SmartEPG

Introduction

SmartEPG, also known simply as SE

Grid%20WEB.jpg

This is an elegant and visually appealing TAP which has been trialled on Australian Model Topfields. It has many powerful features such as those listed further below:

There are four EPG views.
A Guide view displaying the current and upcoming shows for 1 service. A preview window is on the right.
An Overview displaying the shows currently showing on the first 14 services scanned. The same preview window is also available.
The Grid view which features the services on the left and the time across the top will display up to 10 services per page. (Screenshot above is the Grid View)
The Soon view shows a list of all programs for the next 2 hours, sorted by time. The 4 key may be used to choose between a view with or without a live TV picture. The buttons |< and >|allow users to set the minimum length of the displayed events.

Favourites are also supported which means that all the above views can be organised on the basis of users Favourite service arrangement if desired.

Recommendations Search
The view shows a list of programs that might meet your own interests and also a list of up to 10 general recommendations for the next three days. For this function, the timers are matched with timers of other users and SmartEPG TMS generates recommendations.

This requires your acceptance of the transfer of your own timer data (hash of the program name), and the MAC address of the receiver. The MAC address is used for grouping and for allocating the timer to the receiver. Just like the timer data, it is exclusively used for this feature. Transmitted data will be deleted from the server after three days.

In order to exclude program from the recommendation, they can be marked and permanently hidden by pressing the blue button. For program bearing the name of the program in their title, only this individual title is hidden. For program carrying the episode number in brackets in the title, all entries are hidden.

Recordings can be saved in a variety of naming conventions so that recordings are easily recognisable. They can also be saved to folders and automatically deleted, if desired, after a prescribed period. These physical folders can be automatically created from within the Search Editor screens by use of the White Key. This is especially useful when following series recordings eg "New Tricks" or "Movies".

Use of another TAP Automove will also allow the automatic movement of files into those desired folders. (See that TAP in the TAP Tab above)

On-screen advice guides the user on options available for each screen viewed.

Download link for a full installation is:
http://firebird.tms-taps.net/SmartEPG/SmartEPG_Install.zip

Key Features:

SmartEPG or SE for short, saves the current recordings which were lost at inadvertent reboots such as power failures.
• Continuation of a timer after a reboot.
• Recording overlapping timers from a channel with the option to combine timers if desired.
• Supports 4 recordings at once (depending on receiver type and firmware loaded – Support exists for IR timers).
• Automatic creation of timers using search function.
• Backup of timers and searches.
• Blocking of timers or serial timers.
• The allocation of transponder logos in two themes, searches and timers are assigned to the channels themselves and not the channel numbers.
• If you connect with TMSRemote (V3.0 and newer), you can use the computer keyboard when editing or entering text!
• The views “Guide” and “Overview” may be displayed with a live image.
• The FTA Guide will be scanned per transponder daily at a user defined time to build a database of the forthcoming shows.
• Integration with SmartFiler to manage recordings. SmartFiler (SF) is not a part of SE, but is supported by it. SF is accessed from SE by use of the 9 key.
• Integration with DSTini to manage the changeover to and from DST in Australia and the management of timers across that changeover period.
• The automatic scan timer is automatically created and managed by SE. In case of collisions with existing timers, the scan timer is moved accordingly.
• At present, there is support for German, English, French, and Dutch. Additional languages can be added using the supplied SmartEPG_tms.lng file.
• An "Oz" friendly English Guide is currently undergoing editing by the authors. This will provide an update to the one available at the Topfield Europe site already.
• The onscreen logos are for the currently available services. Users do not need to keep these up to date as they are provided as an update via Tap2date or manually from the aforementioned site.

Latest Version is V7.2b @ 26/5/2016
The changelog and announcements are here on the topfield europe forums - now in English as well as German.

Forum

The developers are in Germany, and most discussion is carried out on the Topfield-europe forum.
Google translate of SmartEPG Forum page
There is a thread here dedicated for Australian users:
[http://www.topfield-europe.com/forum/showthread.php?t=43146]
where users can ask questions in English if they like and answers are usually forthcoming from a core of helpful members.

Manual

This TAP is quite complex and you really need to read the manual to get the most out of the program, and to avoid quite a few traps along the way.
You can get the PDF manuals via TapToDate, or simpler via a direct download to your PC.
As of Aug 2014, the program is at version 6.1c, the German manual is at version 4.3, but the English translation is only at v2.6. Despite this, the English manual is still very useful for helping understand the general concepts and for many of the baffling options and operations. There is a revision of the English version currently in process of translation from the already updated German Version. This should be available fairly soon as it is in its last stages of translation. The availability of both with be posted on the latest news page.

Configuration

  • Before installing SE, make sure the PVR has scanned the correct list of stations. It will also use a favourites list, if you have one and want to limit the normally displayed list of channels.
  • It is best (less confusing) to have nothing in the PVR's reservation list before you start, although they can coexist.
  • When first installed and run, SE will take you straight to its config menu
    • The first item will be a list of channels to scan. You should add all channels you might want to view, so, for FTA broadcasts in Australia,
      the simplest method would be to press 1 to select all channels and then deselect any that you won't want. The important thing to note is that SE does not share the stored EPG with the main program, so you must set this up.
    • Choose "Scan EPG", not "scan multichannel EPG". It is also possible to set one service of each of the Australian transponders to "scan multichannel EPG". ie SBS1, ABC1, Nine, Seven, TEN (or the regional equivalent like say WIN for Nine). All the other services should be set to "Just Display" in that situation.
    • select a quiet time for it to wake up and scan all channels (once a day). This should take 2 to 3 minutes only.
    • Select the option to Scan Now to build the EPG.
    • You may look down the config menu for other options, but it is probably better to return here later when you have a better feel for the program
  • it will set your pre/post padding to zero in the original system, and will give you a message saying that it has. Don't panic - it specifies its own padding, which is far more flexible, and the values in the original menu must remain at zero for SE to work properly.
  • Any reservations remaining in the list from before installation will have a modified look. In particular, SE will replace your IR scheduled recordings with Reservation type: ???. They will also look different depending on whether you view using SE or the default system (the old system remains available and functional, just slightly more difficult to get to).

Getting Started

The SE pages are initially accessed by pressing the Guide key on the remote. Pressing the same key again within a few seconds will take you to the old grid EPG.
The lines at the bottom of the display give you clues as to which buttons are active, but what they do not mention is that the menu key is active in any of the SE screens to take you to the config pages.
There are 6 main viewing pages in SE, which are accessed via the buttons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. See View details at the top of this page.

FAQ

How do I make the buttons more like the default operation?

By this I mean, pressing Guide button and going to the grid-view, pressing OK button to get to the (new,improved) channel list.
These are options in the configuration menu, positions 8 to 12. Highlight the action you want, and press left/right to cycle through all the available buttons until you find the one you want.

What is the difference between Series, Series repeats and Everything

Here are the different timer types to be set from the search options:

Everything
All successful searches will be recorded.
Blocked
This search is not active.
M-Timer
Like "Everything" produced, but an M-timer instead of R-timer (see next faq for M-timer)
One-Off
After the first hit, the search automatically goes into the "Blocked" mode.
Series
Such a hit is programmed, however if SE finds a successful recording in the database of previous recordings then this timer is blocked. A "match" is possibly determined by two broadcast programs having the same title and extended description. The database contents for any one series can be viewed from either the timer list or the search list by pressing the RCU button with the symbol of a loudspeaker and a question mark.
Series (Repeat from the Transmitter)
For example: a sitcom starts at 19h and is repeated the next morning. Because a recording should not be taken more than once, it would be programmed to perform a search for this channel from 18 to 20h. Thus, the first program is found and the repetition is ignored. If you want to however make sure that no result is failed, then you can select this record mode. Once SE finds the main broadcast, it automatically starts a new search, without a time limit, for all programs on this channel that have an identical fingerprint. The main program and the repeat are both programmed. If the recording of the main session works, then the repeat is automatically blocked.
Series (all Repeats)
as above, but the search for repeats is expanded to include all channels.

Recording to sub-folders

Recordings can be saved to folders and automatically deleted, if desired, after a prescribed period. These physical folders can be automatically created from within the Search Editor screens by use of the White Key.

What does M->R->P mean (use the pause button on SE screens to control this)

This switches between various recording modes:
M
an "event timer". Does not record, nor switch tuner channels (red marker with central "M"). The subsequent action depends on Setup item 27, and GUI option 19
R
A normal recording of a broadcast (red markers)
P
Like a "view-only" timer. Switch on PVR, tune to desired channel, but do not specifically record. (green marker)
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