Author Topic: Feature Request - Customised Repeat Flag  (Read 6203 times)

Offline DeltaMikeCharlie

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Feature Request - Customised Repeat Flag
« on: September 28, 2012, 07:25:01 AM »
I have a PVR that either does not receive or does not display the repeat status of EPG events obtained via ICE TV.  I realise that technically this is an issue for the manufacturer and should be resolved with a firmware upgrade, but I have an alternate solution that may also benefit other users.

In the same way that each individual user can customise their EPG feed by selecting the timezone, region, LCN map, etc, would it be possible to add a new "repeat status display" configuration option?

There are three free-text fields provided with each EPG event, namely: "Title", "Sub-Title" and "Description" (according to the XML schema).  Would it be possible to customise one or more of these fields to show the repeat status?

As various PVRs and HTPCs would have various layouts and formats of displaying these three fields, any method of adding a repeat flag should be flexible enough to suit any permutation of EPG display layout.

I would like to propose that ICE TV provide each user, on a user-by-user basis, the option to add a customisable field, to either the beginning or end of any of these three fields.

The customised field could contain "Repeat" or "(R)" or "Rpt", this would be left to the user's discretion for what suits their situation best depending upon available screen real-estate.  (To reduce liability, ICE TV may consider a profanity filter.)

Likewise, the location of the field could be changed depending upon the layout of the EPG presented by their system.  For example, some people may choose to add the string "(R)" to the end of the "Title" so that it is easily and quickly visible, whereas others may choose to add "Repeat - " to the beginning of the "Sub-Title" field.

The modified field(s) would be sent to the PVR and as they are free-text fields, the PCR would simply process them as such.

Although the primary goal is to add the repeat status, this scheme could be expanded to add the production date of the event, the actors or director, etc.  One would have to be mindful of how much space is available in the three free-text fields mentioned and perhaps such "extended information" could only be added to the end of the full description as a precaution.

Offline markb

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Re: Feature Request - Customised Repeat Flag
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2012, 09:08:31 AM »
Good luck Mike.

I've been running my own nightly scheduled program for the last 7 years which pulls the ICE xmltv feed and pushes the data to my toppy 5000. It augments the standard program description with the director, actors, rating, repeat, aspect, etc tagged fields. It constrains the total field width of course and is very simple to do. I asked if ICE could do a similar thing for their interactive site feed to the newer Topfields but got no response. Should take a capable ICE developer little time to develop/test and, best of all, require no collaboration from Topfield.

Offline DeltaMikeCharlie

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Re: Feature Request - Customised Repeat Flag
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2012, 10:06:50 AM »
Hi markb,

I agree, a few extra columns in the subscriber configuration table and an extra few lines in the SQL query that produces the EPG data and we're in business.  Wrap that in a bit of PHP and the make the UI pretty and it's ready for release.

ICE TV could earn some significant brownie points for adding a feature sourly missing from the Topfield (and perhaps other brands) models.

Regards,
DMC.

Offline markb

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Re: Feature Request - Customised Repeat Flag
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2012, 10:26:46 AM »
I agree, a few extra columns in the subscriber configuration table and an extra few lines in the SQL query that produces the EPG data and we're in business.  Wrap that in a bit of PHP and the make the UI pretty and it's ready for release.

I am just suggesting that ICE augment the description field in the data they return to the Topfield PVR when it polls for the EPG. It's just a small addition to whatever ICE code that generates that description. ICE already have the data because we can see it in the xmltv feed. There is no UI change required anywhere.

Offline DeltaMikeCharlie

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Re: Feature Request - Customised Repeat Flag
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2012, 08:25:39 AM »
ICE TV don't seem interested in addressing this issue because they say that Topfield is the only one of the "big 3" that does not show a repeat flag.  I also approached Topfield about the issue with no response.

As I only use ICE for the EPG, I will just let my subscription expire and revert to the free-to-air EPG.

lukem

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Re: Feature Request - Customised Repeat Flag
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2012, 12:30:18 PM »
I have a PVR that either does not receive or does not display the repeat status of EPG events obtained via ICE TV.  I realise that technically this is an issue for the manufacturer and should be resolved with a firmware upgrade, but I have an alternate solution that may also benefit other users.

In the same way that each individual user can customise their EPG feed by selecting the timezone, region, LCN map, etc, would it be possible to add a new "repeat status display" configuration option?

There are three free-text fields provided with each EPG event, namely: "Title", "Sub-Title" and "Description" (according to the XML schema).  Would it be possible to customise one or more of these fields to show the repeat status?

As various PVRs and HTPCs would have various layouts and formats of displaying these three fields, any method of adding a repeat flag should be flexible enough to suit any permutation of EPG display layout.

I would like to propose that ICE TV provide each user, on a user-by-user basis, the option to add a customisable field, to either the beginning or end of any of these three fields.

...

I'm voting for it.

Thanks for the great suggestion!



Offline DeltaMikeCharlie

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Re: Feature Request - Customised Repeat Flag
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2012, 10:05:11 AM »
Thanks for the vote Luke.

Unfortunately, in an e-mail exchange with DaveR from ICE, he said that the issue had been raised before and dismissed.  Even though he said he would mention it again, I assumed that the matter was closed.

lukem

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Re: Feature Request - Customised Repeat Flag
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2012, 01:07:26 PM »
That's ok, I've opened it again :)

The reason being that firmware changes can take months and involve a lot of red tape so it's difficult to deliver enhanced functionality when requested.

I'll brief the guys today and schedule it into the project plan for November.

Cheers
Luke

Offline DeltaMikeCharlie

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Re: Feature Request - Customised Repeat Flag
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2012, 01:46:49 PM »
Wow, thanks Luke!

Whilst I personally am only really interested in the repeat flag, I can imagine that other users may wish to add other data that the ICE TV feed provides such as actors, director, producer, production date, actual parental rating (Topfield aggregate P & C & G into G), full programme categories (Topfield selects an EIT standard code), etc, etc.

I also think that it may be useful to be able to optionally frame this additional information in some way to differentiate it from the native field.  Let's say we have a programme called "The Big Bang Theory", you might want to add the repeat flag to the end of the title and call it "The Big Bang Theory [R]" for example.  You could leave the title unchanged and alter the sub-title (not to be confused with subtitle) "Leonard broods over Penny [Rpt]", or even the full description "Leonard is caught brooding over Penny yet again.  Oh! My, will he ever learn? [Repeat]"

Framing the additional information is square brackets (for example) would clearly indicate that the data is additional to the "native" field.  It would also allow for some PVRs with some form of smart recording features to avoid programmes with [R] in the title or target [P] rated shows, for example.  It should be optional so users an tailor for their system/requirements as omitting faming may make it seem more natural.

Framing characters could be (), [], {}, <>.  () are already used a lot in the EPG text and <> have special meaning in XML (yes, &GT; and &LT; can work around the later).  The ability to add a CR/LF before/after the additional information may also help the user with formatting.

Another (more space consuming) option to faming may be some form of literal text such as "Repeat: Yes", "Year: 1951", "B&W: Yes" or "Repeat, 1951, B&W".

I may have got a bit carried away, but I can see some potential in this beyond just the repeat flag.  To be honest, I'd be happy just with the repeat flag.  Thanks in advance.

Best Regards.
 ;D

Offline DeltaMikeCharlie

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Re: Feature Request - Customised Repeat Flag
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2012, 06:16:55 AM »
More thoughts.

Consideration may need to be given to users with multiple devices so that the EPG content of each device can be augmented, or not.

Also, for the non-pimped XML feed, do you add a flag to the iceguide.cgi URL to enable the fetching client to request an un-augmented feed?  Do you then allow the user to override such a request and force an augmented feed to an XML client?

Offline Mike

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Re: Feature Request - Customised Repeat Flag
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2012, 10:15:24 AM »
Consideration may need to be given to users with multiple devices so that the EPG content of each device can be augmented, or not.

Luke and I were discussing exactly this last night. It will be a device specific setting.

Cheers

Offline Mike

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Re: Feature Request - Customised Repeat Flag
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2012, 01:23:35 PM »
If you go to My Account > TV Recorders there is now a Settings link next to each device that allows you to add a custom repeat flag to the title, sub-title, or desc in your EPG feed tor that device.

Offline DeltaMikeCharlie

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Re: Feature Request - Customised Repeat Flag
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2012, 04:35:29 PM »
Thanks Mike (and any others who helped in ICE land),

I added [Repeat] to then end of my Sub-title and it works fine.

Before I checked on the PVR, I told it to re-fetch all of its ICE EPG.  I did this because it caches the EPG locally and normally only downloads changes.

Thanks for adding this feature, and also thanks for the fast turn around.

Offline gdobbins

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Re: Feature Request - Customised Repeat Flag
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2012, 01:05:17 PM »
Hi
I've just recently purchased a Humax 7500T after 5 years with a Tivo. I set the Repeat Flag for the Title of the program, however it doesn't seem to work. The EPG has updated since I changed the setting and still nothing.
Is there anything else I should do?

Thanks

George

Offline Dave at IceTV

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Re: Feature Request - Customised Repeat Flag
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2012, 02:55:15 PM »
I've just recently purchased a Humax 7500T after 5 years with a Tivo. I set the Repeat Flag for the Title of the program, however it doesn't seem to work. The EPG has updated since I changed the setting and still nothing.
Is there anything else I should do?
Hi George,

The obvious question would be did you click on 'Save Changes' after setting up the repeat flags?

The Humax will do a few incremental updates before it does a full refresh/update so it may take a while before you see any change.

Or you can force it to do a full update by either:

Turning the Humax off at the rear power switch for 20 seconds.

Or reconfirm your account details on the Humax:
    - Go to "Menu > Settings > Preferences > EPG Type > IceTV > Existing"
    - Press OK on the onscreen Confirm button on the Member ID / Password menu
    - Press OK on the onscreen Confirm button on the Device menu
    - Wait 2 minutes before checking the guide
cheers

Dave
Customer Service


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