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Add-on:PVR.WMC

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Live TV and PVR Setup Guide:
  1. Introduction
  2. Setting up the recording software
  3. Configuring live TV settings in XBMC
  4. The basics of Live TV and recording

WMC PVR Client
Author: KrustyReturns

Type: PVR
Version: 0.1.8
Repo:

License: None Currently

Summary: WMC PVR Client
Home icon grey.png   ▶ Add-ons ▶ WMC PVR Client

An xbmc client to interface to Windows Media Center's receiver and EPG service. Thanks to JeffreyF, Tomba73, Riztnack, Staknhalo, Scarecrow420. Special thanks to Burckh for letting us use his RemuxTool code.



Contents


Wiki logo.png Wiki revamp:
This page or section of the wiki undergoing a revamp. Content is still being added and organized. Please pardon the dust and anything that might not be working.


1 Overview

pvr.wmc is a PVR client add-on that provides Live TV, PVR functions and electronic program guide data to XBMC. The services are provided by connecting to ServerWMC; a server interface for Windows which communicates with Windows Media Center.

2 Supported Platforms

The ServerWMC backend must be installed on a Windows PC running either Windows 7, WIndows 8 or Windows 8.1 which must have Windows Media Center (WMC) installed and configured.

  • Android - Currently in Alpha testing. Additional information can be found here: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=180438
  • AppleTV - Reported working on Crystalbuntu using the 'Linux 32-bit' build but does not seem to support HD channels even with the Broadcomm card YMMV
  • ATV2 - Independently supported (Thanks Stiefelland) but does not seem to support HD channels YMMV
  • Linux 32-bit - Officially supported
  • Linux 64-bit - Officially supported
  • OS X - Officially supported
  • Raspbmc - Officially supported and included with Raspbmc
  • Windows - Officially supported
  • Xbian - Officially supported (Now available through the official Xbian repo)


Note: Regarding versions for other distros: "PVR add ons are the responsibility of the distro builder when it comes to Raspberry Pi, Ouya etc. there is no official repo for these devices. The reason it's included in Raspbmc is someone convinced the builder to include it. If you want this add on included in your distro of choice you need to convince the builder to include it. Official xbmc pvr add ons are built automatically, pre release/testing add ons need to be added by the builder. Just because pulling it from one distro and adding it to another works now does not mean it will continue to work with later releases." (From the XBMC forums - Thanks Dilligaf for clearing this up for us.)

2.1 Supported Skins

pvr.wmc works with ALL skins. This refers only to 'Set Series Recording' and 'Delete Series Recording' dialogs. If your favorite skin isn't on the list, please contact your skin developer and request support for these features. (In the mean time, you can manage your series recordings through WMC.)



3 Downloading & Installing

3.1 Installing with XBMC/Kodi

  • pvr.wmc is included in Gotham as well as nightly builds of Helix.
  • On the "Choose Components" page of the installation routine, place a check next to "WMC" under the "PVR Add-ons" section.


3.2 Installing Manually


4 Configuring XBMC PVR Addon to connect to ServerWMC

  • Within XBMC, navigate to {{highlight|Settings -> Add-ons -> Enabled Add-ons -> PVR Clients} and select the Windows Media Center add-on
  • Select "Configure"


  • ServerWMC Backend Hostname or IP - The hostname or IP address of the server where ServerWMC and WMC is installed
    • If backend and frontend run on the same machine then 'localhost' or '127.0.0.1' can be used.
    • If the hostname of the server is not known, go to the System Properties window on the server (WinKey + Pause/Break). The hostname is listed under Computer Name. For non-Windows based clients (Linux, Raspbmc, etc.), hostnames may not properly resolve. It is highly recommended on these clients to enter the IP address of the server.

  • ServerWMC Backend Port - The port on which clients will communicate with the server.
    • The default is 9080. This should match the port specified within ServerWMC on the General Tab.


Next step: Configuring XBMC

5 Using pvr.wmc

Before starting pvr.wmc for the first time, please see Configuring XBMC to ensure LiveTV is enabled within XBMC

pvr.wmc confirms to the standard operation of any XBMC pvr client. General information can be found here: The Basics of Live TV and Recording. pvr.wmc also has features that are unique allowing it to behave much like a standard STB-DVR. These features are outlined below. Since pvr.wmc uses WMC as a backend, recordings can be initiated and managed directly within WMC as well.

5.1 Recording with pvr.wmc

5.1.1 Series Recording

Series recordings can be initiated from the XBMC EPG when using a compatible skin. To schedule a series recording, please follow the steps below:

  • Navigate to the program guide. Highlight the program you wish to record. In the example below, we will be scheduling "Grey's Anatomy" to record:


PVR Confluence EPG.png

  • Press the 'info' button on your remote or keyboard. (Default keyboard press is "i"). You will see the "Programme info" screen. Select "Add Timer" at the bottom.


PVR Confluence Program Info.png

  • You will the see the "Record" dialog. Choose yes to record.


PVR Confluence Record.png

  • You will now see the "Recording Preference" screen. Here you can choose to "Record this Episode Only" or "Record the Series". If "Record the Series" is selected, additional series recording options will become available.
    • Show type
      • New and rerun - Records all episodes of the selected show.
      • New only - Skips recording episodes marked as repeats in the EPG
      • Live only - Records the episode ONLY if marked as "live" in the EPG.
    • Channel - Specifies the channel on which the series should be recorded.
    • Airtime - Specifies the airtime at which the series should be recorded.


PVR Confluence Recording Preference.png

5.1.2 On the Fly

pvr.wmc supports on-the-fly recording. If record is pressed while viewing a program, a recording timer will be created which spans from the time the channel was tuned until the scheduled end time of the program per the EPG (plus any padding specified in ServerWMC). If record is pressed again while that timer is active and tuned to the same channel, the timers expiration time will be extended by the time specified on the 'Record' tab in ServerWMC. When the timer expires recording will terminate unless the channel is still being viewed in which case recording will continue until the channel is changed or Live TV is exited. Recording is performed by ServerWMC. If the ServerWMC application is terminated at any point during an on-the-fly recording, the recording will be terminated as well.


6 Troubleshooting / FAQ

6.1 General

Note: If you are having issues and need to request assistance in the XBMC forums, it is mandatory to provide a copy of the log files!!! They contain important information that is instrumental in diagnosing issues and recommending solutions. Please copy the contents of the file to pastebin and include the link in your post. Posting of log files directly to forum threads is strictly prohibited per the rules of the XBMC Forums. Log files can be opened directly from the ServerWMC interface. They can be manually located in \ProgramData\VDsoftware\ServerWMC\. In many cases an XBMC log file can be helpful as well.


  • I am unable to set and delete series recordings - These actions can be performed directly through the WMC interface. This can also be done directly through XBMC though Confluence is the only skin directly supported at this time. Please see Enabling 'set series recording' and 'cancel series recording' for information on enabling this feature within XBMC.


  • This works great after configuring it in WMC for a few days but then crashes or has an empty EPG! - If you have previously disabled WMC services on the PC running ServerWMC, please re-enable them so WMC is able to automatically download new EPG data.


  • My EPG is empty but background downloads are enabled. - There have been reported cases of a rare condition where the WMC database can become corrupted, possibly from a failed EPG download. When WMC is opened, it will automatically check the integrity of the databases and repair if necessary. Opening WMC and allowing it to check/repair should be all that is needed to correct this condition.


  • How do I add channel icons? - Channel icons are extracted from WMC and provided to all pvr.wmc clients. Unfortunately, WMC does not populate channel icons on it own. You must add them using 3rd party software. MyChannelLogos is a quick and easy way to add these logos to WMC and in turn to pvr.wmc clients. There is a small donation required for the program but it is worth it as it works flawlessly. (As of this writing, the minimum donation is $5).


  • When editing channel information in XBMC (System/Live TV/General/Channel Manager) it appears to save but reverts back to the previous settings. - This information must be edited within WMC itself. If you wish add/hide channels, edit names, etc., it should be done through the WMC interface (Tasks/Settings/TV/Guide/Edit Channels).


  • I can view copy-once channels through WMC, does that mean they will work in XBMC using pvr.wmc? - Unfortunately no. We are limited to copy-freely channels only as are all of the other Live TV solutions available for XBMC.


  • The video quality is terrible! - If the video content being provided is interlaced, you need to enable deinterlacing within XBMC. With a channel playing, press 'M' to access the player menu. Choose the camera icon and set 'Deinterlace' to 'Auto'. You should then scroll to the bottom of that menu and select 'Set as default for all videos' before exiting. The 'Deinterlace method' and 'Video scaling method' will vary by system. You will have to try different settings here to see what works best for you. In most cases, setting both to 'Auto' is sufficient.


6.2 Windows

  • With WMC active, how do you stop it from launching when using the greenbutton to launch xbmc? - There are many options for taking care of this issue. The easiest we have discovered thus far can be found here: http://xbmccustomregis.sourceforge.net/remote_auto.html . This also adds many other useful features when using an RC6 remote with XBMC and not using EventGhost.


  • I upgraded to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8 (on the server) and now TV doesn't work - There is a known issue with the Windows 8.1 upgrade process causing issues with an existing ServerWMC installation. Re-installing ServerWMC after the 8.1 upgrade is complete will correct the issue.



6.3 OS X

OS X specific troubleshooting here.

6.4 Linux

  • My client is unable to connect to my 'Recorded TV' folder - With Linix based clients, user:pass credentials are required even when the Windows share is shared with "Everyone". Please enter user name and password information on the Folders tab within ServerWMC. This can be the main log-on information for the PC hosting ServerWMC or an account could be created specifically for this purpose. Please ensure the folder is shared with the user whose credentials are entered.



6.5 Raspberry Pi

  • When I try to view a TV channel, I only get audio and the music visualizer screen (no video) - Streaming Live TV from ServerWMC to the pvr.wmc plug-in on Raspbmc requires the MPEG-2 codec be purchased from the Raspberry Pi store and installed. Though not known to be needed for pvr.wmc, it is recommended to purchase and install both the MPEG-2 and VC-1 codecs while you are there. http://www.raspberrypi.com/mpeg-2-license-key/


  • My client is unable to connect to my 'Recorded TV' folder - With Linix based clients, user:pass credentials are required even when the Windows share is shared with "Everyone". Please enter user name and password information on the Folders tab within ServerWMC. This can be the main log-on information for the PC hosting ServerWMC or an account could be created specifically for this purpose. Please ensure the folder is shared with the user whose credentials are entered.



7 Development

Code for the pvr.wmc client is available here: https://bitbucket.org/krustyreturns/pvr.wmc

Information on compiling your own Linux client can be found here: https://googledrive.com/host/0ByNnAMYBoWvfTk8tRWJXYko1T2c/documentation/linux%20compile%20instructions.html (Thanks to doublea)

If you are interested in assisting with development of ServerWMC, please PM krustyreturns on the XBMC Forum

8 Additional guides and links


9 Advanced Topics

9.1 Enabling set 'series' recording and 'cancel' series recording

As of build 1013, these files only need to be manually copied on non-Windows clients. If you are using a non-Windows client, please continue. If you are using a build of pvr.wmc prior to 1013, please update now.

In the ‘resources’ folder of the add-on there are two xml skin files created for Confluence named 'DeleteTimer.xml' and 'RecordPrefs.xml'. These files need to be manually added to the Confluence skin folder (on Windows, C:\Program Files (x86)\XBMC\addons\skin.confluence\720p). Alternatively, you create a symbolic link to these files in the Confluence folder.

If you aren't using Confluence, you can add these files to the skin folder you are using. The dialogs will look funky since they are designed for Confluence (they should work though). You can modify these files to look right in whatever your skin of choice is if you are so inclined.

Once installed, when first trying to record a show after the initial confirmation, a new dialog will open (if it’s a TV series) asking if you want to record the series. Similar for when you go to delete a timer, if it’s a series timer, it will ask if you want to delete the whole series-timer.

9.1.1 OpenElec Specific Instructions

To enable full functionality of the WMC add-on in XBMC, you have to add two XML files to the XBMC Confluence skin.

For OpenElec XBMC installs, those files are found in:

/storage/.xbmc/addons/pvr.wmc/resources/skins/skin.confluence/720p

You have to copy them to:

/usr/share/xbmc/addons/skin.confluence/720p

But, for OpenElec the /usr/share/xbmc is read only. So, instead, you have to create a duplicate confluence file with a slightly different name, add the XML files to the copy, and then select the copy as your default skin.

Enable SSH:

Settings/OpenELEC/Services/SSH/Disable SSH Password: Un-Checked

Login to the server via SSH using Putty or another SSH Client.

Copy the default confluence file to a new folder that is not read only.

cp -r /usr/share/xbmc/addons/skin.confluence /storage/.xbmc/addons/skin.confluence.wmc

Then you need to edit the addon ID so it looks different then the original confluence, do this by opening the addon.xml and adjusting the value.

nano /storage/.xbmc/addons/skin.confluence.wmc/addon.xml

you will see something like this

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <addon id="skin.confluence" version="2.1.0" name="Confluence"

change "skin.confluence" to whatever you name the containing folder as (you may also want to edit the name value as well so it shows up different from within the XBMC GUI). In our case I would use.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <addon id="skin.confluence.wmc" version="2.1.0" name="Confluence (WMC)"

Save and exit by pressing CTRl-X, Y.

Then copy the XML files from the Add-On folder to the new one, reboot, and select the edited skin:

cp /storage/.xbmc/addons/pvr.wmc/resources/skins/skin.confluence/720p/* /storage/.xbmc/addons/skin.confluence.wmc/720p/

reboot

In XBMC, go to

Settings/Appearance/Skin

and select the new "Confluence (WMC)"

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