ABC’s iView on XBMC.. update 2

A plugin for ABC iView on XBMC has been released. See this page for progress of ABC iView on XBMC.

Following on from the last post about using rtmpdump to grab ABC’s iView programs, I’ve made a start on an XBMC plugin.. with the hope of eventually working on a Boxee plugin also.

To start with, you’ll need my patch to all you to specify the tcurl of an rtmp stream from with the XBMC API. This is needed because XBMC makes some assumptions about RTMP urls, based on other streams like Hulu and BBC’s iPlayer. ABC’s method is similar, but a little different. I’ll be trying to get the patch sent upstream, but it may need a little more work.

Now you’re going to have to compile XBMC yourself from source. I’ve only done it on Linux, so I can’t help you with Mac, Windows or Xbox versions. For information about compiling it on Ubuntu, you can check out the page on the XBMC wiki. You just need to do ‘cd’ into the XBMC directory you did your SVN checkout on, and then:

patch -p0 < /path/to/abc-iview-rtmp-tcurl-fix.patch

Hopefully you shouldn’t see any errors.

You can then grab my very basic iView plugin for XBMC. It’ll need to be extracted into your plugins/video directory of your XBMC installation.

This plugin has some serious limitations right now..

Firstly, some shows are listed as just ‘Episode 1’. It seems that in the XML files describing the shows, the data is very inconsistent. I’ll be looking at this in the next version of the plugin.

Next, because of the nature of the auth token that is generated, if you watch a program and then go back to the list of programs, if you try another, it will fail to play, as the token has timed out. You need to go back another level to the channels, then click the channel you want. This means that the URLS listed will generate a new token which will be valid again.

Last, the shows are all broadcasted in 16:9 on the TV, but streamed at 640×480 (4:3). This is really silly, but you can fix it by setting your XBMC view to use ‘Stretch 16:9’. Not ideal, but I’ll be looking into automatically setting the view if it’s exposed in the XBMC API.

It’s still very rough, but a start. Boxee has just announced a new API which I’ll be taking a look at shortly.

UPDATE: Version 0.2 of the plugin is out. See here.

Posted in Geek by Andy Botting at April 15th, 2009.

8 Responses to “ABC’s iView on XBMC.. update 2”

  1. Compholio says:

    Did you open a tracker ticket for the issue your patch fixes?

  2. Andy Botting says:

    Not yet. I think the patch might need some work before actually getting accepted, but I’ll try getting the ball rolling today.

  3. Dennis says:

    Hey Andy.

    Thanks for the plugin. It is exactly what I was looking for. I was trying to get the script working, but i had some issues:

    1) I could not find the plugins/video directory; do you mean the scripts directory?

    2) when I put the file into the scripts directory, and try to run it, I get the error message: Error python script failed: special://…/

    PS what kind of android do you have ? And what did you buy at MSY?

  4. […] more info about the plugin, see this other entry I […]

  5. Mark says:

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for starting this project. I’d like to help but I’m not a coder just a tester!

    I’ve just downloaded and installed your V0.3 plugin and the current xbmc build 22528. But it isn’t quite working for me yet.

    I can access the iView lists and play a video and it all looks good but then, after a ramdon amount of time, the video will freeze and then if I try to do anything xbmc will freeze and I have to force a power off restart. (I.e. I can bring up the on screen control while the video is frozen but if I try to stop or exit the video the crash happens).

    This is a bit of a problem when you’re 30mins into a 40min show and of course you can’t restart the video and skip to the same point and start watching again.

    I’m running xbox V1.0 with X3 modchip on bios 3294 with xbmc build 22528 as dashboard.

    Any ideas?


  6. Ranga says:


    This is because of “SWF Verification”. The official builds of XMBC don’t support it (Adobe don’t like it).

    If you use a build of XMBC that has RTMPdump with SWF Verification, a command needs a little extra info added to it.

    BTW – iView has changed somewhat so I doubt you can even get the iView lists from V0.3 anymore.

  7. steve says:

    Thanks Andy for this app. Am watching iview via XMBC as i type this. Looks great!

  8. Paul says:

    What a treasure is this plug-in on XBMC/Kodi (Linux, running on Rasp Pi in Paris France).

    Thanks for the work, and I look forward to any upgrades you might have time to get your programming head around.

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