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SnoopyDog

Plugin for IRTrans and iMon VFD display

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SnoopyDog

Here is another VFD display plugin. I wrote a new one, because i missed some things on the existing ones. I just took the sources of my old IRTrans display plugin, rewrote many things and added an option for the iMon VFD display.

This plugin supports:

  • iMon VFD display with 16x2 characters.
  • IRTrans VFD display. I'm not able to test it anymore but it should still work.
  • A screen window (always on top) with configurable size.

Requirements for iMon VFD:

  • iMON Manager 8.04.0629 or newer needs to be installed.
  • "Display Plug-In Mode" must be enabled in the iMon manager.

Requirements for IRTrans:

  • The latest IRTrans software needs to be installed.

To "install" the software, just unpack the attached .zip file and copy the two DLLs to the DVBViewer "Plugins" folder. The file "iMONDisplay.dll" is used only for the iMon VFD display, if you don't use it, you don't need the DLL.

To configure the plugin, open the DVBViewer "Plugins" menu and click on "Universal LCD driver".

  • First, select the "Driver": Screen, iMon or IRTrans.
  • Depending on the selected driver, you can configure a "Subtype".
  • For the "Screen" driver, you can configure the window size
  • For "iMon VFD" you can select, if your display supports umlaut or not and the character set. I think it depends on the display's firmware, mine supports german umlaut characters. If your display is blank sometimes with special texts, please try to change to "No umlaut support"
  • For IRTrans there is nothing to configure.

In the "Options" box you can configure some display options.

  • "Scroll long text" will enable/disable scrolling of text that exceeds the display width or the box where it is shown on the display. Text which is not longer than double the display width will be scrolled from right to left, stop and then scrolled back from left to right. If the text is longer than 2*display width, it is endless scrolled like a "ticker". If you don't like scrolling at all you can switch it off here, but you will loose information.
  • For TV and radio mode, you can select if you want to see the channel number permanently on the left or right side of the display or only, when you switch between channels.
  • If your display is a bit wider than mine, you can select if the volume slider shold appear left or right aligned.
  • The style of the volume slider can be changed only the iMon VFD display (standard bars/increasing bars/bubbles/rhombes) and the "Screen" display.

If you watch a movie or listen to music you can switch the time format between "Elapsed" - "Remain" - "Elapsed / Total" with the "OSD Exit" or "OSD back" key of your remote control if there is no menu active.

If you find bugs or have any suggestions, just tell me smile.gif

 

Update 12.11.2015:

  • Added localization to the settings page. Current languages are German and English.
  • Restructured initialization and shutdown code.
  • Some small fixes.
  • Better compatibility with new DVBViewer versions.

 

Update 07.06.2014:

  • Added a new option to switch off left/right scrolling of shorter text and set it to continuous scrolling.

 

Update 29.03.2014:

  • Added missing czech character "ň" and "Ň".
  • Fixed another rare app crash on exit.
  • Fixed display corruption in very rare case.
  • Fixed "back" button behaviour: Switching the time display format works now only, if "back" is not pressed for at least 2 seconds after the OSD has been closed.

VFDDriver_15_12_11.zip

Edited by SnoopyDog
  • Like 1

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Tüftler

Hi SnoopyDog,

 

firstly, thanks for your plugin. I took a look on it and it runs.... but:

 

I use an iMon VFD and my display didn't shows the umlauts correctly, but that's no problem. (iMonManager Version 8.12.1202)

 

  1. In my case the scrolling it's to fast and it would be better the text scrolling can deactivated one minute later or so.
  2. Channelnumber, you didn't use favourites or your channellist is sorted in the same order? It shows the wrong number by scrolling the mini epg.
  3. Small wish for active recording/s, it would be great if active recording infos can displayed in the second line and the epg will be switched to the first line (channellogo could be set inactive for the time).
  4. I think a logging file would be helpfull, once the plugin was killed and i didn't know the reason.

 

Bye, Tüftler :bye:

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SnoopyDog

Hi Tüftler,

 

thank you for the feedback! :) Hm, your display does not support umlaut. And what do you see if you switch the volume slider style to "Increasing bars"? Do you see the volume slider or also a blank display?

 

  1. I will make the scroll speed configurable.
  2. I have to check this.
  3. I will see
  4. Do you think the whole plugin was killed? Normally, if a plugin crashes, it affects the whole DVBViewer. Or was your display blank from one sudden to the next? Maybe i've sent an invalid character to your display (?) But if i do this with my display, it's temporarily blank, not permanently.

Edited by SnoopyDog

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Tüftler

Hi Tüftler,

 

thank you for the feedback! :) Hm, your display does not support umlaut. And what do you see if you switch the volume slider style to "Increasing bars"? Do you see the volume slider or also a blank display?

The increasing bars works perfect and I'm loving this, show nice.

I will make the scroll speed configurable.

sounds good

 

Do you think the whole plugin was killed? Normally, if a plugin crashes, it affects the whole DVBViewer. Or was your display blank from one sudden to the next? Maybe i've sent an invalid character to your display (?) But if i do this with my display, it's temporarily blank, not permanently.

Yes, i do. Display is going blank and change to Auto-Mode by iMonManager?

Btw plugin mode is active.

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uglyned

Hi,

 

Thanks for this. I've followed the instructions but can't get it to work.

 

Should I have the iMon software set to 'Auto'? Should it be scrolling things about my PC when DVBViewer is not running then switch to DVBViewer info when it runs?

 

At the moment it scrolls all the PC stuff but then just goes to a blank screen when DVBViewer runs. If I switch it back to 'Never' run, it just doesn't switch on at all when DVBViewer runs.

 

Looking forward to seeing it working though. I have an iMon LCD screen I think, one of the ugly purple ones.

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SnoopyDog

Hi uglyned! This plugin only works with IRTrans VFD and iMon VFD, not with iMon LCD!

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VinoRosso

Hi, Im using it with an IRTrans Display and it works as good as your old IRTrans plugin ;-)

 

It would be nice to turn the "recording mode" off, im using permanent timeshift and it always shows the "recording mode" instead of the programm information.

 

Thats a little odd. Could you make this optional?

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uglyned

Ah thanks SnoopyDog. Looks like I'm going to need to write one myself.

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SnoopyDog

@VinoRosso: Ok, i make this configurable. Good to know that you still use IRTrans. I changed the Plugin to Unicode yesterday and i can only test some kind of emulation, not a real IRTrans anymore.

 

@uglyned: I changed the internal structure of some things so i can try to add support for the iMon LCD as well. But i can't test it at all.

Edited by SnoopyDog

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uglyned

Wow thanks SnoopyDog that sounds promising. I'd be happy to test and feed back if it would help.

 

Out of curiosity does your plugin also connect to the recording service for things like current and next recordings?

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SnoopyDog

Hi Tüftler, can you please start the attached program "iMonTest.exe" on your HTPC and check what you see on your Display when you click on "Button1" .. "Button5"?

 

Thank you in advance :)

 

Edit: removed test program

Edited by SnoopyDog

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Tüftler

Hi SnoopyDog,

 

Unicode is working well :biggrin: , right?

 

VFD_Unicode.pdf

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SnoopyDog

Hi Tüftler, thank you for your help :) Your screenshots are a bit different from what i expected. After googeling, i found out that iMon displays are derived from the HD44780 controller. They can display a maximum of 255 different characters. For the non standard 7 bit ASCII characters it depends on ROM and/or firmware how characters are mapped.

 

In these links

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD44780

http://www.noritake-itron.com/SubPages/ApplicNotesE/vfmodapn.htm

the available characters match my display - in the second link 100%. But in your display the characters are sorted completely different.

 

I will change the test program and need your help again, if you find the time.

 

 

Yes, i changed the plugin to unicode internally, but right now only the screen window benefits from this. IRTrans uses 8 bit strings to transfer data but i did not need to remap characters except those from char(1) .. char(31). For iMon VFD it's different: the API uses 16 bit strings to transfer data, but at least for the VFD display, only 8 bits are in use. And i need to remap nearly all characters.

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SnoopyDog

Hi Tüftler, if you find the time, please start the modfied test program again and tell me what you see when you click on "Button1" .. "Button6"

 

Thank you again in advance :)

iMonTest.zip

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Tüftler

Hi SnoopyDog,

 

Second test attached, hope that's helpful. If it's necessary i'll do more tests.

 

Btw my display isn't an OEM-Display but a retail. Do you need the typenumber of the HD44780 chip or firmware version?

 

Second test.pdf

Edited by Tüftler

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SnoopyDog

Thank you :)

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SnoopyDog

I provided an update

 

  • Found and removed some cases where the display just got black and needed to be revived.
  • For the iMon VFD, it now supports the character sets
    • Umlaut support (OEM V02) => This is the character set of the OEM display in my origen(ae) case and should match other OEM versions.
    • Umlaut support (original) => The character set of an "original" display from Soundgraph (like the one Tüftler has).
    • No umlaut support => Maybe it works with other character sets.

    [*]When time shift is active on a display with 2 rows, it shows the EPG text instead of the play time now.

    [*]You can configure now

    • Scroll speed => speed of text scrolling
    • Scroll wait => time before a long text starts scrolling

    [*]Improved the "Screen" display. It supports unicode now

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Tüftler

Hi SnoopyDog,

 

short test of your improvements:

  • speedoptions works
  • EPG at timeshift works
  • umlaut support for original display shows an questionmark instead an umlaut (tested with ä, ö, ü)

sorry for the bad reply and thanks so far

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SnoopyDog

Hi Tüftler, i uploaded another update. I think i made a mistake. I hope it shows the Umlaut characters now (?) Tomorrow i upload another update, i did not replace all characters, but you should see german umlaut and accent charactes now.

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Tüftler

Yeah, everything looks ok (ä, ö, ü, ß). Great job! :biggrin:

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SnoopyDog

I've provided an update:

 

  • Bugfix: Lost pause state after volume change.
  • Bugfix: Closing an OSD screen while playing back a video may have blanked the display and showed the "Stop" sign only.
  • Bugfix: Showing wrong information in mini EPG when you changed to next events.
  • Improved display when listening to internet radio.
  • Added all missing characters for the "original" Soundgraph iMon display.

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Tüftler

Hi SnoopyDog,

 

thanks for your update but i found a few issues in timeshift-mode with following iMon "Original" VFD settings:

"Show channel number:" -> Only when switching

"Volume style" -> Standard, Bubbles or Rhombes shows questionmarks behind the signs. Increasing bars looks ok.

 

Bye

 

Timeshift_Volume.png

Edited by Tüftler

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Tüftler

@uglyned: I changed the internal structure of some things so i can try to add support for the iMon LCD as well. But i can't test it at all.

Hi SnoopyDog,

 

i've bought a new iMonLCD for my next HTPC-project (i've payed only 20€ :biggrin:) so it was brilliant if your plugin can supports these displays as well.

 

in advance Tüftler

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SnoopyDog

Hi Tüftler, sorry for the delay. :blush:

 

I uploaded an update on the first page.

 

There was a bug in the configuration dialog - for your original display, it should not be possible to select "Rhombes" and "Bubbles" for the volume slider because the default char ROM does not support these characters. Fixed that.

 

And for this display type, i've forgotten to map the character "▬" (code #$25AC) to the normal "Minus" ("-"). Also fixed that.

 

Thank you for your patience

 

Edit: Currently, i don't support the "LCD" displays from soundgraph, only the VFD ones.

Edited by SnoopyDog

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SnoopyDog

There is an update in the first post:

  • Fixed display corruption on volume change in timeshift mode
  • Fixed display in HbbTV mode

 

Enjoy :)

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SnoopyDog

I uploaded another update which fixes a corrupted time display while a DVD is being played back.

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SnoopyDog

I uploaded an update which fixes a DVBViewer app crash on shutdown. The settings for this plugin are now available in the DVBViewer "Options" menu at "VFD Display". This should be the last entry in the options list.

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jvuser

Hi SnoopyDog,

 

Thanks for good job, Your plugin works pretty on my HTPC with WIN8.1 and original soungraph VFD. I request You for one things - the czech letters "ě,š,č,ř,ž,ů" are not in the rom VFD charset and in My EPG there are replaced with the "?" letter. Is it not possible to replace in EPG string these letters ě-e, š-s, č-c, ř-r, ž-z, ů-u ?

 

Thanks, Honza

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SnoopyDog

Thank you for the feedback :) Yes it is possible, i have tables with substitution characters. I will check this.

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jvuser

thanks, SnoopyDog.

 

There are the ascii addresses in dec:

ě:236 ... e:101

š:154 ... s:115

č:232 ... c:99

ř:248 ... r:114

ž:158 ... z:122

ů:249 ... u:117

 

and the big letters:

 

Ě:204 ... E:69

Š:138 ... S:83

Č:200 ... C:67

Ř:216 ... R:82

Ž:142 ... Z:90

Ů:217 ... U:85

 

Honza

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SnoopyDog

Hi Honza, i uploaded an update but i can not test it right now. Maybe later. I added the 10 subst letters you've mentioned and it should work... ;)

Edited by SnoopyDog

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jvuser

Hi SnoopyDog,

 

thank You very much. I tested Your update, EPG in the czech lanquage is much better readable now on VFD.

 

During testing, I found a forgotten letter: ň(242)..n(110), Ň(210)..N(78). So If you had the time and inclination to add this substitution, I would be very glad.

 

 

Honza

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son goku

Hi SnoopyDog,

 

are you still working on iMon-LCD support, as mentioned some time ago? It would be very interesting, because other LCD plugins do not support the HbbTV plugin.

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SnoopyDog

I added an update:

  • Added missing czech character "ň" and "Ň".
  • Fixed another rare app crash on exit.
  • Fixed display corruption in very rare case.
  • Fixed "back" button behaviour: Switching the time display format works now only, if "back" is not pressed for at least 2 seconds after the OSD has been closed.

@son goku: Sorry, right now i don't have that much time :(

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Tüftler

Hi SnoopyDog,

 

there is another little issue. If i scroll through the mini epg, without changing the channel, the text doesn't change back to actual played program.

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SnoopyDog

Ok, i will check this

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SnoopyDog

Hi Tüftler, i can not reproduce this. Which DVBViewer version are you using? Which OSD skin / plugins? How do you close the mini epg?

 

If i scroll through the mini epg and close the mini epg either with OSD OK or OSD back my display shows the name of the current program again.

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Tüftler

Ok let me describe what i do,

normal TV mode: scroll through Mini EPG UP/Down + Right -> OSD was closed automaticly after 30 seconds/or with ESC -> text show the last EPG entry

timehift mode: scroll through Mini EPG UP/Down + Right -> OSD was closed automaticly after 30 seconds/or with ESC -> text is sometimes correctly but channelnumber is wrong (i use favourites by starting from 0) or text show the last EPG entry

DVBViewer last beta (is not important, same issue before) and your OSD Skin

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SnoopyDog

Ah, ok, you use the automatic close function. I never did... ;)

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SnoopyDog

Hi Tüftler, i just checked this. Even when enable the OSD menu timeout and let the mini epg be closed automatically, the display shows the current program again.

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