Unified PVR front-end: Skinning the EPG TV-Guide GUI (feedback from skinners wanted)
Looks great alcoheca. Awesome job on the configuration options too; it seems to be very flexible which I'm sure skinners will appreciate. Keep up the good work.

Some features to consider for the future:
1. icons indicating a show goes past the edge of the display.
2. ability to set word wrap on title display boxes
3. elipses to indicate a title is truncated

Great work so far!

Been watching this project with great interest and while I have no idea about the coding behind it I thought I'd mention some things you may wish to consider along the way. Even if they can be included much later on after GSOC.

This post probably doesn't belong in a skinning forum though the content would affect skin development. Apologies if ti's the wrong place to post it Blush

One thing I find with XBMC is that it's just better than every other HTPC app in terms of it's intuitive behavior.

Most guide implementations are not intuitive and the vast majority of them follow a similar 24hr grid theme. It's a difficult thing to do well but it would be awesome if XBMC could do it better.

I've been thinking about viewing habits (mine in particular), but I would think they are relatively common.

The vast majority of the time I'm only interested in seeing what is on via the guide during prime time. say 7pm -> midnight. For anything else I would use search functions to find it as I'm not going to scroll through 24 hours of programming every day looking for a program. This is particularly relevant when I'm looking for content I might like to record for later viewing.

Would it be possible to code for customised easily switchable "views" of the guide. Even if only used for scheduling recordings. So you could for instance have channels listed across the x axis and display all programming between 7pm->midnight (user definable) down the y axis with say the "skip" right function on the remote jumping to the next "primetime" day. That way the end user could very quickly search through the entire weeks primetime viewing with only 7 presses of the remote? Only titles should be displayed but a full synopsis should be shown below as any individual title is highlighted.

It'd also be great if I were able to add exclusions to my guide. i.e. Instead of marking series I want to record I'd also like to mark series that I don't want the guide to show at all. So I could exclude any reference to reality TV shows, the news, etc etc.. With enough exclusions all that should be left is anything that is new or that I am interested in. It should be able to exclude entire categories like "Chick Flicks!" Smile It's a reverse way of viewing the data but could be very powerful when set up correctly as the guide displayed on screen could potentially not have data for days, allowing that space to be reclaimed and I might get a list of days worth of shows I'm interested in all on one screen simultaneously. Maybe you could call it a "favorites" view allowing options to mark favorite shows, exclude disliked shows and display everything else as uncategorised until tagged as a favorite or excluded. It would take some work to set up but would make browsing for new and interesting content much much faster.

Could it work? Is it viable for an end user... I dunno. Just trying to think up some new innovative ideas to give XBMC the edge Wink

Having used many guide implementations I feel there has to be better ways of displaying the data than the 24 hour grid method they all adhere to.

Just some ideas at any rate. Keep up the great work, I'm very appreciative of what you're trying to achieve and the XBMC project as a whole!


On further thought maybe it could just be a rule generator similar to what myth has. i.e. Allow rules like:

1. List only programs in a specific category.
2. Only on in within a set time range.
3. Include tv shows
4. Include Movies
5. Exclude specific title via pattern match.

The end user could then define a guide view that displays only:

"All sci fi and police drama shows and movies on between 7am and midnight every day except those that match "X files" etc etc..

A quick and easy way to specify the content any specific user may want to record.

I admit it's probably way out of scope just yet but thinking early on about how something might end up can be advantageous.


Hi Arkay,

I definitely want to have filtered views, similar to Video library, but I was imaging the results being displayed in a regular list.

So you're looking at the tv guide grid, you push a button and you choose which view you want to focus on. 'All films starting in 3 hours' that sort of thing.

Actually messing with the grid in that it would only show certain time ranges is probably counter intuitive and would require the grid code to be reworked.

The grid *will* have an option to view favourite channels only though. (So for me it's bye bye to any shopping, or premium rate phone-in quiz channels etc)
Obviously its a bit soon for feature requests but I was just thinking it'd be great if XBMC could keep track of how often/how much you watch particular channels, so you could sort it by watched time and have your most watched channels bubble up.

Just wanted to get that down somewhere before I forgot I thought of it.

If you are stuck for inspiration you may want to look at BigBellyBillies MyTV guide which can be extended with python plugins to provide guide data. He has also a plugin to set recordings. His setup is quite smart but a bit less ambitious than this project.

The good thing in getting the data from the backend is that in some cases the backend has given a program or show an identification. If you want to set a recording this id may be all it requires rather than channel; start; end.

I did a plugin for SageTV epg data for the MyTV guide and if your setup would allow python datasources then I certainly want to give this a try as well - currently we use the SageTV XBMC script for which epg functionality is not so great.

I'm really keen to see how far you get with this one - so far it looks very promising. It's a good idea to let the backend do what it is good at and same for the frontend as you are doing.

Good luck!
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Unified PVR front-end: Skinning the EPG TV-Guide GUI (feedback from skinners wanted)52