Release Notes - 0.16

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Important.png Note: Please note that the following reflects changes for an old release of MythTV. The current release is 0.27.

Here's a run-down of some of the highlights for the new release of MythTV. 0.16 was released officially at 3:09 AM EDT. 10 September 2004. This is the archival copy of the page, and shouldn't be changed now that the release has been cut.

New Features and Enhancements

Commercial Flagging Servers

With .16 you will be able to specify a particular backend to be used for all commercial flagging. In addition, you'll be able to have more control over how much CPU is used to do the flagging. In .15.1 flagging is done by the backend that does the recording, and is setup so that it uses as little CPU as possible. With this change you can use your most powerful backend (or even run a backend that only does comm flagging) and allow the comm flagging to use more CPU and dramatically reduce the time needed to flag commercials.

Search Based Recording

This will allow you to set up recording rules for your saved program searches. This is similar to Tivo's "wish list" feature.

New Recording Options Screen

The advanced recording options screen has been given a much needed make over. The various Qt controls are gone and the dialog is now themeable. Recording options are now set using a list control. The options are grouped into categories and can be selected using the arrow keys and the SELECT button. For simple items such as the start early/end late options you can just use left/right to increment them. For list types such as the recording group selection you can scroll through the options with left/right or press SELECT to see a list of the items and select which one you want. Items that can be scrolled left or right have arrows pointing to the left and/or right.

The advanced screen is now simple enough that it will be the only recording options screen.

This provides access to the full range of options without being overwhelming.

Program Details

A "Program details" item has been added to the advanced recording options screen which shows information about the program which may not be visable on other pages. The program details and upcoming episodes pages can now be accessed directly from any scheduling page with a single keystroke.

File Write Optimizations

The buffering system for file writing has been tweaked to allow for better performance when performing multiple recordings on the same machine and/or writing to NFS shares. HDTV file saving has been greatly improved as well.

New Episodes Only Recording

Myth .16 will support recording of new episodes only, with a window (default of 14 days) for a show to be re-shown (and thus allowing the scheduler to juggle shows around). This is of course highly data source dependant. If your Listings Grabber doesn't supply enough info, you can't make use of this.

Along with this: The repeat status is now available to the UI. Theme authors can add REPEAT and LONGRPEAT to the descriptions of programs so you may see: "(Repeat 2/12/2002) Some description text".

Per-Channel Output Filter Improvements

The per-channel output filters now work while watching Live TV not just when watching a recorded show.

Stars Ratings

The star ratings for grabbers that provide them are now available to the themes so you may begin seeing "(3.5 Stars) Some description" or even "(3.5 Stars) (Repeat 2/12/2002) Some description".

Color OSD text

OSD text can now use full color instead of just shades of grey. Outlines and shadow colors can also be specified.

Video Out Aspect Override Options

This will allow you to override the Display Size in your XF86config file for the purpose of specifying the aspect ratio of your TV.

Theme Enhancements

  • Each menu item can now have it's own watermark. Not a huge deal but it allows for more eye candy.
  • The "depends" tag can now specify multiple plugins. Theme designers can indicate that a menu option depends on at least one of the specified plugins being installed. This allows folks building menu themes to block off a section that groups multiple plugins.
  • OSD fonts can now be in color.

New Menu Layout

The "Alt Menus" menu theme has now replaced the default menus. The new menu layout was designed to minimize scrolling through the menus and to group things by logical category.

The old menus are still available as a menu theme. Select the "classic" menu theme to change back to the old style.

The new menus include support for the MythFM and Myth Recipe plugins that are currently under independent development.

Important note: The media library contains a single menu option for MythVideo. This uses the "MythVideo" jump point to bring you into your default view of your videos. You need to configure this if you don't want the gallery to be the default.

MythVideo Improvements

  • All MythVideo views now support filtering based on a wide variety of criteria.
  • All MythVideo views now have standard MENU menus as well as INFO menus.
  • The keyboard keys to increment and decrement the current parental level are now configurable.
  • Data CDs can now be browsed in the MythVideo tree view.
  • Metadata now displayed (for files that have it) when in file mode on the video tree.
  • The "Internal" playback plugin now supports displaying the metadata for the video in the OSD.
  • The "Internal" playback plugin now support files with multiple audio tracks within them. The NEXTAUDIO(+) and PREVAUDIO(-) keys allow you to cycle through the various audio tracks.
  • The video tree will now fill in a "plot" text item if one is present in the theme.
  • Minor improvements to the drawing code, UI should be snappier.
  • Added support for a default view. This allows us to have one menu entry for MythVideo instead of one for each view type. The jump point "MythVideo" will take you to your default view.
  • The IMDB script has been improved. It now properly deals with redirects. In addtion, if there is no poster on impawards.com, it will try looking for on amazon.com using their XML searching. If it can't find a poster on Amazon it will take a lowres picture from imdb.
  • New MythVideo view "gallery", shown below.

attachment:gallery_small.jpg

MythWeb

  • MythWeather info now integrated into MythWeb.
  • Music files from your MythMusic collection can now be downloaded via MythWeb.
  • Show total length of recorded shows alongside of disk usage (is this the *scheduled recorded length* or the *actual*?)
  • Detect search strings by finding non-spaces, rather than "word" characters (for better integration with Unicode languages like Japanese)

MythPhone Added

MythPhone is now part of the core distribution.

New Option to Create / Rebuild Seek Tables for Files

A --rebuild option was added to mythcommflag. Running mythcommflag with --rebuild will rebuild the positionmap/seektable IN THE DATABASE for a recording without going through all the motions of doing the commercial flagging. This runs very quickly since it doesn't have to decode the video or audio, it only scans through the recording.

mythcommflag can now rebuild the positionmap/seektable in about the same amount of time it would take to copy the file.

NOTE: This DOES NOT fix the seektable in bad nuppel-format files, it only saves a positionmap/seektable to the database.

In addition to this a "--video" option has been added that can be used to build a seektable for arbitrary video files. By using "mythcommflag --video <filename>" a seek table will be built for the file for use in the Internal playback engine. The seeks for avi files do not always land on the proper key frame so you may experiance "garbage" on screen until a key frame is hit.

Realtime Scheduling

Realtime allows for smoother video output under higher loads / less heavyweight systems than is possible with the current (default) scheduling. If mythfrontend (and also the 'mythtv' program), are set to SUID root, they will first spawn a priveleged thread and then drop priveleges to continue on as normal. This privileged thread then hangs around to service requests to alter the scheduling priority of other threads when requested; it is the only part of MythTV that runs with elevated privileges

When the video player sarts up, it then requests real-time scheduling for it via this new mechanism. If not installed SUID root, this operation will fail (with a message) and operation will proceed as it always has. It's important to note that this message is NOT an error, and should simply be considered informational.

MythGame Changes

  • MAME versions 0.83 and higher are now suported. Due to the way the MAME team changed the command line argument for listing ROMS support for older versions is no longer present.

Misc

  • Added a bob de-interlace filter for Xv.
  • dvb_on_demand mode improved
  • LCD channel info improved
  • Better LCD backlight support.
  • Added a visual "in the past" indicator to the EPG.
  • Titivillus and Titivillus-OSD are now in the core distribution.
  • GANT has had some tweaks
  • A new "search by time" search mode has been added.
  • The MPEG4 max quality slider now allows "0". Very nice at high bitrates.
  • The Video Sync code has gotten an overhaul.
  • A new key is available while watching TV/recordings JUMPSTART(Ctrl+B) will jump to the beginning of the recording / Ring Buffer.
  • A new system status screen has been added to replace the old guide status screen
  • Lots of XvMC cleanups and improvements, including some performance improvements.
  • MythWeather now has animated radar maps.
  • An option has been added to show the guide immediately on entering live TV mode.
  • The mechanism for adjusting the display resolution for different streams has been improved to work on more window managers. Ratpoison however, still does not work.
  • An import script for channels.conf has been added to the contrib directory.
  • Lots of work as been done of OSX compatibility. You should be able to get a clean compile, as well as video and audio support.
  • A small program (6200ch) has been added to the contrib directory for changing channels on a Motorola DCT-6200 cable box via a 1394 (aka. Firewire) connection. See the README for compile and usage info.

Bug Fixes

Native ALSA improvements

The native ALSA output has been vastly improved. Previously the native ALSA output was subject to stuttering and jumping. The most recent improvements fix this issue. You should now be able to use ALSA:spdif and the like and avoid using the OSS compatibility layer.

Misc

  • Fixed playbackbox to automatically update when programs start and stop
  • Channel callsign/name now properly translated.
  • MythWeb Search sorting/grouping bug fixed
  • Fixed channel 95 and 96 HRC frequencies
  • QSockets are now refcounted, this should help with the long standing problem of MythWeb causing the backend to fail.
  • Bug #3 "Initial frame advance will jump several frames ahead." - Fixed
  • Fix bug #57 "Cut list isn't honored during playback of recordings." - Fixed
  • Fix bug #4 race condition when entering pause during sticky FFWD/REW and repositioning was on. Pausing while doing a FFWD/REW shouldn't lock up the frontend any more.
  • Bug #13 fixed The "Internal" video player plugin now works again.
  • Increased the size of freqid in the db to allow for larger numbers.
  • Lots of DVB related bug fixes.
  • Some clicks and pops in ALSA/OSS output have been fixed.
  • Some OSS Audio Output Overflow fixed.
  • mythfilldatabase properly sets the last run status when using the --file option
  • mythfilldatabase will grab data for any day with little or no current data after 6pm. This will refill partial days where new data ended by 5pm. Increased "maxday" for datadirect to grab all available data even if it ends on a partial day. (Bug #2).
  • mythbackend will properly switch to the configured input for live-tv (Bug #10)
  • Jumppoint keys while in the OSD exit menu no longer cause lockups (Bug #14)
  • When watching a recording, holding down the escape key no longer causes the frontend to freeze (Bug #17)
  • Manual recording now takes card priorities into account (Bug #26)
  • Backend no longer dies when streaming poor DVB channels (Bug #31)
  • MythWeather now reports timeouts properly. Users are now informed of timeouts and given a chance to retry with a longer timeout value. The default time is configurable via the "Weather Timeout" config variable. (Bug #36).
  • Title search now handles embedded single quote character (Bug #47) (other search types fixed as well)
  • LCD initialization is now performed earlier, allowing the first menu to properly show up on the LCD.