TV Service stopped unexpectedly (6 Viewers)

Anthony Vaughan

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    I was looking at your log file again, and found the place where "TV Server" decided to stop. it is at:
    2021-02-16 20:55:05,727 (line 7571). The error is an SQL error, and the text description is:

    Transaction (Process ID 52) was deadlocked on lock resources with another process and has been chosen as the deadlock victim. Rerun the transaction.

    Is it possible that your SQL EPG update program interfered with TV Server's access to the database?

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
    Well spotted. I think you are right. Now that I've taken your advice and removed both grabbing options from the DVB EPG section, leaving everything up to WebEPG, which grabs the EPG at 01:10, there should be very little likelihood of a conflict.

    Thanks for all of your help.

    Tony
     

    Anthony Vaughan

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  • June 25, 2015
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    Hi CyberSimian

    Since I removed both grabbing options from the DVB EPG section I have not had any EPG updates. WebEPG is set to grab at 01:00 every day and I had the number of days to grab set to 5. The most recent date I have programs for is the 24th: i.e. tomorrow.

    I have set the grab when idle section ON and the EPG was grabbed almost straight away.

    I guess this is why I must have set grabbing options ON in the DVB EPG way back and had forgotten why I did it.

    Is this your understanding of how things work because I think you were assuming that WebEPG worked as a self-contained unit (which made sense to me as well)?

    Would you please confirm which is the right way to use WebEPG?

    Thanks in advance.

    Tony
     

    CyberSimian

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    I think you were assuming that WebEPG worked as a self-contained unit (which made sense to me as well)?
    Yes, indeed! (y)

    If WebEPG is working correctly, grabbing the DVB EPG should be redundant. By looking at the programme descriptions in the EPG, can you discern where the information originated? Does the WebEPG source have more detail or a different style of words compared to the DVB EPG?

    Are you sure that WebEPG is working correctly? What happens if you disable WebEPG and use only the DVB EPG grabber?

    I have never used WebEPG, so don't have any knowledge of how it works, or how reliable it is. :(

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     

    Anthony Vaughan

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    Hi CyberSimian

    We went through this in detail some time ago and I had forgotten some of the nuances.

    It would appear that WebEPG doesn't work as a closed system. It asks you to define how many days to grab the EPG for and whether to clear old programs, and then a schedule as well as a grab now option. This would give the impression that it is stand-alone. However, in my experience, Grab Now doesn't do anything.

    When I deselected the DVB EPG, no grabbing happened and when I reinstated that, grabbing started again. So, reality is telling me one thing and it seems to differ from the theory.

    The Help system says WebEPG was designed for MediaPortal but doesn't mention whether it is necessary to make it work together with DVB EPG. I just don't get why a schedule is offered in WebEPG that is never implemented.

    Maybe someone can help us understand what the intention was and how it is meant to work in practice?

    Hope you can find out more:).

    Tony
     

    CyberSimian

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    It asks you to define how many days to grab the EPG for and whether to clear old programs, and then a schedule as well as a grab now option. This would give the impression that it is stand-alone. However, in my experience, Grab Now doesn't do anything.
    I tried this earlier today, and WebEPG did grab some EPG, but success was only partial. :(

    WebEPG downloads its EPG from various web sites, which are (I think) defined in an xml file in an MP folder. For the UK, WebEPG defines three web sites, but these could be changed by modifying the xml file. The web sites defined by default are: RadioTimes, Bleb, and Digiguide.

    My recollection is that RadioTimes stopped providing a downloadable EPG several years ago, and this is what I found in my test -- the channel that was defined to use the RadioTimes web site received no EPG. :(

    I have heard of Bleb, but I know nothing more, and I suspect that either they have stopped providing a downloadable EPG, or they have changed the download interface and WebEPG is still using the old interface. In my test, the one channel that was defined to use Bleb received no EPG. :(

    The third web site is Digiguide, and in my test the four channels that were defined to use Digiguide did receive an EPG (y). Looking on the Digiguide web site, they provide a basic EPG which is free, and a premium EPG which costs £15 per year. In both cases you need to create an account. However, I did not do that, and yet the EPG was still downloaded successfully. It is possible that MP has its own account on Digiguide, and that WebEPG was using that (this is merely a speculation o_O).

    Finally, there was one channel in my test that could not be defined to use any of the three web sites. This channel was "Talking Pictures TV", and it was absent from all of the channel lists provided by RadioTimes, Bleb, and Digiguide.

    Looking at the EPG info from Digiguide, it certainly is more detailed than the broadcast EPG. In addition, the EPG xml file has the tag for series and episode numbers, which the broadcast EPG does not, so another plus for Digiguide. On the other hand, if Digiguide does not cover all UK channels that you want to view and record, you have to use a second EPG provider. The broadcast EPG provides an EPG for all DVB-T/T2 channels of course, albeit with less detail and no series and episode numbers.

    I tested this with my "Film" channel group, which contains only seven channels, and grabbed for one day only, so it completed quickly (although there is a strange pause where is says "Finishing grabbing", but it has not actually finished, so wait a bit longer until it says "Grabbing finished").

    I would suggest modifying your WebEPG settings so that all channels use Digiguide. Don't forget to click the "Save" button on the WebEPG "General" tab after making changes. Then click "Grab now", and you should see the "Grab status" line updated with the info about what is currently being grabbed.

    To determine which channels actually receive an EPG, I would suggest emptying the EPG first, by disabling the idle and timeshift DVB grabbers and then clicking "Refresh DVB EPG" in the "Manual Control" section. It will claim that EPG grabbing will start shortly, but it is being economical with the truth -- if both idle and timeshift grabbers are disabled, no grabbing occurs (but the existing EPG will be deleted).

    I did not test the scheduling on the WebEPG "Schedule" tab, so I don't know whether that works correctly.

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     

    joecrow

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    Maybe a bit out of left field but what about giving EPG Buddy a try? I takes a bit of setting up but that is well documented in the included instructions and for me provides a much more detailed and improved EPG than the broadcast (DVB-EPG) one. It also has the big advantage of being well supported and updated as needed.
     

    Anthony Vaughan

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    Hi CyberSimian

    Thank you very much for that excellent description of how WebEPG works.

    Did WebEPG grab anything when the DVB EPG options were turned OFF because that didn't work for me at all?

    I have found where WebEPG defines its configuration - in a folder, under 'MediaPortal TV Server' called WebEPG. Here it defines the channels and grabbers (each grabber by region). In the GB grabber folder each source is held in separate files: '1-xmltv_radiotimes_com.xml'; '2-www_mydigiguide_com.xml' and '3-www_bleb_org.xml'. The fact that these three files are numbered makes me somewhat hesitant about playing around with them so I'm going to leave them alone: e.g. removing any of them.

    It's interesting that you were unable to download the 'Talking Pictures TV' EPG because I could not find this channel in those three files but I am getting that channel's EPG daily. So, maybe there's something else going on, as well WebEPG, to get EPG data.

    I am using the 'Store data only for the selected channels' option.

    BTW, although the XML suggests that series info is extracted by WebEPG, I have had to write a whole load of code to handle what the source EPG provides. The series info is actually held in the description field for each program - but in more than one format - which is why WebEPG doesn't extract all of the series info because it only tests for one format. I had to work things out on a seek and find basis (look for existing series info and list all of the different formats). When an unexpected format comes up I amend my code to handle it. It's not perfect but I do get most of the available series info.

    Thanks for all of your help.

    Tony
     

    CyberSimian

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    Did WebEPG grab anything when the DVB EPG options were turned OFF because that didn't work for me at all?
    The "DVB EPG" relates exclusively to the broadcast EPG, and does not affect any of the other sources for the EPG (other than overwriting their programme details in the TV Server database if that option is selected). So selecting "Refresh DVB EPG" will not start WebEPG downloading its EPG from the internet.

    I specifically disabled the idle and timeshift DVB EPG grabbers before going to the WebEPG panel and clicking "Grab now" on the "General" tab. Grabbing started immediately (as you would expect). I have not tested the "Schedule" settings for WebEPG, so there might be a problem with those.

    If you click "Grab now" on the WebEPG "General" tab, and nothing happens, there must be a problem with your WebEPG config, or with WebEPG's access to the internet (firewall?). The "Grab status" line on the panel shows the progress of the grab, so it is easy to see if it is working.

    The fact that these three files are numbered makes me somewhat hesitant about playing around with them
    I don't know the significance of the numbers, although one might speculate that the files have to be numbered sequentially starting at one. So if you were to delete (or move elsewhere) the files for RadioTimes and Bleb, you might need to rename the Digiguide file so that it has a number of "1".

    The only reason to remove the RadioTimes and Bleb files is so that the "Auto Map" function will not try to match channels on those web sites. With only the Digiguide web site defined, Auto Map will be compelled to map channels on the Digiguide web site. Note: Auto Map does not always choose the correct channels. e.g. in my "Film" channel group, for the "Paramount" channel Auto Map chose the incorrect "Paramount Comedy" (which is not available on DVB-T/T2).

    It's interesting that you were unable to download the 'Talking Pictures TV' EPG because I could not find this channel in those three files but I am getting that channel's EPG daily. So, maybe there's something else going on, as well WebEPG, to get EPG data.
    If the idle or timeshift DVB EPG grabber is enabled, channels which are missing from Digiguide will receive the broadcast EPG. Channels which are present in Digiguide will retain their Digiguide EPG descriptions if the "Do not update EPG entries" option is enabled on the DVB EPG grabber panel, and the WebEPG grabber is run before the DVB EPG grabber when a new day's EPG becomes available. So in that way you can use both EPG sources, and retain the benefits of using Digiguide (more detailed info, series and episode numbers).

    I am using the 'Store data only for the selected channels' option.
    This is an alternative way of using the broadcast EPG with an internet EPG. For the broadcast EPG, select only those channels that are missing from the internet EPG. This technique is more reliable than using the "do not update existing entries" option on the DVB EPG panel.

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     
    Last edited:

    Anthony Vaughan

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    Hi CyberSimian

    Can I read from what you have said in the last post that, in reality, I am using the broadcast EPG - just without realizing it?

    Maybe I should turn OFF WebEPG to prove the point.

    I'll get back to you when I've tried that.

    Tony
     

    Anthony Vaughan

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    Okay. I realize now what has been going on. Although I had selected WebEPG and set it to use the TV Server Database and the number of days to grab, I had never touched the TV and Radio mappings. Now, I know that the number of days to grab definitely does works but I hadn't appreciated that I needed to do anything to the TV and Radio mappings and, therefore, I guess I have been getting the actual EPG data from the broadcasting source all along. Doh!

    This seems to have worked fine for me and I've sorted getting the series info into the database series info fields without realizing I could have got it elsewhere. The only benefit I have gained by using WebEPG at all is to get more days of grabbing than I would have got had I not used WebEPG at all - the help text says broadcast only retrieves 2 days of data.

    You've said earlier that you only use the broadcast EPG yourself so I assume it can work for most people quite adequately.

    Maybe a bit out of left field but what about giving EPG Buddy a try? I takes a bit of setting up but that is well documented in the included instructions and for me provides a much more detailed and improved EPG than the broadcast (DVB-EPG) one. It also has the big advantage of being well supported and updated as needed.
    Noted, joecrow. I don't know whether I really want to get into another world of variability by using either WebEPG more fully or any other product. But I will bear it in mind if I change my mind about that.

    Tony
     

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