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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


Over the last few months several guys have inquired about the small "wrapper" I made for the ReplayPc program. I haven't gotten a "distribution" package set up yet, but can supply an already installed zipped version that should work fine for you. Just unzip the file into the drive/folder where you want your extracted ReplyPC files to be saved.


I'd like a few guys to test this out for me. I've already sent one to someone who says it works great. But I need more input from people running under different environments. ie FAT vs NTFS and different RPTV boxes. I believe this should only work with the 4K series of the ReplayTV boxes.


I'm not a programmer so you use this at your own risk. It will be made available for free of course, providing I get enough favorable feedback from the testers and there isn't any serious problems.


It's a GUI wrapper that facilitates running the ReplayPC and GuideParser applications. It provides a custom GUI in Windows showing a list box of all the ReplayTV mpegs available along with their recorded times, quality, date and guide name (not the 12345xx.mpg name but a "show/title" name) You can check off which programs to offload and then just hit the "get mpeg" button to automatically off-load them.


There is also a box to input your IP address and the delay you wish to use. It will work with zero delay (use at your own caution) I have been using it for several months without a problem and only use zero delay. With a 100 mps LAN it should take you about 16 minutes to off-load a 2.7 GB High Quality ReplayTV one hour show.


It also automatically renames the saved mpegs with the show/name as derived from the ReplayTV guide and provides a LOG file showing the names of programs off-loaded, the date and times each was started and finished. (so you can play with various things to check the off loading times etc.)


It's extremely simple .. no Java, Pearle etc, and no runtimes needed. Doesn't do a thing to your system other than add a .dll and some support files (including ReplacePC and GuideParser) which are left in the Drive/Folder where you installed it.


The first time you start it, you just have to enter your IP address and the delay you wish to use. Once you do that the information is saved and re-used for any subsequent use of the program. (It can be changed anytime if needed)


I would only caution that it has no error checking (yet) and no file re-direction etc. I just saves the mpegs in the folder where you installed it. Also IF using a zero time delay you should insure that neither the ReplayTV box or your computer system are doing anything. In fact it's best that the RPTV box be turned off as that will give maximum speed in the off load. When the RPTV is "on" (the power lite on) even though you are doing nothing, the download times will be greatly increased. That's because the RPTV box is running it's encoder any time the thing is turn on.


If you use no delay, and the RPTV box starts a scheduled recording, you stand the chance of getting a corrupted ReplayTV Mpeg. I've TRIED to crash the unit by starting a recording during a download session. Although it did not crash the RPTV, it did screw up the mpeg pretty bad. Of course if you use a "delay", it will limit those problems or even possibly eliminate them. I have found when using no delay that you generally will have a lot of trouble just trying to use the normal functions of the ReplyTV. But like I said, I've been off-loading hundreds of mpeg with no delay for the past several months without a hitch. NOTE .. I do make sure my off-load times are during a period of time when there will be no ReplayTV activity and that the RPTV is turned OFF..


Use delay factors of 0, 4, 8, 16, 32 etc. I have no means to distribute this (have a problem with my web site at the moment) so I'll have to email you the zipped file. I may get a temporary link set up this weekend for a download site. In the meantime the only way I can get it to you is to email it. If you are interested contact me at [email protected] and I'll replay .. uh I mean reply :) with an attached file.


Oh one more thing. Please address any comments to this thread here on the AVS forum.


Anyone interested ?? - Rich A -
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Okay guys .. I sent out about a dozen copies yesterday. Am eagerly awaiting any comments. Should I continue my efforts with upgrading features etc. or might it just be duplication of stuff already out there and really not needed.


???
 

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First I want to publicly thank you for this great GUI.


Now, you asked for it, so here is the short wish list.


1) a progress bar or % complete indication would be nice. Currently there is no indication of download progress except the change in the "Saved As:" box

2) give us the ability to change the download path. Currently the files download to the folder that the program is executed from.

3) give the program the ability to change the file name by adding a 1, 2, 3, etc. when there are several file with the same name in the guide or allow us to choose to save either as the RPTV file name or the guide name. As it stands the GUI chokes and exits if the file name is already in the path


The above are just nice to have and can be worked around VERY easily. This GUI is extremely easy to use and faster for those of us who use the off loaded files just for writing to DVD/SVCD.


Again ... THANK YOU
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by whirly
First I want to publicly thank you for this great GUI.


Now, you asked for it, so here is the short wish list.


1) a progress bar or % complete indication would be nice. Currently there is no indication of download progress except the change in the "Saved As:" box

2) give us the ability to change the download path. Currently the files download to the folder that the program is executed from.

3) give the program the ability to change the file name by adding a 1, 2, 3, etc. when there are several file with the same name in the guide or allow us to choose to save either as the RPTV file name or the guide name. As it stands the GUI chokes and exits if the file name is already in the path


The above are just nice to have and can be worked around VERY easily. This GUI is extremely easy to use and faster for those of us who use the off loaded files just for writing to DVD/SVCD.


Again ... THANK YOU
Ah thanks Whirly ... Actually the #'s 2 and 3 are both on the top of my "to do" list. Glad you like it. I aimed for a quick and easy program JUST to allow us to grab the files off the RPTV box.


Itom #1 may be the hardest for me to do. (remember I'm doing this as a sort of introduction to Visual Basic programming) The problem with this program over-all is it uses shells to run the ReplayPC and GuideParser programs. Once the program is running the shell, I can't do anything else. So until the ReplayPC finishes each off-loaded program, I can't do anything. I'm mentioning this here in hopes that some "real" programmer can make a suggestion. In short, while the program is in a "shell" to run the other application, the program itself is in a suspended mode.


The other two items are doable .. That might be lesson 5 for me :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay Whirly .. Got number 3 done. When you select multiple files to off-load if the program finds they have the same name, it'll rename them:

Filename.mpg, Filename_01.mpg, Filename_02.mpg etc. Up to 5 copies plus the original. I figure that should be enough for a weeik's worth of series, no?


Also I added a quick page to my web site where you can download the program.

http://www.pcphotovideo.com/new_page_1.htm will take you directly to the page.


There's a "RPTVUTIL_full.zip" version (which has all the support files etc.. And a "RPTVUTIL_UP.zip" version that is only the executable and a history file. Both contain the same revisions (currently Version 1.2.0


For those interested, there is also a screen shot of the GUI.
 

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Rich, if you want to try a progress bar, you might want to look at using httpfs.exe instead of ReplayPC.exe for the file transfers -- 'httpfs -a blablahblah readfile -v 2 -f outfile /Video/blahblah.mpg' gives status output in a way I hoped would be easy to build progress bars from.
 

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I downloaded the update and the new feature works like a champ!

Just out of curiosity what parameter(s) does the "Delay" value assign?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi guys,


For jtl on the httpfs .. I had forgotten about that. I'll have to give it a look but I don't think it would make a difference which program I was shelling to. I would think the same problem would exist. Like I said, I'm a rank beginner in this "visual" programming.


For Whirly ... the delay is what-ever you plug into it. It's the msec delay that ReplayPC takes as a command line option.


- Rich
 

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I tried the GUI program against a 5040 and receive "0 Files Available". Rich states that he's not tested it on a 5xxx box AND he stated "It all depends if you can use the ReplayPC command line application and the GuideParser application with your 5K units." The ReplayPC command line application runs fine but I'm under the impression that the current version of GuideParser is NOT compatible with the 5xxx box due to some formatting change. Rich's efforts are very nice and I'd love to use the program. Can anyone validate this to be true. If so, anyone have any updates as to when/if GuideParser is being worked on to work with the 5xxx boxes?

cheers,
 

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I just got the program off the website (thanks for directing me there Rich) and unfortunately for me (I have a 5040) the guide program barfs and is unable to locate the programs, perhaps if you are willing for the time being to add an option to not use the actual guide, and just use replaypc's -d function to get a list of what is on the machine. That could be parsed so we can go by just file names for the 5xxx series. I wouldn't expect this but if it's something you'd like to consider I'm sure a lot of us without programming skills would greatly appreciate it.


Or maybe an update guidedump that spits info out in the exact same format as the current one but can identify 5xxx series guides, but that is a suggestion for the guidedump author I'd guess =)


Thanks.

Brian S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
For Crayf and Cyrl,


I was afraid of that. I know it really works clean, fast and easy if you are running the 4K series. And yes, the verision of GuideParser I used is not working for the 5K series.


I wishi I could take the raw guide file produced by the ReplayPC program and parse it myself to use in a human readable form. But frankly that's beyond my humble programming capabilities. That's why I shell out to Lee's guideparser and let that parse the ReplayPC guide data for me.


Perhaps when / if I get to working with binary files and such I will be able to understand the source code that's presently out there and just incorporate that into my program. But at present, it's a little beyond my humble abilities.


I'll keep studying .. who knows? The only problem is that at my age, stuff leaks out of my brain faster than I can put it in. :(
 

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I could help you out, but have not upgrade yet, (using 3060). I would need a guide file and the file lay out or the ip address of a replay to connect to the get the guide info and testing. I am a Delphi programmer. I could create a .dll you could call from VB with a callback so you can an update status. Delphi and vb are not that different so you may be able to read my code.

Don't use shellExe as that will wait before it returns it all has been Declarations from the OS. You can use windows CreateProcess()

found this on google http://groups.google.com/groups?q=cr...ect.com&rnum=5


Quentin
 

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Quote:
Don't use shellExe as that will wait before it returns it all has been Declarations from the OS. You can use windows CreateProcess()
Once you get a process going and are not hung up on shelling out, you can simply create a progress by comparing the size of the download file to the size of the original file (say every 10 seconds?). No call backs or DLLs to mess with. Also in the down load loop you could also put a yield command so that the GUI does not habg and allow for a cancel button or some such thing. Good work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by QFloray
I could help you out, but have not upgrade yet, (using 3060). I would need a guide file and the file lay out or the ip address of a replay to connect to the get the guide info and testing. I am a Delphi programmer. I could create a .dll you could call from VB with a callback so you can an update status. Delphi and vb are not that different so you may be able to read my code.

Don't use shellExe as that will wait before it returns it all has been Declarations from the OS. You can use windows CreateProcess()

found this on google http://groups.google.com/groups?q=cr...ect.com&rnum=5


Quentin


Quentin, I thank you for your help ... but think it might be better to take the talk about programming etc. off to personal email. I would not mind you contacting me direct .. And I think it would be better than tying up the forum with program development stuff.


I was kinda of afraid this would happen as I've been using this program for several months (it's been fine for me even with all it's limitations). I was afraid that if I made it available to others then a "real" programmer might jump in and offer to help. This is good, but the bad part is I really haven't got a clue what everyone is talking about. If we take this to an Email path, I think it would be better for all concerned. I guess the best way to explain my capabilities is that just because a guy can change a tire, it doesn't make him a mechanic :) You guys are all mechanics talking to a tire changer. heh heh.


Are you talking about getting the RPTV 5000 guide data so I can make this work with the 5K series? The problem there is the gude data dump is different from the 4K to 5K machines. The only guide "parsing" program that can analyse that 4k data dump is GuideParser. It works fine with 4K units but was not written to parse the 5K data dumps. If I can't get the output of the ReplayPC guide.dat into a readable text file then I'm stuck. I'm stuck with only being able to use the 4k data parsed by guideparser.


Now if I understand you correctly I guess you'd be willing to write a "parser" for the ReplayPC Guide.dat file as generated by the 5K series boxes. Is that correct? If so .. you'll make a lot of guys happy. But you'll have to find someone with a 5K and ReplayPC.exe to dump and send you that Guide.dat file. Lee's Guideparser covers just about everything for the 4K guide dump. But I don't need much. Just the recorded show names, titles, durations, mpeg file names and qualities. If someone could just parse that data out of a 5K ReplayPC.exe guide dump to some form I could read .. that would solve one problem. I'm only using the Guide.txt generated by the Guideparser as that's all the is available (I guess)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by jameskollar
Once you get a process going and are not hung up on shelling out, you can simply create a progress by comparing the size of the download file to the size of the original file (say every 10 seconds?). No call backs or DLLs to mess with. Also in the down load loop you could also put a yield command so that the GUI does not habg and allow for a cancel button or some such thing. Good work!
Oh what a tanlged web I weave.. :( See the reply I made to Quintn above this one. There are a LOT of problems doing what I'm doing. For example, you said,


" ...can simply create a progress by comparing the size of the download file to the size of the original file (say every 10 seconds?)."


Well first there's no way for me to GET the original file size. The sizes I'm reporting are "guesses" based on the time and quality of the recording. Just a sort of "idea" as how big a file is, but by no means accurate. Remember ALL the data I have to work with must come from ReplayPC being run in a shell to output txt files that I can glean information from. And for what-ever reason the ReplayPC while in a shell will not re-direct it's "file stats" (size etc) to a file on the hard drive. Only to the console view screen. So I can't obtain the actual file size data. Sorry if I seem a little dense. Perhaps it's best that the program works for the 4K units and we'll just have to live without a "progress bar" for now. But I really do thank you guys for jumping in to offer help. And if you want to take this over to a email conversation, I'd be happy to.
 

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here is my guide dump for a 5k... ummm *cough* No comments about my viewing habits please... Hope this can help someone working on parsing it though, if you need a typed list of what I've got in there to work by I can provide that as well just email me through the board.l

 

5k series guide.zip 2.9921875k . file
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the guide dump for the 5K series. I think Quintin is going to take a look at it if he can free up some time. With the holidays and all, everyone is pretty busy. If he does get a user viewable parse of the information we need, I'll be happy to make a 5K version and you can download quickly and easily. I'm going to be scarce until after this weekend but will check in once in a while for comments. (Got some holiday parties and relatives visiting etc)


Thanks for the comments and suggestions. The feature of adding numbered file names to same named programs was a good one. Something I hadn't thought about. For now for anyone who wants a "cute" and easy way to get your mpegs off the RPTV box this will do the trick .. but only for the 4K series of ReplayTVs I'm afraid. Thanks everyone.


Rich
 

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As if your plate isn't already full. Here are a couple of things you could do to dummy-proof the GUI:


1) Disallow any input to the guide area of the screen after the "Extract MPEG(s)" button is clicked. At present you can check and uncheck files while the download is in progress.


2) There is a "Bug" in the "Get Guide" function. If you click the button once ... no problem. But once you have the guide if you click the button a sceond time you get a "Runtime Error 55 - File already open" whic will kick you out of the GUI.


3) You might just turn off accepting any input from the GUI while the downloading is in process.


Hey you asked for it ... :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ah great minds think alike. I already took care of the "get guide" problem. Now when you hit it a second time it just flashes a message telling you the guide is already enabled.


I've made notes on the other stuff. I'll have a new compile in a day. Don't worry ... so far it's fun. And I'm actually learning something. heh heh.


- Rich
 

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Nothing like making your pet project public to put a monkey on your back:D


Keep a stiff upper lip and keep thinkin' it's all "just a learning experience".
 
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