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Old 10-08-2003, 06:36 PM   #1
sanderton
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Automatic soft padding running on the TiVo

This thread and the software posted in it are now deprecated. The current version of EndPad and support for it are now handled by maxwells_daemon in this thread.


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 SPs with extra recording time which cause other SPs to be missed.

A particular bugbear in the UK is BBC 2, which frequently runs 2 mins 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.

I took LJ's noreddot as my 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 SP 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 !

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 SP has priority over both (although EndPad will try and increase the user set padding to the soft level if it can).

If you want to see what it is up to, you can view the logs (which are I hope reasonably intelligible) through the Logs module of TiVoWeb.

Note 1: 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

Note 2: 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.

Note 3: EndPad has the ability to alter the recording quality of any suggestions, allowing you to, say record suggestions at Medium while leaving the default at Best, making setting up SPs faster. Use the optional -sugqual switch with values of 0 (Basic), 40 (Medium), 75 (High) or 100 (Best)

To get the best out of it, your SPs should not set any hard padding themselves. That way TiVo will be able to operate with the lowest number of clashes. The PC based utility I wrote (http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...hreadid=135029) has an option to remove all padding from SPs if you have a lot to go through.

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 link to it as it's on the database of deals. The thread id is /forum/showthread.php?t=31854

Copy to the TiVo using binary mode FTP then:

chmod 755 endpad.tcl

Run with:

./endpad.tcl -s x -e y -sugqual z -sugeq

where:

x is the number of minutes of start padding to add
y is the number of end padding to add
z is the recording quality to change suggestions to (0/40/75/100) (Optional)
the optional sugeq parameter prevents EndPad cancelling a suggestion by padding another one

Stop with:

./endpad.tcl -stop

Run from rc.sysinit.author with the -auto flag:

/var/hack/endpad.tcl -s x -e y -sugqual z -sugeq -auto >> /dev/null &

This post will always contain the most up to date version and instructions.

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:

http://www.justgiving.com/brigid

Please put "EndPad" in the comment.


Please not that there are restrictions on distribution - read the readme.
Attached Files
File Type: zip endpad.1.4.2.zip (7.9 KB, 1561 views)

Last edited by sanderton : 02-12-2006 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 10-08-2003, 06:46 PM   #2
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Just wanted to say, nice one, Stuart. Pity I can't use it Then again, I haven't really needed it so far. Of course, you know what'll happen now, don't you
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Old 10-08-2003, 06:59 PM   #3
sanderton
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You don't need TurboNet to run it Carl, a serial cable will work fine.
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Old 10-09-2003, 12:32 AM   #4
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Can you go even further and add soft padding to the start of a recording ?

Ideally I would set all my SP's to start/end at scheduled times to avoid overlaps from hard padding *but* have your super utility add 1 minute of soft padding to the start of my SPs and 5 minutes soft padding at the end.

Well done for doing what you have done so far.
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Old 10-09-2003, 02:50 AM   #5
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This is superb if it works. Just the thing we have been looking for. All we need now is a simalar programme which checks x minutes before a programme starts to see if any thing else is recording, if not start the sceduled recording early. Combined we would have as close as possible soft padding.

Have just loaded it up and await tonight to see the outcome. I will post my findings.
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Old 10-09-2003, 03:26 AM   #6
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Wow. Very nice!

Cheers,

Allan.
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Old 10-09-2003, 03:28 AM   #7
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Thanks very much for all your hard work, it's much appreciated
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Old 10-09-2003, 03:47 AM   #8
sanderton
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Quote:
Originally posted by tivo_boj
All we need now is a simalar programme which checks x minutes before a programme starts to see if any thing else is recording, if not start the sceduled recording early. Combined we would have as close as possible soft padding.
Easy to do, and will be in a future version, but I want to be sure this one is running and stable first.

My main concern with it as it stands is long term stability - I know from other stuff I run that sometimes these things just stop and need restarting.
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Old 10-09-2003, 03:52 AM   #9
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>> I know from other stuff I run that sometimes these things just stop and need restarting.

I've seen this done on other unix boxes where you check for a process running and if it's not there start it!
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Old 10-09-2003, 04:03 AM   #10
mas
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That should keep the other half and my son happy !

Can't wait to try it

Can I go home from work now - oh - its only just gone 9am damm!

Thanks

MAS
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Old 10-09-2003, 04:31 AM   #11
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I'm trying to get a bash via serial on my TiVo

I have the right lead for a serial connection and manage to get the prompt to put in the "factory" password.

I then get to the menu where I enter "B" to boot but then I get no bash - just nothing. Hitting return causes nothing to happen ( the TiVo *has* booted all the way )

Is there no bash run in the default UK version init scripts - or do I have to rip the harddrive out and put it in my PC to put a bash in the init script first ?

If I have to rip the disk out I will cry! ( Although I suppose my TiVo is due for a backup )
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Old 10-09-2003, 04:34 AM   #12
sanderton
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Quote:
Originally posted by gregh
>> I know from other stuff I run that sometimes these things just stop and need restarting.

I've seen this done on other unix boxes where you check for a process running and if it's not there start it!
Yes, that was the conclusion I was coming to as a safety net - a cron job every couple of hours looking for the process ID and running it if it's not there.
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Old 10-09-2003, 04:35 AM   #13
sanderton
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Quote:
Originally posted by groovyclam
I'm trying to get a bash via serial on my TiVo

I have the right lead for a serial connection and manage to get the prompt to put in the "factory" password.

I then get to the menu where I enter "B" to boot but then I get no bash - just nothing. Hitting return causes nothing to happen ( the TiVo *has* booted all the way )

Is there no bash run in the default UK version init scripts - or do I have to rip the harddrive out and put it in my PC to put a bash in the init script first ?

If I have to rip the disk out I will cry! ( Although I suppose my TiVo is due for a backup )
I think you have to pull the disk - they took out the ability to get a bash prompt on an unmodded TiVo with 2.5.5. Mr Tickle is the bash over serial in the the UK guru. Have you checked the link in his sig?
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Old 10-09-2003, 04:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
I think you have to pull the disk - they took out the ability to get a bash prompt on an unmodded TiVo with 2.5.5.
Oh that was really useful of them wasn't it! Well done TiVo.

In that case I will wait until you have perfected your super script and rip my disk out then.

You realise you have made something that is worth all the hassle of opening my TiVo again!
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Old 10-09-2003, 05:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by groovyclam
Can you go even further and add soft padding to the start of a recording ?

This sounds absolutely fantastic! I can't wait to get home and try it out.

I agree with the above quote about adding some front end padding as well. This might help those of us with NTL/Telewest cable boxes that have trouble changing channels sometimes exactly on the hour.

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Old 10-09-2003, 06:07 AM   #16
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Well done Stuart!

I've had this running overnight and it added 2 minutes of much needed padding to thr World Rally Championship Omnibus on Channel 4!

I run some consecutive recordings each morning and they all seem to be fine as well!

I'd like to support also the request for front padding as well.

It's top stuff!
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Old 10-09-2003, 07:50 AM   #17
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nice work sanderton!

one quick question though before i try it. what does this do to recordings that already have hard padding set? say i have this program running with soft padding set to 2 minutes, and then i schedule a recording and set tivo to pad the end by 5 mins. would this prog remove the 5 mins that i added and set it 2 mins, or would it add 2 mins to the 5 mins that is already set.

cheers.
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Old 10-09-2003, 08:00 AM   #18
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As it stands it will remove the 5 mins and insert 2 mins. Which is a good point!
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Old 10-09-2003, 08:18 AM   #19
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Another question:

If I am recording something which finishes at ( for example ) 2pm and your super util soft pads it for 5 mins -> 2:05

BUT...

TiVo has a suggestion to record starting at 2pm what will happen:

1) Your softpad takes priority and my scheduled recording runs until 2:05 and the suggestion is discarded or...

2) TiVo stops recording my scheduled recording at 2pm exactly and changes channel to record the suggestion ( which itself will then be padded )

I would prefer it if TiVo did option [1]
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Old 10-09-2003, 08:35 AM   #20
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Sounds much better than softpad. I look forward to trying this out, and startpad when it's ready.


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Old 10-09-2003, 08:40 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by groovyclam
Another question:

If I am recording something which finishes at ( for example ) 2pm and your super util soft pads it for 5 mins -> 2:05

BUT...

TiVo has a suggestion to record starting at 2pm what will happen:

1) Your softpad takes priority and my scheduled recording runs until 2:05 and the suggestion is discarded or...

2) TiVo stops recording my scheduled recording at 2pm exactly and changes channel to record the suggestion ( which itself will then be padded )

I would prefer it if TiVo did option [1]
from reading through the script it appears to discard suggestions if they get in the way. so option [1].
i could be wrong though.
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Old 10-09-2003, 09:26 AM   #22
sanderton
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You are correct, it will cancel any suggestion which would block padding. At least it is supposed to, but looking at that code again there's a typo in it which means it actually won't. Say what you like about VB but at least it doesn't let you key in a variable name wrong! I'll post an update when I've had a chance to check it.

I'll make it not reduce any pre-existing padding while I'm at it.
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Old 10-09-2003, 12:32 PM   #23
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Quote:
I'll make it not reduce any pre-existing padding while I'm at it.
.

I would rather have it set hard padding to zero and then put in the softpad. This way I know where I am. I know you cant please all the people all the time, so I will just happy which ever way you go.

It might be worth in a later version to have this selectable (or two versions).

Keep up the very good work
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Old 10-09-2003, 12:48 PM   #24
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I started it running this morning, but have had a check and it's not running anymore.... how often should I expect it to require re-run and does it write to any logs when it dies?

Fabulous idea by the way!

Cheers
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Old 10-09-2003, 12:48 PM   #25
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Sorry for being thick, I did know once but have never used it - where should i place

rc.sysinit.author.

Also has anyone got a copy I could use as a template.

I think it worth using now we have "softpad"
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Old 10-09-2003, 01:00 PM   #26
sanderton
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I suggest you read through this:

http://tivo.stevejenkins.com/network.html#_Toc43127463
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Old 10-09-2003, 01:05 PM   #27
sanderton
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Quote:
Originally posted by doogie
I started it running this morning, but have had a check and it's not running anymore.... how often should I expect it to require re-run and does it write to any logs when it dies?
The next iteration writes a log file!

The two copies on my TiVos were up for 18hrs each until I replaced them with an updated copy a few mins ago, so they CAN stay up for a while.
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Old 10-09-2003, 04:44 PM   #28
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Sorry to be dim

I've installed endpad.tcl in /var/hack and done a chmod 755 endpad.tcl, but when I try to run it I get the message

": no such file or directory (including the leading quote and colon)

Any ideas please?

Thanks.

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Old 10-09-2003, 05:05 PM   #29
tivo_boj
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Move to the hack directory

/var/hack

then run endpad

endpad.tcl 5

THAT SEEMED TO WORK FOR ME

BUT THERE AGAIN I'AM ALSO A BIT DIM....SO MAYBE I WAS LUCKY.
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Old 10-09-2003, 05:08 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by tivo_boj
Move to the hack directory

/var/hack

then run endpad

endpad.tcl 5

THAT SEEMED TO WORK FOR ME

BUT THERE AGAIN I'AM ALSO A BIT DIM....SO MAYBE I WAS LUCKY.
Thanks but I still get the same message.

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