[Question] Advice Wanted on Developing a Client Application for a Disabled Family Member (1 Viewer)

Omar19841

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July 4, 2020
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Hi everyone,

I am hoping someone can help with the following.

I am based in the UK. I have a family member who has a disability. They need a simple way of watching TV offline. They could buy a set top box off the highstreet, but they are not happy with the current interfaces offered by manufacturers. I bought an Intel Nuc for them and plugged a TV tuner into it. I then tried various solutions such as Next PVR but again there were certain things that the person didn't like. They have limited eye sight and just didn't get on with the application. I came across Media Portal and MPExtended. The documentation seems to imply that MPExtended is the best option if you want to create your own client?

So far, I have got channel switching working, subtitles displaying and the stream playing fine via the JSON API. My questions however relate to the EPG.

My first question is, does MPExtended support UK Freeview channel numbers? I can see the API generates a number of channel IDs using the GetChannelsDetailed JSON API function. However, these don't match with the Freeview numbers in the UK. For example, BBC 1 HD is Freeview channel 101, but the ID for BBC 1 HD is different. Am I missing something? Or is this not supported by MPExtended? If it isn't supported, is there a way around this? The issue I have is that I can't use an online service like WebEPG to grab the EPG as the device running the software isn't always online. Are there any local files I can look at to grab the channel numbers? The goal for me is for the user to be able to type in the Freeview channel number and to switch the stream to that channel.

The second question is, is there a way of getting the TV server to scan for channels via the MPExtended API? If the family member moved house for example, they may need to rescan for regional channels. However, they are not technical enough to use the TV Server configurator. Does the API support this? If not, what's the easiest way of interfacing with the TV Server to rescan for channels?

My final question is, because the MP Extended code is dated (I believe a developer called Oxan last updated the API 6 years ago), is there a more modern solution that I should be using to interface with the server to build my own client? If the server has an API I can tap into (for example as part of Media Portal v2), that could certainly make life easier. I'm using C# .Net to program the client (I'm using Windows Forms at the moment, with the intention to use WPF later). I have tried looking at the current server/client source code, but I don't really know where to start when it comes to understanding how the server and existing client are communicating with each other. I have a decent amount of programming experience but I am by no means an expert.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! :)

Kind regards,

Omar.
 

CyberSimian

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    does MPExtended support UK Freeview channel numbers?
    I have never used MPExtended, and I don't even know what it does :eek:, but you may be able to get what you want via a setting in "MP Config", where you can choose between:
    • Selecting a channel by index (ranges from 1 to number of channels, with no gaps)
    • Selecting a channel by logical channel number (LCN); e.g. specify 101 for "BBC1 HD".
    The "MP Config" panel is shown below; the red box identifies the setting. I don't know for certain that it will give you the result that you want, but it is worth trying:

    tv_settings_2.JPG

    is there a way of getting the TV server to scan for channels via the MPExtended API? If the family member moved house for example, they may need to rescan for regional channels.
    I suspect that you would need an application called "TvServerExtended" to do that, but as far as I know this application does not exist :(. It may be possible to enhance MPExtended to do this, but I will have to leave that to others to comment on the feasibility.

    To be honest, I think that the simplest solution is for you to visit your family member and retune the setup for him/her. Although we seem to need to perform a retune every few months in the UK, on most occasions there is little change. Typically, a few minor channels are affected, but not the major ones. So your family member might have to go without those minor channels until such time as you can visit him/her and retune the setup.

    That is about all I can help with. I hope that you and your family member can achieve a favourable outcome.

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     

    ajs

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    MPExtended get info from TVServer DB and from Mediaportal plugins DB, pack to Json and return to frontend, frontend unpack Jdon and show info to user :) this all.

    Отправлено с моего Mi 9 Lite через Tapatalk
     

    CyberSimian

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    To be honest, I think that the simplest solution is for you to visit your family member and retune the setup for him/her.
    Thinking about this some more, isn't there a Microsoft tool called "Remote Desktop" that allows you to connect to a remote system over the internet, and control that system as though you were sitting in front of it? If your family member has internet access, you could initiate a TV Server rescan from your own Windows computer.

    You will need Windows 10 Professional in order to use the "Remote Desktop" tool:
    How to use Remote Desktop

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     

    ajs

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    My first question is, does MPExtended support UK Freeview channel numbers?
    If in TV Server channel have UK Freeview channel numbers then MPExtended should show it as UK Freeview channel numbers ...
     

    Omar19841

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    Thank you everyone for your responses :)

    The "MP Config" panel is shown below; the red box identifies the setting. I don't know for certain that it will give you the result that you want, but it is worth trying:

    View attachment 206211
    Many thanks for this suggestion. I have changed this setting and now MP1 is displaying the channel numbers as expected:

    Channel Numbers.PNG


    If in TV Server channel have UK Freeview channel numbers then MPExtended should show it as UK Freeview channel numbers ...
    That is what I thought. However, changing the MP Config has not changed the numbers in MPExtended, which is very odd. Here is a portion of my JSON output when calling the GetChannelsBasic:

    1594033593161.png


    And this is BBC 1 HD when calling GetChannelsDetailed:

    1594033870429.png


    Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can get MPExtended to look for the "logical channel number"? Is there a function to access/change this? If not, are these numbers stored locally? Can I access these numbers in some way?

    If your family member has internet access, you could initiate a TV Server rescan from your own Windows computer.
    Many thanks for your suggestion. Unfortunately, I can't access the NUC over the internet (using remote desktop, TeamViewer etc), as they live in a very remote area of the UK (in the countryside) and they do not have a reliable internet connection. Travelling is also not an option unfortunately...

    I saw a thread mention the "TV control .NET remoting interface" :


    @mm1352000 and regeszter mentioned that scanning for channels could be done using the public methods from the "Controller.cs" class:

    MediaPortal/MediaPortal-1

    There is a function called "Scan" ("IChannel[] Scan(int cardId, IChannel channel);" on line 162 of the class). Am I right in thinking that this re-scans for channels? The IChannel list could also solve my Freeview channel number issue I think (if I can see the logical channel number via the IChannel result)? If so, how would I access this function in my own C# .Net WinForms app? Do I need to set something up? If so, is there a guide I could look at?

    Many thanks again for your all your help.
     

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    ajs

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