Feature Requests

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asm495 Offline
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Post: #16
For me something that I'm amazed no one has asked for is the ability for the server part to run as a service. You shouldn't need to have the PC logged in for it to be running. I run my Win7 machine as a server and having to login if it is restarted is a bit awkward.
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scarecrow420 Offline
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Post: #17
(2013-11-29 12:27)asm495 Wrote:  For me something that I'm amazed no one has asked for is the ability for the server part to run as a service. You shouldn't need to have the PC logged in for it to be running. I run my Win7 machine as a server and having to login if it is restarted is a bit awkward.

Im planning on working on this soon but there are a few logistical things to worry about for example the current UI needs to be able to now talk to the service to display all the vital stats etc, also if the UI saves changes to the config file the service would either need to be able to load that on the fly or would have to be restarted. Also for the UI to start/stop the service means it needs to run with elevated priviledges (run as admin) which not all users are going to like. For this reason krusty thinks that running it as a service should be optional but that creates even more complexity/time because we then basically have 2 modes of operation. Of course we could just have a dumb service, that expert users can install with Installutil.exe themselves, and not have the UI interact with it or display the current streams/clients connected etc. The service could have it's own config file, or share the normal config file but no smarts to auto load it etc... We could use an alternative port so that the UI doesnt need to be modified not to also open a socket and listen for addons etc... but that's not a particularly polished offering so at this stage the plan is to do it properly, which unfortunately means it will take longer...

If you (or anyone) have any feedback on your expectations of ServerWMC running as a service, let me know your thoughts. Would it be acceptable to manually install the service yourself, not have control/feedback of what it's doing in the existing GUI, possibly have it on a different port etc?

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC) Development Team
http://bit.ly/ServerWMC
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asm495 Offline
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Post: #18
(2013-11-29 12:35)scarecrow420 Wrote:  
(2013-11-29 12:27)asm495 Wrote:  For me something that I'm amazed no one has asked for is the ability for the server part to run as a service. You shouldn't need to have the PC logged in for it to be running. I run my Win7 machine as a server and having to login if it is restarted is a bit awkward.

Im planning on working on this soon but there are a few logistical things to worry about for example the current UI needs to be able to now talk to the service to display all the vital stats etc, also if the UI saves changes to the config file the service would either need to be able to load that on the fly or would have to be restarted. Also for the UI to start/stop the service means it needs to run with elevated priviledges (run as admin) which not all users are going to like. For this reason krusty thinks that running it as a service should be optional but that creates even more complexity/time because we then basically have 2 modes of operation. Of course we could just have a dumb service, that expert users can install with Installutil.exe themselves, and not have the UI interact with it or display the current streams/clients connected etc. The service could have it's own config file, or share the normal config file but no smarts to auto load it etc... We could use an alternative port so that the UI doesnt need to be modified not to also open a socket and listen for addons etc... but that's not a particularly polished offering so at this stage the plan is to do it properly, which unfortunately means it will take longer...

If you (or anyone) have any feedback on your expectations of ServerWMC running as a service, let me know your thoughts. Would it be acceptable to manually install the service yourself, not have control/feedback of what it's doing in the existing GUI, possibly have it on a different port etc?

I'm happy to manually install the service but I suspect this might be more challenging for some. I'd be happy for it to run on a different port.

Have you thought about this configuration?

- UI App to modify server settings in an XML file
- ServerWMC App that reads XML file and runs when user logs in to PC with API to retrieve info
- ServerWMC Service that reads XML file and runs when the PC starts with identical API to retrieve info

The user can then choose whether they want the App or the service. The UI then only needs to change data in one place too. The UI could also have buttons to restart the App and/or Service.
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scarecrow420 Offline
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Post: #19
(2013-11-29 13:08)asm495 Wrote:  
(2013-11-29 12:35)scarecrow420 Wrote:  
(2013-11-29 12:27)asm495 Wrote:  For me something that I'm amazed no one has asked for is the ability for the server part to run as a service. You shouldn't need to have the PC logged in for it to be running. I run my Win7 machine as a server and having to login if it is restarted is a bit awkward.

Im planning on working on this soon but there are a few logistical things to worry about for example the current UI needs to be able to now talk to the service to display all the vital stats etc, also if the UI saves changes to the config file the service would either need to be able to load that on the fly or would have to be restarted. Also for the UI to start/stop the service means it needs to run with elevated priviledges (run as admin) which not all users are going to like. For this reason krusty thinks that running it as a service should be optional but that creates even more complexity/time because we then basically have 2 modes of operation. Of course we could just have a dumb service, that expert users can install with Installutil.exe themselves, and not have the UI interact with it or display the current streams/clients connected etc. The service could have it's own config file, or share the normal config file but no smarts to auto load it etc... We could use an alternative port so that the UI doesnt need to be modified not to also open a socket and listen for addons etc... but that's not a particularly polished offering so at this stage the plan is to do it properly, which unfortunately means it will take longer...

If you (or anyone) have any feedback on your expectations of ServerWMC running as a service, let me know your thoughts. Would it be acceptable to manually install the service yourself, not have control/feedback of what it's doing in the existing GUI, possibly have it on a different port etc?

I'm happy to manually install the service but I suspect this might be more challenging for some. I'd be happy for it to run on a different port.

Have you thought about this configuration?

- UI App to modify server settings in an XML file
- ServerWMC App that reads XML file and runs when user logs in to PC with API to retrieve info
- ServerWMC Service that reads XML file and runs when the PC starts with identical API to retrieve info

The user can then choose whether they want the App or the service. The UI then only needs to change data in one place too. The UI could also have buttons to restart the App and/or Service.
yes that configuration is along the lines of "doing it properly" although I probably wouldnt go so far as to have a separate app for saving the settings, this is fine in the ServerWMC app where it is now. The code has already been refactored so that the UI is separate from the worker/implementation parts, the UI saves settings to the XML file while the worker uses those settings. The 2 parts only communicate through events/messages within the same process which is a defined API of sorts. This all makes it reasonably easy to split things out into a service, but the inprocess communication needs to be enhanced to inter process communication if we want to have rich bi-directional reporting and control betwen the UI and the service. So that's why I wa wondering whether I could get away with a simpler.quicker implementation where you dont have the nice UI feedback about connected clients, number of channels transferred, etc when running in service mode ( some of this would be on the log file if you really wanted to see it).

A more elegant solution with UI monitoring/controlling the service and so on will obviously take more time and given we are doing things in our spare time, Im just wondering if a cheap/quick option would give those who have requested this fefature, the capability of running a service (albeit basic) but not with all the bells and whistles at this stage Smile This limited version would need to be installed manually (or by running a batch file we could package with the app) and would need to be restarted to pick up any settings changes. You would need to start/stop it from windows services console, and the only feedback on what it is doing would be in a log file... But at least it gives you something that will work, without having to be logged on Smile


Personally my 2c is that we should convert the entire project over to a service, with UI to monitor/control it... none of this "option" to be a service or not thing. But there is thought/concern that some users wont like it running as a service (though personally I dont see how/why anyone should care about a service... after all WMC has 2 services that we are already using anyway, some people probably dont even know that WMC also installed a couple of services on their system)

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC) Development Team
http://bit.ly/ServerWMC
(This post was last modified: 2013-11-29 14:44 by scarecrow420.)
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spinnaker Offline
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Post: #20
(2013-11-29 12:05)scarecrow420 Wrote:  
(2013-11-28 20:26)bandook Wrote:  OK, I've got a feature request that I would pay for! When you are watching a program and say you are 20 minutes into it, and you decide you want to record it, wmc will only record from the current time stamp forward. On my old time warner DVR, it would save the recording from the beginning of the show (if you were watching it from the beginning). I guess it would go back in the live TV buffer and cut it from the beginning of the show on that channel. Actually it did even more. If you were flipping back and forth between two shows via its 2 tuners, it would still do what I said above when you pressed record. You could even flip back and forth and rewind. It kept a buffer for each tuner I guess. Wmc flushes the buffer every time you change a channel. This was really nice feature that I miss.

You can watch a 2 hr program, be 1 hour into it. Knowing that wmc will only start recording from the point you tell it to, you would think you could rewind to beginning and then press record and it would create the file from that point. Sadly it doesn't. It will still only record from the point of live TV. This makes no sense.

So do you think this is an impossibility to implement with what wmc offers you as a programmer, or is this fixable with your server?

Thank you! My PayPal is standing by if you can make this happen Wink


This plugin actually does this as of one of the more recent builds! When you "intsant record" it will record from the earliest point you have been watching that channel, until the end of the current show you are watching. Also if you press record again it will repeatedly add 15 minutes to the end of the instant recording. Is this not working for you, or you didnt know the feature was there as of the most recent or two build? I dont believe we cut it at the start of the current show (thats a bit harder for us) but at least we will record what you have been watching, which is better than WMC itself! Smile


Scarecrow.,

How is this possible? Isn't the WMC responsible for doint the instant recording? How ca you go back in time. Smile

Or is there a buffer out there that you are prepending to the recording that WMC client does not do?

Is it the addon or server that is doing this?
(This post was last modified: 2013-11-29 18:15 by spinnaker.)
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krustyreturns Offline
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Post: #21
(2013-11-29 14:41)scarecrow420 Wrote:  Personally my 2c is that we should convert the entire project over to a service, with UI to monitor/control it... none of this "option" to be a service or not thing. But there is thought/concern that some users wont like it running as a service (though personally I dont see how/why anyone should care about a service... after all WMC has 2 services that we are already using anyway, some people probably dont even know that WMC also installed a couple of services on their system)

Scarecrow, speaking selfishly and from ignorance (my specialty): I have never coded a service app. How much more difficult is debugging if we switch it over to a service-only app? For example, I am stopping and starting the server constantly when working on it - if its a service what then? I assume I have to stop/start the service which sounds just awful.

(2013-11-29 18:15)spinnaker Wrote:  How is this possible? Isn't the WMC responsible for doint the instant recording? How ca you go back in time. Smile

Or is there a buffer out there that you are prepending to the recording that WMC client does not do?

Is it the addon or server that is doing this?

We first tried going back in time, but we ran into complications. So we just buffer the live stream from the time you first start viewing the channel. The server is doing this. Try it.

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC)
http://bit.ly/ServerWMC
(This post was last modified: 2013-11-29 19:38 by krustyreturns.)
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krustyreturns Offline
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Post: #22
(2013-11-28 22:22)Scott R Wrote:  Krusty, someone in the Plex forums advised that ffmpeg actually *can* transcode in-progress TV recordings and that one or more of the DVBLogic apps make use of it.

It's also worth noting that a while back I had success using an older version of XBMC (Eden) to play recording-still-in-progress WTV files. There were two problems I encountered:
1) I couldn't do this successfully on the same computer that was running as my WMC server. Not sure what was happening, but XMBC would lock up or something (I forget exactly). I was able to successfully play these recording-still-in-progress files via XBMC running on my laptop.
2) The time progress bar was kind of all over the place and did not provide accurate info.

Here's my old thread on the subject, which never get any replies:
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=155981

For whatever reason, even this less-than-perfect functionality under Eden broke on the XBMC release that followed Eden. I haven't tested it lately, but I'm assuming that this still does not work under the latest version of XBMC.

I believe ffmpeg might be able to transcode some media types on the fly, but I am very certain it cannot transcode wtv on the fly (I know, I tried).

Talking history:

I think you are wrong about eden. Even with a pre-recorded wtv file, eden could only play them for about 20-30 minutes, then it would crash or hang. Then an updated ffmpeg lib came out, if you switched eden over to it, it solved this problem - which basically made it the same as frodo (which came out later) in terms of playing wtv.

Once they got switched to the updated ffmpeg, the active wtv files just quit when the reached the end of the file (the file length read by xbmc when play started - as you note in your thread). This ensured that you don't get the crash problem after 20-30 minutes, but it also meant you would have to restart your 'active' stream.

more history:
This issue at 20 minutes is what Jeff and I called the '20 minute problem' (but really it could happen anywhere around 20 minutes and every ~20 minutes after that). It as to do with the weirdness of active wtv and where it stores metadata (and that ms doesn't document it). I can give you a lot of gory detail if you are interested, but the end result is that's why we transcode to ts on the fly. Jeff actually reworked ffmpeg as another possible solution to the 20 minute problem - but then he started his medical practice and this particular patient died on the operating table (although occasionally I hear from Jeff who says he hopes to resurrect it someday Smile).

If you ever want to hear the gory detail, I'd be happy to relay it.

Was there a feature request in there somewhere?

(2013-11-28 20:26)bandook Wrote:  Thank you! My PayPal is standing by if you can make this happen Wink

Like scarecrow says, we do this now. So what's the paypal account? Smile

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC)
http://bit.ly/ServerWMC
(This post was last modified: 2013-11-29 20:20 by krustyreturns.)
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spaceboy Offline
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Post: #23
but ffmpeg could transcode a ts file on the fly i believe. pretty sure dvblink is transcoding ts streams using ffmpeg
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spinnaker Offline
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Post: #24
(2013-11-29 19:34)krustyreturns Wrote:  [
Scarecrow, speaking selfishly and from ignorance (my specialty): I have never coded a service app. How much more difficult is debugging if we switch it over to a service-only app? For example, I am stopping and starting the server constantly when working on it - if its a service what then? I assume I have to stop/start the service which sounds just awful.

[

I have never written one either. I suppose the debugging is not awfully different than a standard exe, You could have a buttons on the UI portion to start and stop the service with an option to start / stop when the UI starts and stops. That option would probably only be used when coding updates.

But I question the rel benefit outside of it will run across user accounts. But how many people change accounts on their media center PC?
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TechLife Offline
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Post: #25
(2013-11-29 20:26)spinnaker Wrote:  But how many people change accounts on their media center PC?

I would be curious to know the same. I can only speak for myself but I have never once changed user accounts on my HTPC. I can't come up with a good reason to have more than one to begin with. It automatically logs on every time it boots to make it more like an appliance and less like a PC actually.

I do not run the SWMC on my HTPC. I threw together a dedicated box to run as a TV server. This also logs on automatically. Now I guess if it was the main family PC that could be an issue. It seems to me that with most users, especially those at a level that are using XBMC for live TV, that is not going to be the case.

Again, this is just me thinking out loud a bit. I'm curious to see how other users respond, preferably offering real world examples of where this is an issue, to see if it's worth the work it would take to make this happen.

*If I helped, please +rep below*
Windows Media Center PVR add-on (pvr.wmc) and Server (ServerWMC)
The XBMC team, plug-in devs, skinners, etc. do this for us for FREE in their spare time because they want to. Think about that for a second before you start bitching...
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asm495 Offline
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Post: #26
(2013-11-29 20:26)spinnaker Wrote:  
(2013-11-29 19:34)krustyreturns Wrote:  [
Scarecrow, speaking selfishly and from ignorance (my specialty): I have never coded a service app. How much more difficult is debugging if we switch it over to a service-only app? For example, I am stopping and starting the server constantly when working on it - if its a service what then? I assume I have to stop/start the service which sounds just awful.

[

I have never written one either. I suppose the debugging is not awfully different than a standard exe, You could have a buttons on the UI portion to start and stop the service with an option to start / stop when the UI starts and stops. That option would probably only be used when coding updates.

But I question the rel benefit outside of it will run across user accounts. But how many people change accounts on their media center PC?

It has been about 10 years since I last wrote a Windows Service. I work more in data analytical and telling developers what to do rather than doing it myself. However, it is not much different from writing an app. The main differences is that it is restarted via "Services" in Admin Tools and you don't have a UI built in. You have to expose methods that a separate UI could query. For this type of purpose it really should be running as a service.
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bandook Offline
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Post: #27
For recording.

I'm still trying to figure out how to get the record button mapped on my MCE remote in xbmc. I'll figure it out I just have a complex(mess) of my button maps with event ghost. Anyways I would like to be able to toggle record functions with each press.
1. Record show
2. Record series
3. Clear recordings for the show

This is the way wmc does it. Not that wmc does everything perfect but I can't think of a better way of doing it. Or is this how the server is currently doing it but I'm just not seeing it because the button is not mapped?

And I am liking the way that you handle recording of shows I've been watching and decide to record after watching for some time. It is already smoother than wmc. However in a scenario that I have been watching TV on one channel for say over an hour, then 15 minutes in a new show I press record. Xbmc will record the show I'm watching, but pad the beginning with the one hour of content that is in the buffer, right? Is there going to be a way to post process the show to trim off that first hour? Maybe code in something that looks at the EPG and figures out that I only need the content from the show that was on while I pressed record, so it trims off everything prior to that and saves that?

Thanks
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krustyreturns Offline
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Post: #28
(2013-11-30 18:43)bandook Wrote:  For recording.

I'm still trying to figure out how to get the record button mapped on my MCE remote in xbmc. I'll figure it out I just have a complex(mess) of my button maps with event ghost. Anyways I would like to be able to toggle record functions with each press.
1. Record show
2. Record series
3. Clear recordings for the show

This is the way wmc does it. Not that wmc does everything perfect but I can't think of a better way of doing it. Or is this how the server is currently doing it but I'm just not seeing it because the button is not mapped?

And I am liking the way that you handle recording of shows I've been watching and decide to record after watching for some time. It is already smoother than wmc. However in a scenario that I have been watching TV on one channel for say over an hour, then 15 minutes in a new show I press record. Xbmc will record the show I'm watching, but pad the beginning with the one hour of content that is in the buffer, right? Is there going to be a way to post process the show to trim off that first hour? Maybe code in something that looks at the EPG and figures out that I only need the content from the show that was on while I pressed record, so it trims off everything prior to that and saves that?

Thanks

I don't think its mapping issue, ifaik xbmc only has the basic record command and no other types of record commands.

I actually didn't know wmc did this. Are you thinking you want this behavior while you are watching a live-tv show, or when you are viewing something in the guide? We might be able to implement it with live-tv, but I'm pretty sure xbmc won't give us access to these commands when viewing the guide.

I think there is a low level tool that comes in wmc that can be used to trim a wtv file after recording has stopped. I haven't had a chance to experiment with it yet, but I would like to get to this eventually too. I believe there are free tools out there that you can use to trim the wtv file in the interim.

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC)
http://bit.ly/ServerWMC
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spinnaker Offline
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Post: #29
I don't know of any free WTV editors but VideoRedo is a very nice tool. A bit pricy at $95 for wtv editing.

If it is just a block of time that you want to trim then consider MCE Buddy. It will trim a block of time off of all files. You get the added bonus of trimming commercials. Krusty got the hierarchy recordings working which is a wonderful feature but I am beginning to wonder how much I will be using it. MCE Buddy uses a tool called Comskip to trim commercials and it does an excellent job of trimming. Some shows are just about perfect. I am getting lazy watching TV not even having to press the 30 second skip button. If I get voice command for xbmc working I will never move. Smile

As far as setting recordings, I will probably continue to use the native WMC client for setting up recordings.
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bandook Offline
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Post: #30
(2013-11-30 22:32)krustyreturns Wrote:  
(2013-11-30 18:43)bandook Wrote:  For recording.

I'm still trying to figure out how to get the record button mapped on my MCE remote in xbmc. I'll figure it out I just have a complex(mess) of my button maps with event ghost. Anyways I would like to be able to toggle record functions with each press.
1. Record show
2. Record series
3. Clear recordings for the show

This is the way wmc does it. Not that wmc does everything perfect but I can't think of a better way of doing it. Or is this how the server is currently doing it but I'm just not seeing it because the button is not mapped?

And I am liking the way that you handle recording of shows I've been watching and decide to record after watching for some time. It is already smoother than wmc. However in a scenario that I have been watching TV on one channel for say over an hour, then 15 minutes in a new show I press record. Xbmc will record the show I'm watching, but pad the beginning with the one hour of content that is in the buffer, right? Is there going to be a way to post process the show to trim off that first hour? Maybe code in something that looks at the EPG and figures out that I only need the content from the show that was on while I pressed record, so it trims off everything prior to that and saves that?

Thanks

I don't think its mapping issue, ifaik xbmc only has the basic record command and no other types of record commands.

I actually didn't know wmc did this. Are you thinking you want this behavior while you are watching a live-tv show, or when you are viewing something in the guide? We might be able to implement it with live-tv, but I'm pretty sure xbmc won't give us access to these commands when viewing the guide.

I think there is a low level tool that comes in wmc that can be used to trim a wtv file after recording has stopped. I haven't had a chance to experiment with it yet, but I would like to get to this eventually too. I believe there are free tools out there that you can use to trim the wtv file in the interim.

Well that clarifies why I couldn't get the record button to work. Spent about an hour and half trying to get one click recording Sad maybe a macro can be made?


That's just one issue with keymappings I'm having though. I'm going to have to get the user experience as close to wmc as I can in order to get the wife to accept the change. Right now its just too clumsy comparing to wmc.

Yes wmc can switch record modes with each push of the button, whether in guide or while viewing. But you set your recording options in a different settings menu. Which reminds me when xbmc pops up the record menu, the options are blanked out. Where the two options are that should say 1. Record 2. Series record, there is nothing there. But when you move down to where the series record is the options show up. I can post a screenshot if I confused you.
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