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  #1  
Old November 11th, 2012, 08:08 AM
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jon00 jon00 is online now
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Thumbs up Jon00 UK Skybox RS232 port parser

Homeseer 2 and Homeseer 3 versions available!

This package allows you to obtain program information and other data provided via the serial port of a UK Sky TV box. This is then made available via a number of virtual devices and also passed to a global variable and script which is polled whenever new information is available.

The following metrics are available:

» Current channel number
» Current channel name
» Current program start time
» Current time and date
» Current program name
» Current program details
» Sky box on/off status
» Sky system messages
» Interactive mode flag
» Skyplus mode (play, pause, fast forward and reverse)
» Error Messages
» Error Codes
» Audio available flag
» boot/Re-boot flag

With certain home set-ups, it may not be easy to run a serial cable from your sky box to your Homeseer PC. I have therefore written an interface client that can be run on any suitable PC with a spare serial port connected to your network which you can use to communicate with Homeseer. This also has the advantage in that much of the serial port processing and string parsing is undertaken by the client thus putting less strain on Homeseer.

Possible uses:

» Display in HSTouch and other touch screen interfaces.
» Message signs.
» Program reminders.

As always, it is available from my Homeseer site (click on my banner below).

If there are any issues, please let me know.
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Last edited by jon00; November 10th, 2013 at 03:29 PM.
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  #2  
Old November 12th, 2012, 05:48 AM
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NicolaiL NicolaiL is offline
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Hi Jon00

This is very cool and will be very useful, especially the on/off status in helping to script commands for turning the box on or off.

Are there any plans (or even possibilities) of extending the interface to let it control the box (i.e. play, pause, on/off etc.)?

Thanks
NicolaiL
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  #3  
Old November 12th, 2012, 06:09 AM
travisdh travisdh is offline
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You never fail to amaze Jon00, you are a machine in your ability to interface Homeseer with stuff you have available.

I am almost waiting to see Jon00's Abacus to Homeseer Script
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  #4  
Old November 12th, 2012, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicolaiL View Post
Hi Jon00

This is very cool and will be very useful, especially the on/off status in helping to script commands for turning the box on or off.

Are there any plans (or even possibilities) of extending the interface to let it control the box (i.e. play, pause, on/off etc.)?

Thanks
NicolaiL
Unfortunately the RS232 port on the Sky box only sends out data and cannot be used to control it.

There has been some creative uses for this already including audio leveling depending on the channel being watched.
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  #5  
Old November 12th, 2012, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travisdh View Post
I am almost waiting to see Jon00's Abacus to Homeseer Script
I'll be working on that one soon!
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  #6  
Old November 12th, 2012, 01:43 PM
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One application I use...

If you are able to control your Sky box via IR, it is really easy to add a small amount of scripting to automatically change a selected SD channel to its HD equivalent!
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  #7  
Old November 12th, 2012, 04:15 PM
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MJX220 MJX220 is offline
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would you beable to build on this by adding support for control via the RFin Port?
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  #8  
Old November 12th, 2012, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by MJX220 View Post
would you beable to build on this by adding support for control via the RFin Port?
Not really. You would need a sky controller which would have to be operated via a second serial port. Controlling it would be easy via Homeseer.
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  #9  
Old November 12th, 2012, 06:55 PM
frenchgrey frenchgrey is offline
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couple words about plugin.

Hi Everyone,

First Of all
I'd like to thanks personally to Jon00 for considering my ideas as useful and creating this plugin. (I hope I wasn't to pushy).
I had some ideas how to interact with Skybox, but there was not status control and I couldn't handle with my V.B. knowledge to make it.
And here we have it...
By end of the week I will share all my ideas on this forum with explanation, hopefully I'll inspire others.

Briefly: volume leveling, switching TV power/output when really your program start, changing sound field for certain programs and few other with combining XMLTV and voice announcement
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  #10  
Old November 13th, 2012, 09:19 AM
kw1816 kw1816 is offline
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Thanks Jon - this has been on my list of things to try for quite a while. Just sent a little Paypal thank you :-)

Any chance of it being able to get data from more than one Sky box ? I have three One is the main Sky HD box, one is the multiroom box and I use another dedicated to radio channels for the whole house audio. Getting data from all of them would be great.

Kevin W.
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  #11  
Old November 13th, 2012, 09:23 AM
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NicolaiL NicolaiL is offline
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I noticed that Sky have launched an updated iPhone App which allows you to control the Sky box (play/pause etc.) so they must have finally allowed control over the Ethernet now?
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  #12  
Old November 13th, 2012, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicolaiL View Post
I noticed that Sky have launched an updated iPhone App which allows you to control the Sky box (play/pause etc.) so they must have finally allowed control over the Ethernet now?
I did have a quick look and there are various forums discussing this. The problem is that although details have been extracted, only a limited number of commands are known and not suitable yet for a replacement to the normal remote.
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  #13  
Old November 13th, 2012, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kw1816 View Post
Thanks Jon - this has been on my list of things to try for quite a while. Just sent a little Paypal thank you :-)

Any chance of it being able to get data from more than one Sky box ? I have three One is the main Sky HD box, one is the multiroom box and I use another dedicated to radio channels for the whole house audio. Getting data from all of them would be great.

Kevin W.
I'll take a look. Would these be connected to one PC or individual PC's?
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  #14  
Old November 13th, 2012, 12:23 PM
kw1816 kw1816 is offline
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Quote:
I'll take a look. Would these be connected to one PC or individual PC's?
All on the same PC - it's the Homeseer PC.

https://sites.google.com/site/kw1816/home/back-end
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  #15  
Old November 13th, 2012, 01:31 PM
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Kevin,

I've made a few changes for you to try. Can I send it to you via your Ebay email account?
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  #16  
Old November 13th, 2012, 02:28 PM
kw1816 kw1816 is offline
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That would be perfect - it'll take me a couple of days to try it though, back to work tomorrow

Look forward to trying it out
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  #17  
Old November 13th, 2012, 02:38 PM
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Email sent!
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  #18  
Old November 15th, 2012, 04:22 PM
frenchgrey frenchgrey is offline
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Smile usage of plugin

1. Automatic sound levelling for specific channel
2. Automatic HD channel switching – currently 5 mains HD channel are deep down on the EPG list
3. Controlling correct switching function after IR transmition
4. Automatic stand-by switching - reliable way
5. Automatic switching TV OFF, if radio channel are ON for X minutes – This save my old-ish LCD
6. Multi Sky Box: (not my case) if two receivers are set to the same channel – switching one off and redirect other one A/V to the other zones – this save energy(money)
7. Displaying on Russound keypads real name and number for changed Sky channel
8. Automatic switching sound field for Hi-Fi for favourite program( music, films, news)
9. Automatic switching TV On when favourite program starts – Sky reminder doesn’t do it
10. Clear indication for radio and TV channels – radio numbers starts with “0” i.e. 0120
11. I’m using Sky as a main radio source. For same source in all zones is not a problem , but if I want to listen different channel in other zone I need to switch to Freesat – translation table does automatic switching to the other receiver
12. Dealing with SKY recording clashes without switching TV on. During clash is not possible
13. I thought about situation when last minute I spotted online interesting program when I’m away then with email I could trigger recording based on real start of the program – this need thinking off
14. Last option, and this could be controversial – need testing to check if is possible or not. Everybody know how SKYbox + is energy consuming 20-30W, even standby consume energy. Booting sequence - error message and switching to requested channel at last become possible now.
Feel free to to ad new ideas
Please do question and comments

Last edited by jon00; November 15th, 2012 at 07:55 PM.
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  #19  
Old November 16th, 2012, 03:59 AM
kw1816 kw1816 is offline
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Just downloaded and installed the updated version - seems to be running quite happily with 2 Sky boxes connected (waiting on a serial cable for the 3rd). Only comment I'd make is that with log entries turned on I see a lot of duplication in the updates - Updates seem to have partial program descriptions and repeat until the string is complete, I'm guessing it's something to do with the timing of the XML stream ?

Quote:
16/11/2012 07:56:06 - Jon00_Skybox - Program details: The Sp
16/11/2012 07:56:06 - Jon00_Skybox - Program details: The Speedy Sailfish: Animated deep sea adventures with Captain Barnacles and his explorers. Barnacles and Kwazii use some speedy sailfish to round up all the Gu
16/11/2012 07:56:06 - Jon00_Skybox - Program details: The Speedy Sailfish: Animated deep sea adventures with Captain Barnacles and his explorers. Barnacles and Kwazii use some speedy sailfish to round up all the Gups. [AD,S]
There's also some special characters that appear in the program title sometimes e.g.
Quote:
16/11/2012 07:52:07 - Jon00_Skybox - Program title: ?Chris Evans?
Not a big deal but would be nice to have them parsed out

Thanks
Kevin
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  #20  
Old November 16th, 2012, 06:41 AM
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Hi Kevin,

The data coming out of the Sky box serial port has to be fed into a buffer as there is no consistancy with the output. I'll take a look to see if I can improve on monitoring the packet length to stop this happening.

As for the strange characters, did you happen to notice what was displayed on the screen?
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