[mythtv-users] recording start time

Bruce Markey bjm at lvcm.com
Wed Aug 8 21:00:18 UTC 2007

norman wrote:
> Before I start messing about I would welcome an answer. I set my
> recordings to start say 60 seconds before the scheduled start time of
> the programme. If I want to record consequent programmes will I need to
> alter this start time?

Right, this is "seconds before the scheduled start time"
used by the recorder at record time and not for the scheduler
to plan the minutes of scheduled record time. The purpose of
this "preroll" is to get the 'tape rolling' before the start
time so that there will be a clean start ahead of the content
of the show (lights, camera... action). Same for the end so you
don't cutoff a few seconds of the closing credits or preview of
next weeks show. If two shows are back to back, the recorder
simply cuts from the end of one show on to the next show as the
recorder doesn't have the opportunity to add this convenience.

An entirely different, unrelated issue is that sometimes the
content of a show is expected to run several minutes outside
of the time stated in the TV listings. Extra innings for a
baseball game for example, or a show on SpikeTV after wrestling
that they always start three or four minutes late. When you
expect the content of a program to fall outside the times in
the TV listings, you must tell the scheduler that it must
record these additional minutes or else you will miss the content
of the show. This is done on a per rule basis in the recording
options page. Under Scheduling Options you can set the rule to
start early or late by minutes or end early or late. This will
tell the scheduler that it must account for this time as it
fills in the schedule hours, days or weeks ahead of time.

It is possible that while planning to record a high priority
show to completion, a lower priority show could be marked as
a Conflict. At that point, you can decide if you want to start
the lower priority show late or not record it at all, your
choice but until the scheduler is told differently, it will
carry out your orders and make sure that your higher priority
show will record properly.

Now, I've been doing this for several years and I know that by
the fact that I'm sending this, there will be ignorant opinions
posted that if the scheduler's behavior was more ambiguous, it
would somehow magically do the right thing by dropping time that
the user knows she needs. Usually this is presented with lots
of hand waving and an avoidance of analysis which shows that
such approaches will usually do the worst thing possible (cut
off the end of your favorite show) and give no warning.

That said, current SVN and the next release will have an option
under TV Settings->Recording Priorities->Set Recording Priorities
for "Avoid back to back recordings from different channels". If
set, the scheduler will avoid assigning shows from different
channels to the same card if their end time and start time match.
This will be allowed when necessary in order to resolve conflicts.
This makes no assumptions about why you don't want shows to be
back to back.  The down side is that in moving shows to other
cards and later times, the scheduler is not making the best
decisions, this may defeat preferred inputs or channel priority
and, in the end, it may not be able to avoid back to back
recordings in all cases.

--  bjm

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