IPTV Computer Version Help and Information | Webster University

IPTV Computer Version Help and Information

Logging On/Basic Information

IPTV Controls/Viewing Window

System Requirements

FAQs Before Watching

Troubleshooting FAQs/Browser Issues

Channel Lineup

Logging On/Basic Information

What is IPTV?

IPTV stands for Internet Protocol Television. In short it means that instead of using traditional coax your "cable" will now come over the internet.

Where is IPTV available?

IPTV is available on your computer and via Set Top Box in East, West and Maria Halls.  IPTV is available only on your computer in the Webster Village Apartments.

How Do I Access IPTV on My Computer?

  1. Open up any web browser and go to http://vf.webster.edu
  2. Click the Play button.

    IPTV Play button
  3. You may receive prompt stating that your Java plugin has been disabled. Please make sure to activate your Java plugin.
  4. A new window will open labeled “VF InStream”, this is your TV window.

How Do I Access IPTV on My Television?

In order to watch television through a traditional television set, you will need a set top box. Set top boxes are available to rent from Residential Life and Housing for $75 per academic year.

IPTV Controls/Viewing Window

What are the controls and what can I do with them?

The controls are the buttons at the top of your IPTV window. All of these together are called the dashboard (shown below). From the dashboard you can change channels, switch between the Program Guide and TV, and get information about the channel.

At the bottom of the window, you will see your control panel.

Control Panel

A. Volume
B. Stop
C. Cycle information in the top bar
D. Adjust Full Screen view
E. Settings


The channel/program guide is called the onGuide. The onGuide gives you information about the program you are currently watching as well as the channel lineup and upcoming shows.

Switching Between TV and onGuide

Click the "Watch TV" button to switch to TV mode or Click the "TV" button in the upper left hand corner when in the onGuide to go to TV mode. When in TV mode click the same button, which will now say "onGuide" to go back to the onGuide.
Tip: A quick shortcut for going back and forth between OnGuide mode and TV mode is to "double click" on the video.

Changing Channels

You have two ways to change channels:On the TV screen, there will be three vertical bars to the far right as seen below.

  1. Click the bars

    Accessing channels

  2. A new window will open up with all your channel selections.

    Changing channels

Please see the picture below for a breakdown of the onGuide window.

A. Switch to TV mode
B. Program Information
C. Channel Lineup
D. Active Channel (Double-click a channel to make it the active channel...it will then show up green)
E. List of upcoming programs on active channel

Accessing the Viewing Options Menu

Right-click on the player window (Mac users hold down the "Control key" then click) to display the menu (Mac users substitute the "Command/Apple key" for the Control key to activate the menu command. This menu allows you to customize your viewing options, such as selecting a different viewing window size. Please see the images below of this menu.

Menu (for Mac)

mac menu

Menu (for Windows and Linux)

windows menu

Please also see the keyboard shortcuts below.

What keyboard shortcuts are available when I'm watching through InStream?

Keyboard Shortcuts - (For Mac, substitute Apple key for Ctrl key)
Feature Shortcut
OnGuide Mode/TV Mode Ctrl + G
Channel Up
Channel Down
Ctrl + Up Arrow
Ctrl + Down Arrow
Volume Up
Volume Down
Ctrl + Right Arrow
Ctrl + Left Arrow
Full Screen On/Off Alt + Enter
Switch back and forth between current channel and last viewed Enter/Return
Contrast Down
Contrast Up
Brightness Down
Brightness Up
Contrast/Brightness Reset F5
Minimize Screen
Small Screen
Medium Screen
Large Screen
Ctrl + 0
Ctrl + 1
Ctrl + 2
Ctrl + 3
Mute On/Off Ctrl + M
Dashboard On/Off Ctrl + D
Grow/Shrink Screen Ctrl + / Ctrl -
Closed Captioning 1 On/Off Ctrl + H
Sleep Timer
15/30/45 minutes
Ctrl + S
Note: Ctrl + S for Mac also
Program Info Ctrl + P
Quit Ctrl + Q

System Requirements

Will my older computer support InStream and the IP video service?

A computer must meet certain minimum system requirements. If your system does not meet these requirements, the service may perform less than desired or not at all. The minimum system requirements to view each service are listed below:

Windows 98/2000/XP:

Intel Pentium III 850MHz CPU or greater
Current Java Virtual Machine or Sun JRE 1.4.1
Netscape Communicator or Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher

Mac OS X 10.1.5:

Power PC G4 867 MHz or greater
OpenGL-capable video card (ATI Rage 128 or Radeon, any nVidia card)
Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher, or Netscape Communicator 7.0

RedHat (Intel) Linux 7.3:

Intel Pentium III 850MHz CPU or greater
24-bit graphics enabled
Properly configured and enabled audio card/module
Mozilla v0.9.9/v1.2a with Java Plug-in (i.e., v1.4.1)

In all cases, the client computer must have network access and a recent Java run-time environment, in most cases available at http://java.sun.com.

FAQs Before Watching

Do I have to download any software?

No. IPTV is "Click and Watch". It runs in a java based web browser window.

Can I watch TV on my laptop using wireless?

It is not recommended that you watch IPTV via wireless as it is slower than the wired connection in your room and may IPTV display video and audio poorly.

How do I disable my wireless card on my Windows PC?

View instructions on how to disable your wireless card on a Windows machine.

Can I get IPTV on my Macintosh computer?

Yes. You can watch from any computer with a web browser. Including those running Linux.

Can I open more than one IPTV window at a time?

Yes, but remember that the slower your computer is and the more windows you open, the slower it will respond and the video quality could be degraded.

Troubleshooting FAQs/Browser Issues

When I direct my Web browser to the portal to "Tune In", why does my browser "crash" or show an "Applet unable to initialize" or similar status message in the lower left corner?

Your Java run-time environment may be obsolete or corrupt. Users of Macintosh OS X platforms are advised to consider visiting apple.com and upgrading to Apple's latest MRJ. Users of Windows and Linux platforms should consider retrieving the latest Sun Java runtime environment, which at one time was at:

to make sure it's the latest see:

You may also need to upgrade your browser to the latest version.

When I try to connect to a broadcast using my Web browser (e.g. Firefox or Safari), I see a pop-up message, what are these messages and how should I reply to them?

These are security warnings asking you to authorize to load the signed software necessary to view the selected content. These messages are common the first time you select a stream in a browser session. Select the "Grant" or "Yes" button to bypass each request, each time. If you do not want to see these messages again, check the "Remember this decision" or "Always trust content" or similar option before you select the "Grant" or "Yes" button or select the "Always" button depending on the type of pop-up displayed. When you inform the security manager that you always want to grant authorizations to the software, the messages should no longer appear when you request to view enabled content in the future. Examples of security alerts you may receive are shown below.

Java Security warning

Security warning

Java Plug-in warning


Why do I see the message "Unable to Initialize Transport" in the browser's status area?

This means that one or more of the certificate authorizations was not granted. Reload the page to force the browser to ask you for authorization again. You may also need to upgrade your Java Virtual Machine (JVM), Java Runtime Environment (JRE), or Java Runtime Machine (JRM – Apple) to a newer version. Instructions on upgrading your JVM/JRE/JRM can be found elsewhere in this FAQ.

Why does the viewer application display "Retrieving guide data", "Waiting for Broadcast," "Tuning In," or "Connecting," and then do nothing - or worse, tells me I'm unauthorized?

The stream may not be available on the network or your computer system may not be receiving multicast data through or from your network connection or may be blocked by a personal firewall. Multicast is a standard network-based data distribution technology used to broadcast services on the network. If you encounter one of these messages but never receive OnGuide data or video, you may have a firewall or other configuration issue that prevents multicast data from reaching the application on your system.

User Not Authorized: If you get a "User not authorized" error after seeing the message "Retrieving guide data," try disabling unnecessary network adapters and connections (i.e. network bridges, wireless network adapters), and try again.

Multiple Network Interfaces: You may encounter problems if your computer is configured to use several different connections to the network such as a wired 802.3 and a wireless 802.11x adapters. Disable settings for wireless adapters and try again.

Firewalls: If your computer has a personal firewall such as Zone Alarm or Black Ice installed and configured to "Block Internet Servers", you will not receive multicast services even if your network connection is multicast enabled, because an improperly configured firewall will block multicast. To enable multicast on a system with a firewall you can try to disable or reconfigure the firewall program to "Allow Internet Servers" in an option menu. If disabling your firewall works, you can contact the Help Desk to get information on exception IP addresses that would allow you to reenable your firewall again.

Note: Windows XP provides a built-in personal firewall that is disabled by default. If you have not enabled this feature and have no additional firewall software, multicast should not be blocked.

Linux Users: Verify that your kernel is enabled for IP multicast.

Why does it take so long to connect to the transmission when using Internet Explorer?

This is caused by a bug in the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The bad versions are:
q 4.79.2339
q 4.79.2439
Try to upgrade to Sun's JRE 1.4.1 or later at http://java.sun.com.

Also - At times, on the World Wide Web, "helper applications" are loaded to your computer or are attached to your browser without your knowledge. These applications are intended to mine data and provide helpful capabilities. Some of these applications may interrupt or slow down your browser performance. Be certain that any such application is not interfering with your browser's capability or performance. In addition, spyware and adware could also be preventing you from connecting to the stream. If you are unable to determine if this is the cause of your issue or if you have spyware/adware/popups you are unable to get rid of, please make an appointment with ResTech to have your computer cleaned up.

Why does the message "Connecting…", "Waiting for Broadcast…" or "Tuning in…" appear indefinitely in the InStream™ information window?

This means that either the requested stream has been interrupted, the stream is not available in the part of the network in which you are located, or for some other reason, the stream cannot traverse your network connection. It's also possible that your personal firewall is blocking multicast traffic as described in another part of this FAQ. If you believe there should be a stream available; then please contact the Help Desk.

Why is the viewer showing a "black" screen, green bars or an otherwise snowy display?

If you see nothing in the InStream viewer window, when in TV mode, and the information message in the InStream status window shows: "Now Playing: …", then the analog input signal to the video encoder may have been interrupted. Please contact the Help Desk about the service interruption.

Why do the OnGuide event times appear to be inaccurate by an hour or two for the programs showing?

The time zone and clock/system time of your computer (PC/Mac/Linux) might be incorrect. Be certain that you set time the zone and your date and time to the appropriate local zone and time and select the daylight savings time "check box" if appropriate.

Why is my video not smooth like TV?

The streams are placed on the network at a "full motion video" rate (30 frames per second). Your version of Microsoft DirectX may not support monitors that are set above a scan rate of 75Hz or your CPU is taxed by other applications and not enough CPU bandwidth is available for InStream™ to display full frame-rate video. The following suggestions may help: check your CPU load with the CPU monitoring tool provided by your Operating System. If you have surplus CPU cycles available, try to change the scan rate on your monitor to 75Hz. If not, consider closing some of your other opened applications. Also consider upgrading your system software (e.g., Microsoft Update, Direct/X (if used), Apple Macintosh OSX update, or try a faster computer).

Why does my browser crash instead of loading InStream, or the Java applet will load but nothing happens?

Be sure to install all Critical Updates at http://www.windowsupdate.com.

The Critical Update package may include an up-to-date Java Virtual Machine (JVM) from Microsoft, which may fix this problem. More information in recommended Java plugins can be found elsewhere in this FAQ. If unsure on which upgrades you may need or if you are still unable to get the video stream to come up on your computer, please make an appointment with ResTech.


Channel Lineup

What channels are available?

There is a list of channels available here: Channel List.