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Topics - jamo

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Users / Motion and masks
« on: April 10, 2013, 10:15:30 pm »
So it seems that even if you tinker with the /etc/motion/motion.conf, it gets rewritten every time the device is restarted.

Arrrghh... so you can't actually use a PGM mask to mask out areas of your image from motion detection or take advantage of any of the other features of motion? Is that correct.

Ouch. Guess I either need to dig out the rubber gloves and get into the code or it's back to zoneminder.

Users / Google talk with my server - notify me
« on: April 04, 2013, 08:15:04 am »
Hi all

Been trying to find a neat way to notify myself of events on my system.... I'm running weborbiter on my HTC so I don't get any notifications on my orbiter.
I had a brief look at notify my android but wasn't too impressed with that - have to get a premium licence if you want more than 5 notifications per day and you have to run another app on your device, register another username/password etc etc. It works but....

then I found this link below for sending messages to gtalk. Now gtalk is what I use anyway for IM on my phone so I thought it'd be pretty cool to use that to send notifications to myself. That way I'd get them regardless of whether I was at home or not too.

Now what would be the best way of doing this? I saw the message below suggesting how to call a shell script as a command. Should be fairly simple to hook this up to an event - like motion detected on gate camera etc.,10768.msg74094.html#msg74094

Thoughts? I haven't tried yet but will as soon as I get a gap. If it works really nicely it might be cool to wrap the script in a DCE device that can listen for events directly.

Users / Future of (AV) device control
« on: February 18, 2013, 07:46:55 am »
Make no mistake, I'm having loads of fun trying to get IR control to work with my el-cheapo TV and STB and all that.... but, putting all that tinkering enjoyment aside for a moment, can we have a quick discussion about the future of device control?

Where does everyone think it is going? Is there some convergence happening in the industry?

Is everything going to move to HDMI-CEC, USB or IP control? Any thoughts? Would be good to know. I know CEC is poorly supported at present but it is an option. IP - lots of devices are getting both LAN and WAN connectors on board but most of these are for updating your twitface status primarily, correct? Will there come a time when we can do more with them? What about USB - that is also in just about every new AV device but, again, can one actually control the device via USB or is it just to be able to play your media.

I'm assuming that looking forward we should regard RS232 as over, despite how good it was and still is.  I'm going to put on some shoes and go and visit some high-end AUDIO/VIDEO vendors this week and pretend I have the buying power for some of their units and see what they have to say about control of their HT Receivers. Will be interesting.... ;-)

Installation issues / Audio / Video pipes - Settop box, TV [solved]
« on: February 11, 2013, 08:04:46 am »
I have a question regarding how the pipes should be set up between my AV devices. I'm thinking that this (among other things) might be the cause of some of my woes regarding USBUIRT IR code transmission problems.

I have a media director (zotac zbox AD04) which connects to a Hisense 40" LCD TV via HDMI (video and audio over HDMI). However, I also have a settop box (DSTV Satellite decoder) which feeds into the same TV via the AV1 input (composite video, L, R audio).

So the connections are pretty simple. However, when I set up the TV template, it generates an "embedded" device for every one of the 12 inputs on the TV. This, according to the wiki, is normal and correct behaviour.

However, how do I connect up the pipes to represent this situation. I want to use AV switching to switch between the STB (settop box) input and LinuxMCE input. There would be, I imagine, two media scenarios:

Scenario 1(default) - The TV is being used as the display for the media director. In this scenario I would like all the commands from my remote control to go the media director (play, pause, right left, ok etc) but preferably the volume+, volume- commands to be blasted through to the TV via the USBUIRT.

Scenario 2(dstv) - The TV to switch inputs to AV1, all the commands from the remote control to go through to the STB via the USBUIRT with the exception of - volume+ and volume- which should go to the TV and, I guess, some sort of custom button on my remote to "exit" this scenario and drop me back to default (which should switch the input on the TV back to HDMI and the Scenario back to default).

When I set things up in the Media Wizard, the Audio and Video pipes of the MD go directly to the HDMI input on the TV, not to the HDMI1 "embedded device" whose outputs also go to the HDMI input on the TV. Is that correct? I haven't added the STB yet, but when I do, should I connect that directly to the AV1 inputs on the TV or should I connect it to the AV1 "embedded device"? If directly to the TV, what is the point of the embedded devices? Do I need them? They're cluttering things up a bit ;-)

Another strange thing that may be related, as described in the other thread, is that after boot of the MD, the first time I press a button on my remote, I'm suspecting that the "power on" command is being sent to the TV. I suspect this because occasionally the TV turns off (toggle mode). So I'm guessing that, knowing that my TV is the display for the media director, the MD, when first being used, is trying to switch on the display. Of course, the display is already on so it ends up switching it off. Is that the default behaviour? Does LMCE track the state of AV devices ito on and off? Obviously with IR control it can't know if the device is switched on or off outside LMCE but I was just wondering....

Any hints, suggestions, tips welcome. This is the first time I'm working through these things.

I've requested the discrete codes for the TV if they're available but at the moment it is Chinese New Year so that's going to take some time ;-)

Users / Remove scenarios for unused inputs on my TV [solved]
« on: February 01, 2013, 08:11:58 pm »
I created a TV template for my TV as per the wiki entry. In order to be complete, and so others can potentially use it, I defined all the 11 or so inputs to the TV, even though at present I'm only using 2 of them.

I found that when I regened the orbiter, I now had scenarios for all the inputs on my TV. Fair enough, but I then went and deleted the scenarios I didn't need for now. After the next reload or regen or something (ie soon after!) all my scenarios are back. Hmmm. That's a bit of a pain because my media menu now is rather long with the majority of the buttons being meaningless to me.

Is it possible to delete scenarios more permanently or will the always be regenerated when you regen the orbiter?

Do I have to delete the individual inputs from my TV device that I'm not using? I presume this would not affect the template so I could still later upload the template for others to use if I'm happy with it.

Or should I disable the individual inputs - I see there is a "disabled" checkbox in the device in the wizard.

Any advice?


Users / Media list (grid) scroll/page down button on IR remote
« on: January 19, 2013, 08:31:51 pm »
Set up the remote that comes with the Zotac AD04 box in LinuxMCE and it works really nicely - the receiver being my new USBUIRT. But my only gripe is that in media lists I have to scroll right to the bottom before I can get the list to scroll. How do I set up a button to page down on the media list?

Any ideas? I've tried the chanup, chandown buttons and, in fact, just about every other button but none seems to do that.

Another thing that would be useful is to be able to access the "letter list" on the right. That would help to be able to jump to a point on the list but with a plain IR remote (not a mouse/gyro or wiimote) it doesn't seem possible. Is it?


Installation issues / USBUIRT not transmitting in 10.04 [solved]
« on: January 19, 2013, 08:28:26 pm »
Afaict, my new USBUIRT is not transmitting. The receiving part is working nicely but when I do a "test code" in webadmin from a device that is a child of the "USBUIRT embedded transmitter" nothing happens (apart from the ok box popping up on the screen). I'm carefully watching the unit with a digital camera to check for any IR flashes but there's not a thing.

Any ideas? Anyone else got a USBUIRT working nicely in 10.04... any tricks I should know about?


So I tried to use the HD_PVR with LInuxMCE... but the newer 1480 or gameplayer edition. LinuxMCE didn't respond at all when I plugged it into the MD and I've verified it's working so it seemed to be a driver issue or similar.

lsusb showed:

Bus 001 Device 003: ID 2040:e502 Hauppauge

So it was connected etc but dmesg had no record of a driver responding.

On doing some reading, it appears that this model is not supported by LInux. Blast. Apparently the driver in question is called hdpvr and I even came across some forum entries where people had managed to get newer HDPVR versions (than the original 1212) working by modifying the driver code to detect the model.

I gave this a bash - adding a new product id with the code (e502) reported on lsusb for my model-
Code: [Select]
i media/drivers/media/usb/hdpvr/hdpvr.h

added ID5:
#define HD_PVR_VENDOR_ID        0x2040
#define HD_PVR_PRODUCT_ID       0x4900
#define HD_PVR_PRODUCT_ID1      0x4901
#define HD_PVR_PRODUCT_ID2      0x4902
#define HD_PVR_PRODUCT_ID4      0x4903
#define HD_PVR_PRODUCT_ID3      0x4982
#define HD_PVR_PRODUCT_ID5      0xe502

vi media/drivers/media/usb/hdpvr/hdpvr-core.c

/* table of devices that work with this driver */
static struct usb_device_id hdpvr_table[] = {
        { }                                     /* Terminating entry */

And then recompiled the driver and modprobed it. Then, on plugging in the hdpvr, at least the driver did try to respond but dmesg shows it crashing out on initialisation with the message -
Code: [Select]
kern.log:Jan 18 06:21:18 moon76 kernel: [49733.312114] hdpvr 1-1:1.0: unexpected answer of status request, len -32
kern.log:Jan 18 06:21:18 moon76 kernel: [49733.312127] hdpvr 1-1:1.0: device init failed
kern.log:Jan 18 06:21:18 moon76 kernel: [49733.312206] hdpvr: probe of 1-1:1.0 failed with error -12

Am I on a hiding to nothing here or is there a chance I'll be able to sort out this driver to support the device? Any suggestions?

The offending bit of code, if anyone eats C++ for breakfast, is at
and it's in a function called "device_authorization":
Code: [Select]
        ret = usb_control_msg(dev->udev,
                              usb_rcvctrlpipe(dev->udev, 0),
                              rcv_request, 0x80 | request_type,
                              0x0400, 0x0003,
                              dev->usbc_buf, 46,
        if (ret != 46) {
                         "unexpected answer of status request, len %d\n", ret);
                goto unlock;
So I guess it's requesting control of the usb device, expecting 46 back but getting 32 and, quite understandably, getting flustered when it receives 32. And then cowardly bailing out.

Any thoughts or suggestions?


So my Radeon HD6320 card is working reasonably now with proprietary catalyst 12.10 driver but I was frustrated by the black borders (about 2cm) around the picture. It seems that the issue is default underscan that the driver imposes. Not sure why.

You can turn it off on the amdcccle from kde desktop and the desktop immediately resizes to fill the screen but there doesn't seem to be any way to make this persistent. Frustrating. Eventually I discovered the following command:

aticonfig --set-dispattrib=dfp2,sizeX:1920 # to set X resolution
aticonfig --set-dispattrib=dfp2,sizey:1080 # to set Y resolution
aticonfig --set-dispattrib=dfp2,positionX:0 # to set X position to 0
aticonfig --set-dispattrib=dfp2,positionY:0 # to set Y position to 0

(where my display adapter is dfp2)

Again, this command immedaitely resizes the image to fill the screen but needs to be run each time you start up or it is lost :-(

So I ended up creating a small script that does the above and calling it from one of the boot up scripts round about where X is being started (will post the hack when I get home later, forget the exact location)

This is obviously not ideal as it isn't part of core linuxmce and the script in question will no doubt be overwritten at some stage when I upgrade.

Any suggestions as to where would be a better place to put this? Or, indeed, a better way to approach the problem?

(This is on my AD04 zotac media director, by the way)

EDIT: I see some references to adding a --effective=startup flag to the aticonfig command to make the change persistent. Will test this afternoon.

Users / Zotac Z-boxes - ID81 or AD04
« on: November 19, 2012, 09:34:50 am »
Hi Everyone

I had a pretty cheap price on a Zotac Z-box ID41 which looked like the ideal media director to me but, predictably, when I order I find that it is no longer in stock and they have offerred me an ID81 or AD04 model(s) as alternatives. Still waiting to see the pricing, though.

I couldn't find anything on the forums searching for these. Does anyone have any recommondations? From what I can see from the site (zotac):

Intel Graphics (GPU) - HD Graphics. Chipset H65 Express.

AMD Radeon Graphics (HD 6320)

My primary concern (and what I liked about the ID41) was the GPU. The ID41 had Nvidia chipset, these are Intel / AMD. However,  I do know l3mce has been doing great work with intel and radeon support lately so perhaps these are not a no-no anymore?

Any comments?

Otherwise, these are newer models so quite a bit higher spec than the ID41 and I see they come with an IR receiver (USB) and MCE remote. Not sure if that could be easily set up with linuxmce or not but I would still require a blaster to control my settop box in any case.

Users / Hauppage HD-PVR - anyone got this working with LinuxMCE?
« on: November 15, 2012, 08:48:30 am »
Has anyone got this working yet? Looks like an awesome and pretty reasonably priced device.

I would want to use it as a video capture and encoding device between my settop box and media director. It appears to support composite video (which I'm currently using since it is standard def stb) but also HD via component which I could use if I switched to an HD stb at some point.

Also comes with IR receiver and blaster to change channel on STB. Brilliant! It is referenced in the mythtv hardware wiki so I presume it is supported by myth?

Any comments?

Users / pluto media - clean up audio attributes
« on: October 11, 2012, 03:40:25 pm »
So my system is working really well. I'm loving being able to play my music in any number of entertainment areas... have it "follow me" between them, change the song at will from my phone.... change the volume or pause if necessary. Brilliant.

The problem now is a symptom of my disgustingly organised music collection. The files (mostly mp3 and ogg) are inconsistently named, inconsistently tagged and inconsistently located. All of that makes for a messy media database. Then, to make it worse, I've been editing some of them to clean up the above (naming, tagging, locating) and when I finish editing and stick them back in the lmce directories, the updatemedia tagger seems to create weird duplicates. I get a bunch of tags that don't point to anything to the point where when I do a "play all" by title, the player stops because it often can't find the file that the title is pointing to. And yes, I have "deleted stuff which isn't in the database".

How I've messed it up I'm not sure exactly but as I understand it the only way to clean it up properly is to either drop the pluto_media database and then recreate it with the SQL scripts which set it up initially, or to copy all my audio files off to another location and then delete missing files from database and then copy them back and let the script re index them. Not convinced that will work, though... I think the drop and recreate database is the only way at my stage of db corruption.  Problem with that, though, is that I've painstakingly picked up attributes and cover-art for my DVD collection and that part of the DB is really nicely indexed and I'd hate to have to do all that again.

So... what I want to do is try to manually clean up the audio section from mysql if possible. I'm not a mysql expert, but I'm pretty handy with SQL in general (mostly oracle pl/sql) and database structures so I should manage but I need to figure out the schema of the pluto_media database.

My question here is- does anyone have this schema documented somewhere? If so, I haven't found it yet? If not, I can try to do so myself as I explore it and hopefully that will be of help to someone else. Thom, I read in a previous post that you burnt your fingers fiddling with pluto_media before you painstakingly studied the schema... did that knowledge stay in your cranium or did you note it down anywhere?

If anyone can comment or add help here it will be welcome. If not I'll continue talking to myself and build up the knowledge as I go.... then if no-one corrects and I reach some sort of conclusion, I'll move it from forum to wiki.


Users / Mobile orbiters - Web 2.0, Qorbiter, Java MO
« on: October 08, 2012, 12:24:51 pm »
I'm currently using the web orbiter on both the mobile phones in the house due to its simplicity and functionality but hoping to move to Qorbiter at some stage.

However, in the meantime, I wondered if the Java MO is still being used by anyone and, if so, what the advantages are?

I wanted to try it but despite the media directors detecting my mobile phones on bluetooth, and me saying "yes, please use it as a java mobile orbiter" and then typing in the relevant phone number, nothing ever seems to arrive at the phone. Any thoughts on this? What is supposed to be sent to the phone (some java files presumably) and can I get it through other means- direct blue-tooth file share etc..

Any ideas why the files aren't getting to my phone(s)? How do they get to the phone anyway.... I would imagine by bluetooth file transfer but there is never any request for acceptance / synchronisation etc.

If any can shed light on this, please let me know.


Users / Help with motion camera event commands
« on: October 05, 2012, 12:58:05 pm »
Hi Everyone

I've set up a fairly neat event set of commands to pop up my gate camera onto the screen of the TV Room MD whenever motion is detected on the camera. 

I use the "Goto Screen" command on the onscreen orbiter to pop up the camera (used the settings from the GateCAM scenario that is automatically set up when the camera is installed under motion wrapper). I used the interruption integer setting "3" which I think means don't interrupt any media or web browsing.

The camera stays up for 30s, after which I dispose of it with the "Go Back" command which I presume is meant to return to the previous screen. Thereafter a little banner message pops up and stays for 10s just to let the user know that motion was detected.

This was working rather well except for one annoying thing - if you're watching a movie or doing something that won't be interrupted by the camera pop-up as per the interruption setting, the "go back" portion of the command set still executes which can cause some undesirable behaviour. For example if the last thing I had done was to adjust volume, the "Go back" command would take the orbiter back to the "adjusting volume screen" which meant that suddenly the volume would shoot up to maximum if the remote (Wiimote) happened to be pointing to the right when the "Go Back" command was called.

So I noticed that the "Go Back" command has a nice feature "PK_DesignObj_CurrentScreen" which, according to the tooltip, will cause the orbiter to ignore the command unless the screen is the same as the one specified here. That seemed ideal- I set it to screen 15 (which seems to be the right thing because that is the screen you call to pop up the camera) and assumed that it would only fire this command if the current screen is 15 (the camera screen). Unfortunately, instead, the "Go Back" never seems to fire. I don't know if I've got the setting wrong or if it just hasn't been implemented in the device but the camera pops up on motion detection and never goes away unless I dismiss it purposefully.

Can anyone assist? Anyone know if the above feature was implemented and, if so, if I'm putting in the right setting?

Attached is a screenshot of my event commands.

Users / USB-UIRT way to go for STB and TV control?
« on: October 02, 2012, 10:11:34 am »
Quick advice please. I'm thinking of buying one of these babies PRIMARILY to control my STB (South African DSTV decoder) and TV (Hisense 40" HD LCD).

I need to
  • switch source on the TV between AV1 and VGA to switch between my SAT box input and my MD input
  • change channles on the SAT box, control the PVR on the sat-box when I'm watching it
  • power on and off the TV and SAT box

Here's how I understand it will work-

I use my IR Remote (whatever of the 3 I choose to set up - and I can set it up by recording with the USB-UIRT, right?) to send signals to the USB-UIRT receiver. Then by default, all my commands go to the media director - power off shuts it down, play, pause, rew etc controls whatever media is playing etc. Then, if I hit "watch DSTV" scenario that I've set up, the USB-UIRT transmitter will send a signal to my TV to "switch source" to the AV1 input connected to the sat box, and, thereafter, relay all my commands from the remote to the SAT box via same USB-UIRT transmitter.  Then, presumably, if I want to go back to media director input, I press some button on my remote that is short-cut to a scenario for "watch MD". Therafter, all my commands on the remote go to the MD again.

Am I on the right or wrong track there? Is the USB-UIRT the thing I want or is there something new and better to do this? I guess there are a few other options like the GC100 and IRTRANS?

Any thoughts, comments, advice, ridicule before I buy this thing?

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