Wednesday, December 13, 2006

TwinHan VisionDTV

- TwinHan VisionDTV
TwinHan have changed the format of their channel listings file in version 2.6.5 of their software (might have been done slightly earlier, but the first report I had of problems was with this version).
So, if you have upgraded your TwinHan software from a previously working DABDig/VisionDTV installtion or you are a first time user with new TwinHan software then modify your dabdig.ini as follows:

(note - newer versions of VisionDTV might need different numbers)

Also - TwinHan added a new optional) field into their schedule. Called ProgarmName (sic). So - I have added support for this and potentially other new fields in the future by a new configuration item in dabdig.ini - called VisionDTVExtraFields


Monday, December 04, 2006

Parameter Substitution

- Parameter Substitution
Added leading zero for single digit end date/time fields so that it is consistent with start date/time and makes better looking fields when used in file names.
This could potentially affect some devices that take the textual end date/time as a parameter, butI have reviewed them and I think it is OK because they seem to accept 2 digit fields in the start date/time.


Sunday, November 26, 2006


- TiVoWeb
Added parameter substitution to TiVoWeb.
Although the parameter list in the TiVoWeb interface is pretty much hard-coded because of the messing around with date/time fields, I had documented a possible way to hard-code extra parameters.
This was by adding new fields to the start of the variable part of the URL in the dabdig.ini
This works well - but requires the parameters to be fixed. By now making them use the substitution mechanism it means that other fields can be calculated dynamically - for example, a version of manrec supports the episode name being passed in, so this could be handled in DABDig by adding Episodestr=$EP& to the end of the URL in the ini file.


Monday, November 13, 2006

257b12 is now available

Decided to make a release of the various changes.

So - 257b12 is now available.

- General - Allow time-delayed retries on failed internal send of URL.
- Nebula - add the new (3.5.21) PostTime/PreTime fields just in case future versions of their software rely on it being present.
- WebScheduler - switch from using the programme name to FileNamePartial.
- GBPVR - add more flexibility in handling channel name.
- OnlineTVRecorder - Add support for OnlineTVRecorder.
- General - Allow double-quote in synopsis to be converted because it can break external systems when passed as a parameter.
- TiVoWeb - allow configuration of length of synopsis sent to TiVoWeb.
- Nebula - make the executable name configurable to support the HD version (and also version 3.7 of DigiTV).
- WinTVPVR - add mechanism to minimise an already open window via AutoItX.
- General - Add more generic flexibility in recorded file name so that all devices can benefit from the Substitution facility.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


- TiVoWeb
The manrec application that DABDig calls has been updated a few times by various people since the DABDig support for it was introduced long ago.
Once of the new features means that it can be called with a textual date rather than seconds since 1970. Does not really matter for DABDig since it already does the calculation using absolute time but allowing this new field could make the URL more configurable from the dabdig.ini
A second new field is space for episode information, e.g. title or series/episide number. Incorporating this is easy enough (at least the series/episode numbers) but the problem is doing it in a way that does not send meaningless stuff when there is no series/episode information to pass - but again - possible to do.

Not started on this yet - so this is here as a memory jogger.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


- TiVoWeb
The manrec application that works with TiVoWeb has maximum sizes for textual fields - e.g. description and title are set to 40 characters.

This can mean that these fields get truncated by DABDig before sent over.
One user wants to correlate information from TiVoWeb/manrec with the post-processing function in DABDig. However, because of generic descriptions, it is possible that two different shows will have the same first 40 characters in the description.
So - the user has made a modification to manrec (or some other PHP script) to be able to accept more than 40 characters but then to truncate later in the process for the TiVo.
So -I changed DABDig so that the maximum length that DABDig sends to TiVoWeb/manrec can be configured.
Note - it is possible that a very long description could fail to be sent over via the HTTP Post operation.
Anyway - change made

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Build 256b07

- OnlineTVRecorder
I came across - a site that allows you to request a personal recording of a programme from a (German for now) TV station.
Seemed easy enough to support so added it in. Still some issues to be resolved with timezone handling and perhaps a bit more flexibility with channel naming - but the basics worked.

- PostProcessing
Double-quotes can appear in programme synopsis - which can cause problems if trying to substitute via a command line.
Added new (default but configurable) ability to replace double-quote with single-quote in synopsis.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Had a forum posting from someone trying to get this to work.
It was giving database access problems (GB-PVR stores its data in a database).
The real reason behind this was that the channel numbers that DABDig was being passed did not correspond with the numbers in GB-PVR. Perhaps I need to change the code to lookup against a different field. Anyway, in an attempt to work around this the savvy user had a go at using thinking that the problem was with the channel names.
This confused things further since it meant that DABDig was trying to use a text string to compare against an integer value in the database and hence the database lookup errors.
So - worked out a way around this by simply removing the channel numbers from the DigiGuide display and renaming the channel in DigiGuide to match the names in GB-PVR.
This worked because DABDig tries to match the channel name against the name in GB-PVR if there is no channel number present.
Meanwhile, I changed the code to make the look-ups more controllable and also for a name look-up if the "number" has non-numeric characters. This means that a simple entry can be used to change the name - i.e. no need to modify anything in the DigiGuide GUI and map entries only required for channels that have different names.
Will probably make another change to make configurable the field that DABDig tries to match when performing a channel number lookup which then might make it all work automatically for new users with no extra configuration required.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

256b29 available

- General
I decided to upload a version of the latest beta of 2.56.
Many of you already have earlier builds of this version. Your current version number is shown at the top of the dabdig.ini

DigiGuide 8.3 is still in Beta - so I have kept back some of the changes (to the marker) that I have been making in preparation for it. The marker in this build of DABDig works will all version of DigiGuide back to 6.x including the 8.3 beta.
However, the next release of the marker will only work with 8.3 and includes some new features that will mean that users no longer have to customise their DABDig.dgmarker if they want to enable the main hidden features. I do not plan to release it until DigiGuide migrates all users from DigiGuide 6.x and 8.2 to 8.3

Note - customised DABDig.dgmarker users (DigiGuide only) - there is a new marker file in this release.
If you have never changed yours (or never had a special release of the marker directly from me) then do not worry. Otherwise - compare with what you already have before you overwrite.
The changes remain backward compatible (back to 6.0)

Special thanks to Oliver and Aaron

- 2.56b29 - 19-Apr-2006
- Reinstate broken support for Matrox eTV - but only for beta builds.
- For TwinHan VisionDTV - most new users should be using the 2.6 version of the TwinHan software so change defaults to match.
- For TwinHan VisionDTV - move the registry path check to be after the INI file setting is checked.
- For WinTVPVR and WinTVCap - allow a command line override for people who always record from same channel source - e.g. a Sky box
- Make configurable the set of allowed characters in file name - so that extended European characters can be used by those that want to.
- Add channel name into list of simple file name substitution fields (FileName fields in dabdig.ini).
- Allow the divider in the title/filename to be specified.
- Allow diagnostic messages to be written to file without going to screen.
- For WinTVCap - allow a wait for exit because when GBRecord is being used as a WinTVCap replacement there is a problem if 2 copies are trying to record at the same time from a single board.
- For Leadtek Winfast - there is a new digital TV device available. Very similar schedule format and new registry key to use.
- For DVBViewer - version 3.2 changed the schedule file format and also added a COM interface including ability to notify On-Screen-Display.
- Make sure that all calls to create objects using SET have previously had the variable DIM'd because it might be the cause of an obscure ActiveX scripting problem when not running as Admin on XP.
- Add parameter substitution for Streaming and Streaming2 via CmdOverride facility.
- Implement the previously documented (but skipped) WebSchedulerURLRadio.
- Add a simple remote execution mechanism.
- Include native HTTP GET operation so that local browser can be avoided (initially for WebScheduler).
- For DVBViewer - add some different handling for when software already running.
- Add EpisodeName as substitutable parameter and optional 13th command line parameter.
- For ProgDVB, make the request to Exit configurable and hence optional.
- For ExternalChannelChanger, make configuration easier for simple installations by adding a base channel number definition and default source.
- For Leadtek - looks like another version of their software does not use registry at all so try to make the use optional by adding configurable path.
- For GBPVR - if specified, then use capture source

Thursday, March 02, 2006


- ExternalChannelChanger
Added some extra code to make it possible for configuration of a mixed device set-up with ExternalChannelChanger (typically an IR sender of some sort) to by-pass having a by simply specifying which channel number the changer starts from and the default recording device channel.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


- TopfieldViaJag
Aborigine was kind enough to send me a note about his success with using DABDig and version 3.0 beta of Jag's EPG in LCN mode.

If anyone else wants to run it this way then it just needs 4 simple changes to the dabdig.ini file.

The potential benefit for an existing user is that new channels coming to the platform or any more channel renumbering have an even better chance of working without further update.
For new users - setting this waay should lead to getting up and running more quickly because it by-passes the issue of channel names in DigiGuide not always being the same as used over-the-air by the broadcasters.

The changes to the dabdig.ini are:
TopfieldViaJagFindChanName from 1 to 0
TopfieldViaJagChanLength from 4 to 6

TopfieldViaJagSyntaxRec from

TopfieldViaJagSyntaxPlay from

The thread about the new version of Jag's EPG is over on the UK Toppy forum.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


- ProgDVB
Had a report that ProgDVB (in conjunction with a DVB-T set-up) is prompting for something every time it starts up.
So - as a temporary workaround while the ProgDVB users works out how to stop this happening ... I have made the sending of "/Exit" to ProgDVB optional. This means that it can be configured so that it will only prompt when run the very first time (e.g. put it in the Windows startup group).
My guess is that there is a progdvb.ini setting that could be used to prevent this prompting.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

256b23 available

- General
Had a request to make the Episode Name available as a parameter. Easy enough to do but needs a modern version of DigiGuide.

Monday, January 23, 2006

256b22 available

- General
Add a simple remote execution mechanism.
Initially requires a shared folder (with the remote system where the recording is to be done).
Simply drops a file into the share containing the parameters of the request.
A batch file running in a loop can then easily find the file and get a local DABDig to action it.

Also added an "All" function for multi-device installations - example from requestor was to record the same channel from both DAB and Digital TV - i.e. belt and braces solution.
One day ... should be extended to "Any" and then let DABDig pick the one that appears to be free (and has highest priority).


Saturday, January 14, 2006

256b20 available

- Streaming
Added parameter substitution to Streaming and Streaming2 (via CmdOverride).

- WebScheduler
Added support for "radio" indicator in channel assignment (or channel name) so that it can trigger different URL. This allows a different capture type to be set because WebScheduler seems to have problems with automatic recording of audio only DVB-T stations.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Leadtek and DVBViewer - part 2

- Leadtek Winfast
The Leadtek Winfast DTV1000 looks like it is now close to working. There were about 5 fields in the record that have either changed meaning or needed to be set-up.
Now need to parse their channel list file to perform lookups - this will be a bit complicated as the file format is a bit convoluted - but at least it is all in plain text.

- DVBViewer
DVBViewr Pro 3.2.6 is now working. I went the COM route in the end. Turned out to be quite easy. However, they take the date using the local settings of the PC. For now I have made the syntax configurable but really should do it automatically and allow an override.
Handling the new text format does not seem so important for now because the free Technisat version still seems to use the old format.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Leadtek and DVBViewer

- Leadtek Winfast
Some progress on the revised file format.
Spent some time over last couple of evenings and after a few file exchanges via email I am pretty sure that I have worked out what they have done with their new structure. It is pretty well the same as before but they have done some horrible things - e.g. storing data about the offset of the channel within a Mux and the Mux number - and then storing somewhere else an identifier for the mux and the channel.
Ultimately it will require some automatic parsing of one of their configuration file - but the stupid thing is that on a rescan the file gets re-written and part-time channels that are not broadcasting are lost from the file.

- DVBViewer
I have not had any requests from users for the DVBviewer interface since I first wrote it for someone. My guess is that there are very few users of it - perhaps only one. But a new request has come through from someone else because he could not get it to work. What has happened is that DVBViewer Pro 3.2 has a different interface. The data is pretty much the same as in the old Technisat version but is now in an XML file and has a couple of extra fields. They have also added a COM interface.
So question is - which way to go. Handle the new file format or go with COM.
Initially I thought I would stay file based but since the COM mechanism allows updates to the schedule without having to stop/start DVBViewer then it is probably the best way to go.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Leadtek WinFast queries

- Leadtek WinFast
Two requests came through today.

One from another developer who wants to see how the schedule file works so that he can build his own application. I'll have a look to see how easy it is to extract the relevant parts of my code and send it over to him.

The second was from an existing user who bought himself the new WinFast DTV1000 for Christmas ... and has found that they are using a different mechanism for scheduling to their DTV card. I've asked for some samples and will see what I can do.