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Thread: Autotimers and Description Uniqueness

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    Autotimers and Description Uniqueness

    Hi. Hope someone can help with the following problem.

    I'm in the UK, Freeview only. OpenViX version 5.3.038, Autotimer version 4.3.2.

    My usual autotimer setup is to specify 'Check for uniqueness in Title and Short description'. While many autotimers work as expected, quite a few refuse to find more than a single programme, normally the first.

    After many frustrating hours of experimentation, I've come to the conclusion that the failure only occurs in cases where the description is not unique enough to satisfy whatever algorithm is used. For example, a programme with a generic description for all episodes, but with a small variable part specifying the series/episode numbers, or perhaps the episode title.

    This conclusion appears to be confirmed when I came across a forum topic from around 5 years ago (http://www.world-of-satellite.com/sh...mer-Uniqueness), which mentions a similarity of around 70%, so presumably the uniqueness has to be over 30% or so to qualify as unique ?

    So, can anyone provide a solution to this, please. I noticed that the above forum topic talks about patches to the Autotimer code, but I guess these haven't been implemented for one reason or another.

    Many thanks. Looking forward to your replies.

  2. #2
    BrianTheTechieSnail
    Lately I've been using:

    Require description to be unique: Any service/recording
    Check for uniqueness in: Tile and all descriptions

    Which I think works better.

    But sometimes when the EPG descriptions are minimal or not updated in time I just have to figure out a way using time and day restrictions that will usually capture the new episode when it's first shown without making repeat recordings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Codger View Post
    My usual autotimer setup is to specify 'Check for uniqueness in Title and Short description'. While many autotimers work as expected, quite a few refuse to find more than a single programme, normally the first
    Isn't that what you'd expect to happen?

    I've used freeview autotimers for years and never had a problem with multiple recordings of the same programme.

    Maybe give a precise example of what you're trying to do?

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    It's as Brian says, this is the important bit and should work fine. I've never had any problems with these settings.
    Require description to be unique: Any service/recording
    Check for uniqueness in: Tile and all descriptions

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    Quote Originally Posted by spanner123 View Post
    It's as Brian says, this is the important bit and should work fine. I've never had any problems with these settings.
    Require description to be unique: Any service/recording
    Check for uniqueness in: Tile and all descriptions
    What if titles and descriptions don't change, but the programmes are different eg the news?

    I do the opposite - Require description to be unique=No and it records what I want.
    Last edited by ccs; 06-09-20 at 19:38.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccs View Post
    What if titles and descriptions don't change, but the programmes are different eg the news?

    I do the opposite - Require description to be unique=No and it records what I want.
    Then when setting up the autotimer you set that particular one to No on both of those settings I presume, but have never had an occasion to auto record something where description doesn't change.
    I do the opposite - Require description to be unique=No and it records what I want. Won't this just record repeats or stuff you've already got recorded?

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    Quote Originally Posted by spanner123 View Post
    Then when setting up the autotimer you set that particular one to No on both of those settings I presume, but have never had an occasion to auto record something where description doesn't change.
    I do the opposite - Require description to be unique=No and it records what I want. Won't this just record repeats or stuff you've already got recorded?
    I stick to a particular channel and a timeframe, and never get repeats.

  8. #8
    BrianTheTechieSnail
    Quote Originally Posted by ccs View Post
    I stick to a particular channel and a timeframe, and never get repeats.
    Depends how the series you want to record is being shown.

    Try and record, say, every episode, old or new, of "The Big Bang Theory" from E4 using just a time and/or day of week with no repeat recordings.
    Can't be done. You have to go for unique descriptions from any of the almost never ending string of reruns they show.

    But if you want to record, say, every episode of "Tech 24" from France 24 you have to figure out that the episode they show changes at the beginning of each week and use a day and time frame because every showing just has the same short generic description in the EPG.

    There are a few things that kind of annoyingly fall between the two cases because they have a generic description up until maybe only a day before they are first shown and only then does a longer episode specific description usually appear.
    Some of the sort of US current affairs review/discussion programs on CNN seem to be like this.
    Last edited by BrianTheTechieSnail; 06-09-20 at 21:23. Reason: clarify

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianTheTechieSnail View Post
    Try and record, say, every episode, old or new, of "The Big Bang Theory" from E4 using just a time and/or day of week with no repeat recordings.
    Can't be done. You have to go for unique descriptions from any of the almost never ending string of reruns they show.
    Everyone comes up with the "The Big Bang Theory"

    I reckon to avoid repeats you'd also have to save all 279 episodes. Life's too short.

    Or watch it on Netflix, all series, all episodes, all sorted.

    If you can't work out the broadcasting schedules because they're too random, then autotimer will struggle as well.

    I'm not against using descriptions, just never seem to need them.

    I might resurrect an old post for old times sake.
    Last edited by ccs; 06-09-20 at 21:57.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccs View Post
    I might resurrect an old post for old times sake.
    Not quite how I remembered it but not to worry....


    Quote Originally Posted by ccs View Post
    .... just an idea, feel free to remove if not appropriate.

    I occasionally use the yellow button "epg search" to check which other days a programme is being broadcast.

    Due to the number of repeats now being shown, and the fact that I am way, way behind catching up on recorded programmes, what would be really useful (for me, at least)
    would be for epg search, or something similar, to use the *.ts.meta files of recorded programmes to see if the highlighted programme has already been recorded and is still in the movielist.

    Autotimers can already check this (sort of), so the code is already there in one form or another.

    Just a thought.

  11. #11
    BrianTheTechieSnail
    Quote Originally Posted by ccs View Post
    .... just an idea, feel free to remove if not appropriate.

    I occasionally use the yellow button "epg search" to check which other days a programme is being broadcast.

    Due to the number of repeats now being shown, and the fact that I am way, way behind catching up on recorded programmes, what would be really useful (for me, at least)
    would be for epg search, or something similar, to use the *.ts.meta files of recorded programmes to see if the highlighted programme has already been recorded and is still in the movielist.

    Autotimers can already check this (sort of), so the code is already there in one form or another.

    Just a thought.
    Yes.
    Seems like a good idea to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Codger View Post
    So, can anyone provide a solution to this, please. I noticed that the above forum topic talks about patches to the Autotimer code, but I guess these haven't been implemented for one reason or another.
    I still have them (as I wrote them) but I no longer have any use for them.
    In practice it's not all that helpful to be able to set a "similarity" percentage as you don't know what to set it to in advance, and by the time you do know that you need it and work out (by trial and error) what to set it to in order to get the recordings you want and not get the ones you don't want its quicker just to set manual timers and disable some auto ones.

    The actual similarity test is done by calling SequenceMatcher in python's difflib.

    Code:
    https://docs.python.org/2/library/difflib.html#module-difflib
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianTheTechieSnail View Post
    Yes.
    Seems like a good idea to me.
    I know I'm going OT, but I would extend it further (if only I could!).

    Instead of deleting completed timers after n days, move them to recorded.xml, say, then checking if a program has ever been recorded is so much more efficient.

    This would need a one off utility to scan movielist (and any other drives with recordings) and updating recorded.xml with equivalent completed timer entries.

    Then there would be a record of all recorded programmes for ever more, even after they have been watched and deleted.

  14. #14
    BrianTheTechieSnail
    Quote Originally Posted by ccs View Post
    I know I'm going OT, but I would extend it further (if only I could!).

    Instead of deleting completed timers after n days, move them to recorded.xml, say, then checking if a program has ever been recorded is so much more efficient.

    This would need a one off utility to scan movielist (and any other drives with recordings) and updating recorded.xml with equivalent completed timer entries.

    Then there would be a record of all recorded programmes for ever more, even after they have been watched and deleted.
    Interesting.

    Sometimes even stuff that's so good I can imagine watching it again and again has do be deleted from the hard drive, so in that scenario when deleting I'd like to be able to choose just delete recording, or delete recording and it's entry in your recorded.xml file.

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    ... or a re-record option (easy in autotimer, not so sure about timers), which would ignore the xml file.

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