TV Apps

So you have the BIG idea that the Church or community needs to develop. Discuss that idea here. Maybe you just want to make a suggestion on a new forum topic. Let us know.
circa1978-p40
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TV Apps

Postby circa1978-p40 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:01 pm

We have a healthy start on Mobile apps. Today there was a lot of buzz on the Google TV front. I have been hacking in my spare time on Boxee Apps (http://apptree.me/dir). I noticed with the release of the latest iPhone Mormon Channel app that there is support in the APIs for video now. I'll probably get started on updating my Boxee app anyway, but if there is community interest I'd be glad to share the load. I can hack code, but I consider myself more of a UI guy. So maybe someone with a little more coding know how would like to team up. We could put out an official Mormon Channel app on some of the TV platforms (Boxee, Google TV, Roku, Plex and perhaps Apple TV when/if they add apps).

kennethjorgensen
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Postby kennethjorgensen » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:51 am

circa1978 wrote:We have a healthy start on Mobile apps. Today there was a lot of buzz on the Google TV front. I have been hacking in my spare time on Boxee Apps (http://apptree.me/dir). I noticed with the release of the latest iPhone Mormon Channel app that there is support in the APIs for video now. I'll probably get started on updating my Boxee app anyway, but if there is community interest I'd be glad to share the load. I can hack code, but I consider myself more of a UI guy. So maybe someone with a little more coding know how would like to team up. We could put out an official Mormon Channel app on some of the TV platforms (Boxee, Google TV, Roku, Plex and perhaps Apple TV when/if they add apps).


It is certainly an interesting area (IPTV).

The one I am watching most closely is YouView (formerly Project Canvas).

At the moment it is only planned for the UK but since it is backed by The Big Ones (BBC, BT etc) in the UK there is huge potential for this to go around the world. It basically mixes DVB-T with IPTV in a box connected to the TV. This is where it will reach the masses but no doubt others will be happy with just the browser based interface via the PC or via future TV's with internet browser.

JamesAnderson
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Postby JamesAnderson » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:29 am

USA Today, a large newspaper in the United States, ran this story this morning about GoogleTV. First looks are very impressive but even there it doesn't do all they would like it to do yet which is par for the course for a first version.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2010-10-06-googletv06_ST_N.htm?csp=Tech

There's another post I made sometime back about Google Apps, it appears now that the page I mentioned may be tied to this.

richreid402
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Customized TV App for meetinghouse TVs?

Postby richreid402 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:50 pm

These thoughts are along the lines of a thought I have been having over the past month or so. A customized TV app that the church could load on TVs purchased for meeting house use which would connect to lds.org and be able to view the training and other videos available. (Internet access would be required at the meetinghouse).

Church HQ could build a menu system with available content which the meetinghouse TV applications would be tuned to. This would allow content to be selected and viewed without the hassle of personal laptops etc. Eventually it could even replace the satellite systems for receiving general broadcasts (with good enough bandwidth.)

JamesAnderson
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Postby JamesAnderson » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:05 pm

I think that is very possible. Google TV is but one of the things that will make it happen.

http://www.google.com/tv

Some nice slideshows and videos (hosted on Youtube of course) about what this will do, and indicating developers will be able to create Android apps for it early next year. That means that what we have now will likely only need some tweaking for display and navigation via this system, it even turns a smartphone into a TV remote!

We've talked about a meetinghouse library appliance, this could actually make it happen, we'd just have to set up the TV so that some of the unnecessary apps like Pandora were hidden, and bring the Church apps that might be created to the forefront, and we'd be all set.

One caveat is that the library would still have to have DVDs or other materials in case of an Internet service outage or something like that, but this would eliminate some of the conflicts in getting this item for that class, or something simply turning up missing that is needed.

Of course Google TV is only one of what could be several ways to do this, but this is the one that is at the forefront of discussion right now, and it is a good example even at this early stage of what could be done.

cody.brown4-p40
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Boxee

Postby cody.brown4-p40 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:00 pm

Funny that these posts went up today and yesterday because I just hashed out a simple Boxee app for Mormon Messages and the video RSS feed for General Conference right before I checked the forum. http://gonzee.tv has a great tutorial for getting an app up and running.

All of the code is XML and Python, so you just need an IDE to get it all formatted correctly. I downloaded NetBeans as a recommendation on one of the Boxee App tutorial pages. Also, you need to download Python 2.4 (I think 2.4.4 is the only one available now). Hopefully as the full release comes out in the coming months, they'll update this to version 3.

Although Google TV may be the way to go in the future, Boxee already has several hundred thousand users worldwide. Their hardware is already up for preorder on Amazon (Boxee Box) but the software is free and can be run on OSX, Ubuntu, and Windows. Its fairly simple because it operates off of RSS feeds. When a new video is posted on the actual website, the Boxee app is notified, grabs any information about it you want, including thumbnails, and displays it in any format you program it to.

What I had in mind for the app I was building on my own was kind of a centralized LDS Media Application. You could view Mormon Messages, listen to the Mormon Channel, or browse through any of the archival video of General Conference available on lds.org. Any other sources we would want to include?

Because Mormon Messages is hosted on youtube, Boxee already has all of the video control functions built-in. The GC feeds did as well, but I don't know if it was playing the flash video from the site, or buffering a download of the .mp4 podcast. Anyone know how the RSS for english video works?

While conference was going on, I opened up the streaming page in Boxee's browser, and it was able to pick up the flash video feeds just fine. There were some scaling issues when the quality jumped up to 720p, but overall, the stream was stable. There were, however, no shuttle controls or even the ability to pause playback.

That's about all I know. You've picked my brain. I'd love to work on this or help out someone who could probably do it better than I.

circa1978-p40
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I have updated my boxee app

Postby circa1978-p40 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:05 pm

What I had in mind for the app I was building on my own was kind of a centralized LDS Media Application. You could view Mormon Messages, listen to the Mormon Channel, or browse through any of the archival video of General Conference available on lds.org. Any other sources we would want to include?
I have this app up and running right now on my repository. If you add http://apptree.me/dir/ to your repositories you'll be able to see what I have. There are two types of Apps supported by Boxee, RSS app and Phython (UI) apps. The one I have built right now is a RSS app, but I have built a few Python apps too and would like to turn this on into one before submitting it to the main repository (so that all users can see it without having to install my repository).

I have updated my Boxee app and it is now pulling in video from the Mormon Channel web services (https://tech.lds.org/wiki/index.php/Mormon_Channel_Web_Services#lds.radio.videos.video.query)

I have mocked up a UI for how I imagine you could put this together.
Image

cody.brown4-p40
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Postby cody.brown4-p40 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:55 pm

i think the UI looks great! i'm having some trouble however, getting the web services for http://tech.lds.org/radio to be recognized in netbeans. it throws an error when i input the url saying that it can't tell if its WSDL or WADL, which i have no clue what either are.

i'm new to both XML and Python and don't really know the syntax for making the video query command.

the way i was pulling the metadata before was

<content type="url" url="http://feeds.lds.org/video-high-general-conference-by-speaker-eng">
</content>

that got me the feeds for GC, but it was probably buffering a download of the .mp4, i don't know.

does anyone know if this is where i need to integrate this query command "lds.radio.videos.video.query"?

circa1978-p40
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re

Postby circa1978-p40 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:51 pm

Here is what I'm doing. Not sure if it is the most efficient or not, but here goes. I am a PHP guy. I am loading the the XML file (eg. http://tech.lds.org/radio/?action=lds.radio.videos.query&languageID=1&parentCategoryID=17) and using php to parse it for the info I need. I then convert that to a Boxee formatted RSS feed (http://developer.boxee.tv/RSS_Specification). Boxee works very nicely with RSS. I am then calling that using <content type="url" url="http://apptree.me/dir/resources/lds/xml/?parentCategoryID=27">
</content>

I did some working on this an I'm probably one long weekend from getting this done (yipee, it is a long weekend). I have a somewhat functional prototype already working locally using the UI that I developed ... I'll post it on my Boxee repository (http://apptree.me/dir) once it is more functional and you can play with it. For now I have changed the graphics and relabeled it as "unofficial Mormon Channel" app, until either there becomes and official version or this one becomes official.

cody.brown4-p40
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Postby cody.brown4-p40 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:18 pm

that's great! sorry i'm not more help. i was only a CS major for a year and found i wasn't good at it. evidently nothing's changed. :) well i'm excited to see how it looks!


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