You can use Windows Media Player to play digital media content that is streamed from the Internet. To ensure that a Windows Media server can establish the optimal connection to the Player depending upon its environment, the Player is configured to receive streams automatically from any of the following streaming protocols: User Datagram Protocol (UDP), Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The Player can also receive a multicast stream. UDP and TCP are basic networking protocols that are used in combination with the Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) protocol, which manage the high-level exchange of data.

Note that if you are on a public network, such as at a coffee shop or an airport, Windows Firewall might block UDP and multicast streams from reaching the Player. To resolve this problem, open Windows Firewall, click the Exceptions tab, and then select the Windows Media Player check box. If this setting is not available, it might be controlled by Group Policy. For more information about Group Policy, contact your system administrator. For more information about using Windows Firewall, see Windows Help and Support.

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To change protocol settings for the Player

  1. Click the arrow below the Now Playing tab, click More Options, and then click the Network tab.

  2. Make the changes you want.

    If you clear the TCP check box, or if your firewall blocks TCP streams, and the Player is configured to use the RTSP protocol, the Player will try to receive the streams by using the UDP protocol. If you also clear the UDP check box, or if your firewall blocks streams that use these protocols, and the Player is configured to use the RTSP protocol, the Player will try to receive the streams by using the HTTP protocol.

To change proxy settings for the Player

If you connect to the Internet through a proxy server, the following steps provide information about proxy server settings you can configure for each protocol.

  1. Click the arrow below the Now Playing tab, click More Options, and then click the Network tab.

  2. In Streaming proxy settings, click the protocol you want to configure, and then click Configure. Change any of the following settings:

    • Autodetect proxy settings. Select this option if you want the Player to detect the proxy settings or automatic configuration settings automatically.

    • Use proxy settings of the Web browser. Select this option (available with the HTTP protocol only) if you want the Player to use the proxy settings of your default web browser.

    • Do not use a proxy server. If you select this option, the Player will not try to communicate with a proxy server when connecting to the Internet. Typically, this means that the Player does not receive streaming content from the Internet.

    • Use the following proxy server. You can specify a proxy server to use by providing the name or IP address and port number of the proxy server that you want to use to connect to the Internet. The default port numbers are: HTTP (80) and RTSP (554). You can also choose the following options:

      • You can bypass proxy server for local addresses if you do not want the Player to use the proxy server for streams from your intranet. Because a proxy server acts as a security barrier between your intranet and the Internet, you may need extra permissions from your system administrator to gain access to webpages through a proxy server.

      • You can specify addresses for which you do not want to use a proxy server. If you want to connect to a computer on your intranet, make sure that you type its address in this box. For example, for a computer named Joe1, type Joe1. You can use wildcard characters to match domain and host names or addresses, for example, www.*.com; 128.*, 240.*, *mygroup.*, *x*, and so on.