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> What DNTV devices or software do you use/
therat
post Jan 16 2018, 10:36 PM
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i still use a DABBY and a TinyTwin v3 with DNTV and Scheduler Pro every day for all my TV recording and listening to DAB audio and FM Radio. Great combination and very reliable.

combined with the free Plex Media Server we are able to watch all my recorded and downloaded video via our T-Box, Android TVs and smartphones and tablets right through our house.
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DrP
post Jan 17 2018, 04:47 AM
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QUOTE (therat @ Jan 16 2018, 10:36 PM) *
i still use a DABBY and a TinyTwin v3 with DNTV and Scheduler Pro every day for all my TV recording and listening to DAB audio and FM Radio. Great combination and very reliable.

combined with the free Plex Media Server we are able to watch all my recorded and downloaded video via our T-Box, Android TVs and smartphones and tablets right through our house.

... and we're back.


What DNTV devices or software do I use?

Neither, but that is more due to the fact that I don't listen to the radio and my FTA viewing is almost non-existent more than any particular failing of DNTV devices and/or software. My DNTV tuners are all pretty long in the tooth (tinytusb2 and tinytwin v2). The tinyusb2 drivers were always a bit quirky under 64 bit windows causing BSODs under various conditions and 64 bit linux support seems to have long died (firmware loads but nothing useful from the dvr device etc), The tinytwin is an afatech based device, so it has always been difficult which is hardly surprising given afatech's chequered past. I've always preferred TVSP over the DNTV offshoot due to TVSP's better handling of recordings should the program stream being targetted go missing. Last time I checked TVSP would fall back to grabbing the full transport stream while DNTV would not record anything. Even TVSP might get bumped off for DV Scheduler because, IMO, it has a better underlying design.

Currently, more for the sake of proving being able to do it than watching, I have 3 ebay $10 usb tuners connected to a raspberry pi with tvheadend being fed tasks by my own scheduler script with an eclectic set of titles to exercise it.


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frednerk33
post Jan 18 2018, 04:42 PM
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QUOTE (DrP @ Jan 17 2018, 05:17 AM) *
... and we're back.

Yippee.


QUOTE (DrP @ Jan 17 2018, 05:17 AM) *
What DNTV devices or software do I use?

A Kogan hauppage PCIE quad tuner cheapie circa $145, and a few 7164 based PCIE twin tuners from DigitalNow.
And the venerable, extremely reliable, TV Scheduler Pro with the IceTV EPG source.
Like you said though, don't watch much free-to-air though, having invested in a FetchTV box and $6/month UK subscriptions for their detective shows smile.gif Foxtel was too dear.

QUOTE (DrP @ Jan 17 2018, 05:17 AM) *
Currently, more for the sake of proving being able to do it than watching, I have 3 ebay $10 usb tuners connected to a raspberry pi with tvheadend being fed tasks by my own scheduler script with an eclectic set of titles to exercise it.

My goodness. I have a Pi v3. Would it be possible for you to share the step-by-step instructions and source (and which tuners) ? I'm guessing that USB bandwidth is a limiting factor in recordings etc.
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DrP
post Jan 19 2018, 06:16 AM
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QUOTE (frednerk33 @ Jan 18 2018, 04:42 PM) *
My goodness. I have a Pi v3. Would it be possible for you to share the step-by-step instructions and source (and which tuners) ? I'm guessing that USB bandwidth is a limiting factor in recordings etc.


I bought the tuners a while ago now so the exact ebay listing is long gone but something similar can be turned up searching for 'USB DVB-T +RTL-SDR Realtek RTL2832U + R820T DVB-T Tuner Receiver PAL IEC'. It's fairly easy to set up really. The RTL2823U and most of the demodulator chips (the R820T for mine) are already supported in the linux kernel, so it's just a case of plug them in and they are ready to go.

tvheadend is where the effort is needed. I run raspbian stretch on my PI and it turns out the repository for tvheadend was broken. I eventually found a post on the tvheadend.org forum stating that the entry below in the apt sources let it install.

As root create /etc/apt/sources.list.d/tvheadend.list and put

deb https://dl.bintray.com/mpmc/deb raspbianstretch stable-4.2

in it then do apt update and apt install tvheadend -y, then start it with /etc/init.d/tvheadend start

Then open a web browser and point it at the PI on port 9981 - say http://192.168.1.4:9981

tvheadend has a lot of pre-made configurations for Australian frequencies built in but I found the frequencies for my area were still pre-restack so I did it all manually. This meant I had to go to the Configuration > DVB Inputs > Networks tab and create a network; then Muxes tab and define each mux by entering the centre frequency and bandwidth (left the rest to auto), then went back to the TV Adaptors tab and enabled each receiver attaching the Network I created to it. tvheadend then went out on its own and scanned each mux to detect what services were available.

It can automatically pull the EPG, update muxes and all sorts of tricks but I turned all that off because of what I am doing with it all. There's an awful lot of things that can be tweaked in tvheadend, it can monitor now & next to ensure it always gets the full program, if that data is reliable enough to use etc. You can specify per service (7mate, 7flix, ABC etc) padding times too.

I'm not much chop at instructions, so if you decide to give it a go and get stuck, fire a few questions off in the forum and I'll take a look at exactly what I did and let you know the nitty gritty of it.

USB bandwidth isn't a problem. The USB2 interface on the PI is good for 480Mbit/sec in theory and so far I've had all three tuners running with various numbers of programs being recorded to a USB hard disk, along with sonarr and nzbget doing their things without dropped transport packets that couldn't be attributed to the fact that I'm running the tuners of an antenna sitting on a cardboard box.

*edit*
The script I use to feed events to tvheadend is pretty bare and not something for the regular man off the street to use. It uses sqlite for storage. The database holds tables mapping EPG channels to tvheadend services, a list of what shows to look for, a set of padding times for each channel, the list of scheduled recordings and finally a list of what episodes it has recorded for what shows so it doesn't repeat record. A scheduler script scans the list and calls a recording script that actually sends commands to tvheadend. A separate epg collector script pulls data off a web site and builds the list of scheduled recordings.

It is the latest evolution of a long line of scripts starting in the 90s when I used to record analogue FTA. It can support pay TV recording too, via another set of scripts which run the pay TV box via an ir blaster and EPG collection scripts which gather the Foxtel EPG.

This post has been edited by DrP: Jan 19 2018, 07:21 AM


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DrP
post Jan 19 2018, 03:14 PM
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A 7zip archive of the scripts and sample database can be found at http://billy.is-lost.org:50080/stuff/. Put your peril sensitive sunglasses on before looking at the perl scripts, otherwise the sheer dodginess of it all will make you go blind. The script is meant to run on linux and windows using either sqlite or the Windows registry as a data store, but I've chopped a lot of that out for the RPi version but parts of that flexibility remain so if you see something windows related it can be ignored.

The important stuff in the scripts etc are:
fvjson.pl - use constant state => 'Mackay'; < replace with your location as pulled out freeview.com.au's tvguide.
fta.pl - the IP address for the tvheadend server and username / password
dbUtils.pm - defines the script location as /dvbcap so create and place the contents of the 7zip file in there, or adjust our $dvbcap = join ($sep,$start,'dvbcap',''); to suit

sys.db:
ftaprograms - a list of programs the script has seen appear in the epg so it can produce a list of new titles into the temp directory
ftamovies - same as above for movies
ftanoaccess - list of channels to not be checked for events to record
movies - list of movies to look for and record
shows - same as above but to regular programs (maps shows to sonarr names to avoid grabbing things that sonarr already has)
tvhechannels - maps freeview.com.au channels to tvheadend services
padding - padding times start~finish in minutes

It's important to remember that absolutely none of the above is needed to use tvheadend to record programming automatically. It is very capable of that all by itself. All of the above is just to exercise it. tvheadend can use an externally generated xmltv file given that the broadcast EPG probably doesn't include episode titles etc. I have placed a basic xmltv generator on the download area too.


This post has been edited by DrP: Jan 19 2018, 03:32 PM


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DrP
post Jan 22 2018, 08:05 AM
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... and one last thing. I noticed random transport packet problems after I connected my RPi 2B system to my roof antenna that produces 100% clean on a Windows machine and tracked it down to a problem with kernel 4.9 that causes with USB on the RPi where random USB packets just go missing.

https://github.com/raspberrypi/linux/issues/2134

raspbian is moving to kernel 4.14.x but it's possible to install the non-stable version they are testing with by running

sudo BRANCH=next rpi-update

So far 4.14 is producing clean transport streams again.

This post has been edited by DrP: Jan 22 2018, 09:36 AM


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DrP
post Jan 25 2018, 09:48 AM
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QUOTE (DrP @ Jan 17 2018, 04:47 AM) *
The tinyusb2 drivers were always a bit quirky under 64 bit windows causing BSODs under various conditions and 64 bit linux support seems to have long died (firmware loads but nothing useful from the dvr device etc).


... and just one more thing laugh.gif

kernel 4.14.x seems to have bought my ancient old tinyusb2 receivers back to life. I bought 4 of them (as 2 x tinyusb2) back in 2006 and the hardware still works. Not bad value there.


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frednerk33
post Jan 27 2018, 11:00 AM
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Wow, how good is that ! I have a bunch of TinyUSB2's so beaut !
I'll be trying this out when work becomes less demanding (retiring mid year).
Thank you so much for explaining how it's done. biggrin.gif
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DrP
post Jan 27 2018, 09:00 PM
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Might have to revise that slightly. The tinyusb2s do work but time has taken its toll. At a guess I'd say it may be failing capacitors. They still have really good noise immunity, better than the ebay realteks, but when cold they all report low signal level (37%-ish) which is hardly surprising given the antenna is sitting on a box, but after they heat up the signal level starts bobbing around but has an overall upward trend reaching around 76%.

Still not bad considering their age.


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DrP
post Feb 1 2018, 05:20 AM
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One thing I have noticed is that the driver for the tinyusb doesn't seem to flush the device's buffer which can result in old / unrelated transport packets appearing at the start of a recording. For most purposes this doesn't cause a problem but things like projectx will get upset and complain about being unable to sync the audio and video whilst videoredo will take a while to scan the file and work out what is going on.

tvheadend has a solution, just set Skip Initial Bytes in the configuration > dvb inputs > tv adaptors page. I set it to 15000, but that's probably massively excessive and equates to about 80 transport packets.


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frednerk33
post Feb 4 2018, 01:47 AM
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thanks
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DrP
post Feb 11 2018, 08:14 AM
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A little more info on the elcheapo ebay tuners if anyone else is considering going down that path. I mentioned above that they aren't as good as the tinyusb2 when it comes to impulse noise. Even when connected to my roof antenna which, according to the test meter has excellent reception stats, the ebay tuners could still occasionally produce bursts of broken/missing transport packets.

Muppet Labs testing by causing some local arcing near the tuners readily produced errors. It turns out these things have absolutely no shielding at all, not even provision for a tin can that has been left out to lower costs. A layer of alfoil enclosing the tuners and making contact with the coax shield was the answer. They still can't produce the 100% clean transport streams that the tinyusb2 does when connected to an antenna sitting on a box in the workshop, but from the roof antenna they are now squeaky clean.


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