zen.org Communal Weblog

October 20, 2004

The shows are listing!

Filed under: — brendan @ 21:39 GMT

After some crazy effort, I can now visit the URL

	http://p/program_listing.php

and it correctly lists the shows on tonight on both RTE1 and TV3, the two channels I’ve added. It turns out all attempts to use ‘tv_grab_uk_rt’ as included in the KnoppMyth R4V4 that I installed are going to fail. I came upon notes both on the MythTV Users list and the XMLTV site. It turns out radiotimes.com, the site used by the perl script to get airing information, started to block the User-Agent that the script was using to identifying itself. But they were really cool—instead, the’ve put the information for the next two weeks available in raw XML format.

So I had to download the newer XML 0.5.35 from the XMLTV SourceForge page. I built it by doing

	  tar jxf xmltv-0.5.35.tar.bz2
	  make Makefile.PL
	  make
	  make test          (this does tons of them)
	  make install

Following the examples on those mailing list sites, I ran

	tv_grab_uk_rt --configure

and then invoked

	tv_grab_uk_rt

That seemed to be getting useful information finally, so I invoked my old friend

	mythfilldatabase

but it gave me errors of the form

	Updating icons for sourceid: 1
	Unknown xmltv channel identifier: rte-1.rte.ie
	Skipping channel.
	Unknown xmltv channel identifier: tv3.ie
	Skipping channel.

How odd. Some more reading, and I discovered my mistake—if you look at the channels.dat file that radiotimes.com gives the script, you can see that they’ve changed the format from what it used to offer. Instead of just “231:RTE-1” it now says

	rte-1.rte.ie:231:RTE-1

In the mythtv-setup Channel Editor, I’d thought I was so clever figuring out that I had to put 231 in the ‘XMLTV ID’ field for RTE1. Those identifier errors above helped me realize that it was searching based on the first field in that file, so now the ‘XMLTV ID’ should be the server name, like rte-1.rte.ie for RTE1. Fine, I fixed both RTE1 and TV3.

Some more swimming with Google and I found a discussion talking about exactly this problem. I went into the Channel Editor, and for both RTE1 and TV3 I changed the “Channel Number” and “Frequency ID” entries to be A11 for RTE1 and A9 for TV3 (based on what was in the pal-ireland file I mentioned earlier). The fundamental change being made with this was that my channel number of “1” for RTE1 and “3” for TV3 seem really wrong after reading all of these sites, including this most recent discussion page.

Having the frequency entry in both fields may be correct, but there’s no obvious change yet. I just tried looking at either channel, and they’re both snowy and hard to see. Though I’ll admit the RTE1 channel has more color and movement on it compared to the grey/white mess that was there before. TV3 looks the same as it did.

Wonder what I’m missing? That’s all right—the fact that it’s getting the show information is a big positive step for only a little amount of effort today.

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MythWeather

Filed under: — brendan @ 21:39 GMT

I looked at some of the other stuff the MythWeb interface gives you when you point your browser at the tv-box. Included is MythWeather, which sounds really handy. At the moment, it shows current and upcoming East Irvine CA, including a weather.com radar shot. Wonder if it’s easily changeable? All I’ve found so far is the entry in the /usr/share/mythtv/KnoppMyth.sql file, which has the line

	  INSERT INTO settings VALUES ('locale','USCA0326','MythTVhost');

The “USCA0326” number appears to come out of an entry in /usr/share/mythtv/mythweather/accid.dat. But it’s unclear if it’s possible to change this value in any way other than manually with mysql. Maybe if I upgrade the MythTV software on my system to the 0.16 version released on September 20th, it’ll be as integrated as the release notes suggest and this sort of change would be easy? Another day…

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Dump of the Day

Filed under: — elana @ 21:27 GMT

Argh! I wrote an entry, and it ATE it!! I should know better than to change to another category when I’m in the middle of something, but still. Shoot.

I was talking about the kick butt food scientist Shirley Corriher. Just found out that her agents are the same agents my parents have!! Whoo hoo!! And she has a new book coming out sometime called Bakewise, to add to Cookwise.

Crap. I just remembered I have cinnamon roll dough in the bread machine!! ACK!

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Junk calls everywhere.

Filed under: — brendan @ 15:27 GMT

The phone rings, and E out in the hallway asks if I could please get the call since she’s on her mobile phone at the moment.

“Hello?” No response. “Hello? Hello?” Nothing. click A man’s voice, slightly distant, greets me.

“Hello! I’m with Eircom and we’re just calling to confirm that our customers are satisfied with the current level of service with their broadband connection.” Hmm. When did Eircom start to care? “Have you run into any issues with your level of satisfaction with your broadband connection?”

I look up at E who’s entering the office. Bemused, I hold the phone away from me and ask, “Honey, can you think of any problems we’ve had with our broadband—”

click The caller is gone. And, shock of shocks, they don’t call back.

Is it legal in Ireland to cold-call random people with the sole purpose of finding out who’s not yet got DSL from a specific company? Granted, most of the telecom companies in Ireland are all desperate to overtake the monopoly-sans-punishment that is the predominant provider in the country, but this seems a bit desperate.

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Stimson

Filed under: — brendan @ 11:26 GMT

Our friend Dolores introduced us to an inexpensive Merlot from Stimson Estate Cellars. It’s 10 Euro when it’s not on sale (approx $12.30) and is drinkable from the moment you open it. Delicious, but I won’t try fake you out claiming I found hints of black current and a certain kind of oak or other wine expert tips; I’ll just encourage you to try it since we are really enjoying it. On the bottle (and at their site) is a fun parallel drawn between their region of northern Washington State in the US and the Loire/Burgundy/Bordeaux regions of France. They claim 300 days of sun in Washington, which is odd if you believe what Meg Ryan told us about it raining 9 months of the year in Seattle (a bit north of this wine’s vineyards).

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Tune in for more

Filed under: — brendan @ 11:12 GMT

Last night I spent some time wrestling with trying to tune in a channel but no luck. MythTV has a ‘FrequencyID’ part of the channel page under mythtv-setup, but I’ve not yet verified what it’s supposed to be. I tried putting in the frequency for RTE1 that is shown on the NTL Frequency List. That didn’t quite do it. With a little digging, I then discovered /usr/share/xawtv/ and next tried “ptune.pl -f pal-ireland A6“. Almost! It showed a snowy picture of what I later found to be TV3 with a football match (soccer). But it was really hard to see, and more interestingly it was moving in bursts. Like the system couldn’t keep up with it and was dropping frames. Hmm.

Running MythTV by hand as the mythtv user, I saw:

2004-10-19 19:15:07 Running as SUID root would allow some threads to run with realtime priority, improving video smoothness.
***
* Your system is not capable of displaying the
* full framerate at 720x576 resolution.  Frames
* will be skipped in order to keep the audio and
* video in sync.

That’s what makes me suspect both about what’s in /etc/mythtv/modules/ivtv but also if I’m missing a bit in /etc/X11/XF86Config-4

I’m digging around for the efforts of others, including a helpful HowTo about using KnoppMyth with a PAL signal. With some instructions on installing with the Hauppauge PVR-350, I found that by running tveeprom I’m able to get this in /var/log/messages (or dmesg):

Oct 19 20:00:39 p kernel: tvee: Hauppauge: model=48135, rev=J324, serial#=2760998
Oct 19 20:00:39 p kernel: tvee: tuner=Philips FM1246 (idx=24, type=1)
Oct 19 20:00:39 p kernel: tvee: tuner fmt=PAL(I) (eeprom=0x10, v4l2=0x00000010)
Oct 19 20:00:39 p kernel: tvee: audio_processor=CS5331 (type=9)

Ok, that tells me the tuner type.

I also discovered the /etc/init.d/set_ivtv_params script. It will set the various parts of the video device for me if I put the correct values into /etc/sysconfig/ivtv/cfg-0. So that now has the right values of

	IVTV_TUNER='1'
	IVTV_TYPE='PAL'

That choice is backed up by the header /usr/local/lib/ivtv/driver/tuner.h which lists the different tuners, with my choice being

        #define TUNER_PHILIPS_PAL_I 1

That matches the PAL_I sticker on the replacement PVR-350 card that I got the other day. A step closer?

Well, I think so; with some grepping, I discovered /usr/local/lib/ivtv/utils/videodev2.h, which would seem to suggest I honor the value of V4L2_TUNER_ANALOG_TV which is 2. Hmm. Well, for the moment in /etc/mythtv/modules/ivtv I’ll try out

	options tuner type=2 pal=1

but that seems to contradict the suspected value for IVTV_TUNER. Gahh. Time to read more sources I think. There’s lots of good stuff under /usr/local/lib/ivtv.

I’ve put copies of each of these files online so others can see them, and I’ll be keeping them in sync with what’s really being used:

(Any suggestions on how to better offer these are welcome.)

Now /etc/mythtv/modules/ivtv contains

	alias char-major-81 videodev
	alias char-major-61 lirc_i2c
	alias char-major-81-0 ivtv
	alias char-major-81-1 bttv
	alias /dev/v4l ivtv
	options ivtv debug=1 ivtv_pal=1
	options tuner type=2 pal=1
	options saa7127 enable_output=1 output_select=1 pal=1
	options msp3400 once=1 simple=1
	add below ivtv msp3400 saa7115 saa7127 tuner
	add above ivtv lirc_dev lirc_i2c ivtv-fb

Anything look really wrong?

I think when I’m all done and have this actually working, I’m going to create my own HowTo combining the efforts of the others, but also including links to example files for everything. And then pitch to have those included in some future release of mythtv. If everybody wants lots of people to be able to use and enjoy this cool stuff, there are still a few things past the great KnoppMyth packaging that have to happen. At least, for anybody who’s not in the US. Wouldn’t it be cool if KnoopMyth let you choose (or even click on) where you live, and have it auto-configure most of the stuff that really doesn’t need to be done manually? And no command-line mythfilldatabase invocation?

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