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Automatic soft padding running on the TiVo (new version)

Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by maxwells_daemon, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. Feb 11, 2006 #1 of 394
    maxwells_daemon

    maxwells_daemon New Member

    84
    0
    Apr 9, 2005
    Oxford, UK
    sanderton suggested I start a new thread, since the [THREAD=136658]old one[/THREAD] had grown pretty big (1169 posts!). I attach a new version which includes a number of enhancements and minor bug fixes. EndPad is the brainchild and work of Stuart Anderton, and I'd like add my thanks to him for this great program.

    EndPad is a program which runs in the background on the TiVo and extends the recording time of shows (start and end) by the amount you specify if, and only if, that would not cause a clash with another recording. This means that you need no longer juggle Season Passes with extra recording time which cause other SPs to be missed.

    A particular bugbear in the UK is BBC 2, which frequently runs 2 minutes late, but also has a lot of shows you might wish to record running back-to-back. Keeping track of which of these shows was the last one, which needed padding, and which was an earlier one, which didn't, was a nightmare, especially as the shows on BBC 2 usually have different season durations, so it keeps changing! EndPad sorts BBC 2 (and ITV 1) out for you.

    Stuart took LJ's noreddot as his inspiration - rather than try to get everything done in advance, this program only actually adds the end padding to the programme being recorded 5 minutes before the end of the recording, and adds start padding just 1 minute before it is due.

    This "just in time" automated approach has many advantages:
    • The recordings remain part of their Season Pass with all other settings completely intact.
    • New recordings and new SPs do not trigger clashes with padding, because the padding is not there until almost the end of the recording.
    • Suggestions get padded too (something many have asked for).
    • It can run from rc.sysinit.author, so is completely automated with no user input needed.
    In fact, it's as close to TiVo implemented soft padding as I think you are going to get until we get v5 in the UK :) !

    Notes

    1. If the full amount of padding cannot be added, EndPad will add as much as it can. End padding on a show has priority over start padding on the next one. Padding you set manually (or in a Season Pass) has priority over both (although EndPad will try and increase the user-set padding to the soft level if it can).
    2. If you want to see what it is up to, you can view the logs through the Logs module of TiVoWeb. Detailed logs are in /var/log/endpad.log, with a summary of all actions in /var/log/endpad.msg.
    3. By default, when EndPad looks at the next recording it takes suggestions as being disposable and deletes them to accommodate end padding if needed. If two back-to-back suggestions are scheduled, EndPad pads the first one and deletes the second. You can use the -sugeq switch to turn off the deletion of suggestions.
    4. If you try and add a recording as it is actually starting and get the clash warning because of EndPad's padding of the previous show, manually stop the current recording before adding the new one. TiVo's built in conflict resolution can result in the whole prior programme being deleted in some circumstances.
    5. EndPad has the ability to alter the recording quality of any suggestions. This allows you to, say, record suggestions at Medium while leaving the default at Best, making setting up new recordings faster. Use the optional -sugqual switch with values of 0 (Basic), 40 (Medium), 75 (High) or 100 (Best).
    6. To get the best out of EndPad, your Season Passes should not set any hard padding themselves. That way TiVo will be able to operate with the lowest number of clashes. Sanderton's PC-based SoftPad utility has an option to remove all padding from existing SPs if you have a lot to go through.
    7. It will work on all TiVos on both sides of the pond, but will not be fully optimal on DirecTivos as it does not attempt to use the second tuner for extending shows. falconx has produced a version which works with dual tuners - unfortunately forum rules mean I can't link to it on the database of deals. The thread id is /forum/showthread.php?t=31854 .

    Installation and Example Usage

    Download the attached zip file (or get it from here, or as a tarball) and extract endpad.tcl. Copy that to the TiVo using binary-mode FTP. Then:
    Code:
    chmod 755 endpad.tcl
    It can be run with, eg.,
    Code:
    ./endpad.tcl -e 10
    In this case, EndPad will try to add 10 minutes padding to the end of all programmes, but only if this does not cause a clash with another scheduled recording.

    Stop with:
    Code:
    ./endpad.tcl -stop
    To start EndPad every time the TiVo starts up, add the following line to /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit.author:-
    Code:
    /var/hack/endpad.tcl -e 10 -auto >> /dev/null &
    See the readme for details of all the options: you can also add (positive or negative) start padding, and define channel, time, or programme-specific settings. You can also get a quick summary with
    Code:
    ./endpad.tcl -help
    EndPad is entirely free to use, but next time its saves you a verbal beating thanks to a caught ending that would otherwise be missed, please consider an appropriate donation to Cancer Research through this link:
    Please put "EndPad" in the comment.


    Please note that there are restrictions on distribution - read the readme.

    This post will always contain the most up to date version and instructions (with a summary of changes here).

    Tim.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Feb 14, 2006 #2 of 394
    tym

    tym New Member

    19
    0
    Sep 28, 2005
    Melbourne,...
    In the previous thread, it was asked...
    This is possible using the current endpad via negative padding. You can specify how much to extend a program by - thereby encroaching into the following recording. Using an enpad.config this can be defined for particular times, channels and/or programmes. It can also be defined globally via the command line.

    I realize that the "negative padding" terminology is a little misleading (the following program has negative start padding added to allow for endpad of the current program) - it could equally be called "forced padding".

    Tym
     
  3. Feb 20, 2006 #3 of 394
    swarrans

    swarrans New Member

    92
    0
    Jan 7, 2003
    Hope it's OK to post a new question here..
    The previous version of Endpad I had running stopped working last Thursday for "no apparent reason", so I thought I would take the opportunity of updating it to this new version, but I still have the problem:
    It seems that it will not let me "chmod 755" it (Windows XP command line says "Invalid Command") I was careful to make sure I did the transfer in binary and I'm assuming the problem goes back to what stopped the original working on Thursday - any ideas please?

    Simon
     
  4. Feb 20, 2006 #4 of 394
    ericd121

    ericd121 Crown Topper

    1,347
    0
    Dec 12, 2002
    Milton...
    From the ReadMe
    Code:
    negpad W    Start the following program late to allow W minutes endpad
    maxneg M    Maximum late starting for matching program is M minutes
    Could you explain the maxneg option?

    How is it different from negpad?
     
  5. Feb 20, 2006 #5 of 394
    zippy7272

    zippy7272 New Member

    64
    0
    Dec 29, 2004
    Wahoo! - missed this until now. Thank you, will try it later. Monday of course is a good test date. :D
     
  6. Feb 20, 2006 #6 of 394
    maxwells_daemon

    maxwells_daemon New Member

    84
    0
    Apr 9, 2005
    Oxford, UK
    Of course. That's what this thread is for.
    You run the "chmod 755" command on the TiVo, after transferring the endpad.tcl file there. chmod is a Unix/Linux command, not a standard Windows one.

    Tim.
     
  7. Feb 20, 2006 #7 of 394
    Fozzie

    Fozzie New Member

    837
    0
    Sep 3, 2001
    Alton,...
    This is my understanding:

    negpad - set for specific programme(s)/channels/times; causes any immediately following recording to be started late.

    maxneg - again, set for specific programme(s)/channels/times; the maximum late starting allowed for these programme(s).
     
  8. Feb 20, 2006 #8 of 394
    swarrans

    swarrans New Member

    92
    0
    Jan 7, 2003
    Thanks for your offer of help Tim. I think I may have misled you as to what I did - I transferred the file to Tivo via the Windows XP Command Prompt ftp window and then tried to change the file permissions via chmod within Tivo. However, your reply did actually make me realise what I'd forgotten to do which was to Telnet Tivo first and remount the drive as writeable - so thanks!

    All working fine again now (although I'm not sure why it stopped working in the first place).

    Simon
     
  9. Feb 20, 2006 #9 of 394
    zippy7272

    zippy7272 New Member

    64
    0
    Dec 29, 2004
    Didn't get chance to add this until after the 1st (and always the most problematic) Street.

    Thisis what I've added - hopefully correctly? (will see in half hour...)

    -s 2 -e 5
    -p "Coronation Street" -n 1 -s 2
     
  10. Feb 20, 2006 #10 of 394
    zippy7272

    zippy7272 New Member

    64
    0
    Dec 29, 2004
    Damn! - didn't work for me.

    I was hoping (god this sounds sooo sad! :D ) for corrie to record for 31 mins (after eastenders) then for 'Northern Lights' to record for 59mins (+5 mins)

    But corrie was usual 30 mins :(

    Any thoughts?
     
  11. Feb 21, 2006 #11 of 394
    ...coolstream

    ...coolstream New Member

    268
    0
    Dec 9, 2005
    SCOTLAND
    Is it possible that your Season Passes are set with padding also which would be messing about with the eventual recording lengths?
     
  12. Feb 21, 2006 #12 of 394
    zippy7272

    zippy7272 New Member

    64
    0
    Dec 29, 2004
    I checked and non of my season passes have padding.

    :(

    Thanks for the suggestion though!
     
  13. Feb 21, 2006 #13 of 394
    Fozzie

    Fozzie New Member

    837
    0
    Sep 3, 2001
    Alton,...
    It would be useful if you could list the programmes that you were trying to record (incl. channel, start & end times etc) and the contents of your endpad.log & endpad.msg

    Also, did you restart endpad after changing the config file? You may need to for the changes to take effect.
     
  14. Feb 21, 2006 #14 of 394
    zippy7272

    zippy7272 New Member

    64
    0
    Dec 29, 2004
    I'd set to record
    Eastenders 20:00 to 20:30 BBC1
    Coronation Street 20:30 to 21:00 ITV1
    Northern Lights 21:00 to 22:00 ITV1

    I stopped & restarted (a few times) endpad between 20:00 and 20:25(ish)

    I'll attach the log /msg in a short while...
     
  15. Feb 21, 2006 #15 of 394
    Fozzie

    Fozzie New Member

    837
    0
    Sep 3, 2001
    Alton,...
    A quick thought:

    I'm assuming you wanted Corrie to finish late and NL to start late? I notice that they are on the same channel and so I think this part of the readme is probably relevant:

    -f Q Q=0 or 1. If 1, force negative padding even if no channel change

    Unless you started endpad with this option set to 1, you would not have got any negative padding due to there being no channel change between the two recordings in question.
     
  16. Feb 21, 2006 #16 of 394
    zippy7272

    zippy7272 New Member

    64
    0
    Dec 29, 2004
    :eek:

    There was a big clue at the top of the log file. Something about version ......... 1.4.1

    I hadn't changed my hackman.cfg file to point at the new folder I've placed the 1.5 version in.

    so it was still runnin the old version!

    :Embarrassed: - Zippy7272 leaves stage exit left!

    will update on Wednesday...
     
  17. Feb 21, 2006 #17 of 394
    Fozzie

    Fozzie New Member

    837
    0
    Sep 3, 2001
    Alton,...
    I bet you're not the first to have done that and certainly won't be the last :) Fingers crossed for Wednesday.

    (BTW, did you have force negative padding set?)
     
  18. Feb 23, 2006 #18 of 394
    zippy7272

    zippy7272 New Member

    64
    0
    Dec 29, 2004
    Yes, I update the force option and.....IT WORKS. ok no shock for anyone else.

    I'll now create a few more enpad settings, rather than the loose 1 I created to test things.

    Thanks
     
  19. Feb 23, 2006 #19 of 394
    aleks

    aleks Triallist - Sep 2000

    51
    0
    Mar 22, 2001
    London, England
    Please forgive if this isn't the right topic, do point me at the right one. Could someone please explain how to add "/var/hack/endpad.tcl -e 10 -auto >> /dev/null &" to "/etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit.author".

    Do I need a unix text editor (and where do I find a TiVo friendly one) or should I FTP it to and from my PC (do I need to chmod anything?)

    Thanks
     
  20. Feb 23, 2006 #20 of 394
    Ian_m

    Ian_m Active Member

    1,518
    0
    Jan 9, 2001
    Southampton,...
    Or use Sandertons TiVoWeb startup editor, so don't need to actually edit anything on the read only partition.
     

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