Friday, December 16, 2005


- WinTVCap
If using GBRecord as a direct replacement for WinTVCap then there is a potential issue with recording consecutive or overlapping programmes.
With WinTVCap it seems to close the current file and start the new one without a problem.
With GBRecord it looks like if there is a slight overlap then the 2nd programme gets cut at the end of the scheduled recording of the 1st programme. Not 100% sure that this is the cause - but put some code in place to wait for GBRecord to exit before issuing the new command.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Allow a command line override for people who always record from same channel source - e.g. a Sky box

- General
Make configurable the set of allowed characters in file name - so that extended European characters can be used by those that want to.
Add channel name into list of simple file name substution fields (FileName fields in dabdig.ini)
Allow the divider in the title/filename to be specified - default to a minus-sign as before.


Saturday, December 03, 2005

- TwinHan VisionDTV
Changed the installation defaults to match a TwinHan 2.6 software release since new installations are likely to be running that. Modified the documentation to help users with old TwinHan versions to change the settings back.
This will not change existing settings for someone that is upgrading - i.e. it remains backwards compatible.

- General
Decided to release 2.55 version.
Took curent 255b18, removed most of the non-supported pieces that are still in development/testing and made a new 255b19.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

- FusionHDTV
Just had a new query on this one - again from Australia. The database record formats appear to be the same - so sent over the pre-existing test version to see how it goes.
First reaction is that it appears to work so a few more things to investigate that were left over from before.
e.g. how is the channel number really calculated
Also stuffed the programme title into the file name field - checked for overlength and truncated first.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

- WebScheduler
Had a couple of queries about interfacing with WebScheduler.
Both have similar work-arounds.
One was that recordings of some channels were not working.
The failing ones were where the channel name from the EPG (DigiGuide in this case) did not match the channel name in WebScheduler (e.g. BBC 3 and BBC Three).
This sort of thing could potentially happen with other software that DABDig schedules into. Often it is cirumvented by DABDig performing matching on "3" and "Three" or by using the channel number rather than the channel name.
If the automated ways to get around this do not work - then the user has to do something.
There are essentially 3 routes:
a) tackle the problem at source - and change the name in the EPG (in DigiGuide you can right-click on the channel icon and change the channel detaild)
b) modfy the name in the target - but this might be based on data in receives over the broadcast network and could change back on the next scan that it performs
c) using a mapping facility in DABDig

In this case - the mapping in DABDig was used.
However, there is one extra twist. The mapping facility in DABDig (via the optional file) is really for generating a channel number from a channel name.
So - although this might appear to change BBC 3 to BBC THREE ... that resulting conversion is stored as the "Channel Assignment" (think of it as channel number).
So - you then have to make a small configuration change in DABDig (via dabdig.ini) to tell DABDig to use the channel number when controlling WebScheduler rather than the channel name. The result is that DABDig then sends "BBC THREE" ... exactly as required.
But - there is now an additional problem. Namely, for channels that do not have a name map, the real channel number will be sent rather than the required original channel name. So - while I think of a simple way to resolve it via a change to DABDig - the simple work-around is to put all of the channels into the and for those where the name is the same ... simply put the same value on each side of the mapping.

The second problem reported was that a feature of WebScheduler is that if it is asked to record an audio only DVB channel (often called radio) using using capture type that it usually uses to record TV (video and audio) then it appears to record but the end result is not saved properly.
Therefore, until WebScheduler is changed, it is necessary to be able to specify a different capture type for audio-only stations.
In theory - this should be easy - especially if a has already been created from the steps above.
Simply hide the capture type in the output map.
BBC Radio Four=BBC Radio 4&captype=5
(It might also be necessary to remove the captype=2 from dabdig.ini and add &captype=2 to each of the TV stations if WebScheduler can not handle 2 captypes in the request)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Looks like recording requests are not (always) picked up ... so added ability to stop/start the GBPVR Recording Service. Need to find the real reason though.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

- DigiGuide
Had a request to be able to set the time range in DigiGuide - e.g. to help avoid repeats on BBC 7 when using an Anytime marker.
A more comprehensive solution would check to see if the show was already recorded and skip it - but ... for now at least ... added time range to the DABDig.dgmarker.
Has to be enabled by modifying default marker and changing intRanged = 0 to intRanged = 1 (or some other number).

Saturday, August 27, 2005

- Topfield
If the Toppy is used in conjunction with a (slugged) Linksys NSLU2 then it is possible to FTP direct to the Toppy. This can be enabled in DABDig by make 2 one-line edits to the dabdig.ini and creating 2 small text files (that contain the FTP commands). More details are in the next update to the DABDig "manual".
Looks like they have a totally different setup nowadays - at least when using BDA drivers. Will require rewrite within DABDig. Trying to get their software to install locally to try a few things out.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

- DABBar
Had a request to be able to use substitutable parameters within OutputTarget when scheduling to DABBar (so that the show name can be used in the directory name).
This did not work because parameter substitution was not used when writing DABBar schedule.
Made a new version that does. It now means that there are some anomolies - i.e. USADateSyntax and ForceRetune. Plus SupportSecondary just results in a fixed string being appended.
You can force the old way of working by setting the new DABBarSchedLine to an empty string - i.e.


Sunday, July 31, 2005

- Topfield
I should have added this entry about a week ago - quick summary now.
A few new beta builds have been made. Some of the changes for the Topfield support have been done in a fairly general way so that, for exmaple

  • - there is a new substitutable parameter for the duration in hours and minutes (i.e. a 90 minutes programme can be shown as something like 01:30)

  • - some number to name mapping can be applied e.g. to match "BBC 1" with "BBC ONE". This will not work for all devices though.

- General
If more than one DABDig is running at once there can be a reported problem with not getting write access to the log file. This is handled in the code by reporting the issue to the screen and continuing without logging for that run.
I have now enabled the retry code so that it will try a few times to write to the file because there are a few more configurations where people are increasing the alert look-ahead time to being longer than 1 day. Plus a new function to request an immediate action (rather than waiting for the marker to fire) is exposed in DigiGuide 8.2 (Beta) which I have used to help people who want to record on devices that are not always connected to the PC where DABDig is installed.

A problem has been found in command line handling when there is more than one word enclosed in quotes - e.g. "this is a "Programme Description" with quotes in it"
It is more of a feature of how commmand line parsing works in Windows (DOS).
This results in a mess!
This next one will work - although the internal quotes will be stripped - "this is a programme description with "one" quoted word"

There are numerous possible solutions - but I went for one that allows the parameters on the command line to be encoded in the same way as a URL. I then modified the command line parser to decode the data before before "echoing" the command line to the log file. This is to make things look the same to anyone who parses the log file (bad idea) and also to keep the log file easily readable. This additional parsing will only happen if the parameter is prefixed by a special marker - which is currently set to "DABDigURI:" but I might change that before release. Therefore - this new code will not be activated unless that calling program does something special. For DigiGuide it needs a new DABDig.dgmarker - a very simple change. I am holding off making this the default way of working though because DigiGuide 8.2 (beta) will include a new function that allows the marker to modify the command line just before sending it to DABDig ... so I could then replace double-quote with single-quote.


Sunday, July 17, 2005

- Topfield PVR
Added initial support for Topfield PVR via Jag's EPG.
(255b06 and 255b07)
Need to do some automatic channel look-up - but have not got definitive sample channel file yet.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

- Fly2000TV
Added support for Fly2000TV - for both TV and radio with record and play.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

- WinTV
Added channel name look-up for WinTVPVR (and WinTV Nova-T USB2) users.

Earlier versions of the Nova-T devices used the Technotrend front-end but the Nova-T USB2 uses an updated version of WinTV2K.
If users do not renumber their channels then they might be confused when the wrong channel gets recorded. Unusually the WinTV2K software, when driving the Nova-T USB2 device, does not use the LCN to sort the channels or to use as an index for recording hence the typical channel numbers do not match.
Made this a configurable option because users who have renumbered within WinTV have no problem.

Thanks to AMacdonald for highlighting this facility.
- DABBar
Some users of DABBar have reported that recording from a different mux to the last used does not always work.
So - added option to request a 1 minute recording from the same channel just before the real recording. This could cause problems for back-to-back recordings from different mux but that is relatively unlikely.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

- MyHD
Started some work on MyHD from Macro Image Technology. It can be driven already by using DABDig's support for TVPI-mode. However, this will not work if DABDig is being run as a background task. Plus - TVPI-mode sometimes requires keyboard strokes to be sent which can get blocked by anti-virus tools (AVG in particular).
The underlying mechanism appears to be very similar to FusionHDTV - i.e. holding the recording schedule in a combination of registry and a database. Have worked out most of the fields and have someone willing to test.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

- DigiGuide
Initial beta of DigiGuide 8.2 was made available today.
The new XML parser that is embedded within it does not like come of the constructs in many existing markers - including DABDig.
So - worked out the differences and managed to re-write parts so that it works with DigiGudie 8.2 while remaining backward compatible.
Made a new 2.54 releasse to get this out quickly.
Since this does change the marker - then anyone who has made their own customisations of the marker will have to make the same changes again.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

- TwinHan VisionDTV
A real bug found - if there is no channel number specified then it could result in a crash. Looks like a problem introduced in 2.53.
No-one had hit it in production because channel numbers were always present ... however, it tripped up one user while trying to do something else.
Decided to fix it and make a full release of the current 2.54 with this fixed.
(254b08 released)

Monday, June 06, 2005

- Archos 400 Series PVR
Saw a request to drive this from DigiGuide - based on appending simple text to a file.
Looked easy enough so done it.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

- WebScheduler
Added ability to use channel name rather than number.
- WebScheduler
Looks like default port number has changed from 8080 to 8429.
Also, looks like the channel "number" can be a channel name - so need to ensure that spaces (etc) are encoded within the URL. It might also be better to include ability to use channel name rather than number via config. First 2 items done.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

- TwinHan VisionDTV
Looks like 2.6 has been released again - now as 2.602
They appear to have changed the recording schedule format again - and now allows the APID to be added. Made a change to generate it - this marks the first limited release of version of 2.54

Saturday, March 19, 2005

For ATi MMC handling - added code to look up TV and FM radio channel names when no channel number (or FM frequency) is given.

- Nebula DigiTV
Modified code that checks for timer key being in registry so that it does not wait for user input. The old code waited because it was treated as a fatal error and needed to be sure that the user saw the message. However, in 2.51 code was added to crate the key if not present - so it is no longer fatal.
People re-installing their Nebula DigiTV software because of major updates from Nebula would hit the issue if they had not done a quick test timer recording after the upgrade.


Sunday, February 27, 2005

- General
Made an external release - 2.53 build 17.
This is basically 253b16 with some experimental devices removed.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

- WinTVCap
Extended the previous change so that the OutputTarget field can take the substitution parameters (with simple check for recursion). At the same time - added ability to request that the output directory should be created if not already present.
Done this because WinTVCap (unlike WinTV2k) does not auto-create the output directory chosen for a recording.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Had a request to be able to pass the Category of the recording so that it could be used as a directory name for the recording.
A quick test by the requestor showed that WinTV2K created the requested directory if it was not present ... so looked safe enough to include the field in DABDig and not have to worry about checking to see if the directory exists etc.
Included code and updated DABDig.dgmarker to pass the parameter (as parameter number 12). While there - added Description to the Play command for consistency.
Made WinTVPVR command line processing perform substitutions and added new substitutable parameter - $CT (Category).
Added command line substitution to WinTVCap at the same time since some WinTVPVR users use that utility instead as it is less CPU intensive.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

- ExternalChannelChanger
(RedRat3 in particular)
One new user wants the commands for the RedRat3 to be sent individually so made it possible - including an initial and trailing command.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Been contacted by someone who would like to see this working - so another chance to work on it (things stalled first time round back in September 2004 because that requestor moved to WebScheduler instead of GB-PVR).
Looks like entries that I add into the schedule database while the GB-PVR service is running are not being picked up - but they do work if you stop/start the service. Implies that the format is right but I need to do something else to wake it up if it is already running.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

- TwinHan VisionDTV
First version for the TwinHan 2.6 software now ready to test.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

- TwinHan VisionDTV
Had a detailed report from a user that the new TwinHan software completely changes the way that the schedule data is maintained. So - for now - TwinHan VisionDTV version 2.6 is not supported. Will be working on it over next day or so.