iView for XBMC plugin v0.2

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

I just rewrote the iView plugin for XBMC.. and it’s far more robust. There is still lots to finish, but it kinda works. This was spurred on by someone actually trying it out, and then me finding out that ABC changed their XML.

You’ll need the RTMP patch for XBMC, and version 0.2 of the ABC iView plugin for XBMC.

Some things that still need improving are:

  • Auth token still times out. That means that if you watch something, you’ll need to go back to the channels list and then back into the channel to list the programs again and get a new auth token. Annoying.
  • No thumbnails or extended metadata available for channels or programs.
  • Some programs have funny names. Pretty minor, but annoying.
  • Programs are streamed in 4:3, but are actually produced in 16:9. I set XBMC to 16:9 Stretch mode.

For more info about the plugin, see this other entry I wrote.

Don’t forget to vote for an iView plugin for Boxee at the Customer Support Community for boxee. It might might help get iView into Boxee!

Posted in Geek by Andy Botting at May 3rd, 2009.

28 Responses to “iView for XBMC plugin v0.2”

  1. Ben Davey says:

    This is just awesome. I’ll have to give it a whirl when i get home tonight. Though did ABC recently update iview so that you send http GETS (eg HTTP GET /playback/xml/s2307031.xml?BulkLoaderNoCache=1_52_175780) to make sure that the player is keeping timecodes? I’m doing a wireshark on a stream now, and I can’t see any reference to the raw .flv file :/

  2. Andy Botting says:

    I found the flv url is buried in the RTMP packets, and is pretty hard to find. You can just do a HTTP GET for the XML files though.

  3. Craig says:

    Any chance of posting a binary with your patch applied?

  4. James says:

    Hey! Nice work. I had it compiled for xbox. I had to edit the patch changes to ‘rtmp.cpp’ to get your patch working with SVN build 20213. It yielded a successful compile, however all I get when using your plugin is the choices but no content. Was wondering which build version you used?

  5. Andy Botting says:

    @James: I’m doing an update now, and I’ll do a test.

  6. Andy Botting says:

    @James: seems to work ok on my Linux build on the latest SVN.

    Also the changes to RTMP shouldn’t affect building the list of media, only playing them. It could be something to do with the python libs in the Xbox version.. I’ll take another look through the code and see if there is anything that might upset it.

    Also, can you enable debugging and send me anything useful from your xbmc.log?

  7. James says:

    Here’s a link to the log file from the point that I hit play on a programme.

    http://pastebin.com/m6309b84a

    The entire log should also be accesible from this link.

  8. Pete says:

    Really really interested in this plugin. I have xbox xbmc and no way of compiling etc. Is there likely to be be a way of installing this software to XBMC for no tech users?

  9. Ed says:

    This is a great step Andy! Thanks for working on this.

    I’m in the same category as Pete… hoped the Babylon build on xbox might include your patch for iview, but no luck. Anyone out there able to share a patched build?

  10. Matt says:

    Can’t wait to try and get this into my hacked ATV. Thanks for your effort.

  11. Ben Davey says:

    Yo all, i’ve got this working on xbox and appletv via a slightly different method based on andy’s work. I’ll post details up here shortly

  12. James says:

    Not sure if you’ve seen it or not but I found this:

    http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1212283#r1

    It’s a windows batch file that downloads the flash videos.

  13. Pete says:

    So, Ben. We would love to hear how this is done… :)

  14. Nick says:

    How do i use the RTMP patch ?

  15. continuous says:

    Nick – it has to be included with the source and compiled. See here:
    http://www.andybotting.com/wordpress/abcs-iview-on-xbmc-update-2

  16. Duncan says:

    Hi Andy, just come across your project here and like the other posts, I am very interested. My old ABC TV script no longer seems to work and I cannot find it in the usual places – anyone else had this issue ? Like Pete and Ed, I’m not up to compiling xbmc builds so an alternative way of applying the patch or some way of downloading a patched xbmc build would be fantastic. I’ll keep watching your progress with interest.

  17. someguy says:

    Have tried out your 0.4 version of the plugin however still can’t get it to work on a windows version of xbmc. Yes it includes the rtmp patch. Doesn’t even show up in the plugin window and when I run it through file manager it fails. Any ideas?

  18. Zac says:

    Hi, this is such a great project thank you Andy for even attempting this. I searched for an ABC iview plugin for XBMC without any real hope of finding anything and this came up and I was pleasantly surprised =)

    Even more so when I installed it on my modded xbox with the latest XBMC revision 23645, and it actually seemed to work! However it drops out after a few minutes and it is hard to navigate back to the point you were watching without it locking up.

    Is this just because it is an early version, or should I try using a different version of XBMC for the xbox? Is there one that you are using currently that doesn’t have this problem?

    Thank you for your great work, I hope to see this project continue.

    Zac.

  19. Andy Botting says:

    @Zac,

    I’ve used it a bit on my modded XBOX too, and it’s been ok. Let me with a newer version of XBMC and I’ll do some more testing.

    The navigation problem (and also the locking up part) are most likely due to the underlying library (librtmp). It probably needs much more work, and I’m sure it’ll improve over time.

  20. Andy Botting says:

    @Zac,

    Can you try this build of XBMC for XBOX:

    http://sshcs.com/xbmc/?mode=BuildsDownloadCounter&FN=XBOX&BN=22528

    I was using this, and it was working OK. I tested a newer version, 23128 and it fails. Would be interesting to see how yours goes.

  21. James says:

    Hey Andy. I tried your build 22528 on XBox to no avail. I tried both over-writing my install (build 23791) with the files in your download and also as a fresh install in a separate directory. Both times the video would take a while to load and then cut out after a few seconds. Using the latest build however, the video would load up quickly but cut out after a few minutes (same problem as Zac).

  22. Andy Botting says:

    Looks like ABC have enabled ‘SWF Verification’ on their iView streams. This is a sort of security mechanism that is meant to block out their parties.

    Unfortunately, we’re not going to see the code needed for us to watch iView hit XBMC, so this plugin has probably just reached the end of it’s life.

    If you want to download episodes, you can use v1.6 of RTMPDump. It’s got the SWF Verification code in it.

  23. James says:

    How plausible would it be to make a plugin to browse the programme list, then communicate to a PC to download the file, then play the file as it downloads. I know the XBox can play files that are downloading on the PC. Although this would require the PC to be on (and probably some sort of app running), it would seem transparent from the XBox end. Probably a lot of work for not much result now that I think about it.

  24. Ranga says:

    @ James

    Very unlikely – too much effort.

    But it may be possible to use DLNA to stream iView from a PC via a simple interface. IIRC Someone has done this already.

  25. defunk says:

    thats pretty sick. I”m going to check this out when I get home. ill let you know how it works.

  26. captainbenno says:

    Hey Andy,

    Absolutely fantastic XBMC add-on, I wouldn’t have made an XBMC box unless I was able to watch iView through it so a big cheers to you.

    The only thing that I want extra on it is the ability to filter the shows by category just like they are in iView, is this in the pipeline or should I start to learn Python and see if I can shoe-horn it in myself?

  27. Andy Botting says:

    @Captainbenno

    I can see how this would be useful – there’s a lot of shows on iView now, much more than there was when I started the plugin.

    It’s not really something I’ve been looking into much, but if you wanted to take a look into it, I’d be glad to help.

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