Wednesday, December 31, 2003

- AverTV DVB
The "correction" to the spelling mistake that I made in 2.45b42 was wrong.
It was AVerMedia who spelt it wrong and my correction of their spelling in my code meant that my automatic detection failed!
Modifed the code to allow for their current spelling and what I think is correct and therefore what they might change to in the future.
More importantly - a tester for the AVerTV stuff now on board. So chance to finish things off. I had made a mistake in one of the routines for copying modified records .. used ChrB instead of Chr. I thought I was being safe by using ChrB but, even though there was no error returned, there was no data copied either. Meant that the crucial record was not being inserted.
Corrected and made 2.45b44

Saturday, December 27, 2003

- VirtualVCR
I did not have support for PLAY with Virtual VCR (i thought that it was only Capture software).
Following a question on myHTPC forum ... I added support (2.45b43). Possible that the command line is not quite right - so waiting for feedback. I could imagine problem with the Duration. I have hard-coded including the duration but there might not be one.
Also noticed that the VirtualVCR site has moved so changed the link from the web site.

2.45b42 just corrected a spelling mistake that would have effected automatic detection of AVerTV DVB device.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

- Technotrend
Added code (2.45b41) to parse the channel list file. Made it as configurable as possible in case they change the order of the fields in future.
Still need to work out how to support switching channels for live viewing.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

- Technotrend
The very early days code for the Technotrend DVB card via their own software had some testing today in Germany.
The calculation of the internal channel number from the EPG number was the right idea, but there was a different registry prefix for this user. So - made the prefix selectable via a new field (Type).
Need to work out how to full automate this - must be able to get a clue from elsewhere in the configuration data.
Also - possible that the EPG number does not really match the channel number, so try parsing the channel line-up data file.
Still need to work out how to support switching channels for live viewing.
- Nebula DigiTV
Made a new 2.44 (2.44b15) release. Just copied over one of the existing 2.45 changes.
DId it because Nebula seem to have made an official 3.10 now and they have left in the change to the way that Last Channel details are stored. So made this new bahaviour the default because I expect new downloaders of DABDig to also have latest official Nebula code. The way that it works is configurable in DABDig anyway.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

- WinTVCap
Viewing was not working for one user with WinTVCap enabled. He tried to get it going by also enabling WinTVPVR but (as expected) this resulted in problems since both would be competing for same resource when recording.
DABDig already knew that WinTVCap could not do live recording, so it launched WinTV anyway. Problem was that the user had WinTVCap and WinTV2K in different directories so DABDig could not launch it.
Easy change for user - copy WinTVCap to the WinTV directory.
Changed software anyway to add a new optional configuration item to specify where WinTV2K is when using WinTVCap. Also added a FAQ entry to cover it just in case someone else hits same issue. Build 2.45B39 but not released.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

- TiVo
Problem with doing things too quickly ... I realised soon afterwards that the channel number that I use for Recording is probably not the same as the one used for Viewing, because it is to go in via a different interface ... so made the different numbers selectable with optional "/" divider ... 2.45b38
- TiVo
Saw a request to intiative live viewing on TiVo .. so made quick speculative update ... 2.45b37
Had a request to make configurable the time delay before sending the keystokes. I presume that the TVPI handler is loading very quickly and he wants to save a second of the display on the screen, but could also be a benefit for people who either have it loading very slowly or who want to study the on-screen dialogue box before continuing (especially when trying for the first time).
Done as 2.45b36 - just replaced a hard-coded 3000 (milliseconds) with a new INI file setting which defaults to 3000.

Monday, December 08, 2003

- Nebula DigiTV
Feedback - the changes that I made for handling View/Record differences in channel numbering worked fine ... although I put the wrong version in the zip file initially which confused things for a while.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

- General
Looks like there are some users in Germany - a HTPC community around has some questions posed on using DABDig with ProgDVB and DVBsVCR2. I offered some help in my best English.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

- Technotrend
Back in March I did some brief investigation into what was then a new release of teh Technotrend software that allowed the cards to be driven to make recording via command line.
There were reports that the software was not stable and no-one specifically asked for it ... so I did not persue it further.
However, request came up yesterday on myHTPC ... so I dug out the old material and put a quick version together and declared it available to people who ask by email. What I don't know yet is the syntax for the channel ids and exactly how to convert meaningful channel numbers into the syntax that Technotrend require ... but basics work.
Someone with one of the devices is trying it out.

- Nebula DigiTV
Looks like things might have slightly changed again in the 3.10 Beta concerning how I force it to tune to a particular channel. Modified the code to add a new configuration item so that both old and new way can be used and waiting for feedback from a Nebula user ... although my testing implies that it will work fine.

Friday, December 05, 2003

- Leadtek WinFast
Feedback from the Leadtek WinFast PVR user ... looks like 2.45b31 worked for him.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

- Leadtek WinFast
Made a new build (2.45b31) with updated Leadtek WinFast code ... to support the curretn PVR software from Leadtek.
Not finished yet - still need to do work on the profile handling .. but I reckon basics are OK.
Sent it to the requestor. I also verified that the TVPI mechanism still seems to work, so highlighted that as a fallback.

- General
Made a few icons for use with the multi-device enabled DABDig.dgmarker ... radio/sat dish/TV enough to show the principle.
Will have to write some words to explain it in the web page. Enabling it by default is harder though because not foudn icons put up the warning triangle in DG and I cannot test for file existance in pure JavaScript.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

- Nebula DigiTV
New facility in Nebula DigiTV to "sleep" on start-up - so added option to use that when restarting after scheduling a recording. Put it into 2.45b30 (internal) and 2.44b14 (public).
- TiVo
Had a request to be able to drive 2 TiVo boxes. Quickest way to add this was to make a TiVoWeb2 like the existing Stream and Stream2. Was easy enough. Pushed it out as 2.45b29.

- Leadtek WinFast
The writing out of schedule data is working with WinFast PVR. Now have to handle the profile data that moved from registry to file.

- General
Have a think about supporting multiple instances of same device - perhaps through different INI file per instance. Reflecting the capability in the EPG GUI in a good way would be a bit of a challenge ... the day of writing my own GUI seems to be looming.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

- Leadtek WinFast
Looks like their binary file format for WinFast PVR is essentially the same as the binary registry format with a 4-byte header. Perhaps all WinFast models with new software will use this format so make it general.
The header on the first record says where the first free record is. However, file is not necessarily sized for maximum to have to be careful.
Looks like they have also moved the codec information from registry to binary file as well - more work then.

Saturday, November 29, 2003

- Leadtek WinFast
Had a report of things not working with Leadtek WinFast PVR. Not one that I have tried before (I have it working with basic Leadtek WInFast .. not PVR version). Quick download and install shows that it seems to have stopped using the registry and is now using a local file - WFSCHDL.dat
Will experiment further.

- General
A bit more work on mult-device handline. A request to be able to have different DigiGuide icons when recording from different devices. Not too hard - made a quick update to the marker file and passed it over to see if it the sort of thing he wanted. This would allow a user to see what is scheduled where in a multi-device installation.
Ultimately I guess I will have to build a real GUI .. but I want the EPG writers to do the intelligent scheduling etc.
- Leadtek WinFast
Had an email from someone who is having problems when DABDig tries to access the registry.
Replied with some thoughts from airport while waiting for a plane.
Need to double-check the registry code for that device because I did change things in that area a while ago and havne't specifically tested WinFast since.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

- General
Added in code to allow an INI-style file to override the channel number. Checks channel name (if present) and uses it to rewrite a given channel number. A generic overwrite can be overwritten with a device specific one.
Idea is to have less mass editing of channel numbers iwhtin DigiGuide listings. Means that people could automate the generation of the file or even share between users.
Want to do some more work on it though - to make sure that multi-device handling works well enough.

Monday, November 17, 2003

- TiVo
Looks like the manrec module does not always like leading zero for hours or minutes - so made new version (244b12) that does not pad the front.

- Device Steering in general
Added new code to 2.45 over the week-end. Allows device/channel list to be presented with a Preferred Device for this recording. Made matching DABDig.dgmarker that adds the list of devices to the menu if trying to record from a multi-device channel. Initial feedback from SciDoctor (who requested it) is that it works fine.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

- TiVo
Had a request from an existing user ... asking if it could be possible to schedule recordings into a (hacked) TiVo. Looks like it is pretty straight-forward via the manrec application. This is a TCL module that runs like other TiVo Web modules .. within the TiVo. Basics done and sent over to him to try out (245b20).

- Nebula DigiTV
Nebula replied during the week to say that they thought that my suggestion concerning registry handling was OK and that they will look at putting it in soon after 3.10 is released. They also confirmed that the multi-device stuff does not change the way that scheduling works. DigiTV makes its own decision on which card is free for use at the time of recording/playing.

Mike says that Play is working fine but Record is just leaving hte WinTV2K application minimised and doing nothing ... but works find when he runs the same command from command line. Will make selectable the way that I window it.

Monday, November 03, 2003

- Nebula DigiTV
Nebula notes for 3.10 say that they plan to remove DigiSvc (spotted by Stuart).
So - change code to not rely on DigiSvc to start DigiTV when new entry put in schedule - added to 245b19.
Changed some of the registry handling code to be extra careful when checking for presence of some registry values.
Also need to find out how they plan to add support for multiple devices - sent them email to ask.
Mike now has one and found a problem. The file name that I pass in is not quoted.
This is consistent with what I do with WinTVCap (part of which is used for the WinTVPVR application) ... but looks like the WinTVPVR version has to be quoted because it takes embedded space as end of parameter. Made a 244b10 as in interim so that I do not have ot release 245 yet.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

- AVerMedia AVerTV DVB-T
Started adding some code ... the recording shcedule is stored in a binary file. Not too hard to work out enough. Basic version sent to tester. Cannot test that the scheduled events get picked up without having the hardware but it looks promising.
Their scheduler reads the data on startup - so will need a stop/start to pick it up. Have included the code for that but disabled by default for now.

Added some details about DABDig into the plug-in section on myHTPC. I wasn't listed as an author previously so couldn't publish into that area. Now needs someone to add a link to it from the plug-in page.

- Matrox G450 eTV
Another tester feedback ... looks like his set-up is different or I missed something. The original problem with their scheduler crashing the machine persists on his system. Waiting for some registry dumps to check it.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

- Matrox G450 eTV
Over the weekend, went to see someone with the Matrox card. Found couple of small changes to make concerning registry handing. Issue remains though with trying to determine how to make an active PC-VCR/PC-VCRScheduler recognise the updates. If you scheudle without them running then it works fine.
Made Beta 10 available and had feedback that it worked (apart from when the Matrox software is running - as expected).

Comment from DigiGuide forum that the file name is not being set correctly. Code looks right - but perhaps something has changed with more recent versions of ATi MMC. Will make a new configurable item to choose different formats for some of the fields and see if that helps or hinders and will adapt the code based on feedback.

- myHTPC
The instructions that I wrote in April have a typing error - a critical "." v "-" error.
Have correct in my copy of the readme - but need to upload to the myHTPC site and the old password that I had in APril doesn't work any more. Contacted Pablo to another one.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Saw a few comments asking about scheduling into Matrox G450 eTV. Volunteered to help and quickly had 4 people interested enough to help in the investigation and testing.
Cannot load the eTV software onto local PC - too many checks for hardware being present - so relying on others to collect data and then try things out.
Once the first registry dumps came through it took about 20 minutes to have the basics coded. Unfortunately it crashs the eTV software.
Might have to go to see someone that has one of these TV cards to get to the bottom of it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Should add uninstall info to web page ... very easy ...
del dabdig*.* from DigiGuide directory
restart DigiGuide (to stop usage of the dabdig.dgmarker that has just been deleted)

Friday, September 19, 2003

Thinking again about making the source generally available. I still want to make updates as requirements pop-up - but maybe others would also like to do same. Question then would be ... what licence type (if any) to put on the code.

- Nebula
3.031 is out and they have added abilty to skip internet checks when run from timer ... transparent to me since it is DigiSvc that does the running.
Looks like they have also had a problem with choosing the right channel from their own Timer/EPG screen when user chooses to sort by Favorites. However, quick test suggest that they are still storing the request using the absolute channel number (which was new in recent versions) ... so no change for me.
Loks like they do have an issue with file naming when there are non-DOS-legal characters in title .. so change default setting to 2 (from 0) just to make it less likely that people experiment with setting it to 1.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Had report of an odd error - seemed to be crashing on calling DateDiff. Realised that the request came from Greece so guessed that must be problem with different locale settings ... there were 4 places where I had used "1-Jan-1970" so changed them all to DateSerial(1970,1,1) and showed that it still worked fine here.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Had request to add support for ProgDVB - added it last night and feedback saying it worked.
So - released 2.44b08 including bundle of other bits and pieces since May 2003.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Have added series/episode function and a basic post-process call.
Waiting for user feedback before release.

Friday, July 04, 2003

Request from a user:
- Support Series/Episode in file name
- Launch external programme/batch file on output file at end of programme
- Make the INI file more streamlined (show less stuff)

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

2.43 now out includes:
- log when no devices to action (i.e. close item below)
- simple check to make the file generated for TVPI/TVVI XML-legal. One user is writing some code to parse the TVPI files to keep a database of what has been recorded.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Need to make an update to report when called but didn't find anything to do.
Reason - if the defaultdevice does not match anything in the USE* section then all will be skipped. This can happen when someone hand-edits dabdig.ini after auto-detect doesn't find the all o fthe right devices.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Made a 2.41b03

- J. River Media Jukebox / Media Center
A multi-media front-end - a bit like myHTPC. Except this is a commercial product.
It can launch various back-end systems, including TV cards.
it also has a scheduler available (in the "Plus" version).
Someone asked if it could be scheduled into from DigiGuide. I had a look and it seemed possible so I did it.

- Nebula DigiTV
Back-to-back recording. Because of the way that DigiTV works - or more particularly, because of the way that I schedule into it when used in the typical way with DigiGuide - if you try to record 2 programmes back-to-back then the 2nd one might not get recorded or even worse it might abort DigiTV during its recording and mess up the 1st. This version has an initial work-around for this (set allowforceexit=3). I might be able to do something a bit better later, but it would be great if Nebula DigiTV read the registry a bit more frequently (like at the end of the currently recording programme). Anyway - first version is out and maybe more to come later.

HDTV (High Definition TV) is USA Digital broadcasting. A "channel" is a combination of 2 things - PSIP-Major and PSIP-Minor - like a channel number and mux stream number.
So - I have extended the TVPI module to support this - since the only HDTV card that I could find included support for TitanTV (TVPI creators).

Now run with /TV+ to push it into Full-Screen if you choose PLAY/WATCH.

- Creative VideoBlaster Digital VCR
Spotted a mistake in timezone offset calculation

- General
Started to put a mechanism in place to have a long-term queue of pending transactions.
Not used it yet - but the reason behind it is that not everyone likes to have DigiGuide maintain the queue and send requests in just a few minutes before the programme starts.

- DigiGuide PVR
First visible signs of real code from DigiGuide. They have made a TV viewer available (stand-alone Beta code for now).
Here for details

Friday, April 25, 2003

Have now made 2.40b05 ... with support for HDTV channels (psip-major/psip-minor)
- Nebula DigiTV
Need to take Favourites into account when setting channel number

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

- myHTPC
I put the calling script onto the myHTPC FTP site last night. Essentially same sort of thing as a DigiGuide dgmarker.
Added /TV+ when PLAYing
- Nebula DigiTV
Changed default channel numbering, on the assumption that most people now using more recent DigiTV with LCN sorting available
Might need to include some extra elements for USA HD-TV (psip). Basically extra info to determine where the channel is in the mux
I let some folks now about my XMLTV channels

Saturday, April 19, 2003

- DigiGuide 6.x and 7.x
Russ finally posted a document with the current thoughts of the DigiGuide team. Looks very good. Turns the DigiGuide suite into a network-aware Digital VCR. Might mean that I can retire DABDig. In the meantime though there always seem to be a few extra bits and pieces that people want ...
Got some feedback saying that the MyHTTC plug-in basically worked - so should document it and put into the package.
- WinTVCap
Just come across this on SourceForge. Yet another way to capture TV from WinVT devices. Has command line options that I could drive. I see also that there is a 2.x coming that has extra command line parameters so that it can be driven directly from DigiGuide. So - driving it from DABDig not necessary, but might do it for completeness - especially for people with multiple devices.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

- Device Steering
Had a response from the user I referred to on 7th April. He tried it out and it worked as designed.
- Leadtek
Andrew replied - things not quite right. Seems to be 1 hour out (USA did change to summertime last week-end). Gave some pointers yesterday and waiting to hear more.

Monday, April 07, 2003

I picked up on a thread on 3rd about using TVPI files - what was really being asked for was a plug-in to MyHTPC.
Spent some time tonight understanding a bit about how MyHTPC works ... and made a plug-in for it so that MyHTPC can drive DABDig which in turn drives the rest as usual. I don't know enough about MtHTPC to try it all out - so posted a note to their forum looking for someone to help finish it off.
- Device Steering
Had a note from someone who has been experimenting with more than one device - and naturally hit the issue that both devices would be scheduled to. His solution was to copy the vbe file and make a new dgmarker. That woudl sort of work (if they were in different directories ... because of dabdig.ini) but messy - especially as I have already put in a generalised method to handle that.
Dropped him a note to explain - awaiting feedback.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

- Leadtek
Worked out the profile handling for the post-Jan 2003 drivers - they store both the name and number. Made a new beta (2.37b15) and sent over to Andrew to try out.
- Leadtek
The post-Jan 2003 registry format pretty well done now. Able to write most of it out to the registry. Someone else in Canada going down same route has been doing similar decoding. I explained how the Year is encoded. Might get some time tongith to do some more on this.
- DigiGuide
The folks at DigiGuide are well into deciding how to make their own PVR. Looking forward to see what it offers.
Finally ordered one - should arrive next week. It does have a documented HTTP API ... so might do a few things with it just for the hell of it ... e.g. scheduling live streaming from DG.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

- Leadtek
Worked out most of the registry settings in new format. Looks like they do not clear to 0 before starting, hence lots of junk after the 0-terminated strings.
For the old version - had another look for the "Silent Recording" mode - but nowhere on my GUI. Contacted user in USA ... and it is clearly in their GUI in version of software that claims to be the same! Anyway - he dug in registry area that I referred to and found that MTS_Mode setting of 131327 sets silent mode. DABDig already allows controlling of the field (LeadtekTVMTSMode) so looking promising.

- Nebula
User with the odd error message send over traces. I reckon that a previous For loop must have had a problem, but didn't show up because of "On Error". I still think that there might be an inconsistency between his set-up (with Beta DigiTV software) and my channel chooser. Anyway - I put some extra debug statements in and cleared the Err to see what effect it has. Waiting for feedback.

Sent test version out to a UK user who sent me a registry dump this morning.

Friday, March 21, 2003

- Leadtek
New Leadtek user in Canada prompting some more work in this area.
The post-Jan 2003 version of the Leadtek software stores all of it scheduling data in binary key in registry (old version was key per value). This is annoying, but more important ... a problem because I have to work out the syntax plus then put in extension to code becuase currently limited to 4 byte binary values. WMI registry handling looks like the way to handle the long binary values, but might limit which machines this runs on.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

I want to get closure on:
- Leadtek WinFast stuff - still some annoying side-effects, but can't really test without the hardware.
- ATi MMC. Basics all worked out but without a couple of genuine registry dumps it is a bit hard. Remembered that Mike F has one so dropped him a note
- Someone out there having some problems with Nebula DigiTV. Posted via NNTP and email copy but no reply yet. Could be because he is using a Beta of Nebula 2.0, but I suspect that it is more to do with either registry key not being in place yet or not set up a channel number.