (F2 on remote) - start play back mode, where user can navigate through entry list similar to viewing channels in IPTV channels window.
  • Add all records to IPTV channels (F3 on remote) - adding all list entries to list of IPTV channels window.

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External subtitles use

Supported external subtitles

Supported external subtitles are described in Subtitles subsection of IPTV-channels section.

Example of external subtitles connection

Example of scenario how to connect subtitles file to certain video file is below. For convenience, it is desirable to assign subtitles file with the same name as video file:

1. Open file with subtitles (in the example - law.and.older.401-test.srt).

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2.After opening, the warning appears: 'Selected subtitles file will appear during next player launch' (after STB reboot).

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3. Reboot STB, open required video file (in the example - law.and.older.401-test.avi).

4. While playing video file, open Subtitles window (use Menu on remote, and then Left, Right).

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5. In Subtitles window select subtitles file - it should be displayed on the screen. Video playback should continue with subtitles displaying.

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Favorites

Favorites menu contains single IPTV channels and entire groups of channels (m3u playlists). This feature makes user possible to select your Favorites list of channels for later fast retrieval and running them.

Favorites list is stored in STB flash memory, in User data.

Access to Favorites menu

Favorites shortcut is located at top level of Home Media menu.
In the Favorites window user can run IPTV channels (i.e. start its playback), either single one or contained in m3u-playlists, that were pre-added to Favorites. User may also remove items from Favorites list (by F3 button of RC) in this window.

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Options for adding channels to Favorites

Channels from the following sources can be added to Favorites:

Adding channels to Favorites from m3u-playlist while playlist content view

  • Open USB drive or network directory contained m3u-playlist.
  • Open m3u-playlist (OK on RC) - this opens Open playlist window.
  • Press F1 on RC (See playlist content command) - this opens contents of m3u-paylist.
  • Go through the playlist and select (or unselect) required channels to be included (or excluded) of Favorites list (use F3 button of RC).
    Note. The channels already added to Favorites (during current edit session or previously) are marked in list by asterisk.
  • At the end of channel selection leave contents of m3u-paylist by pressing Exit on RC.
  • Open Favorites menu to chek out Favorites list.
  • When you exit Favorites menu, if Favorites list was changed, you will be prompted to confirm changing.
  • Сonfirm to save changes of Favorites list (OK on RC).
  Example. Adding IPTV channels to Favorites list from m3u-playlist

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Adding channels from m3u-playlist to Favorites while channel playback

  • Open USB drive or network directory contained m3u-playlist.
  • Open m3u-playlist (OK on RC) - this opens Open playlist window.
  • Press F2 (Start playing all records) on RC - this starts playback playlist's very first channel.
  • While watching particular channel press F3 button on RC to add it to Favorites.
    Note1. If channel was added to Favorites, F3 command removes it from Favorites list.
    Note2. Immediately after running the channel (for about 4 sec.) an icon 'F3' and suitable command name are prompted in the top right corner of channel screen.
  • Similarly, being watching other channels of m3u-playlist, select (by pressing F3 button) all required channels that are to be added in Favorites.
  • After you finish watching channels, press Exit on RC to open contents of m3u-paylist. The channels already added to Favorites are marked in list by asterisk.
  • Go through the m3u-playlist contents and make sure that all required channels are marked by asterisk. Use F3 button to add/remove channels of Favorites (if required).
  • Stop m3u-paylist viewing by pressing Exit on RC. If Favorites list was changed (during current edit session), you will be prompted to confirm changing.
  • Сonfirm to save changes of Favorites list (OK on RC).

Adding m3u-playlist to Favorites

  • Open USB drive or network folder containing requiered m3u-playlist.
  • Set focus on required m3u-playlist and press F3 button on RC to add it to Favorites list.
  • In contrary, if playlist was added to Favorites already, F3 command removes it from Favorites list.
    Note. m3u-playlist file that added in Favorites is marked in file list by asterisk.
  • Similarly, add or remove particular playlists to/from Favorites.
  • Pressing Exit on RC to leave USB-drive or network directory.
  • Open Favorites menu to chek out Favorites list.
  • If Favorites list was changed, you will be prompted to confirm changing when you will exit Favorites.
  • Сonfirm to save changes of Favorites list (OK on RC).
  Example. Adding playlist from USB drive to Favorites

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Need Help

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

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