Erratic volume bars and development ideas

Rob Hexenmeister

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    Evening all.

    I am still experiencing an erratic volume bar (as per previous post). Ever since I "upgraded" it mostly never appears, but sometimes it appears on any key press which produces a noise (click.wav for example).

    I had a thought for a couple of new MP properties which might not only solve this but open up a whole lot of opportunities for skinners to make custom controls on different screens:

    #volume (self explanatory)
    #inkey - set from the key description in keymap.xml any time a key is pressed.

    I was thinking of code along these lines:

    <control>
    <id>503</id>
    <type>volumebar</type>
    <description>volume graphic bar</description>
    <posX>1665</posX>
    <posY>5</posY>
    <align>left</align>
    <height>35</height>
    <imageHeight>3</imageHeight>
    <width>200</width>
    <visible>string.equals(#inkey,Volume +)|string.equals(#inkey,Volume -)</visible>
    </control>

    or even:

    <control>
    <id>0</id>
    <description>volume text label</description>
    <type>label</type>
    <posX>5</posX>
    <posY>5</posY>
    <font>font12</font>
    <label>#volume</label>
    <visible>string.equals(#inkey,Volume +)|string.equals(#inkey,Volume -)</visible>
    </control>


    Would that code be feasible? And what would the chances be of getting those two properties added?

    Many thanks
    RH
     

    CyberSimian

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    #volume (self explanatory)
    Looking at my bumper list of built-in skin variables, I see that we already have #volume.percent and #volume.mute. They are set in:

    ...\MediaPortal-1-master\mediaportal\Core\Player\VolumeHandler.cs

    I have never used them, so I don't know whether they actually work.

    I am still experiencing an erratic volume bar
    I normally have the MP volume set to 100%, as I control the volume via a separate audio amplifier (using a universal programmable remote control), but yesterday I enabled the MP volume OSD and experimented a bit. Using the Ortek/Hama remote, I find that:

    (1) When the volume bar appears on screen, it remains for 5 seconds and is then removed automatically.

    (2) The volume bar appears when pressing the VOL_UP or VOL_DOWN buttons.

    (3) The volume bar also appears when starting live TV, or when changing channel, or when starting play of recorded TV or video.

    (4) The volume bar does not appear when other buttons are pressed (at least, none that I discovered).

    (5) The one error that I did notice is this: if the volume level is (say) 50%, when changing the TV channel the volume bar appears set to 100%, even though the volume is still at 50%. However, subsequent changes of the volume level do show the level at 50%.

    From your system specs, I notice that you are using a FLIRC. I would suspect that your erratic volume behaviour is caused by a misconfiguration of the FLIRC. Remember that MP's remote handling changed somewhere between 1.13-1.17, and you may need to revise the FLIRC config correspondingly. I have never used a FLIRC, so cannot offer any advice.

    what would the chances be of getting those two properties added?
    The skin engine (and MP in general) is horrendously complicated, and MP is desparately short of developers with the necessary skills. Your proposed changes might be implemented sometime in the future, but I would recommend that you proceed on the basis of looking for a workaround (i.e. that you work within the limitations and quirks of what is currently implemented). Example: the workaround for your current erratic volume behaviour is to chuck the FLIRC and Sky remote in the bin and purchase a true MCE RC6 remote control and IR receiver.

    Patient to Doctor Please help me. When I bash my head against a brick wall, it hurts!

    Doctor to Patient Well, don't do that.

    (Is it the silly season yet?)

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     

    catavolt

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    The volume bar also appears when starting live TV, or when changing channel, or when starting play of recorded TV or video.
    This is not true - at least not in my skins ;)
    The one error that I did notice is this: if the volume level is (say) 50%, when changing the TV channel the volume bar appears set to 100%,
    Can´t confirm either ;)
     

    CyberSimian

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    This is not true - at least not in my skins ;)
    Well... DWHD in MP 1.22 behaves as I stated -- the volume OSD appears when TV starts, TV changes channel, or video starts.

    Can´t confirm either ;)
    This is also the same with DWHD (volume bar displays the incorrect level). However, this is using the Ortek/Hama remote control, which does behave differently compared to MCE RC6. So I can believe that an MCE RC6 remote does not exhibit this effect (thinks: I must test my MCE RC6 remote).

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     

    Rob Hexenmeister

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  • May 12, 2011
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    Looking at my bumper list of built-in skin variables, I see that we already have #volume.percent and #volume.mute. They are set in:

    ...\MediaPortal-1-master\mediaportal\Core\Player\VolumeHandler.cs

    I have never used them, so I don't know whether they actually work.


    I normally have the MP volume set to 100%, as I control the volume via a separate audio amplifier (using a universal programmable remote control), but yesterday I enabled the MP volume OSD and experimented a bit. Using the Ortek/Hama remote, I find that:

    (1) When the volume bar appears on screen, it remains for 5 seconds and is then removed automatically.

    (2) The volume bar appears when pressing the VOL_UP or VOL_DOWN buttons.

    (3) The volume bar also appears when starting live TV, or when changing channel, or when starting play of recorded TV or video.

    (4) The volume bar does not appear when other buttons are pressed (at least, none that I discovered).

    (5) The one error that I did notice is this: if the volume level is (say) 50%, when changing the TV channel the volume bar appears set to 100%, even though the volume is still at 50%. However, subsequent changes of the volume level do show the level at 50%.

    From your system specs, I notice that you are using a FLIRC. I would suspect that your erratic volume behaviour is caused by a misconfiguration of the FLIRC. Remember that MP's remote handling changed somewhere between 1.13-1.17, and you may need to revise the FLIRC config correspondingly. I have never used a FLIRC, so cannot offer any advice.


    The skin engine (and MP in general) is horrendously complicated, and MP is desparately short of developers with the necessary skills. Your proposed changes might be implemented sometime in the future, but I would recommend that you proceed on the basis of looking for a workaround (i.e. that you work within the limitations and quirks of what is currently implemented). Example: the workaround for your current erratic volume behaviour is to chuck the FLIRC and Sky remote in the bin and purchase a true MCE RC6 remote control and IR receiver.

    Patient to Doctor Please help me. When I bash my head against a brick wall, it hurts!

    Doctor to Patient Well, don't do that.

    (Is it the silly season yet?)

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK

    CyberSimian,

    Many thanks for your considered and comprehensive reply. However, I can confirm that the problem with the volume bar predates my purchase of the FLIRC and Sky remote, and I have a proper RC6 compatible remote control and IMON receiver built into the case which exhibit the same behaviour.

    The problem seems to have appeared since the "upgrade". It was working fine with 1.17 which is what I had previously. In fact so much has gone wrong since the upgrade, I wish I hadn't done it. I've recently had help, you may remember, with crashes from DVD skip steps, and the MiniDisplay that stopped working. Those are now working again thank goodness.

    If you and Catavolt are saying that you've never seen the problem with an RC6 remote before then I wonder if there is an issue with my IMON drivers. (Pray God I really hope not as that would be difficult to resolve as I need the IMON drivers for MiniDisplay)

    I shall, out of interest test #volume.mute and #volume.percent

    I accept what you are saying about using what is available is much preferable to bolting-on new bits where possible, but I am running out of work-around ideas, and I really don't think it is the FLIRC - like I say it worked with 1.17 , and the RC6 has been triggering the volume bar randomly as well. It's peculiar, being an intermittent fault. Makes it difficult to diagnose.

    Anyway a #inkey property would open up a whole range of possibilities if implemented in the future, so I shall ask Santa.

    Thanks
    RH
     

    Rob Hexenmeister

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    Update: #volume.percent etc do not seem to work.

    There again, a search for VolumeHandler.cs on my system drew a blank too. Maybe I shall stick to diagnosing faults with buildings and abandon all hopes of understanding computers. My knowledge became outdated when Alan Sugar took Sinclair 16 bit and LD HL, (DE) no longer made sense to anybody ;)
     

    CyberSimian

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    #volume.percent etc do not seem to work.
    This may depend on where you use them. I made a quick change to my "ClassicWide" version of "TvOsd.xml" so that it shows the #volume variables instead of the programme description. As you can see, both variables have sensible values ("100" and "false"), identified in red:

    volume_vars.jpg

    The code that generated this output was:

    Code:
    <label>vol.percent=[#volume.percent];vol.mute=[#volume.mute]</label>

    Although the #volume variables have values when TV is playing, they may not have values on other panels such as the "Home" panel (I have not tested that).

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     

    CyberSimian

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    I can confirm that the problem with the volume bar predates my purchase of the FLIRC and Sky remote, and I have a proper RC6 compatible remote control and IMON receiver built into the case which exhibit the same behaviour.
    I may have misunderstood, but I think that you have tried the following:

    (1) A non-standard remote with a non-standard receiver (Sky remote + FLIRC).
    (2) A standard remote with a non-standard receiver (MCE remote + IMON).

    You don't seem to have tried a standard remote with a standard receiver. :unsure:

    A couple of points regarding combination (2):

    (a) All over the internet there is a predilection for terminological inexactitude (crikey!). People often don't realise that not all MCE remotes are RC6 remotes. For example, the remote that I use (the Ortek/Hama) is an MCE remote but it is not an RC6 remote. This difference matters! An MCE remote that is not an RC6 remote won't work correctly with the standard support in MP (it will work partly, but not completely). To use a non-RC6 remote, you need a different support layer, such as the "Centarea HID".

    What is your remote really? Does it state "RC6" on the label? Do you know the manufacturer and model number?

    (b) I downloaded the IMON software (100MB! another crikey!). From the PDF, it looks as though it generates keyboard shortcuts. When setting this up, if you selected a pre-defined "WMC profile", it won't work correctly! This is because it will be generating WMC keyboard shortcuts, which are different from MP keyboard shortcuts. To use IMON, I think that you need to setup each button definition so that the buttons send MP keyboard shortcuts. Did you do this?

    If you defined the buttons to send MP keyboard shortcuts, you won't need to use the "Centarea HID" support layer.

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     

    CyberSimian

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    So I can believe that an MCE RC6 remote does not exhibit this effect
    I have now tested my bog-standard MCE RC6 remote control and IR receiver with DWHD, and can confirm that exactly the same behaviour is exhibited :eek::

    (1) The volume OSD is displayed when TV starts, when TV changes channel, and when video starts.

    (2) The volume level shown by (1) is always 100%, whatever the volume is actually set to. Pressing VOL_UP, VOL_DOWN, or VOL_MUTE displays the volume OSD with the correct volume level.

    Possibly the difference between @catavolt and me is the OS -- I am using Windows 7, whereas I think that @catavolt is using Windows 10. In "MP Config", the setting "show MP volume OSD" is selected, but the setting "hide Windows volume OSD" is not selected (because I don't see it anyway). I cannot think of any other MP settings that might affect this.

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     
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