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pyTivo - Transcoding server

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by armooo, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. gonzotek

    gonzotek tivo_xml developer

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    Outside...
    Just 767 words, according to a cut and paste JS word count page. While I don't personally agree with the color choice, lrhorer has been polite and as he pointed out, has tried suggestions and provided examples as requested. wmcbrine has already done some work to make it easier for lrhorer (and others) to accomplish what they want and has indicated that theming is something he still has intentions to complete:
    It's extremely rare that any program has exactly the features and design that is perfect for everyone. I think wmcbrine does a good job of evaluating requests and accommodating them if they make sense to the overall pyTivo picture. I don't think it's appropriate to ask lrhorer to 'take it off-line'. If his posts are that unhelpful to you, use the ignore feature; but personally I'm following this particular discussion in this thread closely and am interested in his continued commenting. While I pretty much agree with wmcbrine that TiVoWebPlus has a cramped and visually unappealing page layout, I think the goal of giving pyTivo the ability to look good (and operate well) at various resolutions and in various contexts (cell phone, small and large browser windows, tv, etc.) is a highly desirable one.
     
  2. PaulS

    PaulS Member

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    Mostly agreed. William has done a phenomenal job with pyTivo, and he has my sincere thanks. There isn't a day that I don't use pyTivo. While I would fully endorse a move to beautify or extend pyTivo, I would hate for it to end up looking like TiVoWebPlus (IHMO a cramped mess).

    My request to take the discussion off-line was directed at lrhorer simply because the thread has devolved into a back-n-forth between lrhorer & wmcbrine, and ceased to be a community discussion. If this were a feature request that seemingly had more support, I wouldn't mind. However, lrhorer's long-winded posts and continuous posting have simply dominated this thread, to the point of nearly excluding everyone else.

    There's a dedicated pyTivo forum for just this reason. This topic could easily be continued there, or via PM, or via mail.
     
  3. gonzotek

    gonzotek tivo_xml developer

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    Agreed it's probably best broken off as a separate discussion, preferably (for me) in the pyTivo forum so that others can participate as desired.
     
  4. orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

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    Post #2,790:
    At this point in the thread, I would think that any discussion about pyTivo is fair game, be it feature request, bug report, jeers or accolades. A couple/few posts discussing (customizable?) cosmetic changes is a very small percentage, and is hardly dominating a 93 page thread.
     
  5. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Because the TiVo only updates 7 programs at a time on the screen, with no descriptions up top. Not only that, but the screen update, especially for network sources like pyTivo shares, is dreadfully slow. What's worse, many titles are chopped off by the TiVo NPL.

    If pressing <PgDn> more than 200 times to view the list is tedious, doing it 600 times is horribly so. What's worse, inevitably about every 20th title or so, someone will want to know more details of the program. In the TiVo NPL, that means drilling into the info screen. If the program happens to be one of a large series (i.e. Star Trek: The Next Generation with 178 episodes), you know what happens. Even if not, everyone else has to sit on their hands until Curious has taken in the information. With upwards of 20 titles on a screen, the impact is much smaller. While Curious is reading her program description, most of the others are just browsing the titles. There's also a good chance that while Curious is reading about The Abyss, Inquisitive might be musing over the description for Absence of Malice. This cuts the "details" time by more than half.

    The distinction between "Computer Monitor" and "TV Display" is blurring rather quickly. Certainly I do a lot of computer work having nothing to do with video in my living room and my theater. In any case, the pyTivo web interface really serves no other purpose for me. If I want a listing of the videos on the server for my own use, I can just type `ls *.mpg | more`
     
  6. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    Twenty-six titles, typically less than 780 characters (including white space), isn't an overload of information in anyone's book. The whole point of making the description text diminutive and indistinct is to make it readily ignored by the brain out of hand. It becomes wall paper; not even perceptually part of the information at hand.

    What's your point? I can also just about guarantee I drive a different car than anyone else here. Was GM foolish for making the car I drive? Many of us have somewhat unique preferences.

    That's not relevant. Unless I have just rebooted within a short time, I rarely have fewer than 20 windows open. At work I often have more than 50, and often 4 or 5 active desktops.

    So do I. When I am doing comparative work, I make the active window smaller. When I'm not, I maximize it. That's what that little box in the upper right corner of the window does. As it happens, I never do any comparative work when using pyTivo's web interface. If you do, more power to you. Why are you trying so hard to make the way I prefer to do it less effective, when it doesn't impact you? If for some reason I want to use a smaller window, then I would:

    [​IMG]

    Why I would do that when we are trying to accomplish absolutely nothing more than decide what program we are going to watch this night is beyond me, but I could if I wanted, and no one is stopping you from making it your norm. It's horribly inefficient, but even so, I still prefer it to the default:

    [​IMG]

    Note that even in this narrow and somewhat short window, the default shows four fewer titles than my preference. With more than 3000 titles from which to choose 11 per page versus 15 per page is an important difference. Even so, I never suggested it should be cast in stone either way. I only requested that it be configurable. Why is it such a horrible notion to you that I and others might be allowed to do things differently without a lot of trouble to ourselves?

    This would be a valid point if it we were talking about reading a book (although I seem to be more tolerant of longer lines than many people). Excessively wide text can be difficult to read, especially if it is small and the "paper" has no rulings. For this application, however, it's largely a moot point. I don't think many people spend hours pouring over their pyTivo share list, reading every single line of every description. We certainly never do. Quite to the contrary, generally none of us reads more than 1 description in 20. For the most part, the descriptions are ignored, until every once in a while, one isn't. Not only that, but as often as not, one may only read the first sentence or two of the text, so the return scanning error is not relevant. This especially since, if you will notice, with a wider screen, many of the descriptions only take up one line.

    We're not talking about a major re-write, here. It took me less than two hours to read up on style sheets, find the areas I needed to change (with a nudge from William for which I am grateful) and make the changes. It wouldhave taken me a fraction of that time to make the changes if I had ever edited a style sheet before in my life, or had ever previously browsed over the style sheets in pyTivo. Adding an additional if statement or two would of course take a bit more time, but William is vastly more adept at editing this code than I am. Of that I am quite sure.

    I've done development work. I know what is involved.

    I did not for a moment think that was your intent. I just wanted to make sure everyone knew that it was neither your nor my implication.
     
  7. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    The pyTivo forum was my first choice for the initial post, but when I went to submit it, the forum was down. After trying several times over the course of two or three hours, I gave up and posted here. I would be happy to move the discussion over there, or to another thread on this forum, if it is deemed most desirable. Since William has very graciously decided to implement some of the variability for which I asked, I would agree the content of the discussion may have dwindled in topicality for this thread.
     
  8. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    Not for me. I see them as very different. I was actually thinking that your preference for light text on a dark background (as the TiVo itself uses) made more sense in the context of a TV display.
     
  9. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    I think maybe I understand what you mean. You're saying your intent is very different when you say you are going to use one or the other? Certainly the hardware is not so different. Indeed, many people use their computer monitors to watch TV, and vice versa. If I do take your meaning correctly, then I would tend to agree. The nature of the task at hand induces one to change the environment almost without thinking about it, or at least it does me.

    In that same vein, though, I'm using pyTivo's web interface as an integral part of watching the content on the server, not as a part of managing the software or administrating the content. I use other tools for that.

    Well, yes, I hadn't really thought about it, but there's that, too. At the very least, I don't do "computer work" in a darkened room, but we are usually in a darkened room when we are picking out a program using pyTivo's web interface.

    It's interesting to me that you, as a principle developer for the app, apparently never really considered integrating it into your TV watching. To me, it seems the most natural idea in the world, especially given the TiVo NPL's shortcomings, and the fact the use of pyTiVo in the first place suggests a potentially larger video library than the TiVo NPL can really handle effectively.
     
  10. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    If you have a PC hooked up to your TV... why do you need pyTivo? Why wouldn't you just play the videos on the PC?
     
  11. gonzotek

    gonzotek tivo_xml developer

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    In my case, it's because the pc (and it's on-board video) can't handle 1080 or even 720p without serious frame dropping. It does a fine job of sending over hd material to the tivo, with just faster than real-time transcodes (in the case of hd, sd is plenty better than real time), and it does a lot of other household server duties. Although it is connected with a vga cable to the tv, my most common way to access it is remotely to do maintenance tasks. Occasionally, I use the pc input on the tv to display photos from photo sites (or facebook, ugh) and other digital content that can't be easily sent/viewed on the TiVo.
     
  12. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin New Member

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    I can answer that. I have tried VLC, XBMC, Plex, etc, and the human interface on all of them is pathetic! The way TiVo lets you back up 8 seconds, skip 30 seconds, skip to tick, etc., is orders of magnitude better than the "free" viewers. In this case you get what you pay for.

    Or to use a German phrase to describe the situation, the PC (or Mac in my case) software players are alles Schei├če!
     
  13. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Do you mean, "Why do I need the TiVo?" If I were using the PC to play the video, I would still use pyTivo to select the program, since it has the program names, rather than the filenames, and has the descriptions at hand.

    First of all, they are old, slow PCs. 'Not nearly good enough for HD video. Secondly, not all the video is on the server. Some is on the server and some is on one or the other of the TiVos. Of course I could switch back and forth bewtween PC and TiVo, but I find it no more difficult to switch from the PC to the TiVo than to switch from one application on the PC to another. Maybe to some extent it's just habit. Surely, if the TiVo had an interface more closely approximating the pyTivo interface, then I would not use pyTivo's interface, and if I ever replace the PCs ('not going to happen any time soon: I'm about broke), I might start using the PC instead of the TiVo, and relegate the TiVo to being mostly an automated recorder.

    By the way, I showed the screen shots to my colleague without prompting him concerning which to choose, and he also chose my preferred format. I did, however, specify that the display would be on a TV, to be used for he and his wife to select a program to watch. I think I was careful to be noncommittal on my preference, and I did point out all the shortcomings of the choice.
     
  14. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Yeah. Here, too. The two I have are fine for still pictures, but for full motion HD video...

    Not here. The servers are in the server room. Since the two of them with their external RAID arrays do a fair imitation of a 747 taking off, I really don't want them in my theater. :D

    I use them for casual web browsing and sometimes for working from home. 'Nothing requiring any amount of motion on the screen, and generally not for lots of text work, but if it's mouse intensive, then it's a lot more comfortable in a recliner than an office chair. :cool:
     
  15. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    'Good point. Since all of the videos being transferred from the server are edited to remove commercials, I don't use trickplay much, but sometimes at the end credits I like moving back and forth. I think if I had HTPC class PCs attached, though, I might live with it well enough. I'd have to try it for a while to really know. Given the PCs I have, though, it's moot.
     
  16. May 8, 2010 #2796 of 5684
    innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Active Member

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    I decided to try pyTiVo again on a new computer. I had it setup previously on my old XP machine but now I am running into an issue on Win 7. I know I had a similar issue on XP but don't remember how I fixed it. I followed this page as the install guide.

    I installed the latest wmcbrine fork. I can see the share on my PC but it is empty when running as a service. Also it doesn't show up on the web configuration page. It works fine as a console and shows up then.

    I am using a mapped network drive and I did put the login for my account. Still I can't see the files. I would prefer to run it as a service so I don't have to think about it.

    Also possibly related to run the service or console I have to run as administrator otherwise it won't work.

    Now on another matter since I have been using console, I am guessing there isn't a way to have multiple folders under one share? I am trying to combine all of my files across several drives into one now playing list. Unfortunately I don't have the free space just to combine them on my PC/server.
     
  17. May 8, 2010 #2797 of 5684
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    There are ways, but the simpler thing is just to have each folder be a share. pyTivo doesn't place a limit on the number of shares. (TiVo Desktop only provides one video share, so you have to link all your video folders under it.)

    Someone else can probably answer you better about running as a service under Windows with the appropriate user credentials. I'll just add that you should really consider running pyTivo on the system where the files are, instead of using a network share.
     
  18. May 8, 2010 #2798 of 5684
    innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Active Member

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    Ultimately every share will be its own folder so I will have one for Movies, MMA, Concerts, and TV Shows. I currently don't have enough room on my server though so I have most files on the server and then my TiVo transfers on local drives. I am slowly transitioning those over to the server as I add more space and delete shows as I watch them. I just don't have enough room to throw everything on the server. Once it is I will probably just run pytivo on my WHS.

    Eventually also I plan on trying to incorporate my WTV recordings if and when FFmeg adds support. I just don't want to go through converting them all to DVR-MS due to the limited space since I have an extender in the same room.
     
  19. May 8, 2010 #2799 of 5684
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    There's no reason not to run pyTivo on multiple systems, either. :) (Just don't use the same share names on both.)
     
  20. May 8, 2010 #2800 of 5684
    innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Active Member

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    True and I may set that up to. It still presents the problem of keeping track of what shows are where until I centralize them.
     

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