[mythtv] Re: [mythtv-commits] Re: Ticket #255: Improved scheduling of consecutive programs with pre-roll/overrecord

Mark Kundinger mkundinger at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 17 00:57:10 UTC 2005

If we're voting on this sort of thing, just a couple of days ago the
same subject had crossed my mind.  Now, in my case, I have two analog
tuners.  Quality is slightly different, but they get the same lineups. 
I use a couple minutes of startearly and endlate just because, well,
miscellaneous stations like to mess with start times, but I often don't
know in advance.  But of course, if it came down to brass tacks, I
would not want to sacrifice recording one show or another if they are
back to back.

For me, I would prefer the option of having the otherwise idle second
tuner kick in, just so I can get my few minutes of "insurance"
recording.  I would not, however, want any of the recordings to be
rescheduled, because it would just be too annoying.  (And hey, if I had
a few minutes get cut off, I could always re-record the later showing).

An option that game the user a variety of check box combinations
("allow reschedule?" y/n, "use addl tuner?" y/n.  Something like "hard
enforcement option" can be done now on a per-schedule basis easily, so
I don't see too many people wanting that as a global option (but there
may be a few).

--- Bruce Markey <bjm at lvcm.com> wrote:

> MythTV wrote:
> > #255: Improved scheduling of consecutive programs with
> pre-roll/overrecord
> >
> >  Reporter:  Max Barry <mythtv at maxbarry.com>  |        Owner:  gigem
> >      Type:  patch                            |       Status:  new  
> >  Priority:  minor                            |    Milestone:       
> > Component:  mythtv                           |      Version:  head 
> >  Severity:  medium                           |   Resolution:       
> >        Cc:                                   |  
> >
> > Comment (by Max Barry <mythtv at maxbarry.com>):
> > 
> >  As requested by David, I've modified the patch to include a
> setting with
> >  which to control its behaviour.
> > 
> >  In "Utilities/Setup" -> "Setup" -> "TV Settings" -> "General"
> there is now
> >  a dedicated OverTime page. A new setting on this page asks when
> the user
> >  would like MythTV to apply the OverTime buffers. Options are:
> > 
> >  0) [Default] Apply unless it would create a conflict, require the
> use of
> >  an additional tuner card, or require MythTV to record an earlier
> or later
> >  showing. In other words, ignore pre-roll and overrecord unless
> they can be
> >  honoured without affecting anything else. This is MythTV's current
> >  behavior.
> > 
> >  1) Apply unless it would create a conflict or require the use of
> an idle
> >  tuner. MythTV will, however, select an earlier/later showing if
> this
> >  enables it to honour the OverTime settings.
> > 
> >  2) Apply unless it would create a conflict. MythTV will, however,
> assign
> >  programs to idle tuner cards or record earlier/later showings if
> this is
> >  necessary to capture the pre-roll/overrecord. [IMHO this should be
> >  MythTV's new default behaviour.]
> > 
> >  3) Apply always. This turns OverTime into a hard setting, which
> MythTV
> >  will always obey even if this means creating a conflict.
> > 
> >  Hopefully this makes everyone happy, by allowing users to employ
> the
> >  OverTime setting in whichever way works best for them.
> > 
> >  Thanks to David for taking the time to discuss the issues with me
> and
> >  provide guidance!
> There can be a small annoyance when a recording starts. If the
> scheduled time is 8pm and the recorder starts at 20:00:00, it may
> take a short amount of time for the drivers to initialize, memory
> alloc'ed then audio and video frames stored. More importantly, if
> an external tuner is used, it may take a couple seconds for the
> script to run and the STB may splash an OSD for a few seconds.
> Because of this, in the early versions of myth, a "preroll" feature
> was added so that at run time, the recorder could get a few
> seconds of leader time so that the recorder would be 'up to speed'
> by the scheduled start time. This is a Good Thing but not so
> critical that it should cause back to back recordings to fail.
> It's more important to record the 9pm show than it is to let
> it fail just because it couldn't get a 3 or 5 second head start.
> Therefore, this is ignored if the recorder is already busy when
> there are consecutive recordings.
> At the time, myth could only (hopefully =) schedule a show from
> the listed start time to the listed end time. Because some shows
> have content that falls outside of the scheduled times, some
> people started using this to add minutes and added a counterpart
> for the endtime. Adding a few seconds to the end can also be
> useful for catching the hugging at the end of American Idol or
> the loser's comments at the end of Survivor. Again, as leader
> time it is not so important that it should cancel the next
> recordings for a few extra seconds that will almost always be
> credits, commercials, promos or the intro for the next show.
> This still didn't account for Joe Schmo starting 4 minutes
> late after wrestling or baseball games running an hour or hour
> and a half over.
> Chris Pinkham added a set a variables now called startoffset and
> endoffset. These are stored in the record rules and allow the
> minutes for the scheduled time to be adjusted. These are used
> by the scheduler to plan how things should fit hours, days or
> weeks ahead of time. These default to 0 and can be set once for
> a recurring rule or for a single showing with single record or
> an override. This also allows for negative offsets for things
> like NBC who at the time would list start and end times at HH:59.
> These offsets let users see what the plan is ahead of time and
> allows them to tweak difficult situations based on what they
> know and want.
> A problem over the past couple years is that people often choose
> to make the assumption that runtime recorder head start can be
> abused as a magic substitute for planned scheduled time. The
> hope is that this will always grab minutes of content that spill
> outside the times in the TV listings yet not create unnecessary
> conflicts. This seems to work because >98% of shows start and end
> within the listed times. The extra times is cruft and when there
> are back to back recordings, normally nothing is missed. But
> then there is Murphy's Law. A show that is known to fall beyond
> the listed time will be back to back with something else and one
> or both of the shows will be cut off.
> The planned schedule offsets should be used to get minutes of
> content that is expected to fall outside of the TV listings times.
> The runtime recorder seconds facility should be available for
> their intended use without affecting the schedule.
> What concerns me here is that the option 3 takes the preroll
> variable and forfeits it's intended use to fill a specific need
> and makes it into a more confusing duplicate of the capability
> that already exists with the start/end-offset. If people want to
> force all rules to record extra time by default, then a better
> way to do this would be to add an option for setting the default
> startoffset and endoffset. This has been discussed before because
> it seems that this is what many people think they are trying to
> achieve by setting large leader seconds values.
> Option 0 is a must. This is the way it's supposed to work for
> good reasons.
> Option 1 and 2 could be made available for people who want them
> but I won't recommend them and would ask that these be turned
> off before answering any questions about odd scheduler behavior.
> I usually have 3 (up to 5) tuners available. 1 and 2 are better
> cards and have a higher input preference. Analog is available on
> all five card but digital cable is only on card 2 (and 4 but it's
> never needed). If back to back recordings are moved it may move an
> analog show from 1 to 2 causing an overlap with a lower priority
> digital show. Moving back to back recordings to other cards would
> push things onto less preferred cards or would "L"ater shows for
> a day or two. This for the sake of a few extra seconds that I
> specifically intended to not be mandatory.
> Option 3 just isn't the right thing to do. However, if there was
> one wizard page that had widgets for both the default
> start/end-offset
> minutes for new record rules used be the scheduler and widgets for
> the leader time second used by the recorder at runtime, then the
> help text could compare and contrast these features and help the
> user understand what to expect. This could also have a widget of
> options for the scheduler to work around the leader time and even
> though I know I won't use these I'm sure others will.
> --  bjm
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