Author Topic: Timer Padding & Joining schedules  (Read 15760 times)

Offline Gary

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Re: Timer Padding & Joining schedules
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2009, 12:23:03 AM »
Happy to further this dialog, Marc,  and I am not saying I know how this can be done but a few thoughts to expand on this.

1. I totally agree that the PVR should handling padding not IceTV.

2. While the PVR knows how many free tuners it has, I would have thought that IceTV would know that as well if it is the source of the timers, at least for PVRs and I guess the user could specify it for those devices that might be more adhoc.

3. As posted earlier, add some sort of weighting or prioritising system would also help with this as IceTV ccould decide which timers to schedule when there was a potential timer clash.

4. My main reason for combined timers isn't necessarily to free up a timer but to have a single timer that copes with the vagaries of TV scheduling so you don't get the end of a show recorded as part of the next show, etc.

5. I would be happy for combined timers to be the default automatic action (if the user chooses to use combined timers). After all, you generally have a few days where you could use IceTV Interactive and tell it not to record that episode of one of the shows so another program could be recorded and two single timers scheduled.

Hope that helps though I guess the other thing I should highlight as others have done is how TEDS works for the Topfield 5000 series in generating timers.

Offline prl

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Re: Timer Padding & Joining schedules
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2009, 10:19:43 AM »
...
2. While the PVR knows how many free tuners it has, I would have thought that IceTV would know that as well if it is the source of the timers, at least for PVRs and I guess the user could specify it for those devices that might be more adhoc.
...
I wouldn't like to have the write the code that tries to second-guess the Beyonwiz tuner allocation :)
Peter
Beyonwiz T4 in-use
Beyonwiz T2, T3 & T4 for testing

Offline prl

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Re: Timer Padding & Joining schedules
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2009, 10:24:38 AM »
I'm not avoiding the question, but this does feel like something that might be better handled by the PVR itself. Only the PVR will know how many free tuners it has, if padding can be applied in full and exactly where conflicts lie (I assume the purpose of combining timers is to free up a tuner so it can be used for other things).

Is this something that you (wimpy, gary) would like to see happen automatically all the time? Or only as a special case where you decide when to combine timers?

How well would IceTV cope with sending two recording timers, and the PVR combining them, and sending back a single timer that spanned the two (which may not necessarily be consecutive). The timers may not be consecutive because the PVR may combine not just consecutive timers on the same service, but also timers on the same service whose padding overlaps. A short program, like an ABC News Update could easily sit in the schedule between the timers that were joined on the "padding overlap" rule.

Offline Gary

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Re: Timer Padding & Joining schedules
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2009, 10:46:03 AM »
...
2. While the PVR knows how many free tuners it has, I would have thought that IceTV would know that as well if it is the source of the timers, at least for PVRs and I guess the user could specify it for those devices that might be more adhoc.
...
I wouldn't like to have the write the code that tries to second-guess the Beyonwiz tuner allocation :)
I guess I was just thinking in simple terms - 2 tuners = 2 overlapping timers max when prioritising what to schedule but I agree it could fail when it gets to the PVR.

Offline tonymy01

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Re: Timer Padding & Joining schedules
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2009, 11:01:29 AM »
PerlTGD for the Topfield 5K manages timers pretty well.   I can't see how you can possibly manage priorites from the PVR unless you maintain a list of "must haves" vs "throw away if you can't create" on the PVR too which is very silly really.    PerlTGD has a 1 to 10 priority system.   If 2 overlapping timers are created by it, no problems, but if a third overlapping show happens, then it will use the 1 to 10 priority scheme to determine which timer to ditch.   As the Topfield doesn't have soft padding, all padding is added by the PerlTGD application.   But adding padding like this can create the potential for more conflicts (e.g. a show on Ten from 7.27 to 8.40 with 3mins pre, 10mins post padding, and then a show on Ten from 8.27 to 9.40).   A PVR should let you do this, but the Topfield 5K and the Beyonwiz certainly don't.   So PerlTGD will combine timers together if the channel is the same to at least avoid the "overlapping on same channel after padding is added" potential conflict.    The Beyonwiz with soft padding (and padding priority set to none) deals with adjacent timers just fine as far as I am concerned (ok, it can end up with a bit of the end of one show on the beginning of the next, but this is ok for me as slicing a recording up to keep the bit you haven't seen is dead easy on the Beyonwiz).   PerlTGD is very flexible, it has options like "if the adjacent shows are within X minutes, combine them" as kind of discussed a post or two ago.
So for ICETV, I am not sure hard padding is the way to go (yet), but certainly a priority system and a preference option for how many tuners your PVR has is the way to go (esp when the ratings season starts again), just so you can end up with your fave shows recorded vs your "nice to have, but ditch it if X and Y are higher priority".
Regards
Regards
Tony

Beyonwiz DP-S1 & Topfield 5K (using PerlTGD to upload ICE EPG/timers for the 5K, normal ICE interactive for the Wiz).

Offline grahford

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Re: Timer Padding & Joining schedules
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2009, 03:48:46 PM »
I'm not avoiding the question, but this does feel like something that might be better handled by the PVR itself. Only the PVR will know how many free tuners it has, if padding can be applied in full and exactly where conflicts lie (I assume the purpose of combining timers is to free up a tuner so it can be used for other things).

Is this something that you (wimpy, gary) would like to see happen automatically all the time? Or only as a special case where you decide when to combine timers?

I don't trust my pvr manufacturer to supply a fully working firmware, let alone add new features ;)

*edit: I should point out these shows are on the same channel*
This is the scenario that has popped up for me.  I have two shows that are on one after the other.  At the moment the timer will record one show, stop, then start recording the second show.  However what has happened is the first show has run over by a couple of minutes.

Not a huge problem because that missing minute will be in the next show.  The problem is that I don't watch my recorded shows in the order they are taped.  So when my show abruptly ends I have to open up the recorded list and look for the same date and channel to work out which other file will have the ending.  I also have to hope that I, or my wife, haven't deleted it.

Once I had the ending of a mystery ruined because I watched the second show first and briefly saw the butler being led away in handcuffs.

What I would love is if ICE could recognise when two recordings are next to each other and offer me the ability to join/merge them into one scheduled recording with a name like "Miss Marple + Thick of it" for example.  This is what I do when I manually program the pvr anyway so I'm used to having to jump around a file to find shows.  I would prefer to go through that hassle then the current situation.

I can't see how having to work out how many tuners are free is an issue ICE, or the PVR, has to deal with in this scenario?
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 12:07:28 PM by grahford »

Offline blacklung

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Re: Timer Padding & Joining schedules
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2009, 12:23:46 PM »
Joining would be a great feature to have.

I would not have thought it's that hard to combine consecutive timers on the same channel.
Interactive would see two recordings, one after the other on the same channel, and automatically combine then, then send the new, single timer that spans both shows to the PVR.
In this situation it should not matter how many tuners the pvr has. It will treat the spanning timer exactly the same as it does normal timers and allocates a tuner as per usual. For all intents and purposes, the pvr thinks it is just a normal timer.
The pvr would still handle padding as it normally does.

Two consecutive timers on separate channels would not be possible unless all pvrs and icetv played nicely and they could all assign/cancel padding and it would be a big mess. This would not even be required, because dual tuner pvrs will record the first show, pad it and start the second show while padding the first.
And i think even if padding could be cancelled for the first show, a separate recording would still be created for the second show when a tuner changes channel (i'd guess that really depends on the brand of pvr).

The purpose for combining timers is not to free up tuners, the benefit would be to prevent the first show stopping abruptly a few minutes from the end, and having the last few minutes in another recording.

Offline csutak40

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Re: Timer Padding & Joining schedules
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2009, 02:26:52 PM »
I'm not avoiding the question, but this does feel like something that might be better handled by the PVR itself. Only the PVR will know how many free tuners it has, if padding can be applied in full and exactly where conflicts lie (I assume the purpose of combining timers is to free up a tuner so it can be used for other things).

Is this something that you (wimpy, gary) would like to see happen automatically all the time? Or only as a special case where you decide when to combine timers?

I can see how this would be a problem when two shows are on eg House+NCIS, but surely, if it is a double episode of the same show (Law & Order, for instance) and both first runs or both repeats, it wouldn't be that difficult to code them as one show?  That wouldn't solve all the problems, but would solve some.  Anyone who would choose to record one, would want to record both, wouldn't they?
Cheers,
Judy
Windows 7 Media Center; Last Update Feb 20 2006; Beyonwiz T4, T2

Offline UncleBuck

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Re: Timer Padding & Joining schedules
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2009, 09:37:58 PM »
Has all of this come to a stand still?

My opinion....
You schedule shows using ICEtv, so therefore ICEtv should be smart enough to combine the timers if they are on the same channel and consecutive times.
Each user should have the option to do this by having it set in a preferences area of our accounts.
If you set the option to combine timers = Yes, and the timers are for consecutive shows on the same channel, then ICEtv should merge the both timers (and show names) in to one and send it to the PVR.
If you set the option to combine timers = No, then ICEtv should treat every show as unique and set a timer for each no matter what channels and times.

It should be kept as simple as possible by having the option On or Off in all instances. This would keep ICEtv coding to a minimum as there is no second guessing what the user wants.... the preference to merge or not to merge shows.

Just my two cents on the subject.

Offline sw

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Re: Timer Padding & Joining schedules
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2009, 11:42:53 PM »
The purpose for combining timers is not to free up tuners, the benefit would be to prevent the first show stopping abruptly a few minutes from the end, and having the last few minutes in another recording.

Totally agree, but there's an even more valid reason.

I've got a BW DP-P1 with the following padding options set...

  • pre-padding set to 5 minutes
  • post-padding set to 30 minutes
  • padding priority set to None

On Tuesdays I have the following timers set...

  • Packed to the Rafters (Prime - 8.30 to 9.30)
  • All Saints (Prime - 9.30 to 10.30)
  • Survivor (GO - 8.30 to 9.30)

If ICE is left to do the scheduling automatically, I can tell you exactly what will happen tomorrow night (from past experience).

Survivor and All Saints will end up on Tuner 1, with Packed to the Rafters being allocated to Tuner 2. At 9.30, Survivor will be terminated prematurely so that Tuner 1 can begin to record All Saints.

What should happen is that the two Prime shows should be on the same tuner AND with the option of having them as a combined recording that can be split later on (to prevent the end of the first show being orphaned).

I've raised this on the BW forum as something that should be addressed by the BW (i.e. two consecutive shows should be assigned to the same tuner, regardless of whether they have been set manually or via ICE). This would allow for post-padding of Survivor while also post-padding the end of All Saints.

The option to combine adjacent shows on the same channel through ICE would resolve the padding issue as well.

For my money, I think ICE and BW both need to address the issue.

Regards, Steve

Offline tonymy01

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Re: Timer Padding & Joining schedules
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2009, 12:25:08 AM »
For my money, I think ICE and BW both need to address the issue.
Yep, I have been using timer combining for what seems like forever on the Topfield 5K with PerlTGD (and previously TED/S).   It is a very handy feature to have, as the Topfield 5K has similar issues when it comes to determining which tuners to use for each timer (although it doesn't pre-allocate, it uses them up as the timers show up, so I wouldn't expect it to be too silly about things most times).

Offline grahford

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Re: Timer Padding & Joining schedules
« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2009, 04:00:35 PM »
Has all of this come to a stand still?

Yes.  Frustrating isn't it :)

Offline csutak40

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Re: Timer Padding & Joining schedules
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2009, 04:53:25 PM »
...What I *would* like to see is an addition to the IceTV Interactive API where a PVR could mark a recording as "not going to happen" because the PVR knows it can't fulfill the combination of concurrent timers (or because the hard disk is full, or ...).  At least the user will know there's a problem when they next log into IceTV Interactive.

It does, at least for timer conflicts. You get a against the timer. I'm not sure that many PVRs are capable of telling IceTV that a recording will overfill the disk.


Not always.  I have two timers set for tonight (on MCE) for the two Law & Order shows.  At least one of them should be marked with , as both have padding set,  but both showed as set to record.  I have no idea what would have ended up recording, I just changed the first one - adding a 90 minute "padding" and cancelled the second one

Offline prl

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Re: Timer Padding & Joining schedules
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2009, 05:17:00 PM »
...What I *would* like to see is an addition to the IceTV Interactive API where a PVR could mark a recording as "not going to happen" because the PVR knows it can't fulfill the combination of concurrent timers (or because the hard disk is full, or ...).  At least the user will know there's a problem when they next log into IceTV Interactive.

It does, at least for timer conflicts. You get a against the timer. I'm not sure that many PVRs are capable of telling IceTV that a recording will overfill the disk.


Not always.  I have two timers set for tonight (on MCE) for the two Law & Order shows.  At least one of them should be marked with , as both have padding set,  but both showed as set to record.  I have no idea what would have ended up recording, I just changed the first one - adding a 90 minute "padding" and cancelled the second one

Beyonwiz PVRs don't (and hence IceTV doesn't) report an error when consecutive programs on the same service cause the first program's post-padding and the second program's pre-padding to be dropped. Perhaps it's the same for MCE. If the recorder doesn't report an error, then IceTV doesn't report an error. On the Beyonwiz, what happens depends on the padding priority, but with priority None, the first recording stops at the scheduled end of the program, and the second recording starts at the scheduled start of its programming. The first recording gets pre-padding, and the second recording gets post padding and the end of the second program usually ends up at the beginning of the second recording. I believe that this is also what will happen on Topfields. None of the padding settings on the Beyonwiz will create an error for this scenario.

Offline jillmess

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Re: Timer Padding & Joining schedules
« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2009, 07:07:01 AM »
Not always.  I have two timers set for tonight (on MCE) for the two Law & Order shows.  At least one of them should be marked with
Are you sure?  My tv card (single tuner) allows me to record consecutive shows, with full padding on all, and saves them as individual recordings ie. last night I recorded Spicks & Specks, The Librarians, and United States of Tara - on my hard drive I have 3 recordings, all with full pre and post padding.  Even though it is a single tuner, it also allows recording of concurrent/overlapping shows as long as they are on the same mux - I regularly record ABC1 & ABC2 concurrent/consecutive shows.

I don't have MCE so don't use Interactive to set my PC timers (I use DVScheduler) but I can't see that this should make any difference.

Jill


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