BeamTV and Beam Duo OSMC Platform

Solutions and articles for the BeamTV Open Source Media Centre Kodi platform and Beam Duo devices.

HOW TO: Update BeamTV Content Remotely

posted 25 Oct 2017, 09:41 by Mobile Onboard System Admin   [ updated 25 Oct 2017, 09:42 ]

This is an Advanced topic and support is only available to Beam Care subscribers.

Version 1.0


Introduction

The best way to upload content to the BeamTV solid-state hard disk on the the BW280 system is by using a local connection to the onboard SFTP server.  This is because media files tend to be large in size and so would be impractical or expensive to copy files over the air (mobile network).  The following section of the BeamTV manual explains how this is done locally:


BeamTV User Manual - Uploading Content


However, if you do decide that you want to remotely update media files then you can use the Beam Content Distribution Service (CDS) to do this.  


The Beam CDS is accessed using FTP, allowing you to easily create and copy over file and folder structures of your choosing to the server which will then be distributed over-the-air to your Beam units.  If you have an in-house content management and publishing system then you can also configure that to publish files to the Beam CDS server using FTP.  This can be useful if you want to publish advertising and other content files in an automated way.


The Beam CDS service is available at no extra cost to customers that have our Beam Care subscription.  If you do not have Beam Care then please contact our Sales department for pricing options.



Using the Beam Content Distribution Service

Before continuing, please read the following article which will help you set up and familiarise yourself with Beam CDS.


HOW TO: Update the Beam Portal Content Remotely


Transferring Data to the BeamTV Hard Disk

With the BeamTV disk content, there is no versioning feature, as the client on the BeamTV unit will essentially just one-way synchronise what's on the cloud account with the hard disk (no files will be deleted).  Therefore the content and appropriate file structure for the media server simply needs to be uploaded to a root folder called @DISK for either the device or group, as shown in the following screen.


So for example, if your unit's serial number is ABCD1234 then you would copy the content to be published to the folder on the FTP Site:

/devices/ABCD1234/@DISK



Anything that is in the /@DISK folder will then be copied to the BeamTV hard disk on the device, to root of the mount point.  By default this is \mnt.


BeamTV Media Centre File Structure

It's important to maintain the correct file structure for the Media Centre otherwise it will not be able to find and index your content.  As such, the default folder structure that should be within your /@DISK folder is shown below:




Once new content has been downloaded to your BeamTV device, you may need to update the media library on the device.



Note that it can take up to several minutes for the data to be copied from your account folder to the master cloud server, and that files are downloaded to your Beam device following a reboot and first-time connection to the Internet.  The sync process will run every hour thereafter.


WARNING: Be aware that downloading large files to your devices over-the-air will consume significant data as part of your SIM card's mobile data plan which you are responsible for.



HOW TO: Connect a Network Storage (NAS) Device to BeamTV

posted 16 Aug 2017, 06:55 by Mobile Onboard System Admin   [ updated 16 Aug 2017, 07:52 ]

NOTE: Familiarity with networking concepts is required for this task.
This is an Advanced topic and support is only available to Beam Care subscribers.

The BW280 comes equipped with an Ethernet port to allow external network devices to be attached to it, either directly, or via a hub or switch.

By default the network is configured on the sub-net 192.168.99.0/24 and the address of the BW280 ethernet port is 192.168.99.1 and acts as a DHCP server which will issue IP addresses to devices attached to the network.

This allows for the connection of a Network Attached Storage device or devices to the BW280 onto which media can be stored and streamed from.  The following steps explain how to configure a Synology NAS device and the BW280 to facilitate this set-up.  The approach is same for other NAS models.

1. Set up the file share and permissions on the NAS device
2. Configure the network settings on the NAS device
3. Configure the BeamTV OSMC operating system to mount the NAS drive at boot time

Set up File Share and Permissions
For compatibility with our optional pre-configured NAS setup, we recommend that the share folder name be set to media.

1. Log into the Synology DiskStation web interface.  If you don't know the current address of your NAS then you can use the Synology Assistant tool to find it.

2. If you don't want to use your existing Shared Folder then create a new Shared Folder called "media".  Open the Control Panel and navigate to the Shared Folder option.



- Click Create if you want to create a new shared folder, as per the following screen:




- Click on the Permissions tab to set up the user permissions, as per the following screens.  This will apply even if you are using an existing Shared Folder.
  - The Everyone user will need to have read / write permissions on the Shared Folder so that it's accessible from BeamTV operating system





3. Enable the NFS protocol which is the protocol the BeamTV operating system will use to mount the drive's shared folder:
- In the Control Panel, navigate to the File Services option.
- In the SMB/AFB/NFS tab, scroll to the bottom and check the Enable NFS box
- Click Apply to save the settings




Configure NAS Device Network Settings
For compatibility with our optional pre-configured NAS setup, we recommend that the IP address of the NAS device be set to the static IP address 192.168.99.99.

1. Log into the Synology DiskStation web interface.  If you don't know the current address of your NAS then you can use the Synology Assistant tool to find it.

2. Open the Control Panel and navigate to the Network option.
- Enter your desired server name (this could be the vehicle ID for convenience)
- Check Manually configure DNS server option
  - Enter Preferred DNS Server as 192.168.99.1
  - Enter Alternative DNS Server as 208.67.222.222 or 8.8.8.8 (OpenDNS or Google)
- Click Apply to save the settings



3. Navigate to the Network Interface tab
- Click on the LAN entry
- Click Edit



- Enter the details as shown in the following screen:



- Click OK to close the Edit window

The network is now on the new settings.  You may need to to reboot and/or connect to the device using the new IP address, or use the QuickConnect feature of the Synology DiskStation to access the unit.


Configure BeamTV OSMC Operating System (Kodi)
Unless your unit has been pre-configured for NAS operation, you will need to configure the Open Source Media Centre to mount the NAS file system at start up.

NOTE: Familiarity with Linux scripting is required for this task.

1. Connect to the BW280 using Beam Accessory Wi-Fi channel.

2. Access the BeamTV Media Centre terminal window using an SSH session (e.g. using PuTTY).  Login details are available on a separate document, which can be obtained from our support team.

3. Edit the fstab configuration file using nano by entering the following command:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

4. Comment out the line starting /dev/sda1 as this the mount point for the build in solid state drive.  Alternatively, if you want to keep it, you can change the mount name from /mnt to /mnt-ssd for example, or you can give the NAS mount point a different name.  As long as the two are different, then they will co-exist.

5. Add the following new entry to the file:

192.168.99.99:/volume1/video    /mnt    nfs    rw,bg    0    0


Essentially, we are mapping the local BeamTV operating system folder /mnt to the location of the Shared Folder on the NAS device.  This location may be different if you have set up a different Shared Folder name or are using a different NAS.

6. When you new boot up the BeamTV Kodi system it should now be attached to the Shared Folder on the NAS device.  You will need to refresh the library contents in the Kodi interface.


HOW TO: Configure BeamOS to Access BeamTV Kodi Media Server

posted 28 Jul 2017, 13:35 by Mobile Onboard System Admin   [ updated 16 Aug 2017, 08:05 ]

NOTE: Familiarity with Linux scripting is required for this task.

This is an Advanced topic and support is only available to Beam Care subscribers.


If you are building a custom solution to run on the BW280 and require the BeamOS Controller Board to communicate with the BeamTV Kodi Media Board, it is necessary to create an SSH key on BeamOS and copy this over to the Kodi Media Server.  This will then allow them to authenticate and communicate with each other.

To create an SSH key between the BeamOS Controller and Kodi you will need to carry out the steps below.  The solution uses the Expect library, so that this can be done remotely without user interaction (headless installation).  Alternatively, you can disseminate the commands and execute manually within a shell:

1) SSH into BeamOS using the beam-admin username and password associated with the device

2) Add an additional routing configuration to allow access to the Kodi Board with the following command:

route add -net 192.168.101.0/24 gw 192.168.100.1

This needs to be added to the bottom of the file /etc/beam.os/beam-os-firewall.sh using nano so it will persist after a reboot.

3) Install the Expect library with

sudo apt-get install expect -y

4) Create a file with the following Expect script and copy to the BeamOS file system:

============================================
#!/usr/bin/expect -f

spawn ssh-keygen -t rsa
expect "Enter file in which to save the key (/root/.ssh/id_rsa): "
send "\r"
expect {
    "Overwrite (y/n)?" {
        send "y\r"
        expect "Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): "
        send "\r"
    }
    "Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): " {
        send "\r"
    }
}

expect "Enter same passphrase again: "
send "\r"
spawn ssh-copy-id osmc@192.168.101.254

expect {
    "Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? " {
    send "yes\r"
    }
    "osmc@192.168.101.254's password: " {
        send "<PASSWORD>\r"
    }
}

expect "osmc@192.168.101.254's password: "
send "<PASSWORD>\r"

exec ssh osmc@192.168.101.254 "sudo chmod 777 -R /mnt/media"
==============================================


NOTE: The string <PASSWORD> in the above script is the actual BeamTV Admin password of your system, and has been redacted for security - please raise a support ticket if you would like us to advise you of this.

Running the above Expect script will handle a headless installation of an SSH Key generation to remove the need to enter a password for file transfers between the two units.

HOW TO: BeamTV OSMC (Kodi) Network Settings

posted 25 Jul 2017, 03:35 by Mobile Onboard System Admin   [ updated 28 Jul 2017, 13:56 ]

If you have had the need to restore the BeamTV OSMC (Kodi) operating system, then you will need to reconfigure the network settings so that Kodi can access the Internet, and so that users can access the media server over the Wi-Fi connection.

To do this, please follow these steps:
1) Log in to OSMC as the Admin user using the remote control device

2) Navigate to Settings > My OSMC and the select the Network Settings icon

3) Enter the following Static Network settings:
IP Address:             192.168.101.254
Subnet Mask:         255.255.255.0
Default Gateway:    192.168.101.1
Primary DNS:          192.168.101.1
Secondary DNS:      8.8.8.8

If you need more help, please raise a support ticket at support@mobileonboard.com

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