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Web remote control development

Feature requests / enhancements discussion regarding the web interface

Web remote control development   

Postby mirata » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:43 pm

Hi all

I'm a software engineer, and I'm keen on the idea of expanding the web interface to actually behave like a remote interface for the WD where you can choose media to play.

I would like to be able to browse network and USB drives for a start, and select a movie to play, which would trigger the device to start playing. Then i would move onto the actual remote, since functions for that already seem to exist in the current web end. I would be able to make an interface that would render nicely on phones and tablets.

I think I have the technical expertise to do a lot of this, but am curious about the particular hook-ins to the WD. For example, is it even possible to tell the WD to start playing a file?

Keen to hear if anyone is able to help, give suggestions or tell me it's impossible :lol:

Dan
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Re: Web remote control development   

Postby mad_ady » Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:09 am

Sure it's possible. To play a media you can use upnp-cmd.php (run it without parameters and it displays a help listing).

Also, search the forum, because there are some apps implemented for IOS/Android which give this possibility to the wdtv. A version independent would be nice, but I wouldn't want you to encourage you to put in time and effort to implement something which is already done. So, first look at the features of the other software and see if you can replicate/add extra useful features (e.g. downloading subtitles, generating movie sheets, etc) to it.
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Re: Web remote control development   

Postby RMerlin » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:24 am

mirata wrote:I would like to be able to browse network and USB drives for a start, and select a movie to play, which would trigger the device to start playing. Then i would move onto the actual remote, since functions for that already seem to exist in the current web end. I would be able to make an interface that would render nicely on phones and tablets.

I think I have the technical expertise to do a lot of this, but am curious about the particular hook-ins to the WD. For example, is it even possible to tell the WD to start playing a file?

Keen to hear if anyone is able to help, give suggestions or tell me it's impossible :lol:

Dan


The WDTV is a proper DLNA renderer. Any DLNA/uPNP client that lets you specify a target renderer will be able to do that. PlugPlayer for example: select the source from anywhere on your network, and select the WDTV as the renderer device.

All of this done purely through uPNP - you don't even need to interface with any web interface (and it also means it will work without WDLXTV).
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Re: Web remote control development   

Postby mirata » Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:02 pm

Thanks for the tips guys. I have also been looking at some existing upnp apps but they dont really let me navigate my media collection from what I can tell.

I made some good progress yesterday but got a bit stumped by 2 things. Firstly, I cannot get the upnp-cmd Seek command to work no matter what I do. Eg I tried to call upnp-cmd Seek REL_TIME 0:10:00 and it just spits back invalid argument at me. I looked at the source of a upnp inspector coded in python and the syntax seems ok so I'm a bit stumped there.

The other issue is something that was mentioned on the forums a little while back. If I play a video via upnp-cmd, the ffwd and rwd don't seem to function via the remote after that.

If anyone has any ideas, particularly about the seek, I would appreciate it
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Re: Web remote control development   

Postby RMerlin » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:29 am

mirata wrote:Thanks for the tips guys. I have also been looking at some existing upnp apps but they dont really let me navigate my media collection from what I can tell.


Indeed, a DLNA client would require that the media are already shared by a DLNA server. If the medias are on the WDTV itself, then it would probably be more efficient to navigate the files locally, otherwise you could also install a DLNA server such as Minidlna or Mediatomb on the WDTV itself - but it would be quite inefficient.
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Re: Web remote control development   

Postby Martin_L » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:17 pm

Hi Mirata,

you may want to have a look at this thread:
Webplayer Jukebox app.bin
http://forum.wdlxtv.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=5763

You can browse your local media through database and through the folders tree.

Maybe, you can help me with it. (Please post there if you want)
Currently I am filtering out anything but audiofiles, but that is easily modifiable.

The idea is to have the uPNP control-point running in the WDTV, and interface it thorugh a web. The problem with an "external" control-point, like "PlugPlayer" is that you need to keep "on" the computer that holds it, if you want to play a whole sequence of files.

Regards,

Martin
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Re: Web remote control development   

Postby mirata » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:48 am

Hi all. Thanks for the replies. Since my last post I have worked on and off with the interface. It should be compatible with most html5 browsers including mobiles.

I have uploaded a video since screenshots don't do it justice, though I am happy to post those if people wish. It runs nice on my iPhone but as you might be able to tell from the video, I am using that for the recording.

I also tested this with music and it works fine

Keen to hear any feedback

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZR54K-ahaA
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Re: Web remote control development   

Postby mad_ady » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:58 am

It looks great! I'd like to test it on my non-smartphone WM6.5 PDA (running opera 10).

As ideas for further improvement:
* you should be able to start navigation using the remote and then use the web interface to jump around if you want - meaning, have the ability to display the currently played content, even if it wasn't started from the web interface (upnp-cmd should list what is playing). If it's done with upnp-cmd, I expect it would work with UMSP plugins as well.
* have the optional ability to use jump to position via the web interface, by inputting a time value. Some users would probably want to use this.
* and a wet dream of mine - have the ability to download external subtitles. But I can add this as well, if all works as expected :)

Now - what you should do:
1. package it as an app.bin
2. ask recliq to upload it to the app.bin store so that it is easily downloadable
3. profit :D
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Re: Web remote control development   

Postby RavRob » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:09 am

/me wants one.

Can't wait to have that as an App.bin
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Re: Web remote control development   

Postby mirata » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:26 pm

you should be able to start navigation using the remote and then use the web interface to jump around if you want - meaning, have the ability to display the currently played content, even if it wasn't started from the web interface (upnp-cmd should list what is playing). If it's done with upnp-cmd, I expect it would work with UMSP plugins as well.


It does indeed do this already. I use upnp-cmd to retrieve this information.

I'll have to get someone to explain how to package this as an app.bin. Happy to release it even now, with the many bugs it probably has for other users.

A bit of background: Its all running as AJAX with a (similar to) REST API. I had to make my own copy of upnp-cmd since there were bugs in the seek function. The main functions were easy to write quickly, but I have spent a lot of time trying to make the interface as fast and responsive as possible. I'm sure I still have a lot of work to do. I have quite a lot of workarounds for offloading thumbnails, because with 400 movies in one of my folders, its quite easy to overload the poor little WD and crash it with too many php thumbnail requests. Now it loads them asynchronously one at a time (so as to keep the poor fella from dying) and then caches them on my drive.

Also, I have no USB at the moment. Its all running off a NAS drive, but I have used an xmount command to make it appear as a USB.

The one thing I am still having trouble with is playing videos using upnp-cmd. The vids start as you can clearly see, but the regular remote no longer responds to ffwd, rwd or any type of skip commands. If I start a vid from the regular remote, it works no problem. I think I saw something about this on the forum before but if anyone has any bright ideas I would be keen to hear them.

Screen from an iPhone 4GS:
Image
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