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Home Media is a file manager of MAG STB 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 - local storages connected to STB via USB port. 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 in Records Manager or IPTV channels applications. This section becomes displayed when USB drive with record folder connected to STB.
  • Favorites - list of favorites IPTV channels and playlists that selected by user for later fast searching and running them.

Network

Network section of Home media is intended to configure connections and to get 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.

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.


Configuration 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 (manual disconnection or reset of User data), or until the corresponding settings on the server side is changed.

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

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Example of network directory connecting by NFS protocol

In the terms 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 set to NFS.
  • If access settings are correctly configured on both sides (STB and computer), the info message Network folder successfully mounted displays. It means that the directory is ready to be accessed from STB side to folder's files and nested folders. Only files in 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 mode (rights) to USB drives connected to 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 (play) 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). If USB drive had been connected to STB before STB turned on, then after STB turning on as well as after STB rebooting, 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, the single drive is connected named Kingston Data Traveler 3.0.

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Electrical current carrying capacity of USB interface

The number of USB ports and maximum allowed current to supply connected peripherals 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
420/420w1 1х1А 1х1А
424/424w3 1х1А 1х1А

The maximum volume and type of hard disk without external power supply, which can be connected to 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 (i.e. can be used on external USB storage devices and network resources that connected to STB) are listed in the table below.

File system types

MAG-
250 254 256 322 324 349 351 420 424
ext2/etx4 + + + + + + + + +
fat/fat32 + + + + + + + + +
ntfs + + + + + + + + +
jffs2 + + -

-

- -

-

- -
ubifs - - + + + - - - -

Records

Records shortcut is located at the top level of Home media menu. Records section displays the contents of records folder(s) located in the root of USB drive(s) connected to STB.
Note 1. Every IPTV channel recordings made on STB is saved in records directory of USB drive.
Note 2. If several drives with records folders are connected to STB, the Records section displays the contents of the records folders of all drives.

Records shortcut (in Home media menu) and records folder (on USB drive) are created automatically, at first channel recording. Records shortcut automatically deletes from Home media menu in case USB drive, containing records folder, disconnects from STB.

To provide IPTV channels recording, full access mode for USB drives must be enabled: System settings Advanced settings Advanced Drive access mode = full access.

Recording IPTV channels

Recording can be created in one of the following ways:

  • Record manager application. In Record Manager, you can start recording immediately or schedule a list of recordings in advance. Recordings in progress can be deleted or changed (end of recording time can be changed) with Record Manager. Completed recordings can be played back in Record Manager application or in Home media application (in Recordings or USB drives sections).
  • Recording feature of IPTV channel menu. While playing a certain channel in IPTV channels menu user can start recording of current or other channel. Created recording is put in Record Manager list. Recording in progress can be deleted or changed (end of recording time can be changed) with Record Manager application. Completed recordings can be played back in Record Manager application or in Home media application (in Recordings or USB drives sections).
  • of IPTV channel menu. Video fragments recorded in Timeshift memory buffer can be saved on USB drive at the end of recording. Completed recordings can be played back in Home media application (in Recordings or USB drives sections).

Access to recordings in Records menu

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

1 level - folders named of IPTV channels from which recordings was made (in the example below - Sony SCI-FI);
2 level - folders named of recording dates (in the example - 2018-05-30);
3 level - record file with .ts or .tspinf extension (last case for TimeShift recordings). File names that correspond to recording names are assigned automatically or chosen by user during creation of the recordings. By default, recording name is a start time of the recording in form HH-MM-SS (in the example - files 09-43-11.ts, 10-16-41.ts).

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Supported file types and formats

When users use resources of network storages (network directories) and local storages (USB drives), STB displays files of the types and formats that are supported by this model of STB.

The following file types are supported:

  • 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 Specifications.
  • Playlists - description how to handle with Playlists see below. Supported formats of playlists are given in Specifications.
  • External (connected) subtitle files - used to display subtitles while playing back video files. Formats of supported subtitles for various STB models are given in Specifications. Description how to handle with external subtitles see below.

Specifications

Supported multimedia formats are given in the Specifications:

* - If the page contains specifications for several STB models, you must select the appropriate tab

Playlist operations

When user opens playlist 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 (ОК on RC) - starts playback of selected list entry (channel or file). To swith to adjacent channel of the list during channel playback user should use Up and Down buttons on RC. To stop playback and return back to the list user should press Back on RC;
    • Add entry to favorits (F3 on RC) - adds selected entry (channel or file) to Favorites;
    • Copy - copies selected entries to add them to IPTV channels list (for this purpose go to IPTV channels section and use Paste to add copied playlist entries);
    • Sort - sorts list entries by name, size, file type or file extantions;
    • View - display only particular entries (streams or local files).
  • Start playing all records (F2 on RC) - starts playback of first entry. See Open operation description above.
  • Add all records to IPTV channels (F3 on RC) - adds all playlist entries to IPTV channels list.

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External subtitles use

Unlike subtitles built-in in media streams, external subtitles are created as a separate file. Each subtitle file corresponds to a specific video file: during playback of the video file, the corresponding subtitle file can be added to the picture and, thus, the subtitles are displayed on the playback foreground. Particular video file can contain several subtitle files (for example, in different languages).

Note. Built-in subtitles description and supported subtitle types are given in Subtitles subsection of IPTV channels menu section.

Location of video files and subtitle files

Video files and corressponding them subtitle files are placed on the local storage (USB-drive) or network storage (resources accessed by SMB or NFS protocols). As a rule, related video file and subtitle file are placed in the same directory. For ease matching, subtitle file is usually called the same name as corresponding video file. In case of several subtitle variants (languages) for one video file, the subtitle files may be named in the format

<file name>.<language>.<extension>

For example, if video file name is test.mkv, then subtitle files can be called like: test.eng.srt, test.rumunian.srt, test.serb.srt, etc.

External subtitles adding to video file

Subtitle file can be added to video file in two ways described below.

1. Choosing subtitles while watching video file:

  • During video file playback (in the example - test.mkv), bring up Subtitle menu (use Menu, Left, Right buttons on the remote control) and choose required subtitle option (in the example - test_eng.srt).
  • As confirmation of proper adding subtitle file, its name displays for some time in the lower left corner of the screen.
    Note. Video file and subtitle file must be placed in the same directory. If the directory contains only one subtitle file variant and its name is the same as the name of the video file, the subtitle file will be automatically added as soon as video file is opened.
  Choosing subtitles while watching video file

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2. Choosing subtitles before video file openning. This method can be used, for example, if a video file and subtitle file are located in different directories:

  • Open required subtitle file (in example - law.and.order.401-test.srt).
  • After file opening, the warning appears: 'Selected subtitle will appear during next player launch'.
  • Open required video file (in example - law.and.older.401-test.avi). The subtitle file will be auto-added.
  • As indicator of proper adding subtitle file, its name is displayed for some time in the lower left corner of the screen.
  Choosing subtitles before video file openning

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Favorites

This feature makes user possible to select your Favorites list of media resources for later fast retrieval and accessing them. Favorites menu may contain links to media streams (contained in IPTV channels or in external playlists), media files (pictures, video, audio) and entire external playlists (m3u and other permitable formats).
Note. Favorites menu can contain only links to media files and playlists located at USB drives connected to STB.

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 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:

  • From internal STB playlist, which is stored in IPTV channels menu - see description in IPTV channels section.
  • From external playlists that is written on USB drive or network directory (shared by SMB or NFS protocols). Description is below.

Adding channels to Favorites from playlist during playlist content view

  • Open USB drive or network directory contained playlist (in example, m3u-playlist is given).
  • Open playlist (OK on RC) - this opens Open playlist window.
  • Press F1 on RC (See playlist content command) - this opens contents of 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 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 playlist to Favorites during channel playback

  • Open USB drive or network directory contained playlist.
  • Open 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 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 paylist. The channels already added to Favorites are marked in list by asterisk.
  • Go through 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 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 channels from playlist to Favorites during seeing playlist contents

  • Open USB drive or network directory contained playlist.
  • Open playlist (OK on RC) - this opens Open playlist window.
  • Press F1 (See playlist content) on RC - this opens playlist contents (list of channels).
  • To add required channels to Favorites choose them by pressing F3 button on RC. Already added channels are marked by asterisk.
    Note. If channel was added to Favorites, F3 command removes it from Favorites list.
  • Exit from paylist and go to Favorites menu to check out new entries adding.
  • If Favorites list was changed, you will be prompted to confirm changing.
  • Сonfirm to save changes of Favorites list (OK on RC).

Adding playlist to Favorites

  • Open USB drive containing required playlist (in example, m3u-playlist is given).
  • Set focus on required playlist and press F3 button on RC to add it to Favorites list.
    Note1. In contrary, if playlist was added to Favorites already, F3 command removes it from Favorites list.
    Note2. 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.
  • Open Favorites menu to chek out Favorites list.
  • If Favorites list was changed, you will be prompted to confirm changing when you 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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