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Automatic soft padding running on the TiVo

Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by sanderton, Oct 8, 2003.

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  1. Oct 9, 2003 #41 of 1197
    ccwf

    ccwf 国際化 Member

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    The code for setting $nextrec needs to be changed to a loop that searches for the next non-suggestion. Currently, it's always the next recording, even if the next recording is a suggestion.

    With my changes suggested above, this bug results in suggestions being able to prevent or limit soft padding.

    With the code as is, this bug can result in “soft” padding preventing the next non-suggestion from recording if a sufficiently large soft padding setting was specified.
     
  2. Oct 10, 2003 #42 of 1197
    sanderton

    sanderton TiVoer since 11/2000

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    Thanks Dibblah and ccwf, I will look at incorporating your improvements in the code tonight.

    ccwf, I'm happy with its existing behaviour with hard padding, ie if it's been set it stays as set (unless it's less than the softpadding amount). The logic being that if someone is using this utility then they will have removed all hard padding from their programmes, except in instances where they have a particular reason for setting an amount. In such circumstances I think the code should respect their judgment about how much padding they want.
     
  3. Oct 10, 2003 #43 of 1197
    Fozzie

    Fozzie New Member

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    Alton,...
    I'm with you on this one. Hard padding should not be removed before applying any soft padding,

    I think I prefer the first method - e.g. If hard padding of 3 mins has been set up in the SP and soft padding is configured to add 5 mins, I would expect a grand total of 5 min of padding to be added to the recording (which you could think of as the original 3 mins of hard padding and 2 mins of soft padding)

    I'm not sure what you mean by this. Please could you (or Sanderton) clarify. In the original softpad PC based app, I thought that the amount of soft padding applied to a recording could be reduced automatically, if the full amount would have caused a clash with the next scheduled recording. Isn't that what endpad.tcl does currently? Is that what you are proposing?

    Many thanks.

    Edit: I agree entirely with Sanderton's approach/methodology for dealing with hard vs. soft padding.
     
  4. Oct 10, 2003 #44 of 1197
    sanderton

    sanderton TiVoer since 11/2000

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    I was going to implement it that way in the first instance, but I need to do some more checking about the way TiVo actually does some of the start/stop calculations.

    It appears if you look at the top-level data that the stop and start times of adjacent recordings are "on the minute", but then you look more closely at some of the other timing parameters, and TiVo does give itself a few seconds to make the change. I didn't want to code for all available padding to be set if that then messed up the time TiVo needs to make the change, and I haven't yet has the chance to test the various options for how to handle that.
     
  5. Oct 10, 2003 #45 of 1197
    Fozzie

    Fozzie New Member

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    Alton,...
    Ok, thanks Sanderton. I understand.

    Actually, thinking about it a bit more, the chances of needing to reduce the amount of soft padding occuring are extremely low. I use 5 minutes of soft padding so it's pretty unlikely that the next scheduled recording is at an odd number of minutes i.e. 1,2,3, or 4 minutes later! Have you done any testing with end to start gaps equal to the amount of soft padding and confimed that both the padding is applied and the next recording does start ok? I can give it a thrash later.

    So, having said all that, I probably don't really need endpad to automatically reduce the amount of soft padding :)

    (I guess things do get interesting if/when start padding comes into play. Again, I can't really see myself using that one and so would hope that it's implementation is not detrimental to the way that end padding currently works. As at a lot of people have said before, I would much rather miss the start of a programme than the end.)
     
  6. Oct 10, 2003 #46 of 1197
    ccwf

    ccwf 国際化 Member

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    Definitely needs investigation. Worst case, it might be necessary to cut the soft-padding short a few seconds in the case where soft-padding all the way to the next recording.
     
  7. Oct 10, 2003 #47 of 1197
    sanderton

    sanderton TiVoer since 11/2000

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    Yes, I'm wrrestling with the logic of that one at the moment! The easiest thing to do is to add the start padding to the next programme at teh same time as you add the end padding to the current one. However that goes against the "just in time " philosphy which minimises the possibilities of soft padding causing a clash.

    I'm thinking at the moment that if the next programme starts within say 15 mins of the end of the current recording then it will get on and do it, othewise it will wait until just before the next one. I need to test how late I can leave it and TiVo will still respond!

    Soft end padding will take priority of over soft start padding, but hard start padding will override both.
     
  8. Oct 10, 2003 #48 of 1197
    ccwf

    ccwf 国際化 Member

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    Here in the U.S., a small number of widely watched programmes have guide data starting or ending on odd-minute boundaries (late night talk shows, NBC's most popular primetime shows), so odd minute recordings can definitely occur. I don't know how common such situations are in the UK.
    Agreed that missing the starts of programmes is less important than missing the ends, but enough programmes start a bit early that soft-padding the starts would be useful for many.
     
  9. Oct 10, 2003 #49 of 1197
    Fozzie

    Fozzie New Member

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    Alton,...
    Crikey, you guys have it tough - consistently late starting programmes, odd minute boundaries, early starting programmes..... etc etc. Poor TiVo. Do you ever get to watch a complete programme from start to finish? :(
     
  10. Oct 10, 2003 #50 of 1197
    sanderton

    sanderton TiVoer since 11/2000

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    In the UK we have odd numbered starts and finishes - they just give Tribune the round-numbered version!

    Of course when Tribune in the US started using the odd-numbered figures for some shows, it caused chaos as the extra couple of minutes caused a load of unexpected SP clashes. You can't win (unless brodacsters agrre to stick to nice round numbers).
     
  11. Oct 10, 2003 #51 of 1197
    iankb

    iankb New Member

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    And that would never work on non-commercial channels, since nobody would want to watch 2 or 3 minutes of BBC promotions or interludes (remember those?) after each episode of the Simpsons.

    Ian.
     
  12. Oct 10, 2003 #52 of 1197
    Fozzie

    Fozzie New Member

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    Alton,...
    I've been having a think about how to handle start padding so how's this for a starter for 10:

    e.g. Scheduled recording for 1030, start padding of 5 mins set up.

    1. Startpad checks at 1025 to see if TiVo is recording anything.
    2. If it isn't, start recording programme (5 mins early).
    3. If it is, don't do anything (and so scheduled recording starts at 1030).

    Sounds too simple and so therefore can't be!

    Keeping with the just-in-time philosphy is definitely worth sticking with.
     
  13. Oct 10, 2003 #53 of 1197
    sanderton

    sanderton TiVoer since 11/2000

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    Nothing is quite that simple :)

    Code-wise the main complication with that approach would be if you have start padding set to be over 5 mins - that would mean the code would have to wake up before it had run in the first place!
     
  14. Oct 10, 2003 #54 of 1197
    Fozzie

    Fozzie New Member

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    Alton,...
    Sorry, I didn't quite mean that. I meant to say that the app does the check at whatever the start padding time is set to. e.g if start padding is set for 7 minutes, then it checks 7 minutes before the start of each recording, if it's set to 3 minutes, then it checks 3 minutes before each recording etc.
     
  15. Oct 10, 2003 #55 of 1197
    sanderton

    sanderton TiVoer since 11/2000

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    Yes, but as it only looks up the start time of the next recording 5 mins before the end of the current recording, that time could already be in the past!

    Not exactly insuperable I'll grant you, but trying to think through all the possibilities is what slows the coding down!
     
  16. Oct 10, 2003 #56 of 1197
    Fozzie

    Fozzie New Member

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    Alton,...
    I guess I was thinking of startpad (hey, it's got a name already) as a completely seperate process, without any dependencies on endpad. Therefore 'all' it needs to do is makes a 'simple' decision at the user defined time (the start padding interval) before each recording, whether to start recording or not. This decision being based on whether it is currently recording or not - if it is currently recording, don't do anything; if it isn't currently recording, start the next scheduled recording.

    Anyway, it was just a thought. I bow to your greater experience with these things :)
     
  17. Oct 10, 2003 #57 of 1197
    sanderton

    sanderton TiVoer since 11/2000

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    I started down that road, but the run times of startpad and endpad would have to be co-ordinated, as once soft padding is added it cannot be told apart from padding added manually, so if the start pad got added first then it would take priority ove an overlapping start pad.
     
  18. Oct 10, 2003 #58 of 1197
    Fozzie

    Fozzie New Member

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    Alton,...
    hmmm, I can't see how start padding could be added before any end padding using my decison process. If a programme is currently being recorded when it checks to see if it can start the next one early, it won't do anything. It doesn't matter if the current programme is being recorded because of a 'real' end time, a hard padded end time or a soft padded end time. What matters is that it is being recorded and so shouldn't be stopped.

    If however, nothing it is being recorded when it checks, then it should be ok to start the next recording (early)?
     
  19. Oct 10, 2003 #59 of 1197
    sanderton

    sanderton TiVoer since 11/2000

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    Yes, but you're logic has the starpad programme checking 5 mins before if 5 mins can be added - and I think you have to give the TiVo a chance to react to the changed padding settings - i'm not sure if it's event driven or ssome kind of timed check.

    It's all fun and games!

    Anyway, I'm sure it can be made to work.
     
  20. Oct 10, 2003 #60 of 1197
    bobnick

    bobnick New Member

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    If there's two suggestions scheduled back to back, or a regular programme followed immediately by a suggestion, will the first show be soft padded?
     
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