Channel Issues & Questions

Help & troubleshooting for channels on your Roku device, including adding/removing channels, logging in to, authenticating, or activating a channel, channel-specific playback issues, assistance contacting channel publishers to report issues, and adjusting channel-specific settings.
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Level 7

Re: roksbox -Streaming Local Media Channel Available for Tes

"haa3e" wrote:
Help! I've registered and paid the activation fee (userid 2903) but everytime I login it says, "Your session has expired. Please log in again." This has prevented me from entering the code.

I've tried different browsers, deleted browsing history, etc. What else should I try?


Thanks for trying, I still can't stay logged in to enter the code. It immediately says my session has expired. Oh and I get ReadResponse() failed: The server did not return a response for this request.

When I ran Fiddler to look further into this is looks like cache issue. Fiddler provided a link to this http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ieinternals/archive/2009/07/20/using-post_2d00_check-and-pre_2d00_check-cach...
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Level 7

Re: roksbox -Streaming Local Media Channel Available for Tes

"jimmyswimmy" wrote:
I use an XML file to organize what has become an extensive movie collection. I use poster images for each movie/show and my largest poster is 50kB (though the average is near 20kB). Scrolling along a list of movies is getting quite slow, particularly if the list is long.

Use something like EZ Thumbs (it's free) to resize all of the images to around 200x200. That'll speed things right up.

ref:
http://www.fookes.com/ezthumbs
:: Mark
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Level 7

Re: roksbox -Streaming Local Media Channel Available for Tes

"midiwall" wrote:
"jimmyswimmy" wrote:
I use an XML file to organize what has become an extensive movie collection. I use poster images for each movie/show and my largest poster is 50kB (though the average is near 20kB). Scrolling along a list of movies is getting quite slow, particularly if the list is long.

Use something like EZ Thumbs (it's free) to resize all of the images to around 200x200. That'll speed things right up.

ref:
http://www.fookes.com/ezthumbs


The poster isn't quite the problem it is that xml. I would suggest multiple xml files and subfolders to keep the size down. Either A-L as a folder (or something like that), or genres...
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Level 7

Re: roksbox -Streaming Local Media Channel Available for Tes

"jimmyswimmy" wrote:
Hey WilDD, got some questions about speed.

I use an XML file to organize what has become an extensive movie collection. I use poster images for each movie/show and my largest poster is 50kB (though the average is near 20kB). Scrolling along a list of movies is getting quite slow, particularly if the list is long. I don't know exactly what you're doing here, but I have some suspicions over what takes so much time.

1. My videos.xml file is pretty large now at 240kB with 584 entries; this must take up a decent chunk of your cache. Could it be better organized? Is there a proper order for its contents? It is currently organized by major subcategory but below that it's just alphabetical (i.e. all the "Kids Movies" are grouped together and below that level it is alphabetical even if there are subcategories to "Kids Movies".


When Roksbox reads the XML file, it automatically alphabetizes the genres and videos, so it doesn't matter what order you put them into the XML file. In general, the fewer videos to show on the screen at one time, the better. Dividing the videos into more subcategories can reduce the number of videos on each screen.

2. The resizing of each category image as they scroll across the screen appears to take a significant amount of time, particularly if one of the images is large, when the screen is full of movies. You display 11 images of 6 different sizes which must all be redrawn as you scroll. If I reduce image size so that the average image size is 4kB rather than 20 kB the response time/refresh rate is noticeably improved. Unfortunately this seems to be a pain in the rear and has the downside of being quite ugly. If I use the same image for all movies the response is even better, but again has a downside of removing useful information.


There are some things that I as the developer don't have control of. The poster screen that you see is a component of the Roku SDK, and its functionality is controlled by the component. In other words, I pass the information to the Roku poster screen component, and it controls the navigation and sizing of the posters. So unfortunately, there isn't anything I can change to make this process more efficient. The navigation speed is determined by the number and size of the posters. Your poster sizes are reasonable, and as you said, if you make them too small, then they look bad. The only solution I can see here would be to divide them up into more categories so you don't get as many on the screen at one time. Or, read on for another possible solution.

3. You seem to cache the first two images in a subcategory even when the category image is separate - sometimes? (Hard to be sure since it seems like your cache remains valid even when I leave and reenter Roksbox) This must cost some memory and perhaps result in a performance hit.


This is another area that I don't have control of. The Roku component controls which images are in the cache, and which images get removed from cache as more cache is needed. The SDK doesn't even provide a way to remove a particular image from cache. So, we're at the mercy of the Roku cache algorithm for controlling the cache.

Would you give any consideration to eliminating the resize feature when scrolling across a movie list? I don't think this would significantly impact usability and would probably improve browsing performance. At least it looks like it would help for me.


As I said above, I don't have control of the resize function. But, here is the possible solution to it . . .

I am currently working on implementing the grid screen like Netflix uses. This will be optional, so you will have the choice of using the standard poster screen, or the grid screen. The grid screen seems to be faster, but I haven't tried it with a collection as large as yours. You might be a good test to see how well it works (and if your kid likes it).

I still have some work to do on it, so it probably won't be ready until sometime in February.

Is there any reason to believe it would be somehow better if I went away from an XML file? I can easily generate individual XML files per show, but I know the cost is that every time I add a movie I have to reload the entire tree and that can take too long (I have a 2 year old who WANTS CURIOUS GEORGE NOW).


By not using an XML file, the initial loading will be a lot faster (especially with frugal mode on), but it won't increase the speed of navigation within a particular subcategory. That process will be the same whether you use an XML file or not.

It would be easy for you to experiment with not using an XML file. All you have to do is either remove the XML name in the Roksbox setup (you can put it back in later), or rename your XML file to something different than your Roksbox setup name (you can rename it back later). Then Roksbox will use your directory structure. Of course, it won't see your posters unless you copy each one to the folder where the video is located and give it the same name as the video. Using the default Roksbox posters will be very fast, but they won't look as nice. You could also experiment with individual XML files, which will give you the detail information.

Thanks in advance.


Curious George is available on video? Those were always my favorite books. Smiley Happy
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Level 9

Re: roksbox -Streaming Local Media Channel Available for Tes

"midiwall" wrote:
Use something like EZ Thumbs (it's free) to resize all of the images to around 200x200. That'll speed things right up.


Well, I've resized them to 338x500 which (I thought) used to be the standard recommended size. Now it seems to be 214x306. Is that the right size? Or does making them square as you suggest improve performance?
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Level 7

Re: roksbox -Streaming Local Media Channel Available for Tes

"thom202" wrote:
Can anyone tell me what needs to be done to a Synology Diskstation to get it to work with roksbox?

I am running out of time and for the life of me I cannot see how to enable the diskstation to share files on a simple website or how to enter in roksbox the access credentials for the webpage (if this is even possible).

I saw some earlier comments on this but it was limited to the steps after getting the website up and running.

Any help or suggestions are appreciated.


It wasn't bad. I just did it a few days ago, and it worked perfectly. I have 2 Diskstations, and chose to use my older DS108J.

I googled it, and found instructions. So if you have currently set up your diskstation so that it works with the media server (DLNA), then it automatically created Video, Music, and Photo folders. I am using this for video only, so not sure how the rest will work. Anyway, make sure your videos are in the Video folder created by default. Then you need to go in to the Diskstation's administration and turn on the web server.

Look at this link:

viewtopic.php?f=28&t=26058&p=193361

You will have to log in via telnet, and use the VI editor to modify a file to set up these links that are in the thread above.

Edit - this is the thread that I used. Make sure you read further down because there was a correction which was useful:

viewtopic.php?f=28&t=30676
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Level 9

Re: roksbox -Streaming Local Media Channel Available for Tes

"WilDD" wrote:
Curious George is available on video? Those were always my favorite books. Smiley Happy


Yep, sort of. I actually use my old ReplayTV to convert the Curious George TV shows on PBS to mp4's stretched to HD; it looks good enough for me and the two-year old loves it. Absolutely loves it - she has her favorites and I have to (get to?) watch several of them every night. They're actually pretty cute and some of them even make me laugh. They also made a couple movies, at least one with Will Farrell; it's got a little too much tension in it for her (she just likes the happy-go-lucky little monkey in the PBS versions).

Anyway, thanks for your comments. I had not realized how much is controlled by the API. I am going to try to re-resize the images, see how that does. It's clear that having fewer images in a category makes things quicker.

One strange thing I noticed is that it is markedly slower when I have both movies and categories in the same section (suppose [Kids Movies] containing Annie, Curious George and [Shrek], where [Shrek] contains several movies as well). It's faster when I click down to the single-movie display, but even then it hangs a little when I go over to the subcategory. I haven't been able to dig down any further on that.

I'll be happy to help test for larger file sets. Or I can probably gzip up my posters and xml files and stick them somewhere for you. However I do have things organized a bit differently from how you now suggest (posters are subdirs of each category directory).
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Level 9

Re: roksbox -Streaming Local Media Channel Available for Tes

"krisbee" wrote:
The poster isn't quite the problem it is that xml. I would suggest multiple xml files and subfolders to keep the size down. Either A-L as a folder (or something like that), or genres...


Well I'd be interested to try that. How do you set up multiple xml files for the Roku? I already have each subcategory in its own xml file which get concatenated into a giant videos.xml file, so it would be trivial to do. I looked around for information on this but didn't find anything - I'm guessing it's going to be a multiple users thing which I have been trying to avoid (figured I'd do it when I have to - like if the kid gets into some of the violent movies).
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Level 7

Re: roksbox -Streaming Local Media Channel Available for Tes

"jimmyswimmy" wrote:
"midiwall" wrote:
Use something like EZ Thumbs (it's free) to resize all of the images to around 200x200. That'll speed things right up.


Well, I've resized them to 338x500 which (I thought) used to be the standard recommended size. Now it seems to be 214x306. Is that the right size? Or does making them square as you suggest improve performance?

The way EZThumbs works for resizing is that you specify the min or max size for the resize in a given direction, then tell it to maintain aspect ratio. Specifying 200x200 will tell it to not let either of the dimensions exceed 200 pixels.

In the case that we're talking about here, specifying 200x200 would give you images at 135x200.
:: Mark
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Level 7

Re: roksbox -Streaming Local Media Channel Available for Tes

"jimmyswimmy" wrote:
"midiwall" wrote:
Use something like EZ Thumbs (it's free) to resize all of the images to around 200x200. That'll speed things right up.


Well, I've resized them to 338x500 which (I thought) used to be the standard recommended size. Now it seems to be 214x306. Is that the right size? Or does making them square as you suggest improve performance?


As midiwall says, you will want to maintain the aspect ratio. If you make them square, Roksbox will stretch them, making them look distorted. Roku does recommend 214x306, but that doesn't have to be exact.
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