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Bawbagg
Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 2:09 am Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 11 Aug 2005 Posts: 1122
nwhitfield wrote:
EPG_Uploader can do this sort of thing; on the Mac, MacTF-EPG will grab the radio times information and lets you create auto timers, and for PC Users TED/S does a similar thing- though of course then information won't be in the MEI format.
I knew of EPG Uploader before I started work on MEI.

However, I was still frustrated by the limits offered (even) by EPG Uploader - the lack of Toppy memory space for EPG data only allows for a reasonable amount of data for a few channels. I've never experimented with EPG Uploader, but I didn't want to have to hook up my PC to my Toppy every couple of days (which was a span I read somewhere in these forums).

Additionally, EPG Uploader was still only going to allow us to provide the data that Toppy was able to store. I was hungry for extra information: especially that provided by XMLTV / Radio Times. Inspired by MyStuff's use of the Jag's CSV file, I came up with the idea of a PC built file, in a similar format, that would contains more information than Toppy could ever dream of holding in it's current incarnation (if a firmware update changes this, and makes MEI obsolete, then GREAT!).

I approached BobD with the idea and MyStuff_Extended_Info (or MEI) was born. If you have a look at the readme on my site, I've always said that I'd be happy to share the format with any TAP authors who wanted to utilise the data it's providing. It's just a great big flat file, full to the brim with lovely, accurate, complete EPG data - spanning 14 days Very Happy .

BobD is working hard to release a stable version of MyStuff 3.1 (we're testing at the moment). Once this is done, I think we can look forward to some really cool features in MyStuff by utilising all the extra info provided by MEI.

MEI has the following info in each of it's columns (separated by a "|"):
column - field - desc
0 - xxxxxx - 6 char string indicating the total number of chars on the line (counting from field 1 onwards)
1 - prog_start_time - program start time, a 12 digit string yyyymmddhhmm
2 - prog_stop_time - program stop time, a 12 digit string yyyymmddhhmm
3 - prog_channel - Freeview LCN
4 - prog_title - program title, eg "The Simpsons"
5 - prog_sub_title - program sub title, eg "Datalore"
6 - prog_prev_shown - repeat?
7 - prog_new - new program?
8 - prog_date - Production date (is in there for films)
9 - prog_premiere - Is it a film Premiere
10 - prog_last_chance - don't think it's used by Radio Times (but identifies last chance)
11 - prog_desc - COMPLETE Program Description (longest I found is over 1700 chars)
12 - prog_category - Genre
13 - prog_length - Length in minutes
14 - prog_aspect - 16:9 or 4:3
15 - prog_colour - Colour if blank, B&W (if B&W)
16 - prog_subtitles - Subtitles type (onscreen if for foreign language film, or Teletext if "optional")
17 - prog_episode_num - eg 1/6
18 - prog_episode_system - either blank, onscsreen or mei_xmltv_ns**
19 - prog_rating_system - ie BBFC for films
20 - prog_rating - ie PG, 15, 18 etc
21 - prog_star_rating - ie 2/5, 5/5 etc

[edited 13/12/2005]
**I decided to clean up the xmltv_ns episode numbers.
If MEI has processed episode numbers that were in the xmltv_ns format, this field will say "mei_xmltv_ns". If no episode number is available it will be blank. MEI will not clean up episode numbers if they were provided in the "onscreen" format - in which case they will be contained in the prog_episode_num field, and prog_episode_system will indicate this as "onscreen".
[/edit]

As you can see, it's a pretty extensive dataset to provide to Toppy. Only our imagination, and BobD's time and interest serves to limit the possibilities for funky features. Very Happy

I've tried to make MEI as easy as possible to get onto Toppy - it is capable of running in a scheduled mode, so it can be done completely hands-off for the windows users (with a permanent USB or LAN connection). Also, one of the members of the forum is currently working on a perl port of MEI, and has it running on his slug - once that is stable and released, I'll be buying a slug.

I know my Toppy with MyStuff and MEI is a better PVR today than it was before. And it's only going to get better. Cool.

BB[/i]


Last edited by Bawbagg on Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:29 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Mike
Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 9:02 am Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 26 Mar 2005 Posts: 43
Hi Bawbagg, not totally sure if this should be here, or on Mystuff thread but here goes.

Been experiencing lock ups on starting the toppy, experimenting tracked it down to mystuff.

Uninstall mystuff, re-install and OK.
Tell mystuff to read MEI and it locks up with message on screen "Please Wait Loading Data".

Suspect data in MEI file thinks I so strip it to 10 shows and Mystuff loads OK. Then rebuild full file and we lock up again. So then I gradually removed channels until the problem stopped - it appears to be something on Sky Travel causing MEI to put something in the file that Mystuff cannot cope with.

Now one could say Mystuff should cope with dodgy data, and/or MEI should not let it through in the first place, but I assume you and Bob are presumably in contact and this thread is shorter!

Any ideas?

Thanks

MIke
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Wildoat
Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 9:55 am Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 18 Apr 2005 Posts: 532 Location: Diss / Tacolneston Transmitter
Mike - First thing - I am not an expert on MEI - Bawbraggs the man.

However my experience might be of some help - when I started using MEI I had a problem caused by I think Sky Travel (perhaps as it is now Sky Three?). My solution was to delete that channel (and bring in Sky Three instead) that I grabbed data for in MEI/XMLTV and it sorted the problem for me.

As an aside I started by bringing data in for lots of channels but have now changed to just bringing data in for the channels that I use as this has the added benefit of a smaller MEI file which seems to allow MyStuff to start quicker. I know that you then have channel gaps in your EPG data showing in MyStuff - but Im sure BobD might address this soon!

W

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chunkywizard
Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 10:47 am Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 13 May 2005 Posts: 9319 Location: Sindlesham, Berkshire Tx: Hannington
Hey Bawbagg,

just uploading my new MEI file and I noticed there is a v3.0 of XMLTV now. It seems to add in some other data sources for the programme info and use a different channel format. Obviusly I am happy to continue to use v2.2 but I was wondering is this new version going to add anything for MEI users and do you intend to upgrade to it?

Cheers

Chunkywizard

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chunkywizard
Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:20 am Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 13 May 2005 Posts: 9319 Location: Sindlesham, Berkshire Tx: Hannington
Hi Bawbagg,

just thought I would report back some observations I have made on boot times with MyStuff/MEI.

MyStuff+MEI (all channels) 45secs (4137KB MEI file)
MyStuff&MEI (29 channels) 37secs (2758KB MEI file)
MyStuff&Jag's CSV (set number of MEI days to 0) 35 secs

Note: boot time is measured from power on until N&N info is displayed

So basically, you need to cut down your channel count if you want to reduce boot time. It's pretty obviously to me now but it makes quite a big difference!

One other thing also. In your guide on your site (or is it the guide on Bob's?) it suggests setting the max. numbers of days to use MEI file (option 29) to 7. Is there any reason for this? I thought the Radio Times had a 14 day listing.

Also I have checked and increase this number to 14 doesn't increase boot time which seems to indicate that Mystuff reads in all 14 on boot (independant on whether option 29 is set to less or not). Prehaps another way to reduce boot time would be either have an option in Mystuff or MEI to reduce the amount of days.

Cheers

Chunkywizard

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Toppy:TF5800 F/W: 1365PaTcHeD
TAPs: MyStuff | EPG2MEI | FontManager | SecCache UK | Extend | FastScanGUI | EIT_sub_game | MyInfo | ScreenCapture with OSD | MHEG On/Off
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HydeTheDarkerSide
Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:35 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 11 May 2005 Posts: 5956 Location: Hannington Transmitter : Sony KDL 40Z5800
chunkywizard wrote:
...One other thing also. In your guide on your site (or is it the guide on Bob's?) it suggests setting the max. numbers of days to use MEI file (option 29) to 7. Is there any reason for this? I thought the Radio Times had a 14 day listing.
It's the number of days that you want MyStuff to use the MEI file for before it prompts you to update it. So since you ought to be able to get 7 days from FreeView/Jags and MEI provides 14; 7 days is the optimum refresh time to maintain a geater No. of days data than can be provided by Freeview/Jags.

It might also (and I stress might, since my memory has faded a bit here Shocked ) revert to the csv Jags data below the number of days specified. As I say I'm really not sure about this last statement and will need clarification from BobD/Bawbagg.

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Hyde.
[size=10:da1fd20a33][b:da1fd20a33]2x TF5800 All controlled with Harmony Ultimate [/b:da1fd20a33], TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -RSy+BmC0CbCfCtDsEgEmEvFsGIMPePsR0ScUUuWfXZ
TAPs: PcControl B1.3; EPG2MEI v0.96; Font Manager 1.0d; Extend v1.7; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; MyInfo B5.6; MyStuff 6.5 RC2;
[color=blue:da1fd20a33]MyStuff Links: http://www.toppy.org.uk/~mystuff/index.shtml[/color:da1fd20a33]
Sig generated by MyInfo on 11/10/13[/size:da1fd20a33]
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Wildoat
Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:20 pm Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 18 Apr 2005 Posts: 532 Location: Diss / Tacolneston Transmitter
HydeTheDarkerSide wrote:
It might also (and I stress might, since my memory has faded a bit here Shocked ) revert to the csv Jags data below the number of days specified. As I say I'm really not sure about this last statement and will need clarification from BobD/Bawbagg.

That is my understanding also.

Another reason perhaps for refreshing every 7 days is that sometimes schedules change in a 14 day period but I guess it all comes down to personal preference and what works for you.

W

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Topfield Model: TF5800PVR Silver (400GB UpGrade) - Firmware version: 5.13.65 Heavily Patched!.

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Mike
Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:43 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 26 Mar 2005 Posts: 43
Well removing sky travel has certainly resolved it, and for interest an MEI file that ONLY contains sky travel will cause Mystuff to loop when reading the mei - so simplest approach ceratmly seem sto be avoid putting it in there. Would be interesting to know exactly what entyry us copnfusing Mystuff though!

Thanks

Mike
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BobD
Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 1:00 pm Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 03 Aug 2005 Posts: 4218
Mike wrote:
Well removing sky travel has certainly resolved it, and for interest an MEI file that ONLY contains sky travel will cause Mystuff to loop when reading the mei - so simplest approach ceratmly seem sto be avoid putting it in there. Would be interesting to know exactly what entyry us copnfusing Mystuff though!

Very strange, as my MEI file includes Sky Travel. and works fine for me. Can you email me the Sky Travel only MEI file and I will (whevever I manage to find some time!) try to find out what the problem is?

Cheers

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digsatman
Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 2:15 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 May 2005 Posts: 166 Location: West Midlands
Bawbagg wrote:
CD3660 wrote:
digsatman wrote:
Is there a way of doing an automatic search/set timer as in JAGS but using the EPG data imported from the Radio Times/MEI.


I don't believe that there is but that would be a really good feature if it was possible! Smile
Cool Hush..... don't tell BobD that I told you...... but........ something like this might be in the long term roadmap. Cool

BB

Great News.
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Bawbagg
Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 2:27 pm Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 11 Aug 2005 Posts: 1122
Mike wrote:
not totally sure if this should be here, or on Mystuff thread but here goes
No reason why a re-scan should solve it - all MyStuff does is connect the LCN with the EPG info in the MEI. It's possible you've got a dodgy character in your XML pull - that would be enough to throw MyStuff, and XMLTV_RT V2.2 does produce a fair few dodgy characters! I've trapped them in most fields (but not all because it slows down the conversion from XML to MEI). Maybe I need to trap all fields. Mail me the MEI when you send it to BobD - I'll PM you my mail address.

chunkywizard wrote:
just uploading my new MEI file and I noticed there is a v3.0 of XMLTV now
yeah - I know about the new version. It has a number of advantages, over the old V2.2 we currently use:
1. Fixes dodgy character problem I spoke about above
2. Deletes EPG data for times when the Freeview versions channels not broadcasting (eg abc1 only broadcasts 0600-1800 on Freeview, but we get 24hr EPG data as it's on 24hrs on $ky - new version limits this)
3. Has capability to provide EPG data for Radio channels (although only 7 days)

However, all these features come at a cost - it is MUCH more complex to setup and use. I haven't really spent time to work out exactly how to use it properly, which is something I should do.

If you choose to upgrade, MEI will still only trigger the OLD version - the new one installs to a different directory, and the old one is "hardwired" into MEI. In the longer term, I think we will upgrade. But for the time being 2.2 does what we need. I'll issue a new version of MEI for use with version 3.

CW - Hyde and Wildoat are correct in their assumptions. MyStuff always loads the entire MEI file. If MEI is OLDER than the value you set in option 29, then it will load the Jag's file. This is to ensure that you still have some EPG data even if you haven't uploaded a new MEI in a while. There's no harm in setting option 29 to 14 - but TV schedules do change, which is why we recommend 7 days (and you then have a weekly schedule for uploading a new MEI).

Good analysis on the loading time too - many thanks! I found I was also able to speed up loading by having MyStuff load before Jags.

BB

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BobD
Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 12:13 am Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 03 Aug 2005 Posts: 4218
MyStuff will load data for all the channels in the MEI file, but only for programs since 10pm the night before. So the older the file is, the less will actually be read in and stored (although all must actually be read from the disk), and so MyStuff load time may actually speed up slighly as the days go by.

I will at some point be working on improving the load time

Cheers

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chunkywizard
Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 9:44 am Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 13 May 2005 Posts: 9319 Location: Sindlesham, Berkshire Tx: Hannington
Hi Bob,

that's interesting...just so people know in my boot calculation I used a new MEI for all channels and for the cut down channel count (ie one generate just before I loaded it) so this should be a maximum figure. As a comparision, when I get around to it, I can get Jag's not to generate a CSV, delete the old one, and set Mytuff to zero days and this should give a minimum boot figure...

Cheers

Chunkywizard

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BobD
Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 12:47 pm Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 03 Aug 2005 Posts: 4218
My plan for (a possibly much) future version, is to read the file in chunks, so that on start up, it will say open the file and read it all into memory (which is actually fairly quick I think). You will then be able to use the Toppy almost immediately.

Then during idle time it will process the file chunk by chunk until it is all done.

Should you activate N&N or EPG then it will have to stall and process everything, but until you do that it can continue to allow you to eg change channels, activate archive etc, and process the file bit by bit.

Should be more useable, though this is al guess work as I have not looked at doing it at all yet.

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birty
Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 4:46 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 28 Oct 2005 Posts: 56
Bawbagg wrote:
However, all these features come at a cost - it is MUCH more complex to setup and use. I haven't really spent time to work out exactly how to use it properly, which is something I should do.

if it helps I have put together a script to allow you to use the old altchids.txt files http://www.birtles.org.uk/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=77
if you need any other help let me know. i'm also looking for someone to do some documentation for me (just a simple users guide to start with)
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