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Old 02-11-2006, 06:32 PM   #1
maxwells_daemon
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Cool Automatic soft padding running on the TiVo (new version)

sanderton suggested I start a new thread, since the old one 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:
http://www.justgiving.com/brigidphillips
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
File Type: zip endpad-1.5.5.zip (22.3 KB, 37 views)
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Last edited by maxwells_daemon : 10-02-2011 at 11:40 AM. Reason: update to version 1.5.5. Improvements and fixes from spitfires and petestrash.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:33 AM   #2
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In the previous thread, it was asked...
Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy7272
Is that possible?

Eastenders to start 1 minute late, corrie to always run over 1 minute?
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
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Old 02-20-2006, 05:40 AM   #3
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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
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Old 02-20-2006, 06:59 AM   #4
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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?
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Old 02-20-2006, 07:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tym
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
Wahoo! - missed this until now. Thank you, will try it later. Monday of course is a good test date.
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Old 02-20-2006, 08:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swarrans
Hope it's OK to post a new question here..
Of course. That's what this thread is for.
Quote:
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?
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.
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Old 02-20-2006, 08:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericd121
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?
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).
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwells_daemon
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.
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

Last edited by swarrans : 02-20-2006 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 02-20-2006, 02:29 PM   #9
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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
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Old 02-20-2006, 03:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy7272
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
Damn! - didn't work for me.

I was hoping (god this sounds sooo sad! ) 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?
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy7272
Damn! - didn't work for me.

I was hoping (god this sounds sooo sad! ) 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?
Is it possible that your Season Passes are set with padding also which would be messing about with the eventual recording lengths?
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Old 02-21-2006, 04:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ...coolstream
Is it possible that your Season Passes are set with padding also which would be messing about with the eventual recording lengths?
I checked and non of my season passes have padding.



Thanks for the suggestion though!
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Old 02-21-2006, 04:38 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 02-21-2006, 06:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fozzie
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.
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...
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Old 02-21-2006, 06:49 AM   #15
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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.
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:09 AM   #16
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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...
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Old 02-21-2006, 12:16 PM   #17
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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?)
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Old 02-23-2006, 05:05 AM   #18
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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
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Old 02-23-2006, 07:22 AM   #19
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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
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleks
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
Or use Sandertons TiVoWeb startup editor, so don't need to actually edit anything on the read only partition.
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Old 02-23-2006, 09:03 AM   #21
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The former is the better idea. If you've followed previous threads and instructions you should have 'joe' already installed on your Tivo. This is the better tool for editing Tivos text-based files as it doesn't add any CRs or LFs as something like Windows Notepad does.

so, from memory (and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong )

Telnet into Tivo and type

Code:
cd /etc
cd rc.d
cp rc.sysinith.author rc.sysinit.author.backup
joe rc.sysinit.author
Then, when in Joe, move to the bottom of the file and enter the command, as you typed it, there. Then press [Ctrl+K] then [x]. You may then wish to re-boot for the command to take effect immediately.

I think that's right
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Old 02-23-2006, 09:39 AM   #22
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One little typo (sysinith), and you'd have to set the root partition to read/write first with

mount -o remount,rw /
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Old 02-23-2006, 09:47 AM   #23
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And remember to unset it when finsihed....

mount -o remount,ro /
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Old 02-23-2006, 10:41 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy7272
Yes, I update the force option and.....IT WORKS.
Good news
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Old 02-23-2006, 11:00 AM   #25
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Is there a bug in the endpad.log creation:

I've started endpad with:

/var/hack/endpad.tcl -s 1 -e 4 -n 0 -f 0 -tz 0 -sugqual 75 -auto >> /dev/null &

and ps ax gives:

/tvbin/tivosh /var/hack/endpad.tcl -s 1 -e 4 -n 0 -f 0 -tz 0 -sugqual 75 -auto -run

but endpad.log has:

startpad 1 endpad 4 negpad 0 forceneg 0 maxneg -1 sugeq 1 sugqual 75

Shouldn't sugeq say '0'? I know that with back to back suggestions, the second one is being cancelled to pad the first, because endpad.msg has things like:

Thursday 10:29:00 : Deleting suggestion {Holby City} on UKGLD1 to make room for 60 seconds startpad of Mythbusters on DISCOV
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Old 02-23-2006, 11:51 AM   #26
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Looks like a bug; the default is set to sugeq=1, but there's no way to set sugeq=0!

Code:
array set defopt {startpad 0 endpad 0 sugqual -1 sugeq 1 negpad 0 maxneg -1 forceneg 0}
Hey, a bug, and this time I don't have to fix it. Cool!
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:53 PM   #27
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This is a SUPERB piece of code! I was put off the original Endpad by needing to set up more than just an endpad script (I can't remember what scared me - I just remember being "concerned"!)

Anyway, this is such a simple install and, so far, is doing exactly what it should. However, I have yet to edit rc.sysinit.author, as that is something else that I never feel 100%V safe with (what a wimp eh?)

Anyway, Thanks sanderton for something that even my techno-phobe wife thinks is neat!
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Old 02-24-2006, 07:42 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fozzie
Also, did you restart endpad after changing the config file? You may need to for the changes to take effect.
You don't need to restart endpad - it will automatically reload the config file if you change it. The endpad.log will report the new config and if any issues will found.

Tim
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Old 02-24-2006, 08:44 AM   #29
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Posts: 905
Hmm

It doesn't seem to matter HOW many time I read the readme, I still can't get my head around what the -auto switch does (and what would happen if you didn't specify it in sysinit.author)?
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Old 02-24-2006, 09:50 AM   #30
aleks
Triallist - Sep 2000
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: London, England
Posts: 51
Following up to my question about editing rc.sysinit.author - I have found joe, unzipped and FTP'd to /var/hack

But the cp command doesn't work because there is no such file in the /etc/rc.d directory. There is an rc.sysinit though

Should I just create rc.sysinit.author with one line reading "/var/hack/endpad.tcl -e 10 -auto >> /dev/null &"

Many thanks
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