Technology Announcement - PVRX - a 'Proposed' Common API (1 Viewer)

Niall

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August 31, 2005
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Melbourne, Australia
Hi All,

This is an invitation to all PVR and 3rd party developers and tinkerers to come and participate in the creation of a new technology known as PVRX.


So What's this PVRX stuff??
PVRX is a new 'proposed' specification which allows PVR Software, Hardware and related Client/3rd Party Tools to communicate with eachother - in a consistent manner - without each product needing an intricate understanding of how the other works.

PVRX defines a known Application Programming Interface (API) for common PVR Functionality - and can be implemented by PVR related software and hardware product (either in the Client or Server context - or both). Once PVRX is implemented by a product - it then has the ability to communicate and be compatible with other PVRX products 'out-of-the-box'.

In most cases, PVRX is implemented by a Server via XML Web Services - allowing you to easily create clients and servers from a large variety of platforms, o/s's and languages.


Where can I find out more??

A site has just been setup at http://www.pvrx.org - where you can read all about PVRX as well as download a Whitepaper, a API Reference. Some forums have also just been setup - and any feedback you can post to get these forums going will be appreciated. (areas have been created for technical and non-technical discussions).

This site also contains a PVRX client application 'Now Showing PVRX' (available for download if you register) - and demonstrates how PVRX can be effectively used to manage multi PVR servers at once which run on completely different software/hardware (as well as integrate multiple EPG Sources). A downloadable flyer for this product is also available - and contains a few screenshots and feature list (if you don't want to actually install it - and just want to see what it does).



How does this work with Media Portal?

At the moment I have in beta a new MP Background Process Plugin - called 'MP-PVRX Server' which turns Media Portal into a fully compliant PVRX Server. Once this plugin is installed/configured in your MediaPortal setup - it allows MediaPortal to be controlled by PVRX Client Software (even products written by people with no knowledge of Media Portal).

The plugin works by running its own built in HTTP server - that has the ability to receive and process PVRX Requests (over SOAP/XML Web Services). It then allows you to perform a number of PVRX related functions (such as Scheduling shows, obtaining/searching EPG Data and other such functionality offered internally by Media Portal.)

I will hopefully release this plugin over next few weeks (maybe with the .NET source code) - so you can use some existing PVRX clients with your Media Portal setup. There is also a potential to incorporate this plugin directly into the MediaPortal Code base if required. (although its currently written in vb.net).


How else can PVRX be used with Media Portal?

PVRX can be used in a lot of ways - however a common use of the PVRX API may also be for retrieving EPG data for MediaPortal. PVRX simplifies this by defining a common API for EPG Retrieval from Internet Sources (who support PVRX) - and additionally can support Subscriptions/Security for those charging for the data. This paves the way for being able to easily download data without having to use/maintain scraping tools - or write specific code per each EPG provider (like ICE, D1 etc).

Another more interesting use of Media Portal would be to make it a PVRX Client as well as a server. It could then have the ability to work with other running PVR systems (possibly providing concepts like 'Virtual' Tuners etc) - allowing you to use MediaPortal as a master scheduling manager for all your PVR systems (and being able to move schedules between systems etc).


[:)] I hope to see you all soon on pvrx.org and look forward to your comments, suggestions and ideas. (Please keep in mind the specification is not yet locked down - and your input will be valued).

Regards

Niall - info@mobilewares.net

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Niall

Portal Member
August 31, 2005
16
0
Melbourne, Australia
CHli said:
This is a good initiative, I love the idea, but closed source always scarry me :D

Hi,

Thanks for the positive feedback!

I'm not sure what you mean exactly by closed source - but where possible I will try to make source code available. For example - for the first implementation of PVRX (in DVB-Webscheduler) - the full source code is now available on sourceforge (as part of DVB-Webscheduler project which is in java). I will also try to make all of the Media Portal related source code available for users. (which will be .NET)..

It's just more the commercial side of things which I will keep closed - like proper logo programs/certification etc - *if* they every became a reality. (which will never affect Media Portal users as it should remain free to use by non-commercial developers)..

rgds

Niall
 

FlipGer

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    Hi,

    sounds really interesting. And you should really consider to go OpenSource, at least for the parts concerning MP.

    And please take a look at your page with FireFox! Does not work very well. ;)

    Flip.
     

    Frodo

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    Nice project, and i'm looking forward to this new plugin

    But please note that MP is licensed under GPL
    this means that if ANY derived parts of MediaPortal should be opensourced and licensed under GPL as well.

    So if you use anything from mediaportal in your application/plugin
    then please follow the rules and opensource the stuff.

    Frodo
     

    Niall

    Portal Member
    August 31, 2005
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    Melbourne, Australia
    frodo said:
    Nice project, and i'm looking forward to this new plugin

    But please note that MP is licensed under GPL
    this means that if ANY derived parts of MediaPortal should be opensourced and licensed under GPL as well.

    So if you use anything from mediaportal in your application/plugin
    then please follow the rules and opensource the stuff.

    Frodo

    Yes - certainly - and again I'd like to make the source available when ready. I'm using an SDK (which I don't want to give out the source for) - but since its mainly just some interfaces I need out of there - I should be able to seperate it - and make the rest available.

    Also - it would be great to include the plugin in the core Media Portal package/source (as has been done with DVB-Webscheduler) - but the main issue (apart from it not being 100% ready) - is it's written in VB.net - so I'd need to do a bit of code conversion first. (as I think you guys are c# only right?)..

    Anyhow - it looks like a few people will be game to test the plugin for MP - so hopefully I can make a beta available soon for testing.

    cheers

    Niall
     

    Frodo

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    Niall:

    >I'd like to make the source available when ready.
    great

    >I'm using an SDK (which I don't want to give out the source for)
    Sounds logical. I do hope we can freely distribute the assembly of the SDK since we'll need that to compile the plugin?

    >it would be great to include the plugin in the core Media Portal package/source
    If its of good quality we will surely do that

    >is it's written in VB.net - so I'd need to do a bit of code conversion first.
    We prefer C# indeed. But as far as i know there are VB.NET->C# converters which you can try to automate this conversion for you

    >it looks like a few people will be game to test the plugin for MP
    I'm sure many people would love to test the plugin

    Frodo
     

    Niall

    Portal Member
    August 31, 2005
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    Melbourne, Australia
    MPPVRX Plugin Now Available for Download

    frodo said:
    Niall:

    >I'd like to make the source available when ready.
    great

    >I'm using an SDK (which I don't want to give out the source for)
    Sounds logical. I do hope we can freely distribute the assembly of the SDK since we'll need that to compile the plugin?

    >it would be great to include the plugin in the core Media Portal package/source
    If its of good quality we will surely do that

    >is it's written in VB.net - so I'd need to do a bit of code conversion first.
    We prefer C# indeed. But as far as i know there are VB.NET->C# converters which you can try to automate this conversion for you

    >it looks like a few people will be game to test the plugin for MP
    I'm sure many people would love to test the plugin

    Frodo

    Hi,

    In further answer to the above - a Beta version of the MPPVRX Host Plugin is now available for download on the www.pvrx.org site. It runs both as a Plugin (inside Media Portal) or externally via an application. (see install notes for details).

    Its designed to work against v0.1.3.0 - and haven't yet installed the new 0.2 beta (so no idea if it will still work on that one).

    I have included complete VB.Net source code (sorry no c# yet - the converters are giving me grief!). Also, no external DLL's/Assembly's are required - as I have placed quite a bit of source code from the Exteneral Sdk into the plugin source to alleviate this.

    For the time being you will need to also download Now Showing PVRX to actually test it (as it's the only released PVRX Client).

    However, I am in the process of making some code samples for PVRX - that demonstrate it being used in a number of ways - and will release these very soon. (so it will make it a little clearer how a PVRX client works and provide some basic templates).

    I'll place a proper 'plugin announcement' in the plugin forums - however please also feel free to comment on the pvrx.org forums..

    Enjoy!

    Niall / mobilewares.net
     

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