Missing features

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adamsutton Offline
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Post: #1
Sorry if this has already been covered elsewhere, I did do a search but most of the returned threads were quite old.

I'm really impressed with the XBMC PVR code and looking at using it (with a tvheadend backend) to replace my Sky+HD box when my contract runs out, rather than buying a standalone Freesat+HD box.

However there are a few issues that I'm currently investigating that I think I need to sort out before I can go out and by the full kit (I'm using borrowed stuff at the moment), without getting shouted at by the wife and ordered to get a Freesat box!

Some of the issues I believe are just TBDs, other seem more like minor issues:

  1. Pause Button - I appear to be able to pause live tv (haven't checked if this is done front or backend). But I cannot seem to use any keyboard shortcuts for it, I can only do it from the OSD.
  2. Series Link - I'm guessing this would possibly require backend support? I know I can set regexp's, but that's not quite the same. I must admit I've not fully investigated this yet.
  3. Now/Next OSD - similar to found on Sky and other PVR kit. I.e. when changing channels I can see now/next for the channel (not sure if a skin mod can achieve this), But I'd also like to be able to skip through the channels in this, without actually retuning the playing channel.
  4. Channel "Buffering" - This is merely a suggestion. Although the channel change timeis actually quite good, the "buffering" dialog shown during the change can be (in most skins) quite intrusive and actually has the effect of making the user "perceive" a longer change time. I've remove the dialog from my setup by modding the skin. Anyway just a thought.
  5. Auto start playback - There is a config option to start the last played channel on startup. Personally I'd like to see a start the last played channel when entering LiveTV. Not sure if there is a shortcut that could be mapped (custom menu) in place of the existing LiveTV menu button.
  6. Recording - I cannot start a recording from XBMC, though I can record by using tvheadend web interface. Not sure whether others have experienced this and whether its a bug or simply a setup issue?
  7. NOT XBMC ISSUE - EPG grabbing in tvheadend (via XMLTV grabbers) is awfully slow. I'm actually investigating this with the xmltv authors and have discovered where the fault lies. I've actually implemented my own version of the Radio Times grabber (in python) which is approx 30x faster. So I might actually be able to contribute something useful to this, should anyone else be using this and find it rather annoying.


Regards
Adam
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xxxnelly Offline
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Post: #2
1. This can't be done in tvheadend and the xbmc pvr doesn't support it either so we need to wait on this one.

2. Again probably the same as above

3. I am using the refocus skin now and made some changes, they are in the refocus thread in the skin section. This includes now and next in the channel OSD

4. Maybe this should be a configurable timeout witht he buffering, so if the channel change is quick enough then dont display the buffering, if it taking longer then you can see progress.

5. Not sure

6. I am able to add timers to items in the EPG or be able to record the current channel in the Video OSD, but I havent mapped my record button.

7. This shoulds good and I'd be interested in this, can you pm it too me.

Thanks,
Neil

--
Frontend : OpenELEC PVR runnig on Acer Revo 3700
Backend : Ubuntu 11.10 running with TVHeadend 1 x DVB-T, 1 x Dual DVB-S2
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adamsutton Offline
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Post: #3
Thanks for the reply:

1. I think you misread my comment, it appears that pausing does work, though I don't know how its been implented. I'm using the OpenElec PVR nightly with tvheadend backend. I had guessed possibly XBMC is simply buffering. The only thing that doesn't work is that I cannot use the pause button on my remote, only the pause button on the XBMC OSD.

2. I had guessed this was a TBD, just wondered if anyone had any ideas on timescales? If I ever find the time I will try and take a look at the code.

3. I'm also using reFocus, its the only skin I think that has a decent overall look (when requiring PVR) I was previously using Aeon Nox which doesn't yet support PVR. I'll take a look at your mods. Though I'm guessing this is still just a static now/next as opposed to a proper navigable OSD (i.e. browse through channels without changing what's playing)?

4. Yeah that sounds good. As I said, I merely found that my perception of the switching time was actually distorted by the buffering dialog due to the connotations that has from experience of watching online videos etc... And I thin
k non-techies (the wife) would notice it even more than I.

6. OK, just me then. I thought it must be a configuration or setup specific issue, since I couldn't find any major problems mentioned elsewhere. I'll do some digging.

7. I've put it on google code, I forgot to mention this is only for the RadioTimes in the UK, though eventually if the changes get ported back into the original it might affect the others as well.
http://adamsutton.googlecode.com/svn/xbm..._rt_aps.py

It's not complete and doesn't properly integrate at the moment (I have some local changes that will make it do so, I'll probably commit later today). Also it can't be configured, I rely on someone having configured using the original uk_rt script and then use that.

Also it doesn't do the full title mapping, but it does most of it. On my PVR machine the runtime has gone from 60min to 2min to process the 64 channels for Freesat.
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LastCoder Offline
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Post: #4
Hi adamsutton,

if you want a skin with good PVR support you have to use Confluence. I tested a lot of "PVR enabled" skins (http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Com...n_features) .. unfortunately not one of them excecpt for confluence has more to support than basic features (and often only in MODs). reFocus PVR development is at very early stage .. lot of skin designers simply don't care ... may be the situation becomes better when PVR is an official part of XBMC Eden ..

If you use Confluence your Questions 3,5,6 are solved. works !

Question 1 - it's called "timeshifting" and is not supported by TVHeadEnd / XBMC atm. Maybe with MythTV and MythBox Confused ..

Question 4 - I see the buffering info very rarely and only for a short moment. Maybe a communction problem with TV Backend !? Doesn't have any visual influence on Confluence theme ..

So long

LastCoder

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Server, Xfce, XBMC Gotham, Skin reFred, tvheadend tv backend
ASUS P8H61-M LE/USB3, Celeron G530, Geforce 210, 4 GB DDR3 RAM
16 GB CnMemory 300x CF, 1 TB Samsung 2,5" HDD
iHOS104 BluRay Drive, TT DVBS2-1600
Silverstone GD05B Case, Sony PS3 BD Remote control, Logitech Cordless Mediaboard Pro for PS3
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adamsutton Offline
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Post: #5
1. I don't get it, why is everyone telling me its "not supported" when I'm saying it works on my setup?

Is it possible something has been dong in the OpenElec build? I can definitely pause live tv and resume, I can even forward back through it I think.

If its not actually supported, I guess I'm not likely to get the keyboard shortcut working any time soon.

4. @lastcoder. I think you misunderstood my point, I don't see it for very long as the channel change time is not that slow (comparable to my Sky+ box). My point was one about how the mere presence of the dialog affects the perception of the channel change time.

Originally I thought the change time was a bit slow, but when I compared against my sky box I realised it was just my perception of the time. At which point I summised it was the presence of the buffering dialog.

I've subsequently hidden the dialog (skin hacked) and I feel the channel change delay is less noticeable. Of course things to do with perception are difficult to test/quantify. But I do think that to the average user, seeing "buffering..." does have a negative connotation based on experiences of web videos etc.

Personally I like xxxnelly's suggestion that the dialog should be time delayed, i.e. don't show immediately but only if operation is slow. Or at least make it a configuration option?

6. I've got the recording working now. I updated tvheadend to latest (git) and its now working Smile

@lastcoder, generally I'd have to disagree with you about confluence. It's definitely better than it used to be, but personally I find it very "bland" as a skin. Though I do accept its the most functional of the lot.

reFocus is in my opinion the better skin when it comes to PVR support, since for me the only bit of the "skinning" I care about is the EPG handling. And, in my opinion, the reFocus EPG is much better than the others (I've tried them all Wink ). I like the way it shows the show info at the bottom of the EPG and it boxes all of the shows to make a clear and consistent display. It looks more professional than the others.

Though reFocus is definitely not the best skin in general, far from it, I still much prefer Aeon Nox. I'd quite like Neon except it seems to have some bugs that I've not had a chance to look at.

Of course skinning is always a going to be down to personal taste Smile
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LastCoder Offline
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Post: #6
adamsutton Wrote:1. I don't get it, why is everyone telling me its "not supported" when I'm saying it works on my setup?

I had the same "feeling" Big Grin with another skin than confluence .. but TVHeadEnd-Developer and dushmanic (XBMC PVR Developer) say that it's not supported yet ... if it really works with OpenELEC I should give it another try :-)

adamsutton Wrote:@lastcoder, generally I'd have to disagree with you about confluence. It's definitely better than it used to be, but personally I find it very "bland" as a skin. Though I do accept its the most functional of the lot.

Yep, Confluence is not the most advanced and most eyecandy theme ... but PVR support suits my taste, especially the TV OSD ! .. it provides nearly everything compared to a standalone receiver - program information, duration, what comes next and so on .. I'd call it a PVR-reference-theme Wink Either the other skins didn't give that information or they didn't give it the comfortable way .. but that is hopefully only a question of time and skin designer effort; I guess after EDEN release all skins will support LiveTV ...

How far advanced is the pvr support development of reFocus ? Could you post some screenies - I saw EPG shots but what about TV OSD ? Personally I would really like to see Alaska supporting PVR; it's in development stage too ...

So long

LastCoder

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Server, Xfce, XBMC Gotham, Skin reFred, tvheadend tv backend
ASUS P8H61-M LE/USB3, Celeron G530, Geforce 210, 4 GB DDR3 RAM
16 GB CnMemory 300x CF, 1 TB Samsung 2,5" HDD
iHOS104 BluRay Drive, TT DVBS2-1600
Silverstone GD05B Case, Sony PS3 BD Remote control, Logitech Cordless Mediaboard Pro for PS3
(This post was last modified: 2012-01-20 12:58 by LastCoder.)
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decaturguy Offline
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Post: #7
It's not timeshifting, it just whatever is in the buffer that you are pausing/rewinding/fastforwarding. The buffer is very limited it doesn't hold that much, i don't remember how much but this has been talked about before search the forum and it works only with skins that support pausing/rewinding/fastforwarding again search the forum.
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adamsutton Offline
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Post: #8
Thanks for that decaturguy, someone on irc managed to put me straight on that on.
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mrpg Offline
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Post: #9
Series link / record whole series, that would be "da sjit" can't wait!

/PG
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adamsutton Offline
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Post: #10
I'm actually trying to investigate series linking at the moment. Just struggling to get hold of the relevant dev's to get their input on the issue.

Certainly my backend of choice, tvheadend, can do a sort of series link use its autorec feature (basically regexp matching of titles etc..). However I think at least where possible it should be stricter (to remove possibility of recording duplicates, omnibus shows, etc...).

However the biggest stumbling block appears to be the EPG data. I've looked at the Radio Times data (my XMLTV source) and although most shows have series info, some do not and even those that do are sometimes incomplete/incorrect which a naive approach would certainly stumble on.
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ant_thomas Offline
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Post: #11
Certainly with VDR there's the option to set a recording for example every Wednesday at 20:00. It's not a strict series link, but it works.
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adamsutton Offline
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Post: #12
Hi ant,

I'm aware there are "ways" of achieving this. I can set an autorec timer in tvheadend that will match a particular title/channel (and optionally approx time). I think I can control some of this from XBMC, though I must confess I've not tried.

However that was not the point of my posting. This would never pass the wife approval test and therefore is a limitation in the PVR code that will stop me from adopting it (other than for testing). I'm just trying to point out some areas I feel need improvement when time permits.

Regards
Adam
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frash Offline
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Post: #13
Hi Adam,

Did you ever come up with a 'wife friendly' option for the series recording?

I'm using WMC at the moment but really want to switch to XBMC but think the lack of ability to do 'series link' will be a deal-breaker.

I've read elsewhere that I can still use WMC to record the programs & that XBMC will play them but it's not ideal.

Thanks!
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