[Solved] Trying to migrate from Media Center to Ubuntu MythTV

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wb8tyw
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Re: Trying to migrate from Media Center to Ubuntu MythTV

Post by wb8tyw » Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:25 pm

Now starting to have success.

I set up the tuners for the antenna to use EIT EPG data and the tuners for cable to use Schedules Direct data.

i did this partially to see if it was viable to use the EIT data. I discovered that the EIT data for Sunday afternoon CBS was all TBD, while Schedules Direct has data.

So I am now able to watch TV from the tuner connected to the Antenna, but not yet from unencrypted cable.

The reason that I can not do unencrypted cable is that similar to Microsoft Media Center, MythTV needs every channel to be configured in the guide before it can be used.

My cable provider, Mediacom, does not put their unencrypted channels in their online guide listings. They put a mostly accurate listing of most of them on one their web pages. These unencrypted channels are also not listed in Shedules Direct.

To find out what cable channels that I can actually get, I have to look at a scan from the tuner connected to the cable and then try to match them.

So it means that I have to add almost every channel manually for cable for both Microsoft Media Center and MythTV.

Now adding a channel manually in Microsoft Media Center could be improved, but you have to go through their GUI that was designed to work mainly with a remote, so it does not have a good search function.

In Microsoft Media Center, when you add a channel, and you need to map a guide listing for it, it allows you to scroll through the list of known "stations/channels" in the guide until you find a match. It will allow you to enter in 1 character to move the search to start at that character.
So you just need to find a compatible listing.

The method for MythTV appears need more steps, the big one that apparently I need the XMLTV id for the directory listings that I need to enter.
I guess I need to find a better way to look the up than opening up each channel entry.

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Re: Trying to migrate from Media Center to Ubuntu MythTV

Post by heyted » Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:40 pm

For clear QAM, you could take a look at forum.mythtv.org/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=3567. You could also try to run Hdhrchan2myth, but I'm not sure that will work as I have only used it with an HDHR Prime with encrypted channels.
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wb8tyw
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Re: Trying to migrate from Media Center to Ubuntu MythTV

Post by wb8tyw » Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:05 am

Right now, schedulesdirect is down for getting XML listings.
So I can not troubleshoot the TV Guide issues.

I discovered that when I tried to edit the settings in the video transports. Apparently even though it is the same database the channels, I need one entry for scanning OTA channels and one for scanning CATV channels.

And it looks like configuring the grabber entry GUI leaves a lot to be desired. Keep having to delete old data from the entry box. Make a bad entry, have to start completely over, and previous settings not remembered or displayed.

The cache for the grabbers defaults being in the home directory of the user that ran mythtv-setup? I would expect that any files needed by the backend would be default to /var/lib/mythtv.

Since I do not know how long schedules direct has been down, I do not know how much stuff I tried yesterday did not work because of that.
I removed the OTA EPG video source and tried to setup another video source for the OTA channels. But I do not remember doing a specific configure of the grabber for it. I think I assumed that it would use the settings from the previous one because it was the same database.

Telling it to use the new video source for the guide did not select any channels. The channel scan in the channel editor found all the stations that could be received, but did not configure any guide entries for them.

And if a schedules direct entry has a icon entry for it, why can't that be the default for the icon file?
So I have to look up the XMLID and icon file for each channel I have to configure or fix the guide entries for?

With the Microsoft Media center, I just have to scroll through the listings until I find a match for the channel.

The Channel editor is not letting me enter in a transport ID or a frequency for a Missing Cable Channel of about a dozen that I have to add.
And the cable channel I tried to add does not work.

The channel scan only found about 1/2 of them. The ones that were reporting their "public channel" number. With mediacom, that is only some of the unencrypted channels.

Maybe I did not set the right scan options, because I thought I set it to include channels that did not have complete information.

A scan, and this time making sure that it found incomplete channels just completed while I was typing this, and it looks now that it found all the unencrypted channels.

Adding the cable channels, even if it had worked would easy in the channel editor. There are a quite a few hundred "dead" channels listed in the scan, and all the channels to be added are in the "70 - 92" range in the middle. Which means that I going to repeatedly hunt down the add channel entry in the listing. It would be nice if the "Add Channel" was not in the list, and it would also be nice to have an option to hide/unhide channels that have been set to invisible.

And no way to paste in data into the fields? I have been entering in xxxxx.json.scheduledirect.org and the icon file name all day just for the OTA channels. And I have at least 2 dozen cable channels that I need to update.

At least I now have a separate spreadsheet of all the channels that I need, with both their OTA and CATV channel numbers, and their schedules direct XMLID and Icon file.

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Re: Trying to migrate from Media Center to Ubuntu MythTV

Post by wb8tyw » Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:56 pm

As of Monday evening, Schedules direct claimed to be back on line.
I still had no show listings in the TV Guide, and I could not find a reason for it as the tv_grab_zz_sdjson confirmed that I was getting listings from Schedule direct.

On Tuesday evening, I noticed that there was an update to Myth TV, I installed it, and found that I now had Guide listings for the channels that were configured.
My Schedules direct currently has two lineups that I setup for EPG123, One is for the on-air channels and one is for the CATV channels. Both appear to be slightly incomplete.
It looks like I can not have the CATV and Antenna tuners share a video source. Microsoft Media Center allows a single guide listing that I can use the channel editor to assign to on-air or CATV channels as needed.

I have both video sources configured to pull down the same guide listings. I have ended up manually editing the two files produced by the video source editor so that they will share the same download cache, since it appears that the mythfilldatabase process does them one at a time.

Something is not right with loading the edited channels into MythTV. The edits show up in the editor when I pull them up, but after running the mythfilldatabase, some of the edits are missing. Some channels have guide listings, but not the name of the channel, etc. Other channels have their name, but no TV Guide information. And some have neither.

While running mythfilldatabase, I am getting errors like this on the second video source that seem to correspond to the channels that I do not have listings for.

Code: Select all

2020-04-25 08:52:15.281620 N  Unknown xmltv channel identifier: I102482.json.schedulesdirect.org - Skipping channel.
A check of the XML file extracted from the video source shows those channel identifiers are present.

Code: Select all

tv_grab_zz_sdjson --days 0 --config-file '.mythtv/Schedules Direct Line up 2.xmltv' > list2.xml
grep I102482.json.schedulesdirect.org list2.xml
  <channel id="I102482.json.schedulesdirect.org">
All the added channels that have icons (most of them) are showing their icons now in the channel editor.

Another problem noticed is that when I exit mthtv_setup, it first asks if I want to restart the back end, and click on yes, and restart it.
It then asks if I want to run mythfilldatabase. If I click yes on that option, it claims it can not connect to the mtyhtv backend.

Code: Select all

Apr 12 17:43:05 aviary mythfilldatabase: mythfilldatabase[9540]: I CoreContext m
ythcorecontext.cpp:469 (ConnectCommandSocket) MythCoreContext::ConnectCommandSoc
ket(): Connecting to backend server: 127.0.0.1:6543 (try 1 of 1)
Apr 12 17:43:05 aviary mythfilldatabase: mythfilldatabase[9540]: E MythSocketThr
ead(-1) mythsocket.cpp:685 (ConnectToHostReal) MythSocket(55cdfd2e2df0:-1): Fail
ed to connect to (127.0.0.1:6543) Connection refused
Apr 12 17:43:05 aviary mythfilldatabase: mythfilldatabase[9540]: E CoreContext m
ythcorecontext.cpp:537 (ConnectCommandSocket) Connection to master server timed
out.#012#011#011#011Either the server is down or the master server settings#012#
011#011#011in mythtv-settings does not contain the proper IP address
Apr 12 17:43:05 aviary mythfilldatabase: mythfilldatabase[9540]: E CoreContext s
cheduledrecording.cpp:18 (SendReschedule) Error rescheduling MATCH 0 0 0 - MythF
illDatabase in ScheduledRecording::SendReschedule
Apr 12 17:43:05 aviary mythfilldatabase: mythfilldatabase[9540]: N CoreContext m
If I run the mythfilldatabase by it self, I do not see that.

Since this is on Ubuntu, do I need to have to have run the mythtv_setup as the "mythtv" user?
Or have the .mythtv directory of my login account shared by a symlink with the mythtv user?

So far I have recorded two test programs, one HD and one SD.
The HD is playing back a bit choppy on the video.
The SD is playing back fine.

I also tried to sign up for the bug tracker. It linked to my github account and I got the confirmation e-mail.
I can not log into the bug tracker though. Everything I try gives me invalid password.
I have tried:
1. Just clicking on the GitHub button with out filling out anything.
2. Filling out my github user and password and clicking on the GitHub button.
3. Filling out my github user and password and clicking on the login button.

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Re: Trying to migrate from Media Center to Ubuntu MythTV

Post by heyted » Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:49 am

Since this is on Ubuntu, do I need to have to have run the mythtv_setup as the "mythtv" user?
I don't think you need to run mythtv-setup as the mythtv user. [Edit: It may sometimes be easier to run mythtv user -- see https://www.mythtv.org/wiki/XMLTV#MythTV_Setup.]
Something is not right with loading the edited channels into MythTV. The edits show up in the editor when I pull them up, but after running the mythfilldatabase, some of the edits are missing. Some channels have guide listings, but not the name of the channel, etc. Other channels have their name, but no TV Guide information. And some have neither.
You may want to try to manually run mythfilldatabase with just channel info and no guide info to insert the channels. You could try this with a single channel as a test. First delete one of the cable channels from MythTV that you know is working, and try this method. Take a look at the 5th post at viewtopic.php?t=1102. You will need to change the channel id to the Schedules Direct channel id if you will be using Schedules Direct. You can install and use mythweb to check that the freqid matches the virtual channel number as reported by the HDHR interal web page channel listing. I don't know if the data from Schedules Direct will override the freqid when the guide data is updated.

You may need to run mythfilldatabase as the mythtv user. The syntax is:
mythfilldatabase --refresh 1 --file --sourceid 1 --xmlfile ./xmltv.xml
where "xmltv.xml" is the name of a small manually created xml text file.
You may need to change the sourceid.
Last edited by heyted on Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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wb8tyw
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Re: Trying to migrate from Media Center to Ubuntu MythTV

Post by wb8tyw » Wed May 06, 2020 3:37 am

Version is now: 2:31.0+fixes.202005011857.a2b8c26~ubuntu20.04.1

I added a symlink from the /home/mythtv/.mythtv directory so it uses the common one from the login screen.

Otherwise the background runs of mythfilldatabase can not see the xmltv configuration.

On Linux, I would expect that configuration information for the backend would be in /etc/mythtv/config.something which would be pre-populated by the installed package and the locally manually edited configuration would be in a set of files in /etc/mythtv_d/ that would be read in alphabetical order.

The only way in the GUI to add missing over the air channels is by doing a channel scan and then manually entering the schedules direct information.

If I try adding a missing channel manually, I can not, because it will not let me enter the transport ID.
I see a reference to a transport editor that I found in the channel editing screen.
The transport editor shows all the existing found channels by frequency with their transport id.
If you add transport entry, I can not add the transport id to it.
And then the transport ID will not show any information until you totally exit mythtv-setup and reenter it.

The guide information issues seem to all be data entry issues for some of the manual channel entry.

The messages about "Unknown xmltv channel identifier:" do not seem to be related to my guide issues, they are indicating some other problem that so far only seems to be causing noise in the output.

So my current problems seem to be:
1. HD recordings are playing back choppy. CPU is a AMD Athlon(tm) II X2 220 Processor at 2.8 Ghz.
2. Can not log into the ticket tracker.
3. The above log noise I mentioned.
4. Seem to be finding a lot of issues with the channel editor and GUI in general.

Still working out what to do for the front end device.

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Re: Trying to migrate from Media Center to Ubuntu MythTV

Post by bill6502 » Wed May 06, 2020 1:51 pm

Commenting on #3. I use the SQLite version of tv_grab_zz_sdjson and get
the 'Skipping channel' messages if the SQLite DB has the channel 'selected',
but mythconverg doesn't have a matching xmltvid.

In $HOME/.mythtv/SD.xmltv (or wherever your file is), see if the offending channels
are marked with a ! rather than an =.

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Re: Trying to migrate from Media Center to Ubuntu MythTV

Post by wb8tyw » Sat May 09, 2020 8:46 pm

No channels in .mythtv/'Schedules Direct Line up 1.xmltv'.

Tried increasing net.core.rmem_max = 81921024 with no change based on some articles that recommended larger settings for streaming video.

From reading the MythTV manual:

CPU: AMD Athlon(tm) II X2 220 Processor
Has a PassMark rating of: 995.
PassMark CPU rating needed for MythTV is 500.
Video card:
lspci | grep -i --color 'vga\|3d\|2d'
01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] RS780L [Radeon 3000]
Preferred hardware is Radeon 3000 or newer.

Still HD recordings are bad. SD recordings are fine.

But with out HD recordings working, I can not retire the Microsoft Media Center.

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Re: Trying to migrate from Media Center to Ubuntu MythTV

Post by wb8tyw » Sun Aug 16, 2020 12:33 am

Finally some success.

I found a setting in the MythTV client in the Setup Wizard, Pressing Next twice to get to "Video Configuration"

There I found the entry for Video Playback Profile. I had 7 options available that I had to test.

The two standard definition and high definition tests worked for all profiles. Based on my results below, the high definition video is not a good enough test of the profiles.

For a real OTA HD recording I got these results:



NVDEC Normal: HD recordings play back choppy lots of frames dropped. This was the current profile.
OpenGL High Quality: Seemed slightly better than NVDEC Normal.
OpenGL Normal: HD recordings had annoying flashes of color changes.
OpenGL Slim: HD recordings were watchable really had to pay attention to see flaws.
V4L2 Codecs: HD recordings had annoying flashes of color changes.
VAPPI Normal: HD recordings were really bad.
VDPAU Normal: HD recordings were watchable. Seemed a slightly better than OpenGL Slim.

So now I am at a point were I have the minimum recording and playback needed to replace Microsoft Media Center.

My next quest is going to be looking at various front-ends.

Not sure how to mark the topic as "Solved".

I hope that this provides some help to others. I would have like to file some tickets for suggested enhancements (after looking for duplicates), but I can not seem to log into the ticketing system with my github id.

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Re: Trying to migrate from Media Center to Ubuntu MythTV

Post by heyted » Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:17 pm

Glad to hear it is working.
Not sure how to mark the topic as "Solved".
Edit the Subject: in the first post.
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