Copyright 2009-2012 by djg. All Rights Reserved.

Wonky Gibbon Ramblings


Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’


Windows Media Centre MCE – UK EPG Runs Out 0

Posted on January 12, 2018 by danny

As of sometime late 2017, the EPG in the UK no longer seems to update in MCE. In all honesty, the need for MCE and indeed PVRs in general is on the wane given the existence of on-demand services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and catchup services like BBC iPlayer – not to mention Smart TVs and so on. Nevertheless – I’m not quite ready to kiss MCE goodbye – so I needed to keep it going just a little longer. Until I no longer need to play a Blueray – that sort of thing.

Googling – the solution seems to be to use a tool called EPG Collector. At the time of writing this can be downloaded from here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/epgcollector/files/V4.3/

Installation and Config for Windows 7 MCE as follows:

  1. Download the EPG Collector xxx msi file – and install it.
  2. Download the latest EPG Fixpak from the same page, unzip it, and copy the files over the top of those installed by the msi.
  3. Run EPG Centre
  4. Go to File -> Create Collection parameters… select UK-SkyTV (Freesat does not seem to work).
    This will now open the configuration window.
    The first tab (Tuning) should have all the parameters set. No need to change anything here but check your country and area are set correctly
    Output tab. Select “EPG Collector imports the data to Window Media Centre”
    Tick the boxes for the two ‘create episode tags …’ options
    Advanced tab. Tick the Use freesat Huffman tables…
  5. Channels tab. Click on start scan. Loads of channels should appear. Lots of junk and duplicated. Click on ‘exclude all’ and then untick the excluded box for the channels actually desired (and that successfully tune). You can click on the column headers to sort the data. In the current version I couldn’t see any tickboxes for exclude, but by moving the cell cursor into the right excluded cell using the arrow keys and then pressing the space bar I was able to change the setting. Excluded rows are shown in red.
  6. Click on File->Save as, to save your setup to disk – save it with the default name EPG Collector.ini.
  7. Click on Run->Collect EPG Data

If you now open Windows Media Centre, you should find a guide full of data. Yay!

If all is well, it’s worth setting up the Windows Scheduler to automatically run EPG Collector for you every day or so. I f you used the default location for the EPG Collector.ini file then you don’t need any arguments either.

To do this:

  1. Open Windows Control Panel and navigate to Administrative Tools.
  2. Open Task Scheduler
  3. On the right hand side of the Task Scheduler window are a set of typical actions. Select “Create Basic Task”
  4. Work your way through the wizard that pops up
    1. Set the task to run when the computer starts
    2. Select the program to run as C:\Program Files (x86)\Geekzone\EPG Collector\EPGCollector.exe
      1. If you used the default config ini file name, you don’t need to provide any parameters.

And your done.

Particular thanks to this guy:

https://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=77177.0

Raspbery Pi: Copying SD card image to a smaller SD 0

Posted on January 19, 2014 by danny

Aaargh! So one of my Pi’s running AirPlay died. Or rather the SD card did. I bought a replacement and attempted to write the SD image to it in the usual way using Win32DiskImager. However it refused to write to it, saying that the image was bigger than the SD card.

Turns out that due to manufacturing errors, SD cards vary a little bit in capacity with dead bits hidden away. The new card had less capacity front than the old one.

So – I needed to find some way to burn the image to this card that was just a smidgen too small. This post was useful http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=19468&f=26

In the post some people talk about having to shrink the linux filesystem a little before cloning the card however, it turned out I’d never resized my partion up from 2GB to 4GB so I didn’t have this problem. The easiest solution in the end, proved to be to fix the problem using an Ubuntu install rather than Windows. The nice thing about Ubuntu is that like many linux distro’s it can be run direct from the install media without actually having to install it, either DVD or memory stick.

The steps to resolve the problem were as follows:
1) In Windows, download Ubuntu from http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop and burn to DVD (just to big to fit on a CD).

2) Then restart the laptop and let it boot the Ubuntu OS from the DVD.

3) Click on the dash icon and start typing the word “Terminal” so that it finds the terminal program. Double click and you get a command line.

4) Place the source SD card into the card reader slot and let Ubuntu mount it.

5) Type:

cd Desktop

6) Then type this command to make an image file on the desktop:

sudo dd if=/dev/sdb of=sdimage.img bs=4M

‘sudo’ gives root priveleges. ‘dd’ is a copying program, ‘if’ is the input file which is the sd card reader device, ‘of’ is the output image on the desktop and ‘bs’ is the block size.

This gives this output:

ubuntu@ubuntu:~/Desktop$ sudo dd if=/dev/sdb of=sdimage.img bs=4M
953+1 records in
953+1 records out
3998220288 bytes (4.0 GB) copied, 211.068 s, 18.9 MB/s

With 8GB of RAM on the laptop I was able to use the desktop effectively as a RAM disk. If you have less than this – you could try saving to your windows hard drive which Ubuntu will have mounted.

7) Take out the source SD card and replace it with the target one (which is a bit smaller) and execute this command:

sudo dd if=sdimage.img of=/dev/sdb bs=4M conv=notrunc,noerror

The aditional parameters at the end tell it to write the full size and allow it to continue when it runs out of space.

This gives this output:

ubuntu@ubuntu:~/Desktop$ sudo dd if=sdimage.img of=/dev/sdb bs=4M conv=notrunc,noerror
dd: writing `/dev/sdb': No space left on device
932+0 records in
931+0 records out
3904897024 bytes (3.9 GB) copied, 482.878 s, 8.1 MB/s

The 3.9GB at the end tells you that a little bit of the image was lost. Happily it is of course blank.

All of which results in a working SD card that the Raspberry Pi can boot. Sorted!



↑ Top