Android Argus TV PVR Add-on crashing Kodi (v19.1)
#1
I have a problem using the ArgusTV PVR add-on on my Amlogic S905X Android box.
After configuring the settings it tells you to restart but when you do, Kodi barely stays running before vanishing mysteriously with no error message, the way only Kodi does! It usually gets as far as the homescreen when using a skin that's not too heavy (Like Estuary for example) but at the point where a working installation would normally start importing the channels and epg, that's when Kodi gives up and dies.
If I install the PVR add-on but leave it unconfigured with the default settings the problem doesn't occur.

I enabled debug logging and component specific loing for the PVR client and I've uploaded it here:
kufihaqanu.kodi (paste)
(It's not the entire log as it's huge and it probably contains references to add-ons that we're not allowed to post in here. I took the copy from the point where the PVR client instance is first created up until the end of the log where Kodi disappears as that is the part that's relevant to the problem)

The log shows that the client and server are communicating happily (I initially thought maybe they weren't and a firewall could have been the problem) but beyond that I'm lost as I only have a basic understanding of the inner workings.

I've tried using a clean install of Kodi, I've also tried reinstalling the ArgusTV server twice, firstly with its own internal web server and then using IIS (which is what it's running now) the DB is running on MySQL but I doubt that's relevant since the client doesn't interact directly with the database server anyway.

I really hope someone can help me fix this as I'd prefer to keep using Kodi as my front-end if I can get it working.
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#2
I'm guessing that this is just a broken add-on that no-one's all that bothered about fixing since I'm not the first person to post about this problem and not receive a reply.
I wouldn't say I've "fixed" the problem now as that would be inaccurate but I have achieved the end result I was after by ditching ArgusTV and setting up a MediaPortal server instead.
It's all working well now but if anyone does ever work out how to fix this ArgusTV problem, there are at least two other threads in this forum where people are looking for a solution Smile
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#3
I finally ditched Argus as well.  Went to NextPVR, personally, and it is awesome - has been faultless so far.  The scheduling is not quite as nice as Argus, but pretty close, and everything else is better, so zero regrets.
Addons I wrote &/or maintain:
OzWeather (Australian BOM weather) | Check Previous Episode | Playback Resumer | Unpause Jumpback | XSqueezeDisplay | (Legacy - XSqueeze & XZen)
Sorry, no help w/out a *full debug log*.
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#4
(2021-09-14, 04:57)bossanova808 Wrote: I finally ditched Argus as well.  Went to NextPVR, personally, and it is awesome - has been faultless so far.  The scheduling is not quite as nice as Argus, but pretty close, and everything else is better, so zero regrets.

I think they all have their pros and cons. Argus served me well for a long time but it was extremely frustrating that for no good reason, it ignores the LCNs whenever you scan for channels so if you want the same channel numbering as on your TV you have to manually enter the LCNs for 100+ channels.
 
I'm using MediaPortal TV server now and that picks up the LCN channel numbers no problem, plus it has IPTV virtual tuners so you can add IPTV channels as if they were terrestrial TV channels. MediaPortal does have one massive flaw though, it really struggles to find sources for EPG Guide data. It does allow you to configure guide sources manually but it's far from self-explanatory and the sources it lets you choose from seem to be way outdated in terms of channel lists.

Argus handled all that EPG stuff automatically and flawlessly, I guess it's just a case of trying different solutions to find the one that best serves your requirements (and ideally not crashing the client would be nice).

It still baffles me that no-one has written a proper TV add-on for Kodi so you can just use a tuner directly without the messy business of running TV servers etc. Most other fully-featured media players have it built-in or at least available as an optional installable feature. Windows Media Center did so extremely well but it was only available on the one platform and didn't have the add-on functionality that makes Kodi so popular.
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#5
Oh for sure.  A big con of Argus is that, development wide, it is dead in the water at this point (both Argus itself, it seems, and the Kodi addon, other than the bare minimum to keep it working).  The config was needlessly complicated too (e.g. your issue with LCNs), as was the need for an independent DB and webserver.  All that is built in to NextPVR in a nice simple way.

I have simple needs though, just two tuners, FTA and their provided guides, so have not explored the rest.  Good to have options for sure, but in my case NextPVR is doing everything Argus did, and more, and is considerably simpler to use as well, so I'm very happy with it.

I think writing a 'proper' such thing for Kodi would be pretty complicated, given the cross platform nature of Kodi.  But the decision to go client server was made long, long ago, so I suppose that is unlikely to change.  And the future is IPTV really anyway, so....
Addons I wrote &/or maintain:
OzWeather (Australian BOM weather) | Check Previous Episode | Playback Resumer | Unpause Jumpback | XSqueezeDisplay | (Legacy - XSqueeze & XZen)
Sorry, no help w/out a *full debug log*.
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#6
(2021-09-15, 08:45)bossanova808 Wrote: Oh for sure.  A big con of Argus is that, development wide, it is dead in the water at this point (both Argus itself, it seems, and the Kodi addon, other than the bare minimum to keep it working).  The config was needlessly complicated too (e.g. your issue with LCNs), as was the need for an independent DB and webserver.  All that is built in to NextPVR in a nice simple way.

I have simple needs though, just two tuners, FTA and their provided guides, so have not explored the rest.  Good to have options for sure, but in my case NextPVR is doing everything Argus did, and more, and is considerably simpler to use as well, so I'm very happy with it.

I think writing a 'proper' such thing for Kodi would be pretty complicated, given the cross platform nature of Kodi.  But the decision to go client server was made long, long ago, so I suppose that is unlikely to change.  And the future is IPTV really anyway, so....

I'm running CoreElec which has its own built-in repo as well as the official Kodi one. The CoreElec repo has a bunch of the standard Kodi addons that I assume they've modified for CoreElec but it also has a bunch of addons whose names suggest that they actually do add native support for USB tuners and DVB. I haven't tried them yet because I already had the PC set up as a TV server and I'm reluctant to mess with anything now that I've finally got it all working.
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#7
If TVHeadend isn't your thing, CvH from LE created a script for installing NextPVR directly.   I have pretty much finished the script off and use on CE and it works pretty well with Kodi and NextPVR running together.  if you are interested let me know.

Martin
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#8
(2021-09-15, 14:53)emveepee Wrote: If TVHeadend isn't your thing, CvH from LE created a script for installing NextPVR directly.   I have pretty much finished the script off and use on CE and it works pretty well with Kodi and NextPVR running together.  if you are interested let me know.

Martin

I've never tried TVHeadend or NextPVR..
I basically just went through the list of available PVR addons and looked for the ones that were either free or available from torrent sites. That resulted in two options, one of which was Argus, which I'd already established doesn't work. The other option was mediaportal which is now working, albeit with an unreliable EPG.
If I was setting up from scratch then I might have been tempted to try installing something directly to the set-top box but now everything is set-up and working (mostly), I really don't want to change anything and risk it all going south.
Before anyone says "back it up first, then you can just restore if it all goes wrong", last time I did that it broke my Kodi install even worse! Backup often cheerfully neglects to back everything up and unless you happen to be there watching when it happens, then you won't see the notification that appears on-screen for all of a couple of seconds.
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#9
(2021-09-16, 13:07)kevwag Wrote: I've never tried TVHeadend or NextPVR..
I basically just went through the list of available PVR addons and looked for the ones that were either free or available from torrent sites. That resulted in two options, one of which was Argus, which I'd already established doesn't work. The other option was mediaportal which is now working, albeit with an unreliable EPG.

I didn't read all the posts, I was mainly referring to the topic which is Argus crashing and was noting that TVHeadend and NextPVR could give you an option on CoreElec.  Glad you have a working solution.
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#10
(2021-09-16, 13:07)kevwag Wrote: I basically just went through the list of available PVR addons and looked for the ones that were either free or available from torrent sites. That resulted in two options, one of which was Argus, which I'd already established doesn't work. The other option was mediaportal which is now working, albeit with an unreliable EPG.

Why didn't NextPVR end up on that list? It's free. It's also cross platform, so available for most platforms.
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#11
(2021-09-29, 06:20)sub3 Wrote:
(2021-09-16, 13:07)kevwag Wrote: I basically just went through the list of available PVR addons and looked for the ones that were either free or available from torrent sites. That resulted in two options, one of which was Argus, which I'd already established doesn't work. The other option was mediaportal which is now working, albeit with an unreliable EPG.

Why didn't NextPVR end up on that list? It's free. It's also cross platform, so available for most platforms.

It didn't show up on any torrent sites and for some reason I had it in my head that it was a paid-for software so I didn't even look for the official website. Thanks for the info on that - I'll maybe give it a try at some point.
...
Update: - I've just installed it and it's solved all the problems I was having! LCNs are correct and EPG looks to be right as well. Picture quality is a bit dodgy but that could be caused by the tuner I've assigned to it. Now I know it works I'll uninstall Mediaportal and assign all the tuners to NextPVR and hopefully that will fix the picture quality.
Thanks again for the suggestion Smile

Update 2: Yep, all working properly now I've freed-up the other tuners. Much better than Argus or Mediaportal! I can only fault it on one very minor issue - literally every show in the EPG has a star under the title and shows as "New", even stuff I know I've watched several times previously on the same channel. It's a minor bug and I can live with it, everything else works nicely and it's far simpler to set up than the other two. I don't understand why the other two developers went about it in such a complicated manner. The backend setup for those servers was a bit of a culture shock at first (especially Argus TV) as I'd previously used Windows Media Center which was quick and painless to set up. Why the others chose to use SQL servers to store data that could pretty much have been saved to a txt file is beyond me. It wouldn't be as bad if their software actually worked properly but it doesn't!
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#12
I'm surprised you went looking for software on a torrent site. It's like asking for asking for a virus Big Grin 

Assuming you're using a digital tuner, then the broadcaster is deciding the quality of the stream, and NextPVR is just passing it along to Kodi for playback. Something about your Kodi settings (like deinterlacing) may be making it look worse than it needs to be though, or you might be a tuner that is having signal quality issues. 

That's not a bug. If NextPVR doesn't know if a show is new or old, then it assumes the show is new. This is NextPVR being cautious, to make sure shows will be recorded if you choose to only record new episodes, and it doesn't know if it's new or old. It's assuming it's new.  Other guide sources have more complete info about whether shows are new or not etc. 

If you were viewing in NextPVR, you have the option to whether to highlight new shows in the guide. I'm pretty sure the Kodi NextPVR addon has a similiar setting. Switch it off and you wont need to see these shows being highlight as new.
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#13
(2021-10-01, 02:57)sub3 Wrote: If you were viewing in NextPVR, you have the option to whether to highlight new shows in the guide. I'm pretty sure the Kodi NextPVR addon has a similiar setting. Switch it off and you wont need to see these shows being highlight as new.

There is no Kodi setting for this, pvr.nextpvr will fetch the backend setting.  If this information is important you can use Schedules Direct as the source for the EPG in many countries.

Martin
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#14
(2021-10-01, 02:57)sub3 Wrote: I'm surprised you went looking for software on a torrent site. It's like asking for asking for a virus Big Grin 

Assuming you're using a digital tuner, then the broadcaster is deciding the quality of the stream, and NextPVR is just passing it along to Kodi for playback. Something about your Kodi settings (like deinterlacing) may be making it look worse than it needs to be though, or you might be a tuner that is having signal quality issues. 

That's not a bug. If NextPVR doesn't know if a show is new or old, then it assumes the show is new. This is NextPVR being cautious, to make sure shows will be recorded if you choose to only record new episodes, and it doesn't know if it's new or old. It's assuming it's new.  Other guide sources have more complete info about whether shows are new or not etc. 

If you were viewing in NextPVR, you have the option to whether to highlight new shows in the guide. I'm pretty sure the Kodi NextPVR addon has a similiar setting. Switch it off and you wont need to see these shows being highlight as new.
I've never had a problem with software I've torrented. As long as you've got good antivirus software and you take the time to read and understand any warnings or alerts before you override them then you'd have to be pretty unlucky to have anything serious go wrong. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't have a good understanding of malware and computer security but I've worked in the IT support industry for over 25 years so I know the value of keeping anything important backed up. I've learned from 25 years of other people's mistakes Smile

The picture thing is definitely a problem with the tuner because the other tuner is giving a much better picture, despite being the same spec and running from the same signal (aerial amplifier with 4 outputs). I know that kinda defies the logic of a digital signal, it either is or it isn't, it's true or false, it's 1 or 0 but for some bizarre reason, that one particular tuner is somewhere in between! You could say it has a binary value of 0.7 which makes no sense at all!

I get what you mean about the guide, I was misunderstanding how "new" was being defined. That's probably the only thing I miss about mediaportal - when it did actually get the right info for the epg, it included season and episode numbers for TV series which was quite useful. It also meant that stuff I watched on TV got automatically scrobbled by Trakt which was handy in the sense that I could keep track of stuff I had and hadn't watched, but it had a downside too. My Trakt progress list quickly got filled with crap I wasn't really watching, either because I'd flicked through the channels or I'd fallen asleep watching something.

I'm not using the Kodi NextPVR addon, I'm using CoreElec and all the PVR addons are in a separate CoreElec repo, which I assume means that the CoreElec devs have modified them in some way to work better on their platform. I can't seem to find anywhere to turn the "new" label off, either in the addon or the server.
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