General chat about the TF5800 and TF5810 PVRs, along with other European Topfield models, customer service, plus other Toppy issues not covered elsewhere

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cuthbert
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Post by cuthbert »

Update. Regarding TV channel logos, it is quite easy to set them up on OSMC. I've written a brief article on it here:

http://unixetc.co.uk/2020/01/24/install ... osmc-kodi/

Logos are held in separate png files in a specific folder. The software will display next to a TV channel whatever logo file bears the same name as the channel. Packs of logos are available on the Internet.

I have logos set up for all channels except for 2 or 3 now.

Jim
TF5800, IA On, TS On, F/W: 5.13.65AbBfBqCeCkCwCyDeEcEfErEsFGmHHeKtMhNfOtPPcPfRRaRe
RhRpRsSSdSrStSyT2TdTfXpXw
TAPs: MyStuff 6.5; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyInfo B5.6;
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tuff
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Post by tuff »

Hi,

In the continuing search for a Toppy replacement anybody come across the VBox Android TV Gateway XTi 4144. A recent upgrade of the XTi 3442 which has been available for a few years.

https://vboxcomm.com/product/vbox-andro ... -dvb-t-t2/

It appears to have been available for sale from December last year so not much information on it when Googled. Even the website is a bit thin on detail. Looking at the online manual it appears quite promising, 4 tuners, over the air EPG, series record with CRID (indicates this is a Beta feature), playback on multiple devices.
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jimi
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Post by jimi »

Just working my way through the manual, looks really promising, good find 8)
TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy+Pe
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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goodolpete
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Post by goodolpete »

Looks good. Could solve my problem of my wife ironing upstairs whilst watching neighbours from the pvr downstairs. Has anyone noticed what the max storage is for the external usb / sd card / hdd ?
Just found 2 YouTube vids, unbox and setup. They’re Russian with English subtitles.
TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -FmSy+Wf
TAPs: PcControl B1.4; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyStuff 6.6; Font Manager 1.0d; Extend v1.7; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; MHEG On/Off A3; MyInfo B5.6; PruneEPG 1.0;
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cuthbert
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Post by cuthbert »

Update: I am working my way through old recordings on the Toppy (about 300 GB worth), but for new recordings and live TV it has been superceded by the Pi/OSMC.

I've configured "comskip" for automatic skipping of commercial breaks in TV recordings. It works well except for channels ITV2 and 4Music (homes of American Dad, Family Guy, King of the Hill, The Cleveland Show). I've just written an article explaining the procedure here:

http://unixetc.co.uk/2020/03/16/how-to- ... pberry-pi/

Cheers,
Jim
TF5800, IA On, TS On, F/W: 5.13.65AbBfBqCeCkCwCyDeEcEfErEsFGmHHeKtMhNfOtPPcPfRRaRe
RhRpRsSSdSrStSyT2TdTfXpXw
TAPs: MyStuff 6.5; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyInfo B5.6;
Sig generated by MyInfo on 14/9/1
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jimi
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Post by jimi »

Top man 8)
I'm slowly working my way through setting up Pi3B following your write up, it's going OK so far, apart from some stupid mistakes on my part.
Couple of questions ( if you don't mind) In TVHeadend I seem to have multiple instances of each channel i.e. 3 BBC1's etc any idea why ? and how do I decide which ones to disable?
At the moment I'm using a USB keyboard, but I'd like to change to a wireless one I have, not sure how to achieve that, any pointers would be appreciated 8)
TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy+Pe
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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jimi
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Post by jimi »

Meant to say I only have 1 twin TV tuner at present, if I (and more importantly my wife) like the setup I'll add a second. Quite liking what I'm seeing so far, still to sort out flirc and a remote, thinking of using sky+ remote for it.
TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy+Pe
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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cuthbert
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Post by cuthbert »

jimi wrote:Top man 8)
I'm slowly working my way through setting up Pi3B following your write up, it's going OK so far, apart from some stupid mistakes on my part.
Couple of questions ( if you don't mind) In TVHeadend I seem to have multiple instances of each channel i.e. 3 BBC1's etc any idea why ? and how do I decide which ones to disable?
At the moment I'm using a USB keyboard, but I'd like to change to a wireless one I have, not sure how to achieve that, any pointers would be appreciated 8)
Hi Jimi. Regarding the wireless keyboard, just connect the wireless dongle to the Pi and start typing. There shouldn't be any issue there (?).

About duplicate channels, you can deal with these in the TVHeadend web interface -> Configuration -> Channel/EPG. Any unwanted channel can be deleted (highlight -> delete), or just disabled (uncheck the enabled box) if it is working but you just don't want to see it in the EPG (shopping channels etc).

Not sure how you have dups, but if they are really dups, and both are working (try to view one in TVHeadend), just delete one or two, and leave one working.

About tuners, I have found that two (or a dual unit) pretty much suffices. The following command will show any instances where recordings could not run due to tuner unavailability:

$ journalctl -t tvheadend | grep -i "no free adapter"
Feb 02 13:27:32 osmc tvheadend[632]: dvr: Recording unable to start: "The Adventures of Tintin": No free adapter
Feb 08 01:02:32 osmc tvheadend[8633]: dvr: Recording unable to start: "Layer Cake": No free adapter
Mar 14 21:57:32 osmc tvheadend[716]: dvr: Recording unable to start: "Clive James: Postcard from Bombay": No free adapter

Since there have only been 3 clashes since November (when the log started), I'm not very motivated to buy more tuners. Also, the system will start recording immediately if a tuner becomes available.

For example with the Clive James programme, start time 22:00, the recording tried to start at 22:57 but failed to allocate a tuner. However ate 22:03 it acquired a tuner (not shown above) and started to record, missing only 3 minutes of the show.

Jim
TF5800, IA On, TS On, F/W: 5.13.65AbBfBqCeCkCwCyDeEcEfErEsFGmHHeKtMhNfOtPPcPfRRaRe
RhRpRsSSdSrStSyT2TdTfXpXw
TAPs: MyStuff 6.5; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyInfo B5.6;
Sig generated by MyInfo on 14/9/1
4

TF5800, OSMC/Pi, All in One 7145, Sansa Clip Zip/Rockbox, Sony Blu-ray, Leak Delta 70/Sandwich 600
widget
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Post by widget »

A fascinating and very informative thread.

For some months I had been thinking of going down the OpenVix route but cuthbert's rPi solution has me intrigued.

@cuthbert - don't forget that you can use get_iPlayer to 'obtain' most BBC programmes shortly after broadcast. This is really useful when a recording has failed etc.
TF5800, IA On, TS On, F/W: 5.13.65BfBqCeCkCwCyEcEeEfEpErEsFGmHHeKtMhNfOtPPcRRaRhRpRsSSdSrStT2TdTfTpTsVrXpXwXl
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narrowgauge
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Post by narrowgauge »

munk wrote:
I don't know if it's been mentioned on this forum before (edit: google says 'no'!) but I've been testing out a SiliconDust HDHomeRun network dual tuner with Plex as an 'alternative' DVR solution. The HDHomeRun is a dedicated / standalone network tv tuner - it's a tiny 15x100x100mm box with 3 inputs: one for power, one for a TV aerial and one for a network cable. Once hooked up, you connect to the unit via the local network using either their own client or a suitable 3rd party client (I used Plex which is hosted on a FreeBSD box, although I believe you can use TV HeadEnd which cuthbert mentioned or something like VLC on a windows host). It's a very basic system, the hardware itself does nothing really other than decode a TV signal and transmit it out onto the network. It's down to other software hosted on host machines to perform EPG / recording / playback duties.

I found several issues with this HDHomeRun setup though. Using it on the same network as as a Powerline network link introduced network interference which was a real headache to diagnose / work around. Basically I had to run a very long CAT5 cable directly to/from the homerun/router, rather than use the powerline network which would have been a lot easier.

Also at the time I was testing it out, Plex was not working so well with the homerun... I had thought it would be ideal to be able to fire up Plex on my phone, browse through an EPG on Plex and schedule recordings that I could then watch later over the network on one of the connected smart TVs or HTPCs / PCs in Plex. However unfortunately at that time the Plex smartphone app had no EPG functionality, and even the Plex web /desktop app EPGs weren't always as reliable as they could have been in various respects.

Since then I believe the phone app now has an EPG, so it might be worth a look again, although for me the bigger issue is getting a dedicated TV feed in to the homerun - that was the biggest stumbling block for me, the homerun seemed to need a really solid TV signal to work at even the most basic level, so a new aerial would be required to make it work for me at least.

In the end I ditched the HDHomeRun and haven't used it for the last few months. MyStuff is still my primary DVR solution and gets used for about 4-6hrs of recording per day. Short of the SD signal being cancelled I don't envisage moving from Toppy / MyStuff soon, although that said I do keep thinking about investing in an OpenVix box but there never seems to be a really compelling offering to dive in to. Maybe I should just go for a cheap and cheerful vix option just to test the waters.
I gave up on the Toppy in favour of Panasonic, DMR-BWT850 latterly, when I realised that I had an HD TV that I was watching in SD. But so far as I can tell there have been no developments in the PVR market for several years, presumably a result of the take-up with streaming.
Faced with a number of impossible conflicts, three progs being broadcast at the same to record and only two channels available, several times in the run-up to Christmas last year I looked around for an alternative and went for the HDHomeRun with 'four' tuners running Plex on an existing Synology NAS.
I'm finding it a satisfactory solution but it does have weaknesses. It doesn't know if a programme starts late, for example, so I configured it to start everything 5 minutes early and to overrun by 15 minutes. You can't watch what is being recorded while it is being recorded or until it has finished processing the data, or if you can I haven't worked out how to do it. Plex is a hacker's delight. Dozens of options.
For a scenario with an existing network and storage, then it is a cheap solution. The 4-tuner version costs about £130.
YorkshireJumbo
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Post by YorkshireJumbo »

I must admit that I'm watching more and more on our YouView box. The latest software also has a list of programs you've watched on catch-up, so you can almost use that like a DVR and watch a series of programmes easily, catching up if you missed the first couple of episodes. The only downside is that you can't skip ads on catch-up :roll:
YJ - You may have speed, but I have momentum
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narrowgauge
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Post by narrowgauge »

YorkshireJumbo wrote:I must admit that I'm watching more and more on our YouView box. The latest software also has a list of programs you've watched on catch-up, so you can almost use that like a DVR and watch a series of programmes easily, catching up if you missed the first couple of episodes. The only downside is that you can't skip ads on catch-up :roll:
I should have said that the HDHomeRun device, not Plex, can be configured to ignore adverts but the results are variable.
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Post by gomezz »

YorkshireJumbo wrote:I must admit that I'm watching more and more on our YouView box. The latest software also has a list of programs you've watched on catch-up, so you can almost use that like a DVR and watch a series of programmes easily, catching up if you missed the first couple of episodes. The only downside is that you can't skip ads on catch-up :roll:
I was a bit chary about them spending time and effort on adding that feature when there were so many niggly and worse outstanding issues that needed fixing. But now I am really appreciating it especially for marking up stuff from the BBC Archive to get me through the extended home alone time.

My tactic for unskippable ads being too irritating is to mute the sound when they come on.
TF5800, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy+BmC0CbCfCtDEgEmEvEzIMPePsVdZ
TAPs: Power Down 0.75; QuickJump 1.72; MyStuff 6.6; TAP Commander 1.34; MyInfo B5.4; EPG2MEI v0.96;
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YorkshireJumbo
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Post by YorkshireJumbo »

I tend to catch up with emails on my phone (or play a quick game ) :oops:
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cuthbert
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Post by cuthbert »

An update on my Raspberry Pi/OSMC solution / Topfield successor.

It's all going very well. The new rig has been working alongside the Toppy for 5 months. The Toppy is now only powered on for watching existing recordings.

Regarding the GUI, I've written a procedure for making it generally prettier and more legible, and uploaded the resulting config files to Github. More details on this page, which was updated today:

http://unixetc.co.uk/2019/12/02/how-to- ... odi-fonts/

...though it's never going to be as handsome as MyStuff, imo.

For reference, these links are reposted:

Main procedure - http://unixetc.co.uk/2019/11/22/how-to- ... pberry-pi/

Installing Logos - http://unixetc.co.uk/2020/01/24/install ... osmc-kodi/

Skipping commercials - http://unixetc.co.uk/2020/03/16/how-to- ... pberry-pi/
TF5800, IA On, TS On, F/W: 5.13.65AbBfBqCeCkCwCyDeEcEfErEsFGmHHeKtMhNfOtPPcPfRRaRe
RhRpRsSSdSrStSyT2TdTfXpXw
TAPs: MyStuff 6.5; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyInfo B5.6;
Sig generated by MyInfo on 14/9/1
4

TF5800, OSMC/Pi, All in One 7145, Sansa Clip Zip/Rockbox, Sony Blu-ray, Leak Delta 70/Sandwich 600
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