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<  TAP and patch development  ~  Preloading EPG Data

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garyo
Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 12:08 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 24 Aug 2005 Posts: 368 Location: South Beds (Oxford txr)
Just got my Toppy and couldn't resist trying my had at TAP writing (had forgotten just how much "fun" C is compared to C++, C# etc Smile

After trying IanPs EPG and Jags EPG it occured to me that the big problem for both of them was getting up to date EPG data from the firmware. I'm wondering if there's a better way to do this than Jag's late night scanning...so my first TAP (SchedLoad) was born.

The Toppy seems to load event info for a service only when it's tuned - the Toppy EPG gets around this by showing the current channel as you move through them (watch the data populate as you move to a channel with no data). But this data is also loaded when the EPG is not active, as long as you visit a station.

So, I started by writing a simple TAP to check for a "spare" tuner, and if found use it to scan through the channels - pausing on each one until the number of EPG events stops increasing or a timeout occurs.

If I use the MainScreen this works fine, but if I use the subscreen it doesn't Has anyone researched how the EventInfo/EPG population works in relation to different screens/tuners?

I'm also seeing wierd behaviour from TAP_ChannelStart() - if I tell it channel 1 (BBC1) - I get channel 3 (ITV1) if I tell it Channel 40 (News24) i get Channel 43 (Sky News I think). Anyone know why this is? I'm sure it's a dumb newbie issue.

If I can get this to work it would be a great companion to IanPs EGP which really only suffers from lack of data for unwatched channels. Of course, while it's scanning I could also be caching the data to disk so that it's not lost when the Toppy is switched off and then provide a Cached GetEventInfo implementation ... but that's phase 2.

Sorry for the horrendously long first post!!
GaryO
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Last edited by garyo on Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NickW
Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 12:12 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 10 Aug 2005 Posts: 388
Sorry I can't help, but I just wanted to say I think it's a great idea that I hope you can get working Smile

Cheers,

Nick.
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garyo
Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 12:24 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 24 Aug 2005 Posts: 368 Location: South Beds (Oxford txr)
NickW wrote:
Sorry I can't help, but I just wanted to say I think it's a great idea that I hope you can get working Smile

Cheers,

Nick.


Cheers - I have my fingers crossed the guru's don't shoot this idea down!
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Last edited by garyo on Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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benhinman
Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:28 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 19 May 2005 Posts: 44
Hiya,

It's a great idea - trying to populate the epg in the background however I do not think you can do it with the "second" tuner, at least from what I have previously read on the forum.

As far as the channel numbers are concerned - the toppy's inner channel numbers are different to that of the actual freeview channel numbers, again at least from what I have heard Smile.

Currently, the best way to do the EPG information thing is JAG's epg. I literally cannot see a better way given the api provided and its functionality - short of loading it from another source (eg. XMLTV). I keep on hoping and praying the Topfield magicians will provide this functionality for us Smile. And here's hoping each freeview channel will eventually broadcast all EPG information for every channel!

Ben.
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ROWANMOOR
Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:37 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 31 Mar 2005 Posts: 741 Location: Redhill, Surrey
benhinman wrote:
And here's hoping each freeview channel will eventually broadcast all EPG information for every channel!


Actually they do. Though the EPG for other channels has a lower priority than the channels on the current multiplex, so they populate more slowly.

IIRC the European and Australian Toppies do use this, but their broadcasters do not to a good a job of transmitting it (even given the current problems with gappy EPGs). Unfortunalty for some reason our 5800 does not even though our boradcasters do provide it.

It is one of the issues on the Feature Requests list. If we are lucky then the next firmware update may provide a full fix for this. Nigel may know how high on their list it is.

That doesn't mean that a caching system will not be required though. It depends on the speed with which it is populated etc. You may want to cache it so that it is availiable straight away instead of waiting a few minutes for all channels to populate.

_________________
Cheers,
Rowan.


Toppy: TF5800pvrt Remote: Harmony 885
F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -EpVr+CbCfCtDDsEgEmEvEzFpFsHsIMPePfPsScUUaUuUyVbVcVdWfZ
TAPs: SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; EPG2MEI v0.96; TAP Commander 1.34; Font Manager 1.0d; Extend v1.7; MHEG Control B2.1; QuickJump 1.72; MyStuff 6.4; TF5000 Display v1.53; MyInfo B5.5;
Sig generated by MyInfo on 8/7/11
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benhinman
Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:10 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 19 May 2005 Posts: 44
Slowly definately is the word. I swear I have left my toppy on for long periods of time on channel such as TMF and it only populates for a certain number of other channels.

Either way, it still means that the idea is a no go.

Sky doesn't save EPG data on its boxes, although it does certainly retrieve the data a lot faster than any freeview box. Saving to the hard disk should be a really simple task as far as I know. Since you are cacheing the data to ram, surely the data is easily transfered to the HD.

The API will need some overhalling to get the needed features in a non-hack approach.
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shenson
Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:25 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 11 Apr 2005 Posts: 568
garyo wrote:
So, I started by writing a simple TAP to check for a "spare" tuner, and if found use it to scan through the channels - pausing on each one until the number of EPG events stops increasing or a timeout occurs.


I did some tests using a simple diagnostic TAP calling TAP_GetEvent() repeatedly. The results weren't at all what I expected, as I mentioned in this thread. It appears that an alternative approach might be needed such as caching and checking the event contents for new ones or the API being changed so whatever hidden things the standard EPG does are generally available.

Or better still the promised September update which collects all this stuff in the back ground.
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garyo
Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:15 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 24 Aug 2005 Posts: 368 Location: South Beds (Oxford txr)
shenson wrote:
Or better still the promised September update which collects all this stuff in the back ground.

Thanks shenson. For all my browsing I'd missed that this might be fixed in the September update. The "BBC bug" has also killed any development work I was doing using PIP for the moment.

g
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