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Old 26-Oct-2019, 2:06 AM   #1
GroundUrMast
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,758
Personal Video Recorder (PVR) using SiliconDust tuner(s) and scripting on Linux

Edited 11/6/2019 - Updated Version of Script Code. Added locking feature to avoid race condition when two or more recordings begin at the same time.

I've tried several different Home Theater DVR/PVR software solutions beginning with Windows Media Center then MythTv and TVHeadend. Each offered valuable features but tended to use a lot of resources and in the event of updates or problems I found trouble shooting support a bit sparse.

I have found that I only used the basic recording functions so I set out to write my own scripts which would enable me to use the command line to schedule a recording. I've been working on making the process as simple as possible... The goal being to simply enter a single command with the necessary arguments for the system to understand what I want to record and when.

I own several SiliconDust tuners which are connected to different antennas so that I can have reliable reception of as many stations as possible. So I needed to include the logic to let the system choose a tuner that is both 'connected to an appropriate antenna' and 'not in use'.

Presently, my PVR system consists of a single script that draws information from a text file that contains the real RF channel and the MPEG2-PID that is associated with the Virtual Channel. There is one text file for each known virtual channel. Each of the virtual channel map files also includes a list of tuner and their sub-tuners ordered by preference. The main script checks for the 'lock' status of a tuner before beginning a recording. If the preferred tuner is locked by another user or recording process, the script will proceed to check the next tuner in the list.

Presently, I schedule the running of the recording script using the built-in Unix/Linux command 'at'.

script: recordTV.sh
Code:
#!/bin/bash
#
#
#
# Set Recording time-stamp to Recording File Name
REC_TS=$(date +%Y%m%d%H%M)
#
LOCKKEY=$(date +%T%N)
#
LOG_FILE=/home/tom/bin/PVR_scripts/logs/PVR_scripts.log
touch -a $LOG_FILE
#
if [ -z $1 ]
  then
    echo $(date +%T%N) Exiting; No Virtual Channel was specified >> $LOG_FILE
    exit
  else
    VC=$1
fi
#
if [ -z $2 ]
  then
    echo $(date +%T%N) Exiting; No File Name was specified >> $LOG_FILE
    exit
  else
    REC_FN=/home/tom/Videos/$2
fi
#
if [ -z $3 ]
  then
    echo $(date +%T%N) Exiting; Recording duration not specified >> $LOG_FILE
    exit
  else
    RecDur=$3
fi
#
#
#Load Virtual Channel configutation to array
declare -a VCarray

  if [ -f /home/tom/bin/PVR_scripts/VirtualChannelMaps/VirtualChan$VC.txt ]
    then
      mapfile -t VCarray < /home/tom/bin/PVR_scripts/VirtualChannelMaps/VirtualChan${VC}.txt
    else
      echo $(date +%T%N) Virtual Channel ${VC} configuration file missing >> $LOG_FILE
      exit
  fi
#
#
arrayindex=2
FT=0
function SetLock () {
  if [ ! -f /home/tom/bin/FindFreeTuner.lock ]
    then
      touch /home/tom/bin/FindFreeTuner.lock
      chmod 666 /home/tom/bin/FindFreeTuner.lock
      echo $(date +%T%N) Lock is set by ${VC} >> $LOG_FILE
      FindFreeTuner
    else
      if [ $FT -gt 9 ]
        then
          echo $(date +%T%N) FindFreeTuner.lock file has not been removed - by ${VC} >> $LOG_FILE
          exit
        else
          let FT=${FT}+1
          echo $(date +%T%N) FT=${FT} by ${VC} >> $LOG_FILE
          sleep 1s
          SetLock
      fi
  fi
}
function FindFreeTuner () {
  if [ $arrayindex -gt 20 ]
    then
      echo $(date +%T%N) "No free tuners available" by ${VC} >> $LOG_FILE
      exit
    else
      LockStatus=$(/usr/local/bin/hdhomerun_config ${VCarray[$arrayindex]} get /${VCarray[$arrayindex+1]}/lockkey)
      if [[ ${LockStatus} = "none" ]]
        then
          ConfigTuner
        else
          echo $(date +%T%N) HDHR ${VCarray[$arrayindex]} ${VCarray[$arrayindex+1]} is locked by $LockStatus - by ${VC} >> $LOG_FILE
          let arrayindex=${arrayindex}+2
          FindFreeTuner
      fi
  fi
}
#
function ConfigTuner () {
/usr/local/bin/hdhomerun_config ${VCarray[$arrayindex]} set /${VCarray[$arrayindex+1]}/lockkey $LOCKKEY
echo $(date +%T%N) tuner ${VCarray[$arrayindex]} sub-tuner ${VCarray[$arrayindex+1]} VC ${VC} TS-PID ${VCarray[1]} lockkey $LOCKKEY >> $LOG_FILE
rm /home/tom/bin/FindFreeTuner.lock
echo $(date +%T%N) Lock has been unset by ${VC} >> $LOG_FILE
/usr/local/bin/hdhomerun_config ${VCarray[$arrayindex]} key $LOCKKEY set /${VCarray[$arrayindex+1]}/channel auto:${VCarray[0]}
/usr/local/bin/hdhomerun_config ${VCarray[$arrayindex]} key $LOCKKEY set /${VCarray[$arrayindex+1]}/program ${VCarray[1]}
echo $(date +%T%N) Normal start of recording CH $VC >> $LOG_FILE
/usr/local/bin/hdhomerun_config ${VCarray[$arrayindex]} key $LOCKKEY save /${VCarray[$arrayindex+1]} ${REC_FN}.mpg & 
HDHR_PID=$!
echo $(date +%T%N) $HDHR_PID by ${VC} >> $LOG_FILE
#
sleep ${RecDur}m
#
#Release tuner
/usr/local/bin/hdhomerun_config ${VCarray[$arrayindex]} key ${LOCKKEY} set /${VCarray[$arrayindex+1]}/channel none
/usr/local/bin/hdhomerun_config ${VCarray[$arrayindex]} key ${LOCKKEY} set /${VCarray[$arrayindex+1]}/lockkey none
#
#Send normal termination signal to hdhomerun_config
kill -15 $HDHR_PID
echo $(date +%T%N) Normal end of recording by ${VC} >> $LOG_FILE
#
exit
}
echo $(date +%T%N)  ${VC} Checking for lock file >> $LOG_FILE
SetLock
exit


Sample VirtualChannelMap file 'VirtualChan4.1.txt'
Code:
30
3
1032E7DB
tuner0
1032E7DB
tuner1
1052349B
tuner0
1052349B
tuner1
1019D817
tuner0
1019D817
tuner1
101A5A4B
tuner0
101A5A4B
tuner1
101AE560
tuner0
101AE560
tuner1
Use of the script as shown below will schedule a recording of virtual channel 4.1 to a file named 'RecordingFileName'.mpg and the recording will run for 62 minutes. The recording will begin at 6:59 PM on October 30, 2019.
Code:
commandprompt:~$ at 18:59 10302019
warning: commands will be executed using /bin/sh
at> recordTV.sh 4.1 RecordingFileName 62
at> <EOT>
job 1204 at Wed Oct 30 18:59:00 2019
commandprompt::~$
The <EOT> control character is entered using CTL+d key combination.
__________________
If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 26-Nov-2019 at 6:03 AM. Reason: Updated Version of Script, sp.
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Old 7-Nov-2019, 6:56 AM   #2
GroundUrMast
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,758
Using crontab for recurring recordings

I also use crontab to schedule recurring recordings. The following example represents my daily newscast recording schedule. I can watch a news cast until it is overwritten by the next scheduled recording of that newscast.

crontab -e is used to edit the cron-table.
crontab -l is used to list the current cron-table.

Code:
$ crontab -l
# Edit this file to introduce tasks to be run by cron.
# 
# Each task to run has to be defined through a single line
# indicating with different fields when the task will be run
# and what command to run for the task
# 
# To define the time you can provide concrete values for
# minute (m), hour (h), day of month (dom), month (mon),
# and day of week (dow) or use '*' in these fields (for 'any').# 
# Notice that tasks will be started based on the cron's system
# daemon's notion of time and timezones.
# 
# Output of the crontab jobs (including errors) is sent through
# email to the user the crontab file belongs to (unless redirected).
# 
# For example, you can run a backup of all your user accounts
# at 5 a.m every week with:
# 0 5 * * 1 tar -zcf /var/backups/home.tgz /home/
# 
# For more information see the manual pages of crontab(5) and cron(8)
# 
# m h  dom mon dow   command
59 10 * * 1-5 . $HOME/.profile; /bin/bash /home/tom/bin/recordTV.sh 4.1 KOMO-TV4.1NewsAt11AM 32 > /home/tom/tempcron4.1.log 2>&1
59 15 * * 1-5 . $HOME/.profile; /bin/bash /home/tom/bin/recordTV.sh 4.1 KOMO-TV4.1NewsAt4PM 32 > /home/tom/tempcron4.1.log 2>&1
59 22 * * * . $HOME/.profile; /bin/bash /home/tom/bin/recordTV.sh 4.1 KOMO-TV4.1NewsAt11PM 32 > /home/tom/tempcron4.1.log 2>&1
59 11 * * 1-5 . $HOME/.profile; /bin/bash /home/tom/bin/recordTV.sh 5.1 KING-TV5.1NewsAtNoon 32 > /home/tom/tempcron5.1.log 2>&1
59 16 * * 1-6 . $HOME/.profile; /bin/bash /home/tom/bin/recordTV.sh 5.1 KING-TV5.1NewsAt5PM 32 > /home/tom/tempcron5.1.log 2>&1
59 22 * * * . $HOME/.profile; /bin/bash /home/tom/bin/recordTV.sh 5.1 KING-TV5.1NewsAt11PM 32 > /home/tom/tempcron5.1.log 2>&1
59 11 * * 1-5 . $HOME/.profile; /bin/bash /home/tom/bin/recordTV.sh 7.1 KIRO-TV7.1NewsAtNoon 32 > /home/tom/tempcron7.1.log 2>&1
59 17 * * 1-5 . $HOME/.profile; /bin/bash /home/tom/bin/recordTV.sh 7.1 KIRO-TV7.1NewsAt6PM 32 > /home/tom/tempcron7.1.log 2>&1
59 22 * * * . $HOME/.profile; /bin/bash /home/tom/bin/recordTV.sh 7.1 KIRO-TV7.1NewsAt11PM 32 > /home/tom/tempcron7.1.log 2>&1
29 17 * * 1-5 . $HOME/.profile; /bin/bash /home/tom/bin/recordTV.sh 9.1 KCTS-TV9.1NewsAt530PM 92 > /home/tom/tempcron9.1.log 2>&1
59 7 * * 1-5 . $HOME/.profile; /bin/bash /home/tom/bin/recordTV.sh 13.1 KCPQ-TV13.1NewsAt8AM 32 > /home/tom/tempcron13.1.log 2>&1
59 21 * * * . $HOME/.profile; /bin/bash /home/tom/bin/recordTV.sh 13.1 KCPQ-TV13.1NewsAt10PM 32 > /home/tom/tempcron13.1.log 2>&1
__________________
If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 7-Nov-2019 at 8:00 PM. Reason: gramar
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