Unified PVR frontend (DVR/HTPC client GUI with EPG) and Addons API for PVR backends?

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alcoheca Offline
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Post: #31
Gamester17 Wrote:Sounds like a good idea to get a unified solution, then any other clients can do the same. So even if each each individual client module deals with the EPG data differently internally they will in the end always present a XMLTV listings.xml files to XBMC frontend which it in turn can use in its TV-Guide GUI.

This is where I'm a little confused, mostly due to my (total) lack of experience with big projects like this. I was under the impression that there would be a data object that would be instantiated by the pvr client / xbmc module part. If they wanted to receive data in XML then that was fine and would be purely an implementation decision for each.

I thought that for efficiency and ease of coding the VDR client and the MythTV client etc would pass the EPG 'binarily' to the GUI to display. Correct me if I'm wrong but imagine the case of VDR, which would pass it's EPG in it's native format SVDRP; the xbmc vdr client then converts this into XML, passes it to the GUI which then displays it, parsing all that XML data again into a db of some kind.

I'm not imaging this to be a huge strain with a 50 channels over 7-days, but seems wrong in terms of efficiency and redundant procedures, particularly with hundreds channels on DVB-S.

please excuse me however, I don't really have the knowledge to back this up...! ;-)
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mkortstiege Offline
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Post: #32
i think the first aim should be to setup a unified epg database which will hold the epg which is gathered by a parser class in order to support as many backends as possible.

This class gets the epg data in the pvr desired format an will translate it into the unified xbmc style. maybe it could be done via a scraper engine like something which is already used within xbmc to get movie and series information.
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Gamester17 Offline
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Post: #33
I think that a new separate topic-thread should be started in the development forum for the technical discussion about the EPG (TV-Guide), as that will also have to be split up as frontend and backend. I posted some thoughts here though:
http://wiki.xbmc.org/?title=Talk:GSoC_Pr...r_EPG_data

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alcoheca Offline
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Post: #34
this discussion has been moved to http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=32212
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alcoheca Offline
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Post: #35
rather, I mean the technical discussion about the EPG has been moved..Blush
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TheBoxMan Offline
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Post: #36
All I can say folks is that as someone who grudingly uses mediaportal on my laptop to watch my tv (via WinTV Nova T USB2 tuner card) I'm very keen to see this happen.

Thought I'd post my support here rather than in the alternative thread as it's technical and serious - and developers have funny feelings to wards encouragement from non devs in their discussions ;-)

Thanks Guys!
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yee379 Offline
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Post: #37
so i have my xbox'd xbmc streaming from my mythtv backend very nicely Smile however, i miss the ability to skip commercials and to have programs i've watched automatically flagged like i can with the mythfrontend.

am i thick and don't know how to use xbmc properly, or are there any plans to get these very useful features (imo) into xbmc?

cheers
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Gamester17 Offline
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Lightbulb  Import PVR/DVR/HTPC recorded shows into XBMC's TV Shows library database
Post: #38
@developers, please see this suggestion/request for adding "MythTV recorded shows into the TV Shows library database":

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=33948
dteirney Wrote:I use XBMC as the front end to watch recorded Myth TV shows because the media handling in XBMC is much better than what the native Myth TV front end provides.

What would need to happen to get the listing of Myth TV recorded shows (available right now through the myth:// protocol) into the TV Shows Library in XBMC?

Much of the information available via myth:// (originally obtained from the EPG on the Myth TV server and augmented by Myth TV with things like a thumbnail icon from the actual recording) should be able to be slotted into the various fields the XBMC TV Shows library needs.

I looked at writing a scraper that could point to a myth:// source and simply push information about the TV show directly into the XBMC library but the scraper functionality appears to need a season and episode number pulled from the filename, which is then used to hit a web resource to get the additional information. Unfortunately, the season and episode numbers are not likely to exist within the electronic program guide (EPG) that most PVRs use (XMLTV) - well they don't in New Zealand at any rate. Also, myth:// appears to expose a lot of the information most scrapers hit the likes of theTVDB to get so the need for actually scraping might be redundant.

[HTML]<!ELEMENT programme (title+, sub-title*, desc*, credits?, date?,
219 category*, language?, orig-language?, length?,
220 icon*, url*, country*, episode-num*, video?, audio?,
221 previously-shown?, premiere?, last-chance?, new?,
222 subtitles*, rating*, star-rating* )>[/HTML]

With the recorded shows appearing in the XBMC Library you get all the benefits of fanart, and native skin support for watching the TV shows.

Are there any other avenues that could be looked at to get the information about the recorded programme exposed by myth:// into the XBMC TV Show Library?

Even a solution that fixed the season number to 1 and the episode number to the index of the known recorded show for that program within Myth TV would be workable if the rest of the TV Show Library data was pushed in directly from what myth:// exposes? But how would one even go about doing this?

Are there any avenues that could be looked at to get the information about the recorded program exposed by myth:// into the XBMC TV Show Library?

I think that this idea too falls under the "One unified PVR/DVR/HTPC front-end (client GUI)" concept, and it is not limted to MythTV.

The scraper API could probably be made to import the TV Show episodes from MythTV, (it sure seems to have the potential anyway), but the scraper API would first have to be extended first to support getting the data from the MythTV database library instead of the file-name, ...and maybe that alone is not enough, maybe the database API on the MythTV back-end side have to be extended as well to expose this information to XBMC scrapers.

What do you think? Confused
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alcoheca Offline
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Post: #39
Sorry for not responding till now, my subscription emails were going to a dead address... Blush

Getting the info on recorded programmes into the library is already on my list of things to achieve. See http://wiki.xbmc.org/?title=GSoC_-_Unifi...f_Outcomes. I will use the current CVideoInfo class for recorded shows so saving the Series & Episode numbers will only be dependent on that information being made available by the PVR application.

Here in the UK, the broadcasters aren't explicitly required to provide an accurate EIT alongside the video streams so workarounds may be necessary to achieve proper mapping of programmes & series. It'll make much more sense for the PVR application to undertake any work on this, not our frontend (remember it's just a frontend). (Writing to your member of parliament/government representative is a probably a good idea if the EIT is lacking in your country).

That said, I love to hear suggestions or ideas so keep 'em coming Nod
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alcoheca Offline
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Post: #40
yee379 Wrote:so i have my xbox'd xbmc streaming from my mythtv backend very nicely Smile however, i miss the ability to skip commercials and to have programs i've watched automatically flagged like i can with the mythfrontend.

am i thick and don't know how to use xbmc properly, or are there any plans to get these very useful features (imo) into xbmc?

cheers

Whether or not MythTV schedules automatic flagging of recordings is up to your MythTV settings as far as I'm aware. The XBMC PVR frontend could have the ability to alter this setting per recording too, though I want to keep the user definable settings to a minimum and instead rely on correct setup of the backend in the first place.

Automatically skipping commercials in recordings will also rely on the plugin providing that info and I intend to look at that sometime soon after we have the main PVR functions performing well.
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Gamester17 Offline
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Post: #41
alcoheca Wrote:Automatically skipping commercials in recordings will also rely on the plugin providing that info and I intend to look at that sometime soon after we have the main PVR functions performing well.
XBMC already have built-in support for EDL (commercial skipping) and SceneMarker support, see: http://wiki.xbmc.org/?title=EDL_%28comme...er_support

So I think that it should only be a matter for the MythTV client plugin to present the EDL/SceneMarker for XBMC's DVDPlayer (or MPlayer).

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kricker Offline
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Post: #42
I'd like to throw support for SageTV into the mix of listed apps on the 1st post. Currently they have a client/server setup for linux/mac/windows. There is a 3rd party add-on webserver as well (which is what XBMC would most likely have to use). Using this webserver and the XBMC SageTV script I am helping to maintain, I can already do almost everything listed as necessary for a "client". Watch recorded shows, schedule/cancel recordings, setup series, flag shows as; watched/not watched, archive/unarchive or like/don't like as well as delete the show. There is also support for browsing channels upcoming shows, similar to a guide. It just never got fully implemented. There are a few bugs, and the GUI is far from perfect, but it could be a really good start I think. The only thing missing I think is being able to send channel changes to live tv, which could probably be done be a skilled python coder.

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Gamester17 Offline
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Post: #43
kricker Wrote:I'd like to throw support for SageTV into the mix of listed apps on the 1st post. Currently they have a client/server setup for linux/mac/windows. There is a 3rd party add-on webserver as well (which is what XBMC would most likely have to use). Using this webserver and the XBMC SageTV script I am helping to maintain, I can already do almost everything listed as necessary for a "client". Watch recorded shows, schedule/cancel recordings, setup series, flag shows as; watched/not watched, archive/unarchive or like/don't like as well as delete the show. There is also support for browsing channels upcoming shows, similar to a guide. It just never got fully implemented. There are a few bugs, and the GUI is far from perfect, but it could be a really good start I think. The only thing missing I think is being able to send channel changes to live tv, which could probably be done be a skilled python coder.
Those are just examples so no need to list all PVR apps in the world in this topic-thread, (here we only dicuss generic implementation), instead please keep the discussion abut specific clinet features suggestions/ideas to their own topic-threads, ...for SageTV there already is an existing discussion here => http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=3548

Thanks

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kricker Offline
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Post: #44
Okay no problem. I saw the list at the front and just didn't want to be left out Wink

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yashka Offline
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Post: #45
So, I'm wondering how much scheduling logic you'd be willing to put into the XBMC frontend. Without the ability to set things like "Record weekly in this timeslot" or to override MythTVs automatic conflict resolution, I'm not sure I could replace mythfrontend, which is something I very much want to do, for mythfrontend can't be as pretty as XBMC is.

At the minimum, a program guide, list of upcoming recordings, and scheduling options for each recording would cover my use-case. Not sure how others feel.

Also, I'm wondering how well XBMC handles seeking and audio sync in MythTV's NUV files. NUVs won't even play properly for me in Mplayer (can't seek, audio sync off), and unfortunately anyone with an analog encoder has no choice but to use them with MythTV.
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