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Is Porting PseudoTV logistically possible?

jackandjohnjackandjohn Posts: 414 Plex Pass
So, I'm a huge fan of Plex, but since getting the Raspberry as a test machine and media player, I've run across something I didn't know I wanted so bad: PseudoTV.

This takes all your existing content, and schedules it like a TV channel.
Newbie acceptance factor is through the roof!

As it stands, it will do it's own logic for creating channels, or base them off smart playlists. It also allows for interleaving content that is not part of the library.
It takes about 20 seconds to make a Documentary channel with TED ED "commercials". This means that turning it to channel 34 at 9:40pm will come in part way through an IMAX film, allow you to rewind, fast forward, or flip past to something else, and if you watch the movie all the way through, a 5min TED ED film will come up before the next documentary film plays.

50s channel, Concerts channel, SciFi+action channel...

It can even create channels based on the channel a show actually aired: Showtime, Bravo, Food network, etc.


What sells it for me
...is that picking something to watch is trivial again, when I want it to be... I'm finding myself 'rediscovering' content that I haven't touched for a while.
Thee ability to name channels after each of my kids, then work with them to create commercials that will run on the TV is empowering!


The user interface is very simple
After the setup, the guide is brought up by pressing the enter button, and it performs just like a cable or satellite guide.

Screenshot_EPG.jpg
(Example - there are other skins)



SO: Is it possible for Plex to have a PseudoTV "channel" for this that works in 'Standard' Plex clients as well as the iOS and embedded apps?

The Configuration UI sounds like the hardest part: what if focus was just on the client side? (it uses XML channel files; beta 1 just for geeks: grab an existing config and test)

Comments

  • mikedm139mikedm139 Plugin Developer Posts: 3,022 Plex Ninja
    The real limiting factor for a project like PseudoTV for Plex is the EPG. The Plex plugin framework really doesn't offer a mechanism for creating the sort of interactive display that PsuedoTV uses. I've pondered something along those lines in the past and keep coming to the same conclusion. The "display" code in the plugin framework is really only intended for displaying list-like hierarchies rather than a configurable grid like a cable/satellite EPG. The other aspects of the PseudoTV experience are likely achievable though, not simple.
  • jackandjohnjackandjohn Posts: 414 Plex Pass
    mikedm139 wrote:

    The real limiting factor for a project like PseudoTV for Plex is the EPG. The Plex plugin framework really doesn't offer a mechanism for creating the sort of interactive display that PsuedoTV uses. I've pondered something along those lines in the past and keep coming to the same conclusion. The "display" code in the plugin framework is really only intended for displaying list-like hierarchies rather than a configurable grid like a cable/satellite EPG. The other aspects of the PseudoTV experience are likely achievable though, not simple.


    I let your post rattle around in my brain for a bit, and I think there's a way "around" this...

    If the guide is configured and set up separately, the plugin could become a hierarchical list:

    Channels > PseudoTV >
    |-Adventure
    |-Action
    |-AMC
    |-90s Cartoons

    Then, plex would simply serve the content that scheduled for that time, with interleaving, commercials, and bumpers.
    It would mean ditching the EPG, and likely losing the channel numbers + show info overlay, as well as losing the ability to skip forward to the next show, but it would tie in very well with the "Channel" metaphor.

    It would also mean that it works without any issues across all official devices, and many unofficial ones.


    I can think of a couple other ways to do it, but this takes the least amount of core-modification

  • I let your post rattle around in my brain for a bit, and I think there's a way "around" this...

    If the guide is configured and set up separately, the plugin could become a hierarchical list:

    Channels > PseudoTV >
    |-Adventure
    |-Action
    |-AMC
    |-90s Cartoons

    Then, plex would simply serve the content that scheduled for that time, with interleaving, commercials, and bumpers.
    It would mean ditching the EPG, and likely losing the channel numbers + show info overlay, as well as losing the ability to skip forward to the next show, but it would tie in very well with the "Channel" metaphor.

    It would also mean that it works without any issues across all official devices, and many unofficial ones.


    I can think of a couple other ways to do it, but this takes the least amount of core-modification


    Do this.
  • JDIacobboJDIacobbo Posts: 94 Plex Pass
    I would also like to see this happen. Any form of PesudoTv would be great.
  • aleclunsfordaleclunsford Posts: 46 Plex Pass
    I second this!
  • rspeicherrspeicher Posts: 11 Plex Pass
    Unfortunately I don't have anything constructive to add, but I would really love to see something like this as well.

    The guide, for me, is the least important part of PseudoTV. As long as you can "tune in to a channel", see what's playing, and either watch it or go back up a menu and choose a different channel, that would be good enough.
  • GerkGerk Posts: 1,052 Plex Pass
    I chatted with a person who was wanting to build something like this in the Channel Development forum a couple of weeks ago. The problem is there are a couple of big hurdles in doing something like this, the main one being that channel framework does not currently support playlists. Without playlists this would be incredibly difficult to do, if it's even possible (and in this I mean the actual scheduled type playback, the guide is definitely a no-go). While it would be cool to have something like this it's just not in the cards at the moment from what I can tell.
  • jbaruch76jbaruch76 Posts: 68 Plex Pass
    playlist support is a big problem for me with plex. i am a big user of pseudotv. probably using it at least half the time i am watching and it is perfect for me. otherwise i end up spending a half hour deciding which episode of seinfeld to watch.
  • jackandjohnjackandjohn Posts: 414 Plex Pass

    After researching, the singular issue with bringing this to life is support for playlists in Plex server/clients.

    With support for playlists, a PseudoTV plugin would compile the playlist, just like on XBMC, then transcode the right video at the right time whenever the client requests it, serving the next video in the playlist automatically.

    Vote for playlists by clicking Like This on the popular thread:

    http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/topic/46288-popular-playlist-system/

  • Terry ToweTerry Towe Posts: 613 Plex Pass

    I've been using Plex for a couple of years now, and I'm very satisfied with the ease of use, to the point of cancelling cable a few months ago (and where I live OTA channels are limited enough that I don't have an antenna set up:  everything I watch is local media or streaming internet).  What I have realized I miss is a way to simply see lots of constantly-updating content on the screen at once, without having to do my own mental filtering to get to something, meaning something like PseudoTV.

    It seems to me (from a logical standpoint, not a programming standpoint where I have no experience or capability) that PseudoTV-type capability could be built into a plugin like (ultimately) LetMeWatchThis:  you go into Movies and you see a set of "channels" that are "Newest", " Highest Rated", etc, the same in TV Shows, and in Favorites you could have something similar that's a mix of movies and TV shows, maybe "channeling" by Genre.

    Personally, I'd rather see an updated streaming plugin with this kind of capability than with local media:  I know what's on my hard-drive, but I don't know anything about the latest popular TV shows.

  • brando56894brando56894 Posts: 49 Plex Pass
    Gerk wrote on February 7 2013, 10:20 PM: »

    I chatted with a person who was wanting to build something like this in the Channel Development forum a couple of weeks ago. The problem is there are a couple of big hurdles in doing something like this, the main one being that channel framework does not currently support playlists. Without playlists this would be incredibly difficult to do, if it's even possible (and in this I mean the actual scheduled type playback, the guide is definitely a no-go). While it would be cool to have something like this it's just not in the cards at the moment from what I can tell.

    Since we now have playlist support is something like this now possible? I still have XBMC hanging around because I plan on setting up PseudoTV on it since I only have basic cable, but I have 4.2 TB worth of media that I could turn into my own network.

  • With the addition of playlist support - does this get the community any closer to psuedotv like functionality? 

    https://blog.plex.tv/2014/03/13/chromecast-free-everyone-great-new-features-ios/?utm_source=Plex&utm_medium=email&utm_content=newsletter6_4&utm_campaign=Newsletter+July2014

    Psuedotv was an amazing idea - hoping to some day have this replicated in plex, which is a fantastic product

  • DadrepusDadrepus Posts: 350 Plex Pass

    They now have a psudotvLIVE functioning at XBMC which incorporates live tv as well.

  • mikedm139mikedm139 Plugin Developer Posts: 3,022 Plex Ninja
    joe.barneson wrote on August 2 2014, 11:46 AM: »

    With the addition of playlist support - does this get the community any closer to psuedotv like functionality? 

    https://blog.plex.tv/2014/03/13/chromecast-free-everyone-great-new-features-ios/?utm_source=Plex&utm_medium=email&utm_content=newsletter6_4&utm_campaign=Newsletter+July2014

    Psuedotv was an amazing idea - hoping to some day have this replicated in plex, which is a fantastic product

    The playlist functionality is not currently exposed to the channel API so it doesn't really change anything as far as this is concerned.

  • jackandjohnjackandjohn Posts: 414 Plex Pass

    The answer to the question of does this get the community closer is a resounding YES.

    Right now, it is possible for an external daemon, or a plugin to:

    • Create a playlist
    • Modify an existing playlist
    • Populate a playlist with media from the library

    I've opened a thread for anyone curious about everything that's being learned to hack this together.

    https://forums.plex.tv/topic/119165-making-pseudotv-functionality-in-plex/

  • mcrommertmcrommert Posts: 366 Plex Pass

    Would love to see this...the only thing I miss from XBMC is this...loved it for random media

  • The link to the thread can't be found.  Any updates on the possibility of Psuedotv?

  • jackandjohnjackandjohn Posts: 414 Plex Pass

    Apologies; the linked thread is PlexPass-only (didn't mean to hide the discussion)

    After research in that thread, it seems possible to have a plugin create PseudoTV playlists, then you could watch those channels from any device, it's just a matter of someone creating that plugin.

  • warrentc3warrentc3 Posts: 14 Plex Pass

    The way PMS does channels is by web based m3u playlists. The way existing Channels functionality is defined, it doesn't lend itself to a traditional EPG. The DVR side does have it's own program guide methodology, but since the conventional cable box program guide layout and functionality is copy-written... it wasn't used.
    However, it seems to me, the logical thing would be to add some code to leverage existing playlist logic and existing program guide logic, have a streamlined means to a smashing new feature.

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