TV-Server-Config: issue with %title% in filenames (1 Viewer)

Stilez

Portal Member
November 19, 2014
16
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Not sure if this is a bug per se. The issue is in "TVServer-Config -> Recording -> Custom Paths and Filenames", but happened when I changed a setting on "DVB-EPG".

Under DVB-EPG, I decided that I wanted to view some extra information about the episode, next to the title, where it was easiest found by eye, and most prominent.
So I changed the DVB-EPG title line to look like this:
%TITLE% (%STARRATING_STR% %CLASSIFICATION%) %GENRE%
which displayed nicely as
"Over the hedge (***+ PG) movie/drama".​

Unfortunately I found that the filename used for recording, which also allows %title% in the definition, doesn't use the same %title% as this. It uses this custom-created string itself, and ends up with garbage in the filename as a result.

This feels like a suboptimal choice of tokens. Upper/lower casing aside, if %title% in config panel #A means "the name of the show", then %title% in config panel #B should mean the same and not mean "the custom string defined in panel #A for a completely different purpose". (If it's desirable that other fields from DBV-EPG such as %CLASSIFICATION% can be used in filenames, and this is a reason for using the EPG custom title string in filenames, then allow %classification% directly in custom filename strings.)

At the moment, you can helpfully customise the EPG title with extra fields to quickly find programs when viewing. But if you do, there isn't any way to access or use the original %title% in the filename of the TV programs you want to record. You also can't customise EPG title lines without impacting filenames.

It's a minor annoyance, but could this logic be improved so that %title% / %TITLE% means the same in filenames and in DVB-EPG, and (for those who want filenames to include strings like classification or genre), can the custom title fields from DVB-EPG be equally accessible within custom filenames?
 

Stilez

Portal Member
November 19, 2014
16
1
European Union European Union
Further bug/issue this causes:

Just found that a number of other places use the EPG custom title (if one is set) rather than the program title. If EPG has a custom title set in TV-Server-Config, then other functions will use this instead and fall over.

Example case/reproduction with IMDB (ok an extension but makes the point about how this custom is being used where what's really meant is the actual channel title (only) which should be used):

1) Set DVB-EPG title displayed to
%TITLE% (%STARRATING_STR% %CLASSIFICATION%) %GENRE%
(as above) which displays nicely in the program info as
"Over the hedge (***+ PG) movie/drama".​

2) Look up IMDB info on a film, by right click on channel guide or however you like

3) Result: tries to look up a film with a custom text and fails. If you then manually edit the program name to remove everything but actual title, it works, showing that the problem is that a custom string for display to user, is being used where actual %title% is really intended.
 

mm1352000

Development Group
  • Team MediaPortal
  • September 1, 2008
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    Hello Stilez

    When you change the DVB EPG patterns, they affect the title and description saved to the database. It is not just a display thing for the EPG. Therefore the behaviour you're discovering is an expected consequence.

    Regards,
    mm
     

    Stilez

    Portal Member
    November 19, 2014
    16
    1
    European Union European Union
    Thanks @mm1352000 . Clear and helpful :)
    In that case the issue can be reframed?


    1. Right now, the entry in TV-Server-Config for "DVB-EPG -> title/description" are the only way provided to customise the way that programs are displayed within MP.

      (Meaning, if you want to see parental classification or "star" ratings easily for every program whenever a program is "mentioned", such as TV Guide or other summaries and brief info panels about some program or recording, the only real way to do it right now is to modify the title and description in TV-Server-Config.)

      But that's not satisfactory either - as I now understand - because then recording filenames, IMDB info, etc also use the custom string as the program's actual "title", which creates other problems.

      There is a preference in TV-Server-Config for customising filenames. Could a similar preference be easily and sensibly added in the main MP prefs, to set a custom string used for places where a program title is displayed in the GIU? I guess this would be equivalent to creating a variable %titledisplayed% which defaults to the same as %title% and which the GUI uses.

      This would probably be useful if there isn't an easy way to do it already.

    2. Can MP have a note added on TV-Server-Config -> DVB-EPG, under the "title/description" fields and "You can use any of the following..." text something like this:

      "Note: Modifying these will impact the title and description used throughout MP, for example, filenames of recordings, and program information lookups."

      This would be simple to understand and ensure nobody ends up puzzled to find unexpected filenames or missing information pop up when they hadn't realised it would have this effect.
     

    mm1352000

    Development Group
  • Team MediaPortal
  • September 1, 2008
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    Hello again :)

    Right now, the entry in TV-Server-Config for "DVB-EPG -> title/description" are the only way provided to customise the way that programs are displayed within MP.
    That's not entirely true. For example, there is the "show episode info" option in the MP configuration section for TV:
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_...n/MediaPortal_Configuration/22_TV/1_TV_Client

    (Meaning, if you want to see parental classification or "star" ratings easily for every program whenever a program is "mentioned", such as TV Guide or other summaries and brief info panels about some program or recording, the only real way to do it right now is to modify the title and description in TV-Server-Config.)
    That's not entirely true either. Any skin has the ability to display any program information howsoever the skin designer chooses.
    The DVB EPG format configuration is only your final recourse if:
    1. You want to use a skin that doesn't display program information that you want to see.
    2. You don't want (or are unable) to customise the skin you use.

    But that's not satisfactory either - as I now understand - because then recording filenames, IMDB info, etc also use the custom string as the program's actual "title", which creates other problems.

    There is a preference in TV-Server-Config for customising filenames. Could a similar preference be easily and sensibly added in the main MP prefs, to set a custom string used for places where a program title is displayed in the GIU? I guess this would be equivalent to creating a variable %titledisplayed% which defaults to the same as %title% and which the GUI uses.

    This would probably be useful if there isn't an easy way to do it already.
    Technically this could be done, yes. However, personally I'm not willing to invest any time to do it.

    In my opinion the DVB EPG format configuration is not particularly well thought out, for the following reasons:
    1. It only affects EPG data sourced from the DVB EPG grabber. It doesn't affect data pulled in via the XMLTV, WebEPG, TvMovie, SchedulesDirect etc. plugins, or any other source.
    2. It has side-effects, some of which you have noted.
    3. It affects all clients/front ends.
    If you or anybody else want to see certain information in the guide in a certain way then in my opinion it would be far better to have the client side plugin or skin include options to customise the view. In this way data from any and all sources would be displayed consistently. It wouldn't matter what the original source of the EPG data was. Further, each client could be customised to the liking of the person who used it. Finally, ratings and classifications could be presented better (eg. with icons).

    I should also say that the DVB EPG format configuration has been removed from TVE 3.5. In other words, such a solution would not have much longevity, and therefore could be considered very low priority or even wasted effort.

    Can MP have a note added on TV-Server-Config -> DVB-EPG, under the "title/description" fields and "You can use any of the following..." text something like this:

    "Note: Modifying these will impact the title and description used throughout MP, for example, filenames of recordings, and program information lookups."

    This would be simple to understand and ensure nobody ends up puzzled to find unexpected filenames or missing information pop up when they hadn't realised it would have this effect.
    Yes, technically this also could be done. However, in my opinion a more appropriate solution would be to add the note in the corresponding section of the wiki. Although having information in the UI is more "immediate" (ie. you see the note at the point that you are applying configuration changes), such an approach can quickly clutter the UI to the point where it becomes clumsy (not that it isn't already clumsy in lots of places!). Considering that very few people use this particular configuration, I think having all the relevant information in one place (the wiki) would be a reasonable compromise.

    Note: you're able to edit the wiki. ;)
     

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