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MacTF - a Mac Altair for Toppy transfers

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Hi, this is just a note to say that MacTF is now at (beta) version 0.4. MacTF is a Mac OS X native application that can transfer files between your Mac and the Topfield TF5000PVRt (similar to the Windows program Altair.exe).

New in this version:

File upload (as long as the file is less than 64kB)

Multiple downloads at once

Small bugfixes

Features of MacTF:

File download (of any size, multiple at once possible, averages ~5Mb/sec)

File upload (limited to 64k at the moment)

Turbo mode (raises transfer rate to ~10Mb/sec)

MacTF runs on Mac OS X 10.3.5 (Panther), I'm not sure about 10.2.8 (Jaguar) but it might.

Download MacTF at www.noates.com, and please email me (nathan at noates dot com) with any comments/suggestions/bugs.

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I'm surprised no ones commented on this yet seeing there's always requests for non-windows toppy file transfers.

Is it possible for this source to be used for a linux version? ie. is there any specific "mac-iness" that would make it impossible to be ported?

Keep up the good work!!!!

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No mac support is probably the major reason I haven't purchased a Topfield - I'm not interested in purchasing Virtual PC just for this.

Apart from being annoying, I consider the lack of support lazy programing.

This is very good news. Thank you for doing this.

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ok once you get it to your mac .rec files

how long does 1hr of video take to transfer

how do you archive it? ?

which programs do you use

how do you burn a dvd

do you encode with toast - this has always taken many hrs for me on a 1ghz imac, with so so quality

I havent got a toppy yet but am considering it

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Is it possible for this source to be used for a linux version? ie. is there any specific "mac-iness" that would make it impossible to be ported?

I had a quick peek at the source to an earlier version. It is very Mac specific. Someone with Linux USB hacking experience and the ability to read Objective-C could probably dig out bits and pieces that could be reused.

Not my cup of tea, I'll leave this project to someone else.

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Is it possible for this source to be used for a linux version? ie. is there any specific "mac-iness" that would make it impossible to be ported?

As peteru said, a direct port is not possible (maybe if you ran GNUStep?) as it uses all Objective-C/Cocoa calls. The basic idea of writing a "user-space" USB "driver" could work in Linux as well I think, but I don't know how easy that is.

The basic connection code (which I got from the uproar project) is originally based on Apple's example code (which is C) for USB connections (part of IOKit). I would think something similiar is available for Linux - the code just finds an interface and opens it. After that, it's all just bulk transfers, you just build a buffer and send it down the pipe, and get a response.

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how long does 1hr of video take to transfer

how do you archive it? ?

which programs do you use

how do you burn a dvd

do you encode with toast - this has always taken many hrs for me on a 1ghz imac, with so so quality

With turbo, transfers are about 10Mb/sec. I think video on most channels runs at ~6Mb/sec? so it's a bit less than double-speed.

I've been archiving a few things to DVD - my process is:

Cut out unwanted bits on the Toppy

D/L with MacTF

Demux with ProjectX

Build DVD with Sizzle

If needed - shrink DVD down with DVD2OneX

Burn DVD (with Toast but direct)

Unfortunately Sizzle has a problem importing audio at the moment which means I have to have an extra step:

Mux (the files from projectX) with ffmpegX to .mpg which goes into Sizzle fine (which then demuxes them again!)

It sounds complicated but isn't too bad once you have the system down. You need some spare disk space for all the conversions etc though.

The only program I haven't seen yet for the Mac is a good MPEG-2 cutter. I therefore do all my editing on the Toppy first, but that's not a proper solution.

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Thanks so much for producing this app. Could you list it with Versiontracker (if you haven't already) so we know when you update it?

Feature request:

A progress bar for downloads.

Bug?

When I start a download from Toppy to Mac, then change to another app, I can't get back to MacTF.

I've used an Application called Satellite Receivers Convertor v.1.5 by Tosa Serbian to convert the .rec files to Mpeg2. Seems easier to use than ProjectX, not sure about it's speed.

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Thanks so much for producing this app. Could you list it with Versiontracker (if you haven't already) so we know when you update it?

Feature request:

A progress bar for downloads.

Bug?

When I start a download from Toppy to Mac, then change to another app, I can't get back to MacTF.

I don't know how to put it on VT, but I'll look into it.

The progress bar is on the list of things to do, hopefully in the next version (I thought I'd get this one out as the ability to upload TAPs might be useful to some ppl)

The "hanging" during a download is because I'm doing everything in one thread, so it's not so much of a bug as a lack of a "normal" responsive interface. It's also on the list, and will probably occur with the progress bar (as that will probably need its own thread too), but until then, I use Exposé to get back to the window. To keep track of how the download is going for now, you can see the file increase in size if you keep selecting it in Finder.

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I've used an Application called Satellite Receivers Convertor v.1.5 by Tosa Serbian to convert the .rec files to Mpeg2. Seems easier to use than ProjectX, not sure about it's speed.

I've not seen that one, I'll have a look for it. Actually I just found one called MPEG StreamClip 1.0.2 that seems to open and play .RECs and allows you to demux them (and if you have the Apple MPEG2 component you can reencode them with Quicktime). Best of all you can select which bits to keep!!! I'll have a play with it and see if it's better than projectX (unfortunately it doesn't seem to do AC3 audio just yet, only mp2).

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A new version (0.5) of MacTF is now out.

Changes are:

More error checking in download to prevent crashes if strange Toppy response

Upload of large files now works

Debug preference added

Proper progress bar added

Reduced debugging messages

Transfer timer added

Workaround for navigation errors, so it seems much smoother now

Delete function added (Cmd-Delete)...

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You don't need an OS X version, just get the normal one (www.doom9.org) and double click the .jar to launch. Also, you might like to check out MPEG StreamClip which can also handle .rec files but is simpler to use and can now cut them too!

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Go here and get the latest version of project X which is Project X 0.81.8.01 vom 04.09.2004 but only if you need it...((((The owner is having bandwidth problems, so if you dont need Project X..don't download it please ))). http://www.oozoon.de/ ..It can apply TF5000 headers...

foss

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With turbo, transfers are about 10Mb/sec. I think video on most channels runs at ~6Mb/sec? so it's a bit less than double-speed.

I've been archiving a few things to DVD - my process is:

Cut out unwanted bits on the Toppy

D/L with MacTF

Demux with ProjectX

Build DVD with Sizzle

If needed - shrink DVD down with DVD2OneX

Burn DVD (with Toast but direct)

Unfortunately Sizzle has a problem importing audio at the moment which means I have to have an extra step:

Mux (the files from projectX) with ffmpegX to .mpg which goes into Sizzle fine (which then demuxes them again!)

It sounds complicated but isn't too bad once you have the system down. You need some spare disk space for all the conversions etc though.

The only program I haven't seen yet for the Mac is a good MPEG-2 cutter. I therefore do all my editing on the Toppy first, but that's not a proper solution.

After many attempts to get this process to work with "Audio Synch" problems, at last seem to have had success. Is it possible to list a standard settings you use in Project X, FFMPEG etc in a post to assist others like myself who are not super technical navigate through the huge range of options. This will I'm sure help people avoid a lot of trial and error.

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Thanks for getting a MAC programme running! I just bought a toppy for having some Mac useage, unlike all other PVR's they dont have any Mac support!

What I am after now is a Mac type progamme or something that will allow me to get all the TV programmes for Melbourne for a week, and then upload them as EPG's to the toppy, any one know how I can do that? Step by step guide would be good.. remember I am Mac user, and like to keep things simple and not get into command lines, editing config or ini files etc... :blink:

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Thanks for getting a MAC programme running! I just bought a toppy for having some Mac useage, unlike all other PVR's they dont have any Mac support!

What I am after now is a Mac type progamme or something that will allow me to get all the TV programmes for Melbourne for a week, and then upload them as EPG's to the toppy, any one know how I can do that? Step by step guide would be good.. remember I am Mac user, and like to keep things simple and not get into command lines, editing config or ini files etc... :blink:

MPEG Streamclip (free download) has Altair support and works with the Topfield and Dreambox.

Dead simple to use. Getting the right USB connection was a bit fiddly. Up and down loading is available. (Instructions in the help file). Works fine for me. Just though I'd mention it.

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Soon you Mac guys won’t have those platform problems anymore when the Mac is powerd by an Intel chip. The other benefit is that we all become friends instead of having a punch-up every time system benchmarks are disgust.

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What I am after now is a Mac type progamme or something that will allow me to get all the TV programmes for Melbourne for a week, and then upload them as EPG's to the toppy, any one know how I can do that?

Well, there isn't a really simple way to do it at the moment. But here's what I currently do: First, get a hold of a copy of javaXMLTV (I believe there is a more recent one around, but I am currently using the old version from epg_uploader 1.0). There is a single file (javaxmltv.prop) that you have to edit to tell it which city you are in. You can run the JavaXMLTVGrabber.jar file directly by double-clicking it, but you will get no feedback (other than increased network activity as it downloads the data). If you want feedback, you will have to you run it though Terminal (you can type "java -jar " then drag the .jar to the terminal window, then add " 7 0" at the end, so you end up with a command such as "java -jar /something/JavaXMLTVGrabber.jar 7 0").

Once that is done, run the MakeToppyGuide.jar file by double-clicking it (or through terminal again). You should now have a bunch of .tgd files made in your output folder.

Now if you want to use epg_uploader to put the data into the toppy, simply upload all the .tgd files to the Toppy using MPEG StreamClip (or MacTF) and run epg_uploader. This requires a bit more fiddling with .ini files, but that is beyond the scope of this post - see the Topfield forum for more info.

A more simple way is to use the JustEPG tap. Although it has .ini setting too, they default to Victoria so you can probably just use it as is. I think you may need Dec firmware or newer? to run this TAP. Before you upload the .tgd files though, you need to change all the line endings from UNIX type to Windows (Hopefully later versions of JustEPG will make this step unnecessary). The easiest way to do this is to get the TGDPicker app off the MacTF website. Double-click the .tgd files you made, they should open in TGDPicker. Simply save the files and close, this changes the line endings for you. Now upload them to the Toppy. Hit the guide button and see your epg info.

Whew, maybe it's not so easy, but good luck!

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Soon you Mac guys won’t have those platform problems anymore when the Mac is powerd by an Intel chip. The other benefit is that we all become friends instead of having a punch-up every time system benchmarks are disgust.

I am sorry that will never happen ;-)

why?

the Mac will run faster on a intel chip (like unix and linux does) than windows will... :blink:

But we will have platform issues still as some programme will be wirtten for Mac and some for windows... it just will be easier to progamme from windows to Mac, but that is all years off yet.. plenty of feudin to be doing between now and then ;-)

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Well, there isn't a really simple way to do it at the moment. But here's what I currently do: First, get a hold of a copy of javaXMLTV (I believe there is a more recent one around, but I am currently using the old version from epg_uploader 1.0). There is a single file (javaxmltv.prop) that you have to edit to tell it which city you are in. You can run the JavaXMLTVGrabber.jar file directly by double-clicking it, but you will get no feedback (other than increased network activity as it downloads the data). If you want feedback, you will have to you run it though Terminal (you can type "java -jar " then drag the .jar to the terminal window, then add " 7 0" at the end, so you end up with a command such as "java -jar /something/JavaXMLTVGrabber.jar 7 0").

Once that is done, run the MakeToppyGuide.jar file by double-clicking it (or through terminal again). You should now have a bunch of .tgd files made in your output folder.

Now if you want to use epg_uploader to put the data into the toppy, simply upload all the .tgd files to the Toppy using MPEG StreamClip (or MacTF) and run epg_uploader. This requires a bit more fiddling with .ini files, but that is beyond the scope of this post - see the Topfield forum for more info.

A more simple way is to use the JustEPG tap. Although it has .ini setting too, they default to Victoria so you can probably just use it as is. I think you may need Dec firmware or newer? to run this TAP. Before you upload the .tgd files though, you need to change all the line endings from UNIX type to Windows (Hopefully later versions of JustEPG will make this step unnecessary). The easiest way to do this is to get the TGDPicker app off the MacTF website. Double-click the .tgd files you made, they should open in TGDPicker. Simply save the files and close, this changes the line endings for you. Now upload them to the Toppy. Hit the guide button and see your epg info.

Whew, maybe it's not so easy, but good luck!

Ok so its really in the realm of tinkering in dos and command lines... ugh... I think I will stay out of that then... I might look at this just epg tap though.... thanks anyway

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Ok so its really in the realm of tinkering in dos and command lines... ugh... I think I will stay out of that then... I might look at this just epg tap though.... thanks anyway

Well, if you distill it down to the simplest way it is:

1. Get javaxmltv first of all

2. Edit one number in a text file (to choose your city)

Then each time you want to update, do this:

3. Double-click on the javaxmltv program

4. Wait, wait, wait while it downloads (it will write xml files out when it is done)

5. Double-click on the MakeToppyGuide program

6. Open the resulting .tgd files in TGDPicker and save them again

7. Upload the files to the Toppy

And that's it. Hit Guide on the Toppy and if you have JustEPG working it should show up!

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I am sorry that will never happen ;-)

why?

the Mac will run faster on a intel chip (like unix and linux does) than windows will... :blink:

But we will have platform issues still as some programme will be wirtten for Mac and some for windows... it just will be easier to progamme from windows to Mac, but that is all years off yet.. plenty of feudin to be doing between now and then ;-)

Apparently the deal is done……..

http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/article/1802/

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Hey

I want to include subtitles when I make a DVD from a .rec file on my Mac. Is it possible? I keep searcing the forums and can't find much (either I don't know how to search :blink: or there isn't much demand for this :P).

Any help please.

If not on a Mac I guess a PC will do but...

Skruffy

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