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IPTV - Television/Radio via Your Computer

The Language Centre maintains the IPTV system at SOAS which boasts over 80 international radio and satellite channels. The system is designed so that anyone with a wired connection at SOAS can use readily available free software to 'tune into' the channel you are interested in.

Please note there is no IPTV service over the wireless network.

The system works with Windows 7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X and Linux using the VideoLAN media player. To use the system, regardless of operating system, you will need to download and install VLC. Once installed all you need to do is the following to watch/listen to a stream:

  1. open VLC
  2. click on the 'View' menu and select 'Playlist'
  3. on the left you will see 'Media Browser' and expand 'Local Network' to select 'Network streams (SAP)'
  4. after a few seconds you should see a listing of all the TV channels and radio stations available (under their respective sections 'SOAS Television' and 'SOAS Radio')
  5. to listen to the one you want simply double click on the channel you are interested in

Using the Simpler Web Portal

Once you have VLC installed, you might find it annoying to have to open the playlist and enable SAP annoucement's to watch a stream. If so we recommend users have a look at the IPTV portal (at http://iptv.soas.ac.uk/) we run. There you will find the channels sorted in a hopefully more appropriate layout along with links (where available) to the scheduling too.

To use this system though you need to configure your web browser to use VLC when clicking on one of the channels. This is a one-off task that occurs when you click on one of the channels and a 'save/open' dialog window opens asking you what to do.

Microsoft Windows

Typically you will be presented with a tickbox that should be unticked saying something like “Always ask before opening this type of file”. You then go to 'Open' where you will probably need to 'Choose' a suitable application. The suitable application (VLC) can be found at 'My Computer' → 'Drive C' → 'Program Files' → 'VideoLAN' → 'VLC' and choose ”vlc.exe”. Once this is done, everything should Just Work™ from then onwards.

With newer versions of Internet Explorer, the process you might find is a bit more involved. When you click on a link, your only option is to save the file, if this is the case you will need to do the following:

  1. save file to your Desktop
  2. right click on the saved file
  3. select 'Open'
  4. in the window that opens, state you want to 'Select the program from a list'
  5. select 'VLC media player' (you might have to browse for it as above though)
  6. make sure 'Always use the selected program to open this kind of file' is ticked
  7. next time you try to open a stream from the web portal you will be asked one more time what to do with the file but are given the option to 'Open'
  8. before you open make sure you have unticked 'Always ask before opening this type of file'
  9. the portal should now just work automatically
Mac OS X

The portal only works reliably under Mozilla Firefox as Safari will not open the links automatically. Once you open the IPTV portal in Mozilla Firefox and click on one of the channels, you will be prompted with options on what you wish to do. You should set the 'Open with' option to 'VLC.app' (found in the 'Applications' section called 'VLC') and tick the box 'Do this automatically for files like this from now on'. When you click on OK you should find the channel automatically opens.

Troubleshooting

Motion Seems Striped

You need to deinterlace the video stream. This is done by:

  1. whilst the video is playing, open the 'Video' menu
  2. under the menu go to the 'Deinterlace' section and select 'Automatic'
  3. we recommend from the 'Deinterlace mode', also under the 'Video' menu, you select 'Blend' however you might prefer one of the other settings
Takes Ages for SAP Announcements to Show (Microsoft Windows XP only)

We recommend you actually in this instance look to use the SOAS IPTV portal at http://iptv.soas.ac.uk/, however if you insist that you want to use the SAP announcements you can make the following change to speed things up:

  1. open the 'Tools' menu and select 'Preferences'
  2. bottom left corner is 'Show Settings' and you need to select 'All'
  3. open up the 'Playlist' section in the left panel
  4. open up the 'Services discovery' branch
  5. highlight 'SAP'
  6. untick 'IPv6 SAP'
  7. click on the 'Save' button, then close and re-open VLC

N.B. only do this if you do not use IPv6, if unsure please stick to the web based portal

Audio is Fine but Blacked Out or Jumpy Video is Shown

This occurs for technical reasons on some of our streams occasionally and can be worked around by:

  1. open the 'Tools' menu and select 'Preferences'
  2. bottom left corner is 'Show Settings' and you need to select 'All'
  3. open up the 'Input/Codecs' section in the left panel
  4. open the 'Access Modules' branch
  5. under the 'UDP' section, increase the 'Caching value in ms' from 300 to 2000
  6. click on the 'Save' button, then close and re-open VLC