Simply open TV on schedule? (1 Viewer)

Mugsy

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May 1, 2011
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I just installed MP yesterday, and really only want it to do one thing: open up the TV on schedule.

Is there a way to launch MP so it opens to fullscreen TV on a specific channel?

I've also repeatedly tried & failed to retrieve any EPG information (it may be because I edited the scanned channel list to include the channel numbers?) But I'll save that question for another day. Primarily, my #1 interest is the above. The TV in Windows Media Center can silent record a specific channel on schedule, but not simply open to a specific channel when my favorite programs come on. Another TV program I've used, Hauppauge's WinTV, can open to a particular channel if I call the program with the four-digit channel number passed as a parameter, but it won't change channels this way once it is already open. And BOTH programs can only schedule a recording, not simply open Live TV on schedule.

Any ideas on how to do this? :D
 

mm1352000

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    So you want MP to "follow" your schedule? I'm not sure that I understand why you would want to do that, but let me tease this out a little. What happens if you have two schedules recording at the same time - how would MP choose which channel to start? It seems like what you are asking for could not conisistently be determined...

    Just an FYI: with MP you can view a list of the current streams (ie. the list of channels that are being viewed and/or recorded by any client connected to the TV Server) and choose one to view. You can also view a scheduled recording while it is recording, either from the start of the recording or from the live point.
     

    Mugsy

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    So you want MP to "follow" your schedule?
    I probably wasn't too clear, so let me explain.

    I *just* installed MP. Currently, the only thing I have working/configured is the TV. I have not set up the Scheduler to record anything. I did test it to see if it would open the TV when a recording was scheduled and it does not.

    What I want is for MP to open the TV on schedule (not just silent record). I would also like an icon on my desktop I could click that goes straight to TV.
     

    The_Stig

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    AW: Simply open TV on schedule?

    Hrm, so you are not using MP as a dedicated htpc I guess? If you'd do so, the notify-option could be right for you. Then you get an message inside MP when program is about to start. But if I remember correct it doesnt record the program then too.
     

    mm1352000

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    Hi again

    Sorry but I don't think it is possible to do what you're asking for with MP, nor do I know of any other software that does that. TV Server records silently aside from red highlighting in the guide and a recording icon the top left corner of the client. Like I said already, you can see a list of what is being recorded and choose to watch one of those streams (from the start, from the live point, timeshifting... all supported even while the recording is still taking place), but there is no way that I know of to have MP actually start showing the recording as live TV when the recording starts. As I tried to point out, there are potentially multiple recordings occurring at once. Only one video stream can be viewed at a time, and in situations with multiple recordings TV Server/MP would not be able to adequately decide which recording to show. Hence, you as a user have to manually choose to view a stream...

    [Edit: you can configure MP to start TV in full screen immediately on entering the TV section, and I think MP can remember the last used "module", so potentially you could double click on the MP shortcut and be shown TV straight away...]

    [Edit2: reading your posts again I think I've kind of missed the point... sorry. There are notifications/reminders, and if you have MP open at the time when the reminder is shown you have the choice to view the program. It requires input from you though, and the notifications aren't shown unless you have MP open.]
     

    Mugsy

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    Sorry but I don't think it is possible to do what you're asking for with MP, nor do I know of any other software that does that.
    (I was in the middle of typing a detailed reply when my computer crashed, grumble.)

    I've been searching for a program to do exactly that for (literally) years, with no luck.

    My best experience so far...

    In my XP days, I used a shareware app called "WatchHDTV". It could open to Live TV on schedule as well as record on schedule, but it did not timeshift until you turned it on... OR if you told the Scheduler to launch in Timeshift mode, it started with the video paused. It also lacked an EPG and auto-scanner for channels (you had to add channels by hand). In Win7, I can still watch Live TV using "WatchHDTV", but the scheduler does not work with Win7, nor can it record or timeshift.

    Also from my XP days, Hauppauge's WinTV (only works with their tuners) works with Win7, but its scheduler can only silent record on schedule. I can get around this by using the Windows Task Scheduler to call the program with the channel passed as a parameter, but once the program is already open, calling it again this way doesn't change the channel. WinTV also lacks an EPG.

    Windows Media Center is quite nice, with its built-in EPG, but it too can only silent-record on schedule. And there is no "built-in" way to open to a specific channel. I currently get around this by using the Windows Task Scheduler to open Live TV:

    Code:
    %SystemRoot%\ehome\ehshell.exe "/mcesuperbar://tv?live=true"
    ...at the same time it is recording, so WMC automatically opens to the channel it is currently recording. It will even change channels when a new recording is scheduled. The biggest drawback of this is you would have to Record every program you wish to watch on schedule, which would fill your HDD quite fast. I actually considered using a ramdisk for this, but I would need a 20GB ramdisk to record just three hours of HD video (and I don't want every recording to go to ramdisk.)

    (I actually wrote a tiny startup app using VB2010 to delete any recording more than X days old to prevent my HDD from filling up with recorded video.)

    My search continues for DVR software that will open Live TV to a specific channel on schedule, as well as allow me to rewind and start recording from the point I press the record button. (The only program I ever found that allowed me to do all this was the original and extremely buggy ATI Wonder TV software, which only works with ATI cards and was discontinued back in 2004.)
     

    mm1352000

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    I really don't understand why that particular requirement is so important to you, but "each to their own" and I hope you find something that will do what you want. :)
     

    Mugsy

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    I really don't understand why that particular requirement is so important to you, but "each to their own" and I hope you find something that will do what you want. :)
    My computer is my "Media Center". I watch HDTV on my widescreen monitor with 5.1 surround sound. I can play BluRay and DVD movies, even stream content over the Internet, all using my remote control.

    But primarily, my computer is still for work.

    When my favorite TV shows come on, I want to watch them live. And its nice to have the computer automatically open to the exact channel at the exact time so that I don't have to remember to open the TV on time, then try to remember what show it was I was planning to watch at that time on that day. Why ONLY support scheduling a recording that I'll only to have to watch "later"? (because I'll never get around to it.)

    (Example: I don't watch "American Idol", but I can imagine plenty of people would appreciate the TV automatically opening when the show comes on so they don't miss it. And watching a "recording" of the show AFTER it has already aired isn't as enjoyable. Ditto for sporting events, not wanting to miss "the big game" as soon as it starts.)

    I'd also like to be able to jump back and start recording something from a particular point ("Wow! What a shot! I want to save that!") AFTER a program has already started (I post a lot of news clips to YouTube, but don't record everything I watch, so if I see something I want to keep, I need to be able to go back and start recording from that point.)

    I never understood the point of only supporting "silent record" on schedule and not "watch live on schedule", forcing you to go back and watch your programs at a time less convenient than right now. It seems completely logical to me, yet NO tv viewing software for Win7 supports this, so you're clearly not alone in your thinking. Am I really asking for something so unusual?
     

    jameson_uk

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    Am I really asking for something so unusual?
    A little yes. Most people will use media centre software as their main interface to the PC not as a background thing. when used in this way MP offers notifications that programs are about to start and offers to turn over for you but if MP is not the main application running at that point you will not see it.

    I can not see this being added to MP as core functionality because I do not see many people using MP this way. It could be done as a plugin I guess but if you are not a programmer that would require someone willing to code it for you
     

    mm1352000

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    Hi again

    The explanation helped. I guess I understand where you're coming from because the PC that I have MP on is used for everything too - development, TV, email, internet etc. I mostly use windowed mode. MP sits in the top left quarter of my screen (24") playing while I do other stuff with the other 3/4 of the screen. If something comes on that I really want to watch then I'll switch to full screen mode with alt+enter and leave the important work until later :)P). I don't use notifications as I don't really mind if I watch live or delayed (maybe that is where we are different). There are a few significant problems with this way of using MP:

    1. MP doesn't remember its position. Start it up in windowed mode, put it in the position that you want it to be in so you can work around it... fine... until the next time you open MP again and it opens in the original place again. Same thing with the configuration tools - they *always* open in the middle of the screen. That behaviour ***really*** annoys me. So much so that I've hacked the code to make MP always position itself in the top left corner, and allowed it to squash itself a little more than is usually allowed. I'd fix this properly if I knew how, but I'm a TV Server guy. I don't know the first thing about this stuff...

    2. Timeshift buffer thrown away when changing between full screen and windowed modes. This is also a pretty major annoyance for me. If I *really* have to get that "important" work done (;)) while a favourite show is on then I change back to windowed mode during live shows to get stuff done during the ads (4 minutes of ads anyone!?!). The problem is that in order to really concentrate I sometimes have to pause TV for a while so I can think. That's okay if you're staying with windowed mode or only pausing for a few minutes (you quickly catch up to the live point by skipping ads), but I often get into situations where I've paused for 30 minutes or more while I quickly answer that email... and 5 minutes turns into 20... and then the phone rings. I then have to catch up 15 minutes of ads before I can go to full screen again, and by the time I've caught up the programme I wanted to watch is probably over anyway. Or maybe my favourite show is on and I had to watch the timeshifted part in windowed mode (I usually only record movies or really important programmes).

    Those are my biggest annoyances. There are also occasions where I've wanted to record from the position that I'm watching (ie. a part of the timeshift buffer). I think there was experimental support for it at some point (???). It doesn't happen often enough to annoy me too much though.

    So why do I actually use MP? I guess a significant reason is the chunk of learning that I've done to get to the point where I'm really comfortable with how to get the best out of it for me. When it comes down to it though, aside from a few niggles it really suits me well. Other software that I've tried has had advantages (for example the ability to freely change the size of the window) but they tend to be very weak in other areas (recording, video library navigation, ease of use etc.). I *hate* WMC with a passion - tried it once and just got so frustrated that I wanted to throw the computer out the window. In particular the channel management was awful. Renaming, reordering, grouping, managing multiple sources of the same channel (I have DVB-T, DVB-S and analog)... just awful compared to TV Server configuration. Scanning also didn't give me as much control as I wanted. The tuner reseller/manufacturer software that I've tried has always had problems. Instabilities, codec configuration limitations, only support their tuners (I have tuners from 4 different vendors, 11 tuners in total... so that definitely doesn't go down well with me!). DVBViewer has been solid for TV, but it isn't the all-in-one "pretty" solution that I'm looking for. Likewise Winamp is great for audio, but TV is marginal. VLC is fantastic for playback - it handles almost anything - but I don't like having no concept of a channel list or having to use a dialog to open random files that I haven't put in a playlist.

    Okay I think I'm rambling now so I'll stop. :D
     

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