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  #1  
Old 11-14-2020, 12:29 AM
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EnterNoEscape EnterNoEscape is offline
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UWP App Tuner

I'm starting to see the writing on the wall for Windows Media Center as a viable way to record DRM'd content, so like many of you, I have been playing around with HDHomeRun View on both Windows 10 and Android TV devices. Here's a solution I came up with that allowed me to do everything without any hardware encoding device.

Required Downloads:
<encoder_ip_address> is the IP address or hostname of the computer you want to do your playback of HDHomeRun View and recording with OBS. I recommend you not use a computer that someone expects to be able to work on, set it to automatically logon and to change the sleep/hibernate settings to never.

Configuration:
  1. Download everything you need from the list above.
  2. Install OpenDCT if you do not already have an instance running somewhere on your network.
  3. Create a new Generic HTTP Capture Device.
  4. In opendct.properties use the following:
    sagetv.device.<unique_id>.tuning_executable=http://<encoder_ip_address>:63236/uat/?tune=%c%
    sagetv.device.<unique_id>.stopping_executable=http://<encoder_ip_address>:63236/uat/?stop=true
    sagetv.device.<unique_id>.streaming_url=udp://<encoder_ip_address>:19999
  5. Install HDHomeRun View, MPEG-2 Video Extension, OBS Studio 64-bit and OBS WebSocket.
  6. Open HDHomeRun View and tune to a known DRM channel to verify the content will playback, then close it.
  7. Extract the OBS Studio Configuration Files to %AppData%\obs-studio
  8. Open %AppData%\obs-studio\basic\profiles\HDHomeRun_View_Record_to_UDP\basic.ini
  9. Find the line FFURL=udp://your-server:19999 and replace your-server with the hostname or IP address of the computer you have running OpenDCT.
  10. Open HDHomeRun View, then OBS to verify the HDHomeRun View video playback shows up in OBS.
  11. Close both applications.
  12. Extract UWP App Tuner to a folder and open UWPAppTuner.exe
  13. Under Application Control Settings:
    Change 3. to Resize and the resolution to 960x540.
    Change 4. Channel to a channel of your choosing and click the corresponding Test button. HDHomeRun View should open up to the requested channel.
    Click the Test button that corresponds with 5. Close to stop playback.
    Click the Create button to add this software to your startup folder so it opens every time you log in.
  14. Under HTTP Control Settings, click Enable to start the HTTP server.
  15. You may be prompted to enable permissions for the HTTP server to work.
  16. Open a web browser on another computer to http://<encoder_ip_address>:63236/uat/ to verify the server is available. You can also now test tuning (http://<encoder_ip_address>:63236/uat/?tune=<channel_number>) and stopping (http://<encoder_ip_address>:63236/uat/?stop=true) functionality.
  17. Under OBS Control Settings, click Enable.
  18. Click Save.
  19. Add the tuner you created in OpenDCT to SageTV and you should now be able to record anything you can view in the HDHomeRun View app.

Enable 5.1 Surround:
If you have a sound card in your chosen computer that supports 5.1 surround, you just need to enable it. If you are like me and using an oldish laptop that only has stereo output, you can install VB Cable, set it as your default playback device and enable 5.1 output like you would any other playback device. Note that without special configuration, you will cease hearing sound from your computer once you switch your default playback device to VB Cable. The configuration you extracted for OBS enabled 5.1 surround already, so the only limitation is you allowing the sound card to output 5.1 so it can be recorded.

How does it work?

Tuning a channel:
  1. Ensure HDHomeRun View and OBS (if enabled) are closed.
  2. Edit the HDHomeRun View config so the last channel is the one we want to tune.
  3. Open the HDHomeRun View app.
  4. Manipulate window if needed.
  5. (if enabled) Open OBS and Start Recording which streams over UDP to OpenDCT.

Stopping playback:
  1. (if enabled) Stop Recording in OBS.
  2. Close HDHomeRun View and OBS (if enabled).

Notes:
Clicking the X on UAT minimizes the app.

OBS opens "minimized" when UAT launches it; it's in the system tray.

The OBS source being used is Game Capture and all DRM'd content does not have a resolution greater than 960x540. Obviously if this resolution is a deal-breaker for you I wouldn't bother with this approach.

If you're experienced with OBS, you may notice that non-DRM content can be captured at greater resolutions. The instant you change to a DRM'd channel, the resolution drops again. It's a little hard to tell that it's stretching the content (visually it does look marginally lower resolution over the Android TV app), but I'm 99% certain OBS has the dimensions correct.

UAT monitors the HDHomeRun View app and if it closes during playback, it will re-open it automatically. In my testing, the app would sometimes crash unexpectedly after I apparently overloaded it with input while I was trying different approaches to make tuning reliable. The only way to stop this is to either click the Test button next to 5. Close under Application Control Settings or open http://<encoder_ip_address>:63236/uat/?stop=true

The UAT web server is intentionally single threaded, so only one request will go through to completion at a time.

The computer must be logged in as a user with a desktop and connected to an HDCP compliant display.

You may need to change the x264 encoder preset in OBS to something faster like ultrafast to get acceptable performance. If x264 uses to much in CPU resources, the HDHomeRun View app will likely freeze. I would suggest trying to keep the whole solution at 80% or less of your CPU's capacity.

This is a work in progress (I am not yet using it outside of testing), but so far it appears to be extremely stable. I have been able to record for 8 hours straight without any hiccups on a Latitude E6410. The only thing I would note is that it is imperative that your network connection be very reliable or the HDHomeRun View app will likely crash frequently or freeze playback.
Attached Files
File Type: zip obs-studio.zip (5.4 KB, 20 views)
File Type: zip UWPAppTuner 1.0.0.0.zip (421.9 KB, 27 views)
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Last edited by EnterNoEscape; 11-17-2020 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Important missing setup info.
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  #2  
Old 11-14-2020, 02:28 PM
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Tiki Tiki is offline
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So am I missing something or do you still need to manually launch the HDHomeRun view app and then manually tune the channel you want to record? Is there no way to script a channel change?

How do you initiate the recording from Sage? Are you just doing a manual timed record?

Is there any reason this method would be limited to HDHomeRun view, or would it work with other software as well (for example could this be used to record from a streaming service)?

You mentioned playing around with Android... does this solution work with Android or does it require Windows?
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  #3  
Old 11-14-2020, 03:32 PM
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EnterNoEscape EnterNoEscape is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiki View Post
So am I missing something or do you still need to manually launch the HDHomeRun view app and then manually tune the channel you want to record? Is there no way to script a channel change?

How do you initiate the recording from Sage? Are you just doing a manual timed record?

Is there any reason this method would be limited to HDHomeRun view, or would it work with other software as well (for example could this be used to record from a streaming service)?

You mentioned playing around with Android... does this solution work with Android or does it require Windows?
The attached UWP App Tuner 1.0.0.0.zip file contains a program I wrote that automatically manages everything you need to record the playback of the HDHomerun View app (opens software as needed and closes things when they are not being used). The app could probably have been done as a script, but this is the route I chose. You interface with the app via its web interface via OpenDCT which is controlled by SageTV. It shows up in SageTV like anything else. Maybe a video of the orchestration in motion would help clear things up for everyone?

It depends on if the streaming service is recordable by OBS. I thought about making things more open so you could specify "recipes" for different streaming services but I think it's complicated enough. The other problem would be maintaining changes in the streaming software you want to record. I only felt comfortable sharing this solution for HDHomeRun View is because it's highly accurate. I have yet to get the wrong channel tuned in. I'm extremely picky about this and have not provided any solutions like this before because of less than 99% accuracy.

Sorry, the Android thing probably was confusing. I've been looking around there too, but this is a Windows 10 only solution.
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Capture: 1x Ceton InfiniTV 4 (ClearQAM), 2x Ceton InfiniTV 6, 1x BM1000-HDMI, 1x BM3500-HDMI.

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  #4  
Old 11-14-2020, 04:03 PM
NetworkGuy NetworkGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnterNoEscape View Post
Sorry, the Android thing probably was confusing. I've been looking around there too, but this is a Windows 10 only solution.
Would it run on Windows 7? I never upgraded my SageTV server.
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  #5  
Old 11-14-2020, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkGuy View Post
Would it run on Windows 7? I never upgraded my SageTV server.
The server can be Windows 7. The computer you run this capture setup on needs to be Windows 10.
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  #6  
Old 11-14-2020, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnterNoEscape View Post
needs to be Windows 10.
I'm out.
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  #7  
Old 11-14-2020, 06:53 PM
mgpaulus mgpaulus is offline
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Is the 960x540 limitation an OBS issue or a windows issue? Could we get different results using MacOS on a Mac mini perhaps? Guess Iíll try it out so only and see. Thanks for this. I am still looking for a decent way to get rid of the 2 STBs in the basement I keep for recording from premium channels. But, itís amazing how, even though we donít go out as much and do stud, there still isnít much time. I think the wife just thinks of this as more honey-do time instead of more of my free time
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Old 11-14-2020, 07:21 PM
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EnterNoEscape EnterNoEscape is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgpaulus View Post
Is the 960x540 limitation an OBS issue or a windows issue? Could we get different results using MacOS on a Mac mini perhaps? Guess Iíll try it out so only and see. Thanks for this. I am still looking for a decent way to get rid of the 2 STBs in the basement I keep for recording from premium channels. But, itís amazing how, even though we donít go out as much and do stud, there still isnít much time. I think the wife just thinks of this as more honey-do time instead of more of my free time
It's an HDHomeRun View app limitation. The resolution you see when it displays DRM'd content is decoded to that resolution and then stretched. I suspect it's to comply with some licensing requirement. It becomes even more apparent when you try to stretch the window to 4k. You end up with lots of black space with the video playing somewhere in the middle.
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Capture: 1x Ceton InfiniTV 4 (ClearQAM), 2x Ceton InfiniTV 6, 1x BM1000-HDMI, 1x BM3500-HDMI.

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  #9  
Old 11-14-2020, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KryptoNyte View Post
I'm out.
I forgot how allergic you are.

I am working on something for Android TV (specifically the Mi Box S), but it's a lot less reliable because ADB is needed and that means I can't use Ethernet. If the wireless blips for even one second, the feed dies and the playback stops. I have yet to record an entire hour without something happening. I'm considering a dedicated access point for this purpose, but it's starting to feel like an expensive solution. One plus is that the HD-PVR 2 will record directly from the Mi Box S without and HDCP warnings.
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Capture: 1x Ceton InfiniTV 4 (ClearQAM), 2x Ceton InfiniTV 6, 1x BM1000-HDMI, 1x BM3500-HDMI.

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  #10  
Old 11-14-2020, 09:32 PM
jpwegas jpwegas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnterNoEscape View Post
I forgot how allergic you are.

I am working on something for Android TV (specifically the Mi Box S), but it's a lot less reliable because ADB is needed and that means I can't use Ethernet. If the wireless blips for even one second, the feed dies and the playback stops. I have yet to record an entire hour without something happening. I'm considering a dedicated access point for this purpose, but it's starting to feel like an expensive solution. One plus is that the HD-PVR 2 will record directly from the Mi Box S without and HDCP warnings.
Just curious, what are you doing over ADB? Using its screen recording feature?

--John
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  #11  
Old 11-14-2020, 09:59 PM
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Tiki Tiki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnterNoEscape View Post
The attached UWP App Tuner 1.0.0.0.zip file contains a program I wrote that automatically manages everything you need to record the playback of the HDHomerun View app (opens software as needed and closes things when they are not being used). The app could probably have been done as a script, but this is the route I chose. You interface with the app via its web interface via OpenDCT which is controlled by SageTV. It shows up in SageTV like anything else. Maybe a video of the orchestration in motion would help clear things up for everyone?

It depends on if the streaming service is recordable by OBS. I thought about making things more open so you could specify "recipes" for different streaming services but I think it's complicated enough. The other problem would be maintaining changes in the streaming software you want to record. I only felt comfortable sharing this solution for HDHomeRun View is because it's highly accurate. I have yet to get the wrong channel tuned in. I'm extremely picky about this and have not provided any solutions like this before because of less than 99% accuracy.

Sorry, the Android thing probably was confusing. I've been looking around there too, but this is a Windows 10 only solution.
Ok so the steps described in the ďHow does it workĒ section of your original post are what your app does for us? That makes a lot more sense. I misunderstood and thought you were saying those were the instructions we needed to follow each time we wanted to record something.
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,USBUIRT (multi-zone)
Source:
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Old 11-14-2020, 10:04 PM
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EnterNoEscape EnterNoEscape is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpwegas View Post
Just curious, what are you doing over ADB? Using its screen recording feature?

--John
Nothing that interesting. The real hurdle most people were running into was how to get the HDHomeRun app to reliably tune into a specific channel. It's a little fickle with keyboard input, so it's more of a challenge than it should be. I don't want to beat up on the Silicondust engineers, but it's really annoying if it's not on purpose that their app will eat keystrokes the way it does. I, a human should be able to type a channel in on the numberic keypad and see that value show up in the search field, not just a few or one of the numbers I typed. You really have to pace yourself sometimes and even then cannot be guaranteed anything.

Recording what's on the screen would be delegated to a device that can record the HDMI output. I have however been considering exporting screenshots over ADB to interpret what's going on and act accordingly, but I'm not completely sure what will be needed.
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Capture: 1x Ceton InfiniTV 4 (ClearQAM), 2x Ceton InfiniTV 6, 1x BM1000-HDMI, 1x BM3500-HDMI.

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  #13  
Old 11-14-2020, 10:35 PM
jpwegas jpwegas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnterNoEscape View Post
Nothing that interesting. The real hurdle most people were running into was how to get the HDHomeRun app to reliably tune into a specific channel. It's a little fickle with keyboard input, so it's more of a challenge than it should be. I don't want to beat up on the Silicondust engineers, but it's really annoying if it's not on purpose that their app will eat keystrokes the way it does. I, a human should be able to type a channel in on the numberic keypad and see that value show up in the search field, not just a few or one of the numbers I typed. You really have to pace yourself sometimes and even then cannot be guaranteed anything.

Recording what's on the screen would be delegated to a device that can record the HDMI output. I have however been considering exporting screenshots over ADB to interpret what's going on and act accordingly, but I'm not completely sure what will be needed.
I've also been playing with changing channels on the HDHomeRun App (on the Shield) using ADB and have run into the same issues as you with the input behavior. However, I have not noticed any stopped playback if the ADB connection breaks. Maybe I've just been lucky. (I am using a wired connection.) Is that what you are seeing or am I misunderstanding?

I was wondering if you were using the screen record command in ADB, but I see now that it only saves to the Shield's local storage. And it doesn't record audio.

That's an interesting idea of using the screenshot command to determine where you are. When playing with channel changing I kept running into if too many ESC keypresses are sent too close, it backs out to the "menu" screen which is hard to detect and not easy to exit from cleanly if you don't know you've "fallen" into this screen. Screenshots might be helpful in this case.

--John

Last edited by jpwegas; 11-14-2020 at 10:35 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-14-2020, 11:31 PM
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EnterNoEscape EnterNoEscape is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpwegas View Post
I've also been playing with changing channels on the HDHomeRun App (on the Shield) using ADB and have run into the same issues as you with the input behavior. However, I have not noticed any stopped playback if the ADB connection breaks. Maybe I've just been lucky. (I am using a wired connection.) Is that what you are seeing or am I misunderstanding?

I was wondering if you were using the screen record command in ADB, but I see now that it only saves to the Shield's local storage. And it doesn't record audio.

That's an interesting idea of using the screenshot command to determine where you are. When playing with channel changing I kept running into if too many ESC keypresses are sent too close, it backs out to the "menu" screen which is hard to detect and not easy to exit from cleanly if you don't know you've "fallen" into this screen. Screenshots might be helpful in this case.

--John
No, the problem I was talking about was if the wireless connection has a blip and there's any interruption in the video stream. ADB connected or not doesn't break anything.

The way I solved for too many escape presses is just telling the app to open back up after pressing all the escapes:
adb shell am start -n com.silicondust.view/.App

I also am checking for if the app is already running to determine how long to wait for it to spin up. I'm mostly happy, but need to work on the wireless thing before I want to share.
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Capture: 1x Ceton InfiniTV 4 (ClearQAM), 2x Ceton InfiniTV 6, 1x BM1000-HDMI, 1x BM3500-HDMI.

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Old 11-14-2020, 11:38 PM
jpwegas jpwegas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnterNoEscape View Post
No, the problem I was talking about was if the wireless connection has a blip and there's any interruption in the video stream. ADB connected or not doesn't break anything.

The way I solved for too many escape presses is just telling the app to open back up after pressing all the escapes:
adb shell am start -n com.silicondust.view/.App

I also am checking for if the app is already running to determine how long to wait for it to spin up. I'm mostly happy, but need to work on the wireless thing before I want to share.
Ah, the connection between the HDHR and the MiBox, got it!

I was using the start command to launch the app, I didn't think about using that between each channel "tune", that's a good idea!

--John
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Old 11-15-2020, 10:11 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnterNoEscape View Post
I forgot how allergic you are.

I am working on something for Android TV (specifically the Mi Box S), but it's a lot less reliable because ADB is needed and that means I can't use Ethernet. If the wireless blips for even one second, the feed dies and the playback stops. I have yet to record an entire hour without something happening. I'm considering a dedicated access point for this purpose, but it's starting to feel like an expensive solution. One plus is that the HD-PVR 2 will record directly from the Mi Box S without and HDCP warnings.
What about USB ethernet adapters for the MiBox S to improve network reliability? I have used one of these for the older MiBox and $10 ethernet adapters from Amazon typically work without issue.
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  #17  
Old 11-15-2020, 10:29 PM
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EnterNoEscape EnterNoEscape is offline
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Originally Posted by wayner View Post
What about USB ethernet adapters for the MiBox S to improve network reliability? I have used one of these for the older MiBox and $10 ethernet adapters from Amazon typically work without issue.
The problem that I ran into was that you cannot enable ADB and connect a USB device (e.g. ethernet adapter) at the same time. If someone knows how to make that work, please share. As far as I have been able to research, it cannot be done.
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Capture: 1x Ceton InfiniTV 4 (ClearQAM), 2x Ceton InfiniTV 6, 1x BM1000-HDMI, 1x BM3500-HDMI.

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  #18  
Old 11-16-2020, 11:53 AM
nyplayer nyplayer is offline
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I think I set this up correctly ... but I get sound but no Video. It launches the HDHomeRun on my laptop plays fine... on my Client I get sound no Video.

Anything I can look at ?

MediaInfo Below ... Could it be the profile used to capture ? I tried VLC and other players.

Code:
General
ID                                       : 1 (0x1)
Complete name                            : R:\SAGETEMP\SomeKindofWonderful-378854-0.ts
Format                                   : MPEG-TS
File size                                : 1.46 MiB
Duration                                 : 19 s 500 ms
Overall bit rate mode                    : Variable
Overall bit rate                         : 620 kb/s

Video
ID                                       : 256 (0x100)
Menu ID                                  : 1 (0x1)
Format                                   : AVC
Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                           : High@L4.2
Format settings                          : 4 Ref Frames
Format settings, CABAC                   : No
Format settings, Reference frames        : 4 frames
Format settings, GOP                     : M=4, N=15
Codec ID                                 : 27
Duration                                 : 19 s 650 ms
Bit rate                                 : 136 kb/s
Width                                    : 960 pixels
Height                                   : 540 pixels
Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
Frame rate mode                          : Variable
Color space                              : YUV
Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
Bit depth                                : 8 bits
Scan type                                : Progressive
Stream size                              : 327 KiB (22%)
Writing library                          : x264 core 157 r2945 72db437
Encoding settings                        : cabac=0 / ref=1 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x3:0x113 / me=hex / subme=2 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=0 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=0 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=0 / threads=12 / lookahead_threads=4 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=1 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=1 / keyint=15 / keyint_min=1 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=10 / rc=crf / mbtree=1 / crf=10.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
Color range                              : Limited
Color primaries                          : BT.709
Transfer characteristics                 : BT.709
Matrix coefficients                      : BT.709

Audio
ID                                       : 257 (0x101)
Menu ID                                  : 1 (0x1)
Format                                   : AC-3
Format/Info                              : Audio Coding 3
Commercial name                          : Dolby Digital
Codec ID                                 : 129
Duration                                 : 19 s 584 ms
Bit rate mode                            : Constant
Bit rate                                 : 448 kb/s
Channel(s)                               : 6 channels
Channel layout                           : L R C LFE Ls Rs
Sampling rate                            : 48.0 kHz
Frame rate                               : 31.250 FPS (1536 SPF)
Compression mode                         : Lossy
Delay relative to video                  : 27 ms
Stream size                              : 1.05 MiB (72%)
Service kind                             : Complete Main

Menu
ID                                       : 4096 (0x1000)
Menu ID                                  : 1 (0x1)
Duration                                 : 19 s 500 ms
List                                     : 256 (0x100) (AVC) / 257 (0x101) (AC-3)
Service name                             : Service01
Service provider                         : FFmpeg
Service type                             : digital television
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Windows 10 I3 Dual Core 3.0 Server, SageTV9... OpenDCT with 2 HDHRPrimes and 4 HDHRconnects for a total of 14 Tuners.

Last edited by nyplayer; 11-16-2020 at 12:06 PM.
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  #19  
Old 11-16-2020, 12:32 PM
nyplayer nyplayer is offline
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Got it working my laptop has dual graphics Intel and NVIDIA ... I had to set the HDHoeRun APP to use the NVIDIA... I can now watch and record DRM One thing I like right now I have it running on my main laptop and I can still use the laptop fully ... just had to mute the sound.

Now I will move it to my server...and try it there.
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Last edited by nyplayer; 11-16-2020 at 01:09 PM.
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  #20  
Old 11-16-2020, 08:29 PM
EnterNoEscape's Avatar
EnterNoEscape EnterNoEscape is offline
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Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 2,638
Quote:
Originally Posted by nyplayer View Post
Got it working my laptop has dual graphics Intel and NVIDIA ... I had to set the HDHoeRun APP to use the NVIDIA... I can now watch and record DRM One thing I like right now I have it running on my main laptop and I can still use the laptop fully ... just had to mute the sound.

Now I will move it to my server...and try it there.
I read this after your PM. Just double-checking, you installed OBS 64-bit on the server? I know I should just script the installs, but I wasn't sure how much that would be worth it since this isn't likely to be a wildly popular solution.

Edit: and make you you have OBS WebSocket installed. Based on the log, it looks like OBS probably launched, but the app couldn't connect to it.
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SageTV v9 Server: ASRock Z97 Extreme4, Intel i7-4790K @ 4.4Ghz, 32GB RAM, 6x 3TB 7200rpm HD, 2x 5TB 7200rpm HD, 2x 6TB 7200rpm HD, 4x 256GB SSD, 4x 500GB SSD, unRAID Pro 6.7.2 (Dual Parity + SSD Cache).
Capture: 1x Ceton InfiniTV 4 (ClearQAM), 2x Ceton InfiniTV 6, 1x BM1000-HDMI, 1x BM3500-HDMI.

Clients: 1x HD300 (Living Room), 1x HD200 (Master Bedroom).
Software: OpenDCT :: WMC Live TV Tuner :: Schedules Direct EPG

Last edited by EnterNoEscape; 11-16-2020 at 08:34 PM.
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