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<  Satellite receivers, cable boxes and PVRs  ~  Are there any Linux boxes like MyStuff?

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Grand Dizzy
Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:38 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 09 Oct 2009 Posts: 144
In addition to my trusty Toppy, I'm setting up a second TV in another room. This will let me watch a bit of TV alone when the family are watching something else Smile

I want to get a satellite box, and as far as I'm aware, the only satellite boxes that let you re-order the channels and have channel logos (both essential to me) are the Linux boxes, sold on www.world-of-satellite.co.uk

But there's so many different types of boxes, manufacturers and software systems (known as "images") -it's a bit bewildering.

I'm led to believe that VU+ is the best manufacturer, and "Enigma 2" is the best image? But does anyone have any recommendations? What I want most of all is a really attractive interface, and LOTS of options about the way things work and look - basically something like MyStuff! Though I doubt anything could be as good as MyStuff.

Also, have the MyStuff team thought about taking MyStuff to the Linux boxes?
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juwlz
Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:44 am Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 12 Aug 2005 Posts: 10801 Location: Wokingham, Berkshire (Hannington transmitter)
Grand Dizzy wrote:
In addition to my trusty Toppy, I'm setting up a second TV in another room. This will let me watch a bit of TV alone when the family are watching something else Smile

I want to get a satellite box, and as far as I'm aware, the only satellite boxes that let you re-order the channels and have channel logos (both essential to me) are the Linux boxes, sold on www.world-of-satellite.co.uk

But there's so many different types of boxes, manufacturers and software systems (known as "images") -it's a bit bewildering.

I'm led to believe that VU+ is the best manufacturer, and "Enigma 2" is the best image? But does anyone have any recommendations? What I want most of all is a really attractive interface, and LOTS of options about the way things work and look - basically something like MyStuff! Though I doubt anything could be as good as MyStuff.

I haven't really got my head around all the ins and outs, but we've been using a 4 tuner (2 Freeview, 2 Freesat) XTrend 8500 for about 18 months.

Xtrend ET8500 2x DVB-S2 + 2x DVB-C/T/T2 COMBO Linux Enigma 2 Linux HD Digital Receiver PVR Ready
- Enigma 2 Firmware / Image Options (Flashed Free Of Charge): OpenViX (Latest)
- Fitted HDD Options: 1TB HDD 2.5" SA..
- Networking Powerline Homeplugs: Not required
- USB Storage: Not Required
- USB WiFi Option: Not required

I can't tell you the pros and cons of the various software options, but I think they're all pretty much of a muchness. We chose the Xtrend partly because of its ability to take multiple, mixed input type cards.

For the record, I switched off the old Toppy last week because I was fed up of the noise it was making, and forgot that it was daisy chained to the Xtrend for the aerial signal. Once I plugged the aerial directly into the Xtrend, I started some recordings on a selection of channels to make sure everything was working. I had 11 concurrent recordings going, all from the Freeview tuners.

Some things are better than MyStuff, some not so good, and occasionally we get a dodgy update that causes problems, but those are usually fixed pretty quickly (both of which are pretty much par for the course in the Linux world). My Toppies are now pretty much all retired. As usual in Linuxland, finding stuff and documentation for it can be a bit hit and miss, and often assumes a level of knowledge that the reader doesn't have. But that too comes with the territory.

Aside:
The Xtrend and all of our other TV sources are connected to our Sony AV Receiver (the nearest current model is the Sony STRDN1080, and we use HDMI over CAT5 to distribute from the Sony AV receiver to other TVs in the house (for simultaneous playing of the same input, of course).

The Xtrend is networked, so it's possible to watch recordings on it from other devices on the network via a browser. I've just bought (but not yet set up) an LG Smart TV, so I'll be curious to see whether I can find a way to access it directly using that, as well as using the HDMI over CAT5.

Quote:
Also, have the MyStuff team thought about taking MyStuff to the Linux boxes?
Yes. And decided not to.

Julie

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5810, TS On, F/W: F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 +BmCfCtFsR3Z
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DaveHill
Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:54 am Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 15 Dec 2005 Posts: 78 Location: Bedford
That's useful Julie, I've been pondering the same things as "Grand Dizzy" for a while.

juwlz wrote:
Some things are better than MyStuff, some not so good


What sort of things are better or not so good? Any chance of a (quick) run-down when you have a few minutes!

Dave

_________________
TX: Sandy Heath
TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -FmSyXl+Ds, Samsung 250Gb IDE.
TF5800PVRt, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -FmXl+Ds, Seagate ST3500418AS 500Gb SATA.
TAPs: SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub v0.6; QuickJump 1.72; EPG2MEI v0.96; Extend v1.7; MyStuff 6.6; MyInfo B5.6; TF5000 Display 1.53;
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juwlz
Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:28 am Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 12 Aug 2005 Posts: 10801 Location: Wokingham, Berkshire (Hannington transmitter)
Off the top of my head ...

There are a lot of add-ons available for it. Two that seem to ship with OpenVix / Enigma2 by default are AutoTimers and ABM (Auto Bouquet Manager).

AutoTimers is the equivalent of MyStuff's Text Search. It's very comprehensive in the way that it allows you to control the settings for an AutoTimer, but although you can set defaults, they only work if you set them in one particular way, and it's an all-or-nothing setting (either you get your defaults, OR you see the options without your defaults taken into account).

ABM is the rough equivalent of Channel Organiser, and is strongly recommended for tuning.

There's an overview of OpenVix features with some screenshots on their website.

===============

Cons
There's no Series Link information on any Linux offering, so anything to do with Series Linking is a non-starter. This means you have to revert to what MyStuff calls Text Searches. (NB: Even without SeriesLink, there are ways to avoid making duplicate recordings (like comparing the text in the description) using AutoTimer, but I've never quite been able to bring myself to trust them not to miss something I want.)

The UI can be a bit simplistic in terms of navigation (you usually have to exit what you're doing before you can do something else; you can't switch directly from EPG to recordings list or vice-versa, for instance). Not the end of the world, but can be a bit irritating sometimes.

Channel organisation is rather tedious, and is done using the Web UI. If you modify the default lists (Bouquets), they'll get overwritten next time you do a channel scan. I'm a bit anal about wanting just the channels I want, in a particular order, so I've created a new Bouquet that doesn't get wiped any time you do a retune.

If you file your recordings to separate folders, there's no Flat view.

It's Open Source, so documentation can be frustrating, aimed at the wrong level of user, or non-existent. It's Linux, and the forums can be intimidating, and assume a level of knowledge you don't necessarily have.

===============

Pros
Obviously, you can get and record HD.

There's a web UI that allows you to watch recordings and do various other things from a computer or tablet.

I prefer the fact that you get a minimised copy of whatever you're watching - both picture and sound - while looking at the EPG, your recording list, etc.

Pretty much all of the UI is customisable if you want to. There are lots of skins (some of which can, I gather, make your box look and behave VERY differently).

Button actions are labelled (no more remembering whether you need the Yellow button or Green button to achieve function X) - which may be one reason why the UI is simplistic, as the coloured button actions, at least, are context-dependent.

It's very much networkable, and can - if you want - record to external / networked drives, and if you browse to its IP address, there's a web interface that you can use to do various things.

===============

Similarites
It's a tinkerer's box, not a "just works" box Wink

You can choose the number of rows, timespan and channels in the graphical EPG (within limits, of course). There are several different EPG views (list, etc.), which I normally only access by accident!

You can install the equivalent of Toppy TAPs for additional functionality.

Autofiling, in the same sense that MyStuff does it, is not an option. It IS possible to create and "Bookmark" certain folders and set timers to save recordings in those, but it's not possible to create them on the fly. However, AutoTimers does automatically create a "Tag" on each recording that matches the name of your search, and you can compress your recordings list (in each folder) to a list of tags, and expand that tag to see only those recordings, which effectively gives you the same functionality. We use a combined approach: we've set up some top level folders, which each autotimer is set to use (and can also be defined for one-off timers), and use Tags within those.

You can set up Bouquets to use for timers (e.g. only record this programme if it is shown on stations in that bouquet.

Timers can be set to only record on certain days / between certain times of day. (I tend not to use this, for fear of missing things that get moved.)

===============

Terminology
Toppy+MyStuff / nearest Enigma2+OpenVix equivalent

Recordings / Movies (yes, ALL of them are called Movies)
TS / AutoTimers (at least one other add-on is available that works differently)
Channel List / Bouquet
TAPs / Plugins
Change channel / Zap

===============

As it's a while since I've used the Toppy, and everybody's use pattern is different, it might work better if you ask questions about particular functionality that you use, and I'll see if I can answer them.

EMJB did create an Enigma2 / OpenVix document for Toppy users which I found really useful, but as his website has gone now, I don't know whether that's still available. I may have a copy.

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5810, TS On, F/W: F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 +BmCfCtFsR3Z
MyStuff info; Help!; Reference
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ccs
Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:37 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 30 Oct 2007 Posts: 2481
juwlz wrote:
AutoTimers is the equivalent of MyStuff's Text Search. It's very comprehensive in the way that it allows you to control the settings for an AutoTimer, but although you can set defaults, they only work if you set them in one particular way, and it's an all-or-nothing setting (either you get your defaults, OR you see the options without your defaults taken into account).
I've never seen this before, can you explain?

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TAPs: EIT Sub v0.6; EPG2MEI v0.96; MPDisplayLITE V1.2; MyInfo B5.6; SecCache (UK) v0.4; Extend v1.7; MyStuff 6.6;
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DaveHill
Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:41 am Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 15 Dec 2005 Posts: 78 Location: Bedford
juwlz wrote:
Off the top of my head ...

Thanks, very useful.

What about accurate recording (extend)? I assume the answer is “no”.

I’ve got Linux experience, but not the time and enthusiasm to faff with things that don’t work!

I go through all the useful channels every Friday night and press record for anything that looks useful (not much these days), mystuff sorts out extend, series link etc.

Dave

_________________
TX: Sandy Heath
TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -FmSyXl+Ds, Samsung 250Gb IDE.
TF5800PVRt, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -FmXl+Ds, Seagate ST3500418AS 500Gb SATA.
TAPs: SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub v0.6; QuickJump 1.72; EPG2MEI v0.96; Extend v1.7; MyStuff 6.6; MyInfo B5.6; TF5000 Display 1.53;
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DaveHill
Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:46 am Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 15 Dec 2005 Posts: 78 Location: Bedford
DaveHill wrote:
juwlz wrote:
Off the top of my head ...

Thanks, very useful.

What about accurate recording (extend)? I assume the answer is “no”.

I’ve got Linux experience, but not the time and enthusiasm to faff with things that don’t work!

I go through all the useful channels every Friday night and press record for anything that looks useful (not much these days), mystuff sorts out extend, series link etc.

Dave


Oh, and quickjump for skipping the ads!

Dave

_________________
TX: Sandy Heath
TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -FmSyXl+Ds, Samsung 250Gb IDE.
TF5800PVRt, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -FmXl+Ds, Seagate ST3500418AS 500Gb SATA.
TAPs: SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub v0.6; QuickJump 1.72; EPG2MEI v0.96; Extend v1.7; MyStuff 6.6; MyInfo B5.6; TF5000 Display 1.53;
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ccs
Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:52 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 30 Oct 2007 Posts: 2481
If you want a very simplistic answer, I've had an Xtrend, with only freeview tuners, for over 3 years, it does absolutely everything my Toppy does (and a lot more).

Series are not a problem (well not for me, I don't miss and recordings), it's fast, easy to use and during, say, the Olympics, you can record everything on every red button channel with ease.

And skipping adverts is a doddle.

The only problem I can think of is the bbc's obsession with channel hopping between bbc1 and bbc2 during Wimbledon, for example.
Why they can't simply stick to bbc2 later in the day is anybody's guess - maybe they still think there people who can't get bbc2 like it used to be about 50 years ago.

Easy to work around though.

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TAPs: EIT Sub v0.6; EPG2MEI v0.96; MPDisplayLITE V1.2; MyInfo B5.6; SecCache (UK) v0.4; Extend v1.7; MyStuff 6.6;
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jimi
Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:33 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 29 Mar 2006 Posts: 133
juwlz wrote:

EMJB did create an Enigma2 / OpenVix document for Toppy users which I found really useful, but as his website has gone now, I don't know whether that's still available. I may have a copy.


I'm maintaining a copy of of EMJB's website here http://jlawson.co.uk/emjb-s-taps if anyone needs any of the taps However that document (http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/emjbtaps/OpenVix/OpenVixForToppyUsers.pdf) wasn't there when I copied the site. If you had a copy you could send me I could add it.

_________________
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TAPs: PcControl B1.4; Extend v1.7; EPG2MEI v0.96; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; Font Manager 1.0d; MHEG On/Off A3; (MyInfo B5.6); PruneEPG 1.0; MyStuff 6.6;
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TopTapper
Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:11 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 29 Jan 2006 Posts: 225
Hi jimi
jimi wrote:
I could add it.

I was going to PM you but unless I've gone over the edge the facility is well hidden or no more.

Version 2 can temporarily be found here: OpenVixForToppyUsers.pdf
(Dated "20/4/2017", I think I picked it up in Nov 2017)

It's very useful to get off the ground. EMJB has been working on an OpenViX guide to cover the complexities of Channel Management but it's been a difficult slog without the developers' full support. If his heroic effort comes to fruition I'll factory reset (full flash required) and setup from scratch. Although the box is fully functional most of the setup was guess work. My better half still misses MyStuff but I think that's mainly down to inconsistent key assignment and neither of us particularly wanting to think about how to work it. A big change came for me when the (evil) BBC's iPlayer stopped working on our dumb SmartTV. I couldn't wait for 'Killing Eve' (she's a woman) so install an ipTV plug-in. The interface is charmingly clunky but the damn thing works great. Previous comments led me to believe it would be crash ridden. Not so, yet.

Wink
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jimi
Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:57 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 29 Mar 2006 Posts: 133
Thanks for that I've added it to my dropbox and I'll add to the copy of EMJB's site when I get the chance.
PM 's still work, there's a PM button at the bottom of every post you make, If you viewing the forum on a phone (or at least on the mobile them then it may not be visible. If so try using the browser option "request desktop version" that may well make it visible.

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TAPs: PcControl B1.4; Extend v1.7; EPG2MEI v0.96; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; Font Manager 1.0d; MHEG On/Off A3; (MyInfo B5.6); PruneEPG 1.0; MyStuff 6.6;
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TopTapper
Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:04 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 29 Jan 2006 Posts: 225
jimi wrote:
PM 's still work

I can see it clearly, now, thanks. Desktop, board style 'Topppy Large', now and previously. Either I was having a moment or something's been kicked. Wink
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Grand Dizzy
Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:37 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 09 Oct 2009 Posts: 144
Wow, this information is so helpful! Especially what Julie said, and that document by EMJB! I'm so glad I made this thread! Thanks, folks! Smile

I love the Toppy, and MyStuff, and I feel like I owe so much to you folks. I don't have any money, but if it's of any help to anyone, I'm a designer and I provide a lot of different creative services.
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EMJB
Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:35 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 08 Jul 2005 Posts: 3630 Location: Maldon Essex
One disadvantage of OpenVix over a Toppy not mentioned above is its forum and documentation. Unfortunately at times the forum lacks the helpfulness and tolerance which has been the norm here, and where documentation does exist it may be out of data and/or difficult to find. The extent to which this is a problem will depend partly on luck and partly on your usage.

The need to support so many hardware models, the inherent flexibility of the skinning, and Plugins being common across different countries and OpenVix equivalents, make it very difficult does make life difficult to provide effective support, but that is no excuse for the attitude adopted on some occasions.


EMJB

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