[Release] PrevueCLI

Discuss the reverse engineering and emulation (as opposed to simulation) of any sort of Prevue hardware, including Atari-based and Amiga-based EPG channels and the Amiga-based Prevue/TV Guide channels.
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AriX
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[Release] PrevueCLI

Post by AriX » Sun Jun 07, 2020 4:01 am

Hi all, I'm excited today to release a tool called PrevueCLI. This is a command-line "sender" tool that genereates a data feed that's compatible with the Atari and Amiga software that was used to power the Electronic Program Guide and Prevue Guide.

By hooking this up to an emulator like WinUAE that's running the Prevue software (either 9.0.4 or 7.8.3), you can send over various bits of configuration, or even custom TV listings.

Here are the downloads:
* 1.0 for Mac
* 1.0 for Windows

Note that this is a command-line tool, so you'll need to use the Terminal or the Command Prompt in order to make use of it. For a GUI tool, you might check out nwgatwcfan's tool here.

The tool currently supports 4 modes:

Code: Select all

Usage:
    PrevueCLI send <.prevuecommand file>: Sends the commands in the specified .prevuecommand file
    PrevueCLI printCommandSchema: Prints all of the supported commands and their syntax details
    PrevueCLI printJulianDay: Prints today's Julian day (0-255)
    PrevueCLI help: Prints this help
The main mode is the "send" mode, which sends commands to the Prevue software. In order to use it, you must specify a path to a .prevuecommand file. .prevuecommand is a file format that specifies commands to be sent to the Prevue software, and the destinations to send the commands to (which can be TCP hosts, like an emulator, or serial devices, like a real Amiga).

A fairly complete example of a .prevuecommand file is included; it's called Test.prevuecommand and using it will send over the current time and date, a configuration, several local ads, and a complete set of sample TV listings. A second file, Download.prevuecommand, shows an example of using the download (mode H) command to transfer a file to the remote Amiga. The .prevuecommand file contains two sections: "destinations", and "commands". You should feel encouraged to edit and experiment with both of them.

To see all of the supported commands and all of their parameters and possible values, you can use the "printCommandSchema" mode.

Known issues:
  • Serial devices aren't yet supported on Windows; only TCP sending works there
  • When sending TV listings, only sending listings from a very particular CSV format is currently supported. Example CSV listings are included. I plan to improve the format and also add integration with something like XMLTV.
  • Support for configuration commands is currently incomplete; you'll note that many of the parameters are simply called "unknown". This should be more fully supported soon.
Here's what it looks like when it's up-and-running:
Screen Shot 2020-06-07 at 1.18.02 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-06-07 at 1.18.02 AM.png (693.82 KiB) Viewed 1908 times
Happy Prevue-ing, let me know how it goes!

AriX
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Re: [Release] PrevueCLI

Post by AriX » Sun Jun 07, 2020 4:10 am

Here's a quick tutorial on how to get this up-and-running with WinUAE:
  1. First, make sure you have WinUAE up-and-running with the Prevue software. There's a great tutorial from tin here.
  2. In WinUAE settings, under IO ports, enable the Serial Port by choosing "TCP://0.0.0.0:1234". Start WinUAE.
  3. Next, download the PrevueCLI tool and unzip it.
  4. Since WinUAE uses port 1234 for its serial port, you'll need to set this in your .prevuecommand file. For starters, you can modify the included Test.prevuecommand file to specify port 1234 for its TCPDestination (by default it uses 5541).
  5. Open a Command Prompt, and navigate to the directory containing PrevueCLI using the `cd` command.
  6. Type "PrevueCLI send Test.prevuecommand" in your Command Prompt, and press enter. You should see the tool start sending commands, and the Prevue software in WinUAE should successfully receive them.
A similar process should work on the Mac, but you may have to manually specify the serial option in your UAE config (i.e. with `serial_port = tcp://127.0.0.1:5541`), you'll use Terminal instead of Command Prompt, and you'll write "./PrevueCLI" instead of "PrevueCLI" to invoke it.

If commands are being received successfully, you will see a blinking indicator in the top-right of the listings area, and if you go to "Diagnostics Mode" you should see the DATA Cmds count incrementing.

One more note: in this thread, I noted that the 7.8.3 software supported the "scroll mode". You can use this tool to switch the Prevue software into the scroll mode by replacing "grid" with "scroll" in the NewLookConfigurationCommand in Test.prevuecommand. To put it back into grid mode, just switch it back to "grid".

Matthew Joseph
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Re: [Release] PrevueCLI

Post by Matthew Joseph » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:04 am

AriX, this is very good. Looks like were nearly 55% almost getting "the real Prevue/TVGC working like the old days" dreams come true, but using emulation. Is this similar to the one used in the Prevue/TVGC mainframe computers in Tulsa?

I hope to try this tool once my laptop gets up and running again. Now I'll discover those files for now.

Questions:
1. In the "programs" CSV file, tsdaychannel means the timeslot, the day and the channel name (ex: 173WLS)?
2. How come there are two entries in the programs file next to the 255? (for example on row shows: Cuomo\ and the next row shows: Primetime)
3. "internalname" in the "channels" CSV file is the source ID? (eg: if WLS is the channel name, then the source id is ABC023)
4. What is "persistentgrabber" and "persistantnumber" in the channels file?
5. How does the "flags" row work in the channels file?

itogi
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Re: [Release] PrevueCLI

Post by itogi » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:36 pm

I've tried to engage the scroll mode, but it didn't work. What thing caused this?

PajamaDarkness
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Re: [Release] PrevueCLI

Post by PajamaDarkness » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:38 pm

itogi wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:36 pm
I've tried to engage the scroll mode, but it didn't work. What thing caused this?
Are you using Version 7.8.3?
PajamaFrix
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AriX
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Re: [Release] PrevueCLI

Post by AriX » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:09 pm

Matthew Joseph wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:04 am
AriX, this is very good. Looks like were nearly 55% almost getting "the real Prevue/TVGC working like the old days" dreams come true, but using emulation. Is this similar to the one used in the Prevue/TVGC mainframe computers in Tulsa?
So glad you like it! It's probably not too similar to the one used on the mainframes in Tulsa, since I don't really know how they worked. Hope to discover more some day.
Matthew Joseph wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:04 am
1. In the "programs" CSV file, tsdaychannel means the timeslot, the day and the channel name (ex: 173WLS)?
That's right. It's a weird format. I need to clean it up - I'll have a new version with a better format soon.
Matthew Joseph wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:04 am
2. How come there are two entries in the programs file next to the 255? (for example on row shows: Cuomo\ and the next row shows: Primetime)
This sounds like a problem with the CSV format, probably related to escaping. I will come up with something better.
Matthew Joseph wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:04 am
3. "internalname" in the "channels" CSV file is the source ID? (eg: if WLS is the channel name, then the source id is ABC023)
That's right.
Matthew Joseph wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:04 am
4. What is "persistentgrabber" and "persistantnumber" in the channels file?
These are unused, leftover from an older project. You can ignore them and I'll remove them in the next version.
Matthew Joseph wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:04 am
5. How does the "flags" row work in the channels file?
The flags aren't implemented yet - I'll fix that for the next version. They are intended to correspond to the C and P command flags as documented on the wiki: http://prevueguide.com/wiki/UVSG_Satell ... and_Syntax

Matthew Joseph
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Re: [Release] PrevueCLI

Post by Matthew Joseph » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:33 am

Good, AriX. I cannot yet touch this yet (lol) at this moment but there are anything coming up ASAP or any new updates, then please update us. Ty!

itogi
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Re: [Release] PrevueCLI

Post by itogi » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:07 am

PajamaDarkness wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:38 pm
itogi wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:36 pm
I've tried to engage the scroll mode, but it didn't work. What thing caused this?
Are you using Version 7.8.3?
Nope, I just saw that it's v.9.something.
Thanks for clarifying that part.

Essem
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Re: [Release] PrevueCLI

Post by Essem » Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:43 am

Any plans for a Linux build?

PajamaDarkness
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Re: [Release] PrevueCLI

Post by PajamaDarkness » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:04 pm

Essem wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:43 am
Any plans for a Linux build?
As far as I know, potentially? AriX hasn't said anything about one yet so I'm not sure yet
PajamaFrix
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