XBMC 12 (Frodo) - So What's The Plan?

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XBMCUser4657 Offline
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Post: #1
Hey Guys,

This is mostly a question for Dushmaniac, but I figure there are a lot of ppl wondering the same.

I see on the XBMC road map that XBMC 12 (Frodo) will be the "PVR" build. It looks like there are a lot of exciting new features on the horizon, and I'm wondering when the existing PVR branch is going to get merged into the nightly build code.

Right now I'm using MediaPortal TV Server on a Windows machine as my back end, but I'm hoping that the official XBMC PVR will allow me to cut out that middle-man. I'm hoping that I can get a little more clarity on what's planned.

Currently my setup is utilizing as much functionality as I can figure out how to configure:
  • MediaPortal Backend
  • Live TV menu option which lives completely separate from my Videos menu within XBMC
  • Recordings which don't easily integrate into my library (unless I tag, move, and re-scan)
  • No Timeshifting
  • No Series scheduling
  • Complex process on my MediaPortal server to pull a good EPG nightly
  • No easy way to configure coloring for categories within my EPG

Ideally, I'd love for XBMC to get to this point:
  • No extra backend software needed. XBMC could pull directly from my HD Homerun tuners and the DVR functionality could be configured directly within XBMC
  • No more Live TV standalone menu....would love this to be integrated into my Videos menu where I see a sub-menu for Live TV, TV Shows, Movies, etc.
  • Recordings which can be configured with a name schema, then have metadata scraped. They would then seamlessly integrate into the Videos library in the appropriate location. I believe this is the whole universal front-end concept.
  • Please enable reliable timeshifting. This is the single biggest current gap!
  • Series scheduling would be awesome. More sophisticated series scheduling (where it looks for only new episodes, or actually looks for the name of the show instead of a straight-up recurring time slot) would be even sweeter
  • Have XBMC offer a reliable and easy-to-configure EPG pull - is this even possible?
  • Enable an easier way for the EPG to color by show category (without having to go to an XML config file)

I realize that some of these features are major re-works and coding additions, but I'm just looking for some clarity on what is planned. Will there be a lot more people working on the PVR development once it's integrated into the main branch? Also - a way to cut commercials out of recorded over-the-air programming would be a killer feature....maybe an add-on?

The PVR branch is working out great for me so far (I've finally cut the cable), so thanks very much for the work that's been done already!
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opdenkamp Offline
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Post: #2
(2012-04-05 20:19)XBMCUser4657 Wrote:  [*]No extra backend software needed. XBMC could pull directly from my HD Homerun tuners and the DVR functionality could be configured directly within XBMC
if you write an add-on that can interface directly with the hdhomerun, sure, but then the hdhomerun will be the backend. XBMC will not get an internal backend, since there's no reason to spend time on that. Configuring the backend from within XBMC is certainly something that can use some love, but there's no reason to include a PVR backend in XBMC itself.

Quote:[*]No more Live TV standalone menu....would love this to be integrated into my Videos menu where I see a sub-menu for Live TV, TV Shows, Movies, etc.
as far as I can see, you can already do that by modifying the skin

Quote:[*]Recordings which can be configured with a name schema, then have metadata scraped. They would then seamlessly integrate into the Videos library in the appropriate location. I believe this is the whole universal front-end concept.
that's on the long term planning, but needs quite some changes in the interface

Quote:[*]Please enable reliable timeshifting. This is the single biggest current gap!
not even going to look into this right now, not before PVR is in mainline in it's current form (after more cleanups, reviews, etc)

Quote:[*]Series scheduling would be awesome. More sophisticated series scheduling (where it looks for only new episodes, or actually looks for the name of the show instead of a straight-up recurring time slot) would be even sweeter
same remark as with the recordings

Quote:[*]Have XBMC offer a reliable and easy-to-configure EPG pull - is this even possible?
what do you mean?

Quote:[*]Enable an easier way for the EPG to color by show category (without having to go to an XML config file)
this must be something specific to the backend that you're using. when you use tvheadend as backend, you get a coloured epg without configuring anything.

the focus for Eden was to get a stable and proper PVR build that's good enough for daily usage, which I think it is now. now, the focus for me for Frodo is not to add any new features, but clean up the current tree where needed/desired, and get it merged into mainline. I'll include minor changes that are sent via a PR if they're ok, but won't include any big changes right now that change the current behaviour.

opdenkamp / dushmaniac

xbmc-pvr [Eden-PVR builds] [now included in mainline XBMC, so no more source link here :)]
personal website: [link]

Found a problem with PVR? Report it on Trac, under "PVR - core components". Please attach the full debug log.

If you like my work, please consider donating to me and/or Team XBMC.
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Livin Offline
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Post: #3
(2012-04-06 17:13)dushmaniac Wrote:  Configuring the backend from within XBMC is certainly something that can use some love, but there's no reason to include a PVR backend in XBMC itself.

This is obviously a personal preference type of thing but I'd rather see the XBMC devs build something directly into XBMC since all the other solutions I've seen are a PITA and/or just don't work well... I'm measuring them against Windows Media Center 7 which is rock solid and wife/kid friendly too.

My 2nd choice would be to have XBMC provide 100%, rock solid, support for MythTV (since it can run Linux & Windows) - by 100% I mean we install MythTV but never need to touch it... all config, all usage, everything is done via XBMC.

I'm not an expert but I play one at work.
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Jezz_X Offline
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Post: #4
Its also a freaking huge task and pretty much impossible to do on some of the platforms that we support eg: iOS
Someone would have to write the code for windows / linux / osx / arm / ios and maybe android and then support all the different drivers and formats available on each platform not to mention even hack it into some other things.
It's so much better just to farm that crap off to the other apps that already do it and do it well. As for not having to touch the back-end sure that's possible but again its way down on the list of stuff to do because XBMC is more about having the back-end on another PC and then streaming it all to the 5 XBMC installs you have in your house.
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Livin Offline
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Post: #5
(2012-04-07 02:47)Jezz_X Wrote:  Its also a freaking huge task and pretty much impossible to do on some of the platforms that we support eg: iOS
Someone would have to write the code for windows / linux / osx / arm / ios and maybe android and then support all the different drivers and formats available on each platform not to mention even hack it into some other things.
It's so much better just to farm that crap off to the other apps that already do it and do it well.

I'm definitely not trying to say a PVR is an easy thing to write... far from it. A good example of how difficult they are is to simply see what is out there today... most are not very good. None I've seen "just work" - except WMC7.

(2012-04-07 02:47)Jezz_X Wrote:  As for not having to touch the back-end sure that's possible but again its way down on the list of stuff to do because XBMC is more about having the back-end on another PC and then streaming it all to the 5 XBMC installs you have in your house.

I know XBMC's initial goal is to stream media, but, it already has mastered that and the GUI, and many other things... it is 10x (or more) what any other media player is... period. The only thing truly missing is PVR. I'd like to see the XBMC team pick one PVR code base that runs on Linux & Windows (the two largest user bases) and make it a seamless integration with it... be that Myth, or whatever.

I'm not an expert but I play one at work.
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opdenkamp Offline
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Post: #6
like Jezz_x already said, that task would be huge, but also totally unneeded. seamless integration doesn't mean we need to include a pvr backend in xbmc, but that we need to improve the integration so you can set it up properly in xbmc and use some more features of the backend.

taking tvheadend as example, you currently just install the backend, go to a webpage and fill in your location, network id, and let it scan channels. then it's ready to be used with xbmc (I'm leaving configuring the decryption out now). now, if we can move that configuration part to xbmc (by expanding the pvr interface to allow this, write a bit of add-on code and add a couple of things to tvheadend's htsp protocol), we're as good as done.

opdenkamp / dushmaniac

xbmc-pvr [Eden-PVR builds] [now included in mainline XBMC, so no more source link here :)]
personal website: [link]

Found a problem with PVR? Report it on Trac, under "PVR - core components". Please attach the full debug log.

If you like my work, please consider donating to me and/or Team XBMC.
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Namerp Offline
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Post: #7
(2012-04-07 03:33)Livin Wrote:  The only thing truly missing is PVR. I'd like to see the XBMC team pick one PVR code base that runs on Linux & Windows (the two largest user bases) and make it a seamless integration with it... be that Myth, or whatever.

I´d love to see that too, an easy preinstalled PVR (e.g. TVH preinstalled as addon or whatever). Cause the most users are no geeks it would be the best opinion (what 6 PVR Addons to install , ahm i dont know lets install them all , ohm pvr dont work help ... you know).

Also all needed config work had to be done via XBMC, no terminal, no config no website opening. At this point a lot users giving up.
If it cant / wont get changed XBMC PVR are always be an "Expert" option only.

No problem for me but maybe for others Angel
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xxxnelly Offline
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Post: #8
(2012-04-07 10:15)dushmaniac Wrote:  like Jezz_x already said, that task would be huge, but also totally unneeded. seamless integration doesn't mean we need to include a pvr backend in xbmc, but that we need to improve the integration so you can set it up properly in xbmc and use some more features of the backend.

taking tvheadend as example, you currently just install the backend, go to a webpage and fill in your location, network id, and let it scan channels. then it's ready to be used with xbmc (I'm leaving configuring the decryption out now). now, if we can move that configuration part to xbmc (by expanding the pvr interface to allow this, write a bit of add-on code and add a couple of things to tvheadend's htsp protocol), we're as good as done.

I completely agree with dushmaniac, I really like having my backend server that contains the tv server (including decryption/ card reader etc), fileserver and download server. I have share drives setup for the thumbnails and use a shared mysql database so everything is centralised like you'd expect. I use applications like sickbeard, couchpotato to download, and I use apache to reverse proxy all these admin screens (including tvheadend) so I can access anywhere.. Its works perfectly.

--
Frontend : OpenELEC PVR runnig on Acer Revo 3700
Backend : Ubuntu 11.10 running with TVHeadend 1 x DVB-T, 1 x Dual DVB-S2
(This post was last modified: 2012-04-07 10:43 by xxxnelly.)
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LastCoder Offline
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Post: #9
^ .. I like that Server-Client/Frontend-Backend system too .. especially TVHeadend is really straightforward, so why reinvent the wheel .. and WMC7 - yeah, it's nice, but runs only on windows 7, was developed by xy paid professionell coders .. and even lacks some functions that are provided by the open-source-XBMC-PVR community .. for example try to watch and record simultaneously with only one tv tuner, doesn't work ... I guess with XBMC 12 we'll see a lot of user experience improvements that will put XBMC far ahead of all the other media centers ...

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Server, Xfce, XBMC Gotham, Skin reFred, tvheadend tv backend
ASUS P8H61-M LE/USB3, Celeron G530, Geforce 210, 4 GB DDR3 RAM
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(This post was last modified: 2012-04-07 15:38 by LastCoder.)
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Livin Offline
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Post: #10
I think most of us are saying the same thing, including Dush. We are not asking for a completely new XBMC-based PVR. We just want something that is only a few easy steps (both the PVR and XBMC) and all the usage/functions (scheduling, EPG, playback, etc) is all controlled from XBMC. I'm sure most agree (or don't care) if they are two separate apps client-server style.

I've not used TVHeadend since it is Linux only... but maybe I'll run a virtual machine with it on my Win7 box and try it with XBMC. I searched and found there is even a free Android client for it... not sure what it does but hopefully it is good. If everything is stable, and smooth, with XBMC and TVHeadend (or another PVR) I'm happy to move that box to 100% Linux. The only reason it is Win7 is because Windows Media Center is so bullet-proof, and darn good.

I'm not an expert but I play one at work.
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ich4711 Offline
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Post: #11
moin !
one big key point for xbmc is: you can choose your tv-backend.
there are so many good and perfectly working tv-backnends out there. windows AND linux based.
the world is wide open right now, eden with pvr shows the way it should go.
what i'm missing:
- deeper integration with the tv-backend, make it more seamless
- nearly all main functions of the backend should be available from the frontend.
- frontend function scan for channels, organize them in groups and so on.
- show details from the dvb hardware
- and much more...

my2cents
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da-anda Offline
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Post: #12
(2012-04-05 20:19)XBMCUser4657 Wrote:  Series scheduling would be awesome. More sophisticated series scheduling (where it looks for only new episodes, or actually looks for the name of the show instead of a straight-up recurring time slot) would be even sweeter

use Margros builds and switch to the 4theRecord Argus TV-Backend. 4theRecord has so far the best scheduling options I know of. It also has a App so you can manage recordings from your smartphone. On windows it's "THE" backend to use IMO.
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pkscout Offline
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(2012-04-09 14:45)da-anda Wrote:  use Margros builds and switch to the 4theRecord Argus TV-Backend. 4theRecord has so far the best scheduling options I know of. It also has a App so you can manage recordings from your smartphone. On windows it's "THE" backend to use IMO.

Man, I'm starting to think I'm the only person in the world that has problems with 4theRecord. On my cable system, FTR almost never gets an entire show recorded without the tuner backend failing. If you have multiple stations on one QAM frequency, FTR thinks they are the same channel and does some very strange things. And mixing QAM and ATSC is a real pain, as FTR treats the same station on QAM and ATSC and different channels for scheduling and guide purposes.

All that said, when it works, it works really well. If you have only ATSC or your cable company is nice enough to have a separate QAM channel for each broadcast channel, then FTR is definitely worth a look.
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Mike Lowrey Offline
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Post: #14
On Windows you can choose between MediaPortal TV Server and 4TR both of them work pretty good and are easy to setup. As soon as you want more than analog cable or dvb-t windows 7 mc is a catastrophic failure regarding tv - i since i've used it for a few years.

In MP you install the server, start the config tool, scan the channels and remove the stuff you don't want + activate the preferred epg source. This isn't so hard is it?

Unfortunately the XBMC pvr plugin for MP only uses a custom webservice instead of the latest and greatest MPExtended which would also give you a web frontend for tv ( and android app support).
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margro Offline
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Post: #15
(2012-04-15 16:04)Mike Lowrey Wrote:  Unfortunately the XBMC pvr plugin for MP only uses a custom webservice instead of the latest and greatest MPExtended which would also give you a web frontend for tv ( and android app support).
Still on my todo list. As far as I can see from the MPExtended TAS API, most of the required calls are there so porting should not be that difficult.
Right now my focus is still on bugfixing and getting the addon (tsreader version) running on Linux and ATV2. The TVServer plugin is indeed 'custom' but that part just works fine.

Developer of the MediaPortal PVR addon and the Argus-TV PVR-addon. Unofficial XBMC Windows builds with PVR.
http://www.scintilla.utwente.nl/~marcelg/xbmc
(This post was last modified: 2012-04-15 20:25 by margro.)
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