EtherneTV-STB
Set Top Box
Set Top Box v3.7.3b
Release Notes
September 14, 2006
4410-0096-0006
Copyright
© 2006 VBrick Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.
12 Beaumont Road
Wallingford, Connecticut 06492, USA
www.VBrick.com
This publication contains confidential, proprietary, and trade secret information. No part of this document may be
copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated, or reduced to any machine-readable or electronic format without
prior written permission from VBrick. Information in this document is subject to change without notice and
VBrick Systems assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or inaccuracies.VBrick, VBrick Systems, the
VBrick logo, StreamPlayer, and StreamPlayer Plus are trademarks or registered trademarks in the United States and
other countries. Windows Media is a trademarked name of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other
countries. All other products or services mentioned in this document are identified by the trademarks, service
marks, or product names as designated by the companies who market those products. Inquiries should be made
directly to those companies. This document may also have links to third-party web pages that are beyond the
control of VBrick. Use these links at your own risk. The use of such links does not imply that VBrick endorses or
recommends the content of any third-party web pages. Some VBrick products use open source software provided
by third parties. VBrick supports the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and this source code is freely available at http:/
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About VBrick Systems
Founded in 1997, VBrick Systems, an ISO 9001 certified vendor, is a privately held company that has enjoyed rapid
growth by helping our customers successfully introduce mission critical video applications across their enterprise
networks. Since our founding, VBrick has been setting the standard for quality, performance and innovation in the
delivery of live and stored video over IP networks—LANs, WANs and the Internet. With thousands of video
appliances installed world-wide, VBrick is the recognized leader in reliable, high-performance, easy-to-use
networked video solutions.
VBrick is an active participant in the development of industry standards and continues to play an influential role in
the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA), the MPEG Industry Forum, and Internet2. In 1998 VBrick
invented and shipped the world's first MPEG Video Network Appliance designed to provide affordable DVDquality video across the network. Since then, VBrick's video solutions have grown to include Video on Demand,
Management, Security and Access Control, Scheduling, and Rich Media Integration. VBrick solutions are
successfully supporting a broad variety of applications including distance learning and training, conferencing and
remote office communications, security, process monitoring, traffic monitoring, business and news feeds to the
desktop, webcasting, corporate communications, collaboration, command and control, and telemedicine. VBrick
serves customers in education, government, healthcare, and financial services markets among others.
STB v3.7.3b Release Notes
The VBrick EtherneTV Set Top Box is configured for DHCP and will automatically obtain
an IP address from a DHCP server if present. If a DHCP server is not available, follow the
instructions in the Configuration section of this document to manually assign a static IP
address. The set top box comes configured to run in Local mode. When used in Local mode,
the set-top box will boot to a home page after initial power-up and you will be presented with
an example list of streams. To use the box in Local mode, edit the configuration file on the
STB to refer to valid streams on your network. See the STB Quick Start Guide for details.
To change the configuration to run in MCS mode, you need to change two settings: MCS
and Start Mode. The STB can then be used in a network with VBrick's ETV Portal
Server (formerly MCS). The Portal Server will provide program guides with live, stored and
scheduled streams in addition to many other features. See the STB Quick Start Guide for
details. To change the configuration to run in Local-Fullscreen mode, you need to configure
the Receive Address and Start Mode. The STB will then display the configured stream
without a program guide or user interface.
Location
Topics in this document
What's New in v3.7.3b . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Compatibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Upgrade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Standard Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Caveats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
What's New in v3.7.3b
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Support for new Portal Server v4.0 Access Logging feature.
Support for RTSP 302 Moved response. This allows the Set Top Box to support server
redirection which is required when deployed with a Cisco ACNS.
Automatic reboot feature now allows reboots more frequently than daily. Watchdog
frequencies greater than 1000 now configure the number of seconds between reboots
rather than the number of days between reboots.
Don't prompt for permissions when the MCS URL includes more than servers IP
address or hostname.
Don't loop MPEG-4 VOD content.
Improved Darwin interoperability.
MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 NXG VOD streams are kept open for a minute after playing to
the end in order to allow time for rewind.
Compatibility
The STB v3.7.3b software release is compatible with:
STB Release Notes
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VBrick 3000 Series MPEG-1 Encoders (v2.4.0 or above).
VBrick 4000 and 6000 Series MPEG-2 Encoders (v2.1.0 or above).
VBrick 4000 and 6000 Series MPEG-4 Encoders (v2.1.0 or above).
Ethernet-TV Portal Server (v3.1.0 or above).
EthernetTV-NXG Video-on-Demand Server (v2.0.0 or above).
EthernetTV-VOD W Video-on-Demand Server (v3.1.0 or above).
Upgrade
To upgrade from earlier versions of Set Top Box software, see "System Upgrade" in the STB
Admin Guide.
Configuration
All connection and configuration details for the set top box are explained in the STB Admin
Guide. See the following topics for specific information:
Configuring for PAL
The setres command can be executed from the Linux shell. This command gives PAL users
a means to change the screen resolution. Although this command can be executed from any
shell (for example from the console, telnet, or the serial port) the intent is for it to be used
from the serial port since a PAL user without an NTSC or VGA monitor has no other choice
if the STB's IP address is not known. The syntax of the setres command is:
setres pal <username> <password>
setres ntsc <username> <password>
Standard Features
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Access the EtherneTV-NXG Video on Demand server through the EtherneTV Portal
Server.
Access the EtherneTV-DOD W Video on Demand server through the EtherneTV Portal
Server.
Receive and decode live MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 unicast and multicast streams.
Video on Demand support for MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4.
Access the World Wide Web.
Low cost and compact size.
IR Remote control for easy navigation.
Boot standalone. No server required.
Full DHCP and DNS support.
Hardware decoding provides high quality video.
Support for hundreds of channels.
MPEG-1 rates to 3 Mbps, MPEG-2 rates to 12 Mbps, and MPEG-4 rates to 1.5 Mbps.
Optional wireless keyboard.
Configuration over locally connected keyboard and monitor, serial craft port, telnet,
Integrated Web Server, or Web Services.
Passthrough Responder.
Closed Captioning.
EtherneTV Media Distribution System
STB v3.7.3b Release Notes
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User-friendly upgrade application.
Caveats
This section addresses known issues in this release, most of which have an easy workaround.
For more information about any item, or help with an issue not listed here, contact your
reseller or VBrick Customer Service.
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RTSP Interleave does not work with Cisco's Application and Content Networking
System (ACNS) software.
The VOD W server does not respond to a rewind request issued after the end of stream.
If a Set Top Box will not play live MPEG-4 multicasts in MCS mode, verify that the SAP
Format is ISMA Compliant and that Session Information has been configured. In IWS go
to Configuration: Encoder > Announce (SAP) to configure these parameters.
In the 56, 128 and 200K MPEG-4 templates, video disruptions of 1–2 seconds may
occur every 4–6 seconds; the audio is not affected. To work around this issue , change
the SAP format. In IWS, go to Configuration: Encoder > Announce(SAP) and set Format
to ISMA Compliant .
When playing an MPEG-4 stream in Local or MCS mode and there is a loss of service at
the encoder end, the STB will attempt to restart for 20–30 seconds. During this time the
STB will not respond to keyboard or mouse commands. This is expected behavior. When
service is restored, control will return to the STB and you can restart the stream.
In set top boxes with a Rev. A Sigma decoder chip (P/N 8000-0044-0000), there is a
pause in the video every 10– 20 seconds to fill up internal buffers and avoid lip-sync
problems when playing MPEG-1. MPEG-1 is not recommended on Rev. A hardware.
The logo that appears at boot time is not viewable on a PAL monitor. Also, you cannot
use the Linux shell command line interface on a PAL monitor. Other interfaces such as a
VGA display, terminal connected to the STB's serial port (available on part number
8000-0044-0002 or later), Telnet, or the STBs integrated web server can be used to
manage the box.
On rare occasions, the TV may display in black and white rather than in color. If this
happens, reset the STB.
When playing certain MPEG-4 VOD files, the STB UI may reset. Files that exhibit this
behavior are not playable on the STB.
When receiving an MPEG-4 stream requested via RTSP from a VBrick MPEG-4
encoder running software earlier than version 3.1.0, the Key Frame Interval should be left
at its default value of 3 seconds. A value of zero or larger than 3 will prevent reliable
MPEG-4 playback on the STB.
When browsing the web in MCS mode, the user is prompted with a message from the
browser before returning to the ETV Portal Server user interface.
Exiting fullscreen after the video has played to the end will cause the video to restart.
There are frequent frame drops when streaming at a low data rate (about 300K) from the
QuickTime Broadcaster application.
For MPEG-4 RTSP streams from a VBrick encoder, the encoder should be configured to
enable RTCP transmit. See the STB Admin Guide for details.
The FTP client on the STB does not run well over the serial port. Use another interface
instead.
STB Release Notes
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The STB will always request FF or RW of NXG VOD files at a speed of 12x. The NXG
VOD server can be configured to generate FF/RW at different speeds. If you configure
a speed other than 12x, FF/RW will occur at the speed closest to 12x. Note that VOD W
files are always requested and played at 5x.
Video-only streams, or a video stream with very low audio levels (such as an unplugged
audio input) may not play back reliably. Similarly, audio quality playback at 56 Kbps
(total bit rate) is poor.
EtherneTV Media Distribution System
VBrick Systems, Inc.
12 Beaumont Road
Wallingford, Connecticut 06492, USA