File: MANUAL

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vdr-plugin-xine 0.9.4-16
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Please read the file "INSTALL" for getting the stuff working a first time :-)


SETUP-MENU
==========

Live-TV SD video buffer [frames]: 4
Live-TV HD video buffer [frames]: 4
Live-TV audio buffer [frames]: 4

Playing live-TV requires a buffer for having data ready when xine needs it for
decoding. Without such a buffer or when it is not large enough, replaying live
TV may not be fluently and may degrade into a slide show without sound. On the
other hand, as buffering takes place before replaying, a too large buffer
slows down zapping as it takes longer before replaying is started. So one may
need to play with this value to find a suitable setting. The buffer size is
specified in video frames, where 25 video frames make up a buffer which can
hold one second of audio and video. Please note that this buffer is provided
by VDR and xine so a too large setting may cause an overflow (check VDR's
logfile for buffer usage). It is therefore recommended to increase xine's
input buffer settings in ~/.xine/config. See engine.buffers.video_num_buffers
and maybe engine.buffers.audio_num_buffers. A simple but stupid rule is to
increase buffers by multipling the default numbers by 10 -- some HD channels
require at least 1500 video buffers. As mentioned earlier, choosing a suitable
Live-TV buffer is a compromise, which is easier to achieve when there can be
separate values for different services like SD / HD video or radio (audio).


Buffer hysteresis [frames]: 4

Buffer monitoring is a feature of vdr-xine which tries to dynamically increase
the buffer for certain channels on demand, i. e. whenever the buffer size
drops below the configured value of "Live-TV buffer" frames. As a result, a
new buffer will be established which is of size "Live-TV buffer + hysteresis"
frames, and in the case, where this buffer is still not large enough, vdr-xine
will internally increase hysteresis each time by one frame so that finally a
buffer is established which perfectly fits for the current channel.


Buffer monitoring duration [s]: 10

Typically, the above mentioned buffer monitoring is only necessary for a
certain amount of time after switching the channel, because once the buffer
is established, it should stay constant as the amount of data put into the
buffer by VDR and the amout of data taken from the buffer by xine should be
equal. A value of 0 disables buffer monitoring.


Buffer monitoring mode: Once

Lets you choose how buffer monitoring is applied.

* Once
  After the above mentioned time, buffer monitoring will be bypassed (which
  reduces CPU and memory load) until a channel switch or audio track selection
  occurs. 

* Continuous
  Buffer monitoring will never be bypassed. After the above mentioned time the
  internal hysteresis value will be reset to the configured one, to be ready
  for the next buffering cycle which starts when the buffer size falls below
  the above mentioned "Live-TV buffer" value. This mode is useful for channels
  which degrade into a slide show after a certain amout of time.


OSD display mode: Blend scaled AUTO

Lets you choose among several processing options for VDR's OSD.

* X11 overlay
  Tells xine to use a method for displaying the OSD that is independent of the
  stream's video resolution. In this so called "unscaled" mode, xine uses a
  X11 window to overlay the OSD on the video window. The advantage of mapping
  a single OSD pixel to a single pixel on screen has the disadvantage of not
  being able to support semi-transparent areas which appear totally opaque in
  this mode.

  NOTE: You won't see any OSD in this mode if X11 is not available!

* Blend clipped
* Blend scaled LQ
* Blend scaled HQ
* Blend scaled SHQ
* Blend scaled AUTO
  For these modes xine uses the CPU to blend the OSD into each video frame. As
  the result depends on the stream's video resolution you may choose among 
  several modes which require a different amount of CPU time.
  The first mode simply cuts off all parts of the OSD that do not fit into the
  video frame. If for example an OSD of size 720x576 is to be blended into a
  frame of size 480x576 (e. g. VIVA broadcasts at this resolution) then almost
  one halve of the OSD will be dropped at the right and the OSD will be quite 
  stretched in horizontal direction.
  All other modes scale the OSD to fit into the video frame. The difference
  among them is the scaling quality (Low, High and Super High) which also 
  leads to increasing CPU load and slows down e. g. navigation in the channels
  list, etc.
  The last mode automatically chooses between HQ and SHQ depending on the
  stream's video resolution. SHQ will be chosen if either width or height
  are below 360x288.

  NOTE: Blend scaled is only implemented for VDR 1.3.x (1.3.7 and higher).


OSD gamma correction [ 123 => 1.23 ]: 123

When OSD scaling is performed then multiple pixels (or parts of them for SHQ)
have to be combined into a single one. During this process a so called gamma
correction is applied in order to give the resulting pixels the correct visual
representation of the original ones.
You may adjust this correction within the range 1.00 to 2.50 (by entering 100
to 250 respectively) to get the best visual representation on your monitor. 
Changing this value is most noticeable in SHQ scaling mode so you need to
watch a channel that doesn't broadcast at 720x576 in order to activate OSD
scaling and to be able to see any change concerning gamma correction.


OSD extent X: 720     ***** REQUIRES VDR >= 1.7.7 *****
OSD extent Y: 576     ***** REQUIRES VDR >= 1.7.7 *****

For a crisp OSD on HD displays increase these values to match your displays
resolution.
Valid extents are in the range from 320 x 240 up to 1920 x 1080.


4:3 image zoom X [%]: 100
4:3 image zoom Y [%]: 100
16:9 image zoom X [%]: 100
16:9 image zoom Y [%]: 100

These options may be useful to stretch the video image to fill the screen.
A value of 133 for example will remove the black borders when showing a 4:3
image on a 16:9 screen. The drawback is that a part of the images is cut
away on top and bottom for example. So it may be useful to have different
values for X and Y (e. g. 133 and 115).


Audio mode: Dolby on     ***** OBSOLETE FOR VDR >= 1.3.18 *****

With this option you can control feeding dolby audio data to xine. You may
want to use this option if you don't have the necessary replay equipment 
connected to your computer. In that way you can force xine to use a 
differently coded audio source among the supplied e. g. mp2 or pcm.


Control xine's volume: Yes (by hardware)

Allows you to control whether xine shall honor VDR's set volume requests. You
might need this if you have a special setup (e. g. external audio decoder or 
amplifier) where changing the volume in xine might mute external audio:

* No
  xine isn't instructed to change the volume.
* Yes (by hardware)
  xine will change the volume by changing the hardware mixer (won't work
  when using a digital audio output).
* Yes (by software)
  xine will change the volume by using it's internal software mixer (should
  work even when using a digital audio output).


Muting: Simulate

Lets you choose among several options how xine shall process VDR's muting
requests:

* Ignore
  Muting respectively unmuting requests will be ignored.
* Execute
  Muting respectively unmuting requests will be executed.
* Simulate
  Muting is simulated by setting volume to 0. Unmuting is simulated by
  restoring the previous volume.

  NOTE: This happens even if "Control xine's volume" is set to "No"!


Get primary device when xine connects: Yes ***** REQUIRES VDR >= 1.3.32 *****

This option is especially useful for owners of full featured DVB cards which
usually run the OSD on a full featured card (i. e. the full featured card is
the primary device). 
With this option set to Yes, vdr-xine automatically makes itself the primary
device while xine is connected to it. In that way the OSD and live TV are 
automatically available via vdr-xine without the need to manually switch the
primary device via remote control nor SVDRP interface.


Support semi transparent colors: Yes

Depending on the currently broadcast image the displayed OSD might be hardly
readable when the OSD is blended semi transparently into the TV image.
If this option is set to No, vdr-xine simply ignores the semi-transparent
component of the color and therefore makes such colors opaque which typically
makes the OSD easier to read.


Connection interacts with EIT scanner: No

This option may be useful for users of single card systems. When xine connects
to vdr-xine, a currently running EPG scan will be interrupted to get into live
TV mode immediately. On the other hand, when VDR starts an EPG scan, vdr-xine
will shutdown the connection to xine.


COMMAND LINE ARGS
=================

There are currently two optional arguments.

	-r      Enable remote control.

This argument enables Simon Truss' patch which allows controlling VDR by
pressing buttons in xine. It will also allow control from any other suitably
patched front end.

	-iN	Instance number for FIFO directory

If you want to run two instances of vdr-xine (in different VDR processes) on
the same computer then you have to use a unique FIFO dir for each instance.
For example "-i3" will append "3" to the FIFO_DIR given in Makefile. The MRL
will then have to be like that: "vdr://tmp/vdr-xine3/stream#demux:mpeg_pes".

	-q	Suppress debug messages on console

This option is useful if VDR's console is to be used for other output e. g.
for the OSD implementation of VDR's skin 'curses'.

	-s	Switch to curses skin while xine is not connected

Use this switch if it is useful to control VDR via it's controlling terminal
while xine is not connected to vdr-xine. Requires VDR >= 1.3.20.

	-XN	default 'SizeX' for GRAB command (720, 1..4096)
	-YN	default 'SizeY' for GRAB command (576, 1..4096)

With these switches you may change the default image size for the grabbing
the current video frame (see VDR's SVDRP command GRAB for details).

        -p[N]	use socket connections on port N (18701)
        -bIP	ip address to bind for socket connections (see -p)

These options control whether vdr-xine shall use sockets instead of fifos,
which allows you to run xine on a different computer than vdr-xine. To enable
socket connections, supply the option -p. This will use the default TCP ports
18701, 18702, 18703 and 18704. You may optionally provide a different base
port number and vdr-xine will use the next three ports too.
By default, vdr-xine will listen on all network interfaces. If you want to
limit connections to a certain inferface, specify option -b with the IP
address this interface.
The MRL for xine looks then like that (:port is optional):
	netvdr://host:port


XINE KEYBINDINGS
================

To make use of the remote control feature, you'll have to assign keys in xine
to VDR's commands. Therefore, you'll find 36 keybindings in xine's key binding
editor, named 'VDR ...', which control the specified action in VDR. Besides
those, the following entries are also used for VDR:

	'enter the number 0' .. 'enter the number 9'
	'jump to media menu'
	'menu navigate up'
	'menu navigate down'
	'menu navigate left'
	'menu navigate right'
	'menu select'
        'jump to next chapter'
        'jump to previous chapter'


GXINE KEYBINDINGS
=================

And similarly for gxine...

You'll find several VDR-specific keybindings in gxine's key binding editor:

		Used for VDR				VDR-specific

	"Play"		Menu bindings			"Red"
	"Pause"		Number key bindings		"Green"
	"Stop"		"Volume +"			"Yellow"
	"Up"		"Volume -"			"Blue"
	"Down"		"Mute"				"Record"
	"Left"						"Power"
	"Right"		"Select/OK"			"Back"
	"Rewind / Back 1 min"				"Audio"
	"Fast forward / Forward 1 min"

You'll notice that the menu bindings have their VDR functions in [brackets].
	
If not all of these bindings are present, try "Add new default bindings"
from the Reload menu; if they still aren't, you're running an older version
of gxine.

The volume control bindings assume that VDR is passing volume control events
back to gxine - in the xine plugin's configuration, you need
	Control xine's volume	Yes
	Muting			Execute
for these bindings to work.


XINE-LIB CONFIG
===============

This applies whether you're using xine, gxine or some other xine-lib front
end.

xine uses large buffers to gain smooth playback. The drawback is that VDR puts
a lot of data into xine's buffers and therefore VDR's progress indicator is 
way ahead of the position at which xine is currently playing. For a recording
of a radio channel, xine's default buffers will cause an offset of about 16
seconds. But this can easily be improved (with almost no noticeable effects)
to less than 2 seconds by adjusting xine's number of audio buffers. Just edit
your xine config "~/.xine/config" and add or change the following entry:

	engine.buffers.audio_num_buffers:4

The value '4' is the smallest possible value. You may increase it, in case that
you experience noticeable distortions in audio playback. Another interesting
option might be the following:

	audio.synchronization.av_sync_method:resample

It should totally avoid distortions by adjusting audio data to fill any gaps.
But it's only usable if your amplifier is not connected via SPDIF.

Another useful option on less powerful machines is the following:

	video.output.disable_exact_alphablend:1

The result will be that a less exact algorithm is used for blending the OSD
into each video frame and thus CPU time is saved.



XINE COMMAND LINE OPTIONS
=========================

This section is not intended as a replacement for xine's documentation, but it
may be useful to have a starting point for further reading. So, some useful
command line options are listed below.

Options for xine (X11 required):

	-V vdpau	 (use hardware mpeg2/h264 video decoding acceleration)
	-V xxmc		 (use hardware mpeg2 video decoding acceleration)
	-V xv		 (use video overlay -- the usual case)
	-V xshm		 (should always provide a picture)
	-V vidix	 (for normal TV on my Matrox G550)

	-A alsa		 (use alsa sound system)

	--post vdr_video (highly recommended for correct and immediate OSD
			  scaling especially when using "xineplayer". It
			  further enables video scaling and positioning as
			  used within yaepg as well as applying the preconfigured
                          zoom values for 16:9 and 4:3 content)

	--post vdr_audio (highly recommended for selecting left / right stereo
			  channel)

	-D		 (enable selected deinterlacer)
	-Dtvtime:method=Greedy2Frame,cheap_mode=0,pulldown=0,use_progressive_frame_flag=1
			 (use specified deinterlacer)
	-L		 (disable LIRC support)

Options for gxine (X11 required):

	-V vdpau	 (use hardware mpeg2/h264 video decoding acceleration)
	-V xxmc		 (use hardware mpeg2 video decoding acceleration)
	-V xv		 (use video overlay -- the usual case)
	-V xshm		 (should always provide a picture)
	-V vidix	 (for normal TV on my Matrox G550)

	-A alsa		 (use alsa sound system)

	Other options must (as of 0.4.4) be configured from within gxine.

Options for fbxine (no X11 required):

	-V vidixfb	 (for normal TV on my Matrox G550)
	-V fb		 (for watching HDTV)
	-V dxr3		 (to use a DXR3/Hollywood+ hardware MPEG decoder)

	-A alsa		 (use alsa sound system)

	--post vdr_video (highly recommended for correct and immediate OSD
			  scaling especially when using "xineplayer". It
			  further enables video scaling and positioning as
			  used within yaepg as well as applying the preconfigured
                          zoom values for 16:9 and 4:3 content)

	--post vdr_audio (highly recommended for selecting left / right stereo
			  channel)

	-D		 (enable selected deinterlacer)
	-Dtvtime:method=Greedy2Frame,cheap_mode=0,pulldown=0,use_progressive_frame_flag=1
			 (use specified deinterlacer)
	-L		 (disable LIRC support)

The default deinterlacer doesn't take too much CPU time, but on the other hand
it doesn't deinterlace in all situations (e. g. when there is only a small area
with significant movement on the screen).

The specified deinterlacer does a good job, but requires much CPU time.

If you don't like VDR's OSD to be stretched when playing 16:9 material you
might also use xine's "expand" post processing plugin. It simply puts the
16:9 images into an 4:3 image (adding a black bar on top and bottom) and
therefore the OSD will keep it's aspect ratio. To make use of the plugin
add the following options in this order on (fb)xine's command line:

	xine ... --post expand --post vdr_video ...

The expand plugin now also supports a feature called "centre cut out" which
crops away the black bars around the image when 4:3 material is broadcast in
a 16:9 stream and displayed on a 4:3 monitor. The command line looks then like
the following:

	xine ... --post expand:centre_cut_out_mode=1 --post vdr_video ...

If you want to listen to mono audio streams in stereo, I'd suggest to use
the xine's upmix_mono audio post plugin like that:

	xine ... --post vdr_audio --post upmix_mono ...



XINEPLAYER
==========
xineplayer is a companion of vdr-xine and is used to get the beloved mplayer
plugin working with vdr-xine. I. e. you'll be able to replay DivX movies 
directly through xine without the need for CPU expensive recoding. And you'll
still be able to continue using VDR's OSD while the external file is playing.

To get it working just install the mplayer plugin. Then edit it's "mplayer.sh"
and replace

	# where to find mplayer
	MPLAYER="mplayer"

with

	# where to find mplayer
	MPLAYER="xineplayer"

and now you'll only have to make sure that xineplayer is found by your shell.
xineplayer was built in vdr-xine's source directory so you'll either have to
copy it to a directory which is contained in your environment variable PATH or
just enter the absolute path to xineplayer into mplayer.sh as mentioned above.
That's it.

NOTE: xineplayer is still under development and currently only supports
      mplayer plugin's TRADITIONAL mode. Furthermore it ignores any parameter
      given on the command line besides the last one and expects this to be a
      MRL recognizable by xine (e. g. a filename). If xine doesn't know how
      to play the given MRL you'll only see an error message on xine's console.

As vdr-xine supports an instance number to create an unique FIFO directory it
will also necessary to tell this number to xineplayer to have it control the
right instance of vdr-xine. xineplayer's command line looks like that:

	xineplayer [ --vdr-xine-instance=N ] [ options ] mrl

NOTE: "--vdr-xine-instance" must be given as the first argument as it might
      otherwise collide with further options originally intended for mplayer.