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Live/Recorded TV Feedback from recent convert


mvanzante
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mvanzante

Hello. New forum member and new Emby user, here. I recently switched over to Emby from Plex for various reasons, one of them being that I was looking for a Windows Media Center replacement for DVR functionality. As such, my expectations/impressions are based on my previous experience with MCE, so factor that in to the opinions below.

 

I realize Live/Recorded TV is a relatively new feature in Emby and still being polished, so I thought I'd add my 2 cents on some things I noticed. I did not know exactly where to put this feedback in the forums. I saw other Live/Recorded TV posts here so I figured this would work.

 

Also, all of these feedback items are based on using the web interface via Chrome. No apps or anything like that (mostly only use the apps for playback, but will eventually set up recordings that way, too). I am using Server Version 3.0.5971.0

 

1) When setting up recording I manually specified the "Default Recording Path" because I was using the server interface remotely. I typed in the name of a non-existent directory hoping it would create the directory for me, but it didn't. In fact, recording did not work at all, and there was no indication of failure within the UI. Might be worth putting some kind of "directory must already exist" note there (probably assumed by most, but there's always a bigger "fool" to break the "fool-proof system"). 

 

2) For the series recordings, I did not interpret the "Record at Any Time" flag correctly. I had unchecked all the Sunday-Saturday checkboxes and then in the "Repeating Options" section clicked the "Record at Any Time". I had figured the "any time" wording meant it would over-ride the days, but it did not seem to because no scheduled recordings showed up in the recordings list. Then again, I didn't have the recording folder set up correctly at the time (see #1), so that would definitely have prevented recording. 

 

3) Also for series recordings -- my wife likes to have the last 10 recordings of Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert available to watch, but we don't want to keep them all. If unwatched recordings need to be deleted automatically to limit the recordings to 10, that's fine. Windows Media Center has this capability for series recordings. It would be a nice feature to have as part of the series settings.

 

4) In my area there are multiple over-the-air PBS stations nearby that often carry the same content. I set up a series recording for "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" and clicked the "Record on all channels" checkbox and noticed that the "Recordings" section showed scheduled recordings for the same episode on the 2 different PBS stations. I don't really need 2 recordings of the same episode, but maybe recording of the second episode would have been skipped after the first was recorded? Or maybe that kind of functionality only works for the "Record only new episodes" feature.

 

5) In the web interface I found that I often had to refresh the page to view changes I had made. For instance, when scheduling a recording, after saving it, I would go to the "Recordings" tab and not see the newly scheduled recordings. Refreshing the page would make them show up. 

 

6) Windows MCE has/had a nice keyword-based recording scheduling ability for those times when you want to subscribe to a series but it is not currently being broadcast (thus there are no references to it in the current guide data). Would be a nice feature to have. Or even better -- perhaps a way to search TheTVDB.com and/or TheMovieDB or other data source to be able to set up a potential future broadcast (e.g. if I wanted to record "The Revenant" the first time it's ever broadcast on TV I could just set up a recording for it by name and then it would automatically get recorded the first time it's broadcast). This would also be useful for setting up a future recording for a specific episode that was somehow missed by the "Only new episodes" subscription.

 

7) For me, the guide entries are not properly displaying the Season and Episode information. I'm only seeing an "E" for Episode number. Screenshot attached.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Edit - revised #7 - it is showing Season and Episode correctly on recordings, but not in the guide view.

post-135114-0-47582500-1464181166_thumb.jpg

Edited by mvanzante
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mvanzante

Moved to App Support -> Live Tv.

None of these feedback items were derived from App use, though. But I'm new so... :-)

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CBers

None of these feedback items were derived from App use, though. But I'm new so... :-)

 

True, but this is the only general Live TV forum there is :)

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Hi, great suggestions. I'll start going through them closely and provide comments.

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For #1 - It actually does do this. Every single time a recording occurs, it ensures the target folder exists and if not, it creates it. Perhaps this process may have failed with your previous setting? Can you try replicating it again and providing the server log?

 

http://emby.media/community/index.php?/topic/739-how-to-report-a-problem/

 

Thanks!

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For #2 - I actually have to agree that I myself have gotten tripped up by this, and I've seen others too. By comparison, can you show me what the WMC UI looks like for that? Thanks!

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mvanzante

57475e832a557_WMCSeriessettings.jpg

 

Here's a rundown of WMC's Series Settings screen. I'll list the field and the available values

 

Show Type:

1 - Live (I've never used this)

2 - New

3 - New and Rerun

 

Channels: (HD/SD probably not needed anymore)

1 - Any Channel

2 - HD only

3 - HD preferred

4 - SD only

5 - SD preferred

6? - Sometimes the broadcast channel from the guide is listed here, I think

 

Airtime:

1 - Anytime

2 - Around 7:00 PM (guide-indicated broadcast time when series recording schedule was created)

 

Keep:

1 - Until space needed

2 - Latest recordings (not sure difference from 1 - may be related to the next field)

3 - Until I watch (can only be deleted automatically if marked as watched)

4 - Until I delete (never auto deleted)

 

Keep up to:

1 - 1 recording

2 - 2 recordings

...

7 - 7 recordings

8 - 10 recordings

9 - As many as possible (default, I think)

 

Stop: (not visible on screenshot)

1 - On time

2 - 1 minute after, when possible

3 - 2 minutes after, when possible

4 - 3 minutes after, when possible

5 - 4 minutes after, when possible

6 - 5 minutes after (note the absence of "when possible" -- not sure why)

7 - 5 minutes after, when possible

8 - 10 minutes after

9 - 10 minutes after, when possible

...

continues alternating between "when possible" and without "when possible" for times 15 min, 30 min, 1 hr, 2 hr, up to 3 hours

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mvanzante

So regarding #2 - you can see that WMC makes no reference to days of the week. I am actually having a hard time thinking of a time when I would use the days of the week checkboxes.

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mediacowboy

So regarding #2 - you can see that WMC makes no reference to days of the week. I am actually having a hard time thinking of a time when I would use the days of the week checkboxes.

From my days with another product. I found days of the week useful for shows like bones or castle. What i mean is they play Monday - Friday on TNT,I believe, here but they also still have new shows on Fox, I believe. So what I would do is limit to say Sunday only. So it wouldn't pick up on the Monday - Friday reruns. Just my input on that. I'm not saying this is needed anymore if a option to recorded only new episodes was implemented.

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mvanzante

For #1 - It actually does do this. Every single time a recording occurs, it ensures the target folder exists and if not, it creates it. Perhaps this process may have failed with your previous setting? Can you try replicating it again and providing the server log?

 

http://emby.media/community/index.php?/topic/739-how-to-report-a-problem/

 

Thanks!

I just tested. It did create the folder. I must have been confused between #1 and #2 (there's a quote!). 

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mvanzante

So WMC doesn't even have a day selection?

No. Between "Show Type", "Channels", and "Airtime" you can cover most of the use cases. One-off recordings would not be covered here, but MCE would always let you set those up separate from Series recordings.

 

I'm not saying it was always the most intuitive, just what I got used to. :-D

Edited by mvanzante
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pünktchen

From my days with another product. I found days of the week useful for shows like bones or castle. What i mean is they play Monday - Friday on TNT,I believe, here but they also still have new shows on Fox, I believe. So what I would do is limit to say Sunday only. So it wouldn't pick up on the Monday - Friday reruns. Just my input on that. I'm not saying this is needed anymore if a option to recorded only new episodes was implemented.

Only NEW depends on the guide data...

Please don't delete the days options or any other option, it would kill the external tv plugins!

Of course you can hide those fields when no external plugin is installed

or you could change the api in a way that the plugins can dictate what options are available.

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mediacowboy

Only NEW depends on the guide data...

Please don't delete the days options or any other option, it would kill the external tv plugins!

Of course you can hide those fields when no external plugin is installed

or you could change the api in a way that the plugins can dictate what options are available.

Good point maybe just have it as a option.

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mvanzante

Only NEW depends on the guide data...

Please don't delete the days options or any other option, it would kill the external tv plugins!

Of course you can hide those fields when no external plugin is installed

or you could change the api in a way that the plugins can dictate what options are available.

 

Can you clarify what you mean by external TV plugins? I haven't tried anything besides Emby's own LiveTV with the HDHR connect. Are you speaking of things like the WmcServer plugin? 

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pünktchen

Can you clarify what you mean by external TV plugins? I haven't tried anything besides Emby's own LiveTV with the HDHR connect. Are you speaking of things like the WmcServer plugin?

Yes: TVHeadend, DVBLink, DVBViewer, MediaPortal, NextPVR, VDR, (ArgusTV).
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jasonmcroy

Just to add some information, and I obviously don't know how they do it, but the Silicon Dust DVR is set up to detect if you have previously recorded a show and it will not re-record it if it exists in your recording folder. 

 

This is useful if you want to record an older TV series like Friends or Seinfeld and try to catch every episode without recording the same episode twice. I am up to a point where that is all I use their software for now. I like to record some older series on occasion to re-watch them. I use Emby now for everything that is newly airing (new series or seasons) and movies. This would handle the #4 request in the OP I think, if I understand what is being requested. 

 

I would think this could be done by Emby noticing in the recording folder if the set recording already exists, or (and this would be even better) if the data could be stored in an xml file somewhere that is referred to by the recording engine.That way if you delete a recording it won't be recorded again in the future since it's no longer in your recordings folder. You could also set up a method to undo the data in the xml file (or whatever) if you find you want to later re-record an episode of a show (or movie) that you previously recorded and maybe deleted by accident. 

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mvanzante

Just to add some information, and I obviously don't know how they do it, but the Silicon Dust DVR is set up to detect if you have previously recorded a show and it will not re-record it if it exists in your recording folder. 

 

This is useful if you want to record an older TV series like Friends or Seinfeld and try to catch every episode without recording the same episode twice. I am up to a point where that is all I use their software for now. I like to record some older series on occasion to re-watch them. I use Emby now for everything that is newly airing (new series or seasons) and movies. This would handle the #4 request in the OP I think, if I understand what is being requested. 

 

I would think this could be done by Emby noticing in the recording folder if the set recording already exists, or (and this would be even better) if the data could be stored in an xml file somewhere that is referred to by the recording engine.That way if you delete a recording it won't be recorded again in the future since it's no longer in your recordings folder. You could also set up a method to undo the data in the xml file (or whatever) if you find you want to later re-record an episode of a show (or movie) that you previously recorded and maybe deleted by accident. 

Yes, that would apply to item #4 from the OP.

 

Now that I think about it, there should be different modes. I can definitely see a "Record every broadcast" mode and some form of "Record all episodes but don't record the same episode more than once". As to how the second would be achieved, I'm not sure which is the better way to go.

 

I think "don't record an episode that I recorded and watched some time in the past" (let's call it "Watched-based Recording History") could get hairy. Users will then need a way to backup/restore their watched histories, as well as a way to edit watched status per episode. Episodes, unlike movies in a movies collection/library, may have been deleted from the library, so finding a handle for that functionality is a little harder. 

 

"Dont record episodes already in my recordings library" ("Library-based Recording History") would be easier to implement, but maybe not as useful if your intent was to subscribe to a show and watch-and-delete recordings while still recording non-new episodes. You could potentially re-record episodes you've already recorded and then deleted.

Edited by mvanzante
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Vicpa

Hi All,

 

WMC maintained a history file of every recording with a date and status (succes, failed etc).   This was great you could select new and re-run and only ever got one recording. If a recording was marked failed it would record it the next time it aired, handy for recording conflicts or when things went south. Inadvertently deleted something you could go to the history file and delete that recording and it would grab it the next time it was on. There was not a dependency on the file system

 

Of course this became a real PITA when you tried to re-install or move your installation, the history file was local and not very well documented. Silicon Dust has taken a different approach with their DVR implementation, (I guess reflective of the times). They store the "history" in the cloud as well as your recording rules. This gives you portability and redundancy. SD is still a work in progress , it looks like the are only storing recording rules and deletes.

 

Some food for thought, at some point you need to bite the bullet and have some type of recording history.

 

-vicpa

 

Question @@ebr does the backup plugin capture recording rules?

Edited by Vicpa
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can you explain the one-click recording shortcuts on the guide, pressing the record button?

 

it cycles between:

 

record -> series record -> cancel all

 

or

 

record -> series record -> cancel individual

 

?

 

Thanks.

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mvanzante

Okay. I'm not at home to test but this is what I recall.

 

First, WMC has default series settings, so when you "Record Series" by pressing the remote control's "Record" button twice, it uses the Series Recording defaults that you've setup.

 

So the cycle of `one press--> second press --> 3rd press --> repeat press` is --

 

 

record this one episode --> record the series (using recording defaults) --> do not record anything related to this specific guide entry --> back to beginning of sequence

 

 

If you had already had an individual or series recording setup for the entry, then it would have already had the appropriate (single or series) record icon on it and then the next "Record" button press would take you to the next point in the cycle

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