epgsearch - Searchtimer and replacement of the VDR program menu
EPG-Search can be used as a replacement for the default schedules menu entry. It
looks like the standard schedules menu, but adds some additional functions:
- Commands for EPG entries with 5 built-in commands like 'show repeats',
'create search'. One can add own commands for other needs, like adding a
- Add up to 4 user-defined times to 'now' and 'next' and an optional
- Searching the EPG: Create reusable queries, which can also be used
as 'search timers'.
- Search timers: Search for broadcasts in the background and add a
timer if one matches (similar to VDRAdmin's auto-timers) or simply
make an announcement about it via OSD
- Avoid double recordings of the same event
* timer preview
* recognition of broken recordings
* fuzzy event comparison
- Progress bar in 'What's on now' and 'What's on next'
- Shift the time displayed by key press, e.g. 'What's on now' + 30 minutes
- Start menu can be setup between 'Schedule' or 'What's on now'
- background check for timer conflicts with a timer conflict manager
- detailed EPG menu (summary) allows jumping to the next/previous
- support for extended EPG info for search timers
- extension of the timer edit menu with a directory item, user
defined weekday selection and a subtitle completion.
- Timer conflict check, informs you over the OSD about conflicts
- Timer conflict menu, show detailed information about the conflicts
and let you resolve them
- Email notifications about search timer updates and timer conflicts
Parts of the sources are based on the repeating-ECG patch from Gerhard Steiner,
who gave me the permission to use them. Thanks for his work!
- -f file, --svdrpsendcmd=file
- the path to svdrpsend for external SVDRP communication
(default is internal communication, so this is usually not needed
- -c path, --config=path
- to specify a specific config directory for all epgsearch
config files, default is '<plugins configuration
- -l file, --logfile=file
- to specify a specific log file for epgsearch (default log
file is epgsearch.log in the epgsearch config directory)
- -v n, --verbose=n
- verbose level for log file. Value 0 means no logging. Other
values are 1 (general messages), 2 (detailed messages), 3 (planned for
extra detailed info for debugging purposes)
- -r, --reloadmenuconf
- reload epgsearchmenu.conf with plugin call. This can be
useful when testing customized menu layouts.
- -m file, --mailcmd=file
- the external command to be used for mail delivery. The
default uses 'sendEmail.pl'. If you are using a different command or
script make sure that it has the same parameter interface as
1.1 Menu commands
1.2 Menu search
1.2.1 Menu edit search
1.2.2 Menu search results
1.3 Extended 'now' and 'next'
1.4 Menu setup
2. Search timers
2.1 'Avoid repeats' - internals
2.2 How do we compare two events?
2.3 How and when do we compare?
3. Usage from other plugins or scripts
4. Using extended EPG info
5. Replacing the standard schedule menu
At first glance EPG-Search looks like the schedules menu entry of VDR. By
pressing the key '0', one can toggle the bottom color keys to access
additional functions (the default assignment of the color keys can be adjusted
This menu displays commands that can be executed on the current item. There are
8 built-in commands:
- Repeats: Searches for repeats
- Create search
Switches to search menu and adds a new search with the name of the current
item (to avoid editing the name manually)
- Search in recordings:
Search the recordings for a broadcast with the same name
- Mark as 'already recorded':
This puts the selected event in the file epgsearchdone.data and instructs
epgsearch to avoid recording this event if an according search timer is set
to "avoid repeats". An already created timer will be automatically removed
with the next search timer update.
- Add/Remove to/from switch list?:
Controls the switch list. If there is an event in the switch list, epgsearch
will announce it and switch to the event before it starts. To access the
complete switch list, call 'Search/Actions/Switch list'.
- Create blacklist:
A blacklist is used to ignore events when using search timers. A search
timer can be setup to ignore events from arbitrary blacklists.
You can add your own commands to this menu by editing the file
epgsearchcmds.conf in the epgsearch config directory. There's a sample conf
file with some sample commands (see directory 'scripts', taken from
vdr-wiki.de, thanks to the authors).
The format of the file is the same as VDR's commands.conf or reccmds.conf. When
a command is executed the following parameters are passed to it:
$1: the title of the EPG entry
$2: the start time of the EPG entry as time_t value (like in the
$3: the end time
$4: the channel number of the EPG entry
$5: the long channel name of the EPG entry
$6: the subtitle of the EPG entry, "" if not present
To execute a command from the main menu you can also press its associated number
without opening the commands menu.
Here you can add, edit, delete and execute your own queries on the EPG. The
usage and behavior of this menu is similar to VDR's timer menu.
1.2.1 Menu edit search
Most things in this menu are quite clear, so only some notes on:
- - Search term:
- The term to search for. If you like to search for more
words, separate them by blanks. Leaving this empty (combined with search
mode 'Phrase') will match anything. This is useful, if you search e.g. for
anything that starts between some times on a specific channel.
With 'blue' you can also select a template for the new search. If one of the
templates is set to default, new searches will automatically get the
settings of the default template.
Note: fuzzy searching is limited to 32 chars!
- - Search mode:
- 'Phrase' searches for the expression within the EPG. 'All
words' requires, that each word of the expression occurs in the EPG item.
'at least one word' requires, that only one word occurs in the EPG item.
'Match exactly' requires, that your search term matches exactly the found
title, subtitle or description.
With 'Regular expression' you can setup a regular expression as search term.
You don't need a leading and trailing '/' in the expression. By default
these are POSIX extended regular expressions. If you like to have Herl
compatible regular expression, simply edit the plugins Makefile and
uncomment '#REGEXLIB = pcre' to 'REGEXLIB = pcre' (you will need pcreposix
installed, comes with libpcre from www.pcre.org, but it's already part of
See also epgsearch(4) 'Description of the search process'.
- - Use content descriptor
- Some providers deliver content descriptors in their EPG,
like "Movie/Drama", "Documentation",...(available with
vdr-1.7.11) Select here the descriptors to search for. Multiple choice is
possible, that must match with all given descriptors (AND operator).
- - Use extended EPG info:
- Only available if configured, see below 'Using extended EPG
- - Ignore missing categories:
- If set to 'Yes' this tells epgsearch that a missing EPG
category should not exclude an event from the results. Caution: Using this
without any other criterions could flood your timers.
- - Use channel:
- Search only for events in the given channels interval,
channel groups or FTA channels only.
Channel groups (e.g. sport channels or Pay-TV channels) can be managed with
a sub-menu called with 'blue'.
ATTENTION: After changing the channels order please check the settings of
your search timers!
- - Use day of week:
- Besides the weekdays you can also set up a user-defined
selection, e.g. search only on Monday and Friday.
You'll find the user-defined selection in the list after Friday.
- - Use blacklists:
- Blacklists are a way to exclude unwanted events. Select
only global, one, more or all blacklists here. If any search result is
also contained in one of the selected blacklists it will be skipped.
- - Use in favorites menu:
- Only available if turned on in setup. With this option you
can mark a search to be used in the favorites menu. The search results of
all these searches are listed in the favorites menu.
- - Result menu layout:
- Only available if you have defined more than one menu
template for search results in epgsearchmenu.conf. This option is used to
assign a different menu layout for the search results of this search.
- - Use as Search Timer:
- If set to yes, the plugin will do a background scan of the
EPG in certain intervals and add a timer, if there is a match. You have to
activate the 'search timers' in the setup. If set to "user
defined" one can specify time margins with key 'blue' where the
search timer is active or not.
- - Action:
- Default action is creating a timer for the search results.
But you can also choose to simply announce the found event via OSD as soon
as it is found or to automatically switch to the event before it starts.
It's also possible to get an announcement via OSD before the event starts
and to switch to its channel with 'Ok'.
- - Serial recording:
- If set to yes, the recordings will be stored in a folder
with the name of the broadcasting and the recordings itself will have the
name of the episode. If there is no episode name, the date and time of the
recording will be used.
- - Directory:
- Here you can assign a directory, where the recording should
be stored, e.g. 'SciFi'. Use the key 'blue' to select directory entries
already used in other search entries or given by entries in the file
epgsearchdirs.conf (simply place your directories here one at each line
without the leading video directory, also see MANUAL). If your provider
delivers extended EPG infos you can also use variables like
"%Genre%" or "%Category%" in your directory entry.
These are replaced with the current EPG info, when a timer is created.
See also epgsearch(4) 'Using variables in the directory entry of a search
- - Delete recordings after ... days:
- Some recordings should only be kept for a few days, like
news. With this feature you can tell epgsearch to delete them
automatically after ... days.
- - Pause if ... recordings exist:
- If the given numbers of recordings currently exists, then
epgsearch will not create further timers. After deleting one or more
recordings it will go on generating new timers.
- - Avoid repeats:
- If you don't want to record repeats, this feature tries to
check if an event was already recorded/programmed and skips it. Please
refer to the section 'Avoid repeats - internals' below before using
- - Allowed repeats:
- If you like to accept a certain amount of repeats you can
give here their number.
- - Only repeats within ... days:
- Give here the number of days a repeat has to follow its
first broadcast. 0 is equal to no restriction.
- - Compare title:
- When comparing to events then specify here if the title
should be compared.
- - Compare subtitle:
- When comparing to events then specify here if the subtitle
should be compared. With 'if present' epgsearch will classify two events
only as equal if their episode names match and are not empty.
- - Compare description:
- When comparing to events then specify here if the
description should be compared.
For comparison all parts of the description, that look like a category
value, are removed first. The remaining text will be compared. If this is
similar at the value of the next option (regarding the
Levinshtein-Distance algorithm) then it will be accepted as equal.
- - "Min. match in %:"
- The needed minimum match of descriptions in percent.
- - Compare date:
- Sometimes an event is repeated many times within some
period (day, week, month,...), but one cannot distinguish the repeats
based on the EPG contents. So the only information is its time. To use
this for comparison select the appropriate period.
- - Compare categories:
- With the button 'setup' you can also specify which
categories should be compared. As with subtitles an event is different if
it has no according category value.
- - Priority, lifetime, margins for start and
- Each search timer can have its own settings for these
parameters. Defaults can be adjusted in the plugins setup.
- - VPS:
- If set to yes, VPS is used, but only, if activated in VDR's
setup menu and if the broadcasting has VPS information.
- - Auto delete:
- to automatically delete a search timer if the following is
* after x recordings, or
* after x days after the first recording
Only complete recordings are counted. The deletion is executed directly
after the correspondig recording
To toggle the flag 'Use as search timer' without editing the search entry you
can use the key '2'. This will call directly the second command of the command
1.2.2 Menu search results
This menu displays the search results. A 'T' lets you know, that there is
already a timer for the event. A 't' means that there's only a partial timer
for it, as in standard schedules menu.
By setup, one can add up to 4 additional times to extend the green button, e.g.
'afternoon', 'prime time', 'late night'. Times, that are already passed, are
skipped (you will not get 'afternoon' at evening) with the exception that a
time will be displayed for the next day, if it is less then 20h in the future.
In these menus you can shift the currently displayed time by pressing FastRew
or FastFwd to move back and forward in time. If you don't have these keys on
your remote, you can access this function by pressing '0' to toggle the green
and yellow button to '<<' and '>>'. This toggling can be adjusted
You can display a progress bar in 'now' and 'next'.
Furthermore you can enable in the setup an favorites list. You can configure
your searchtimers ("Use in favorite list") to display their results
in you favorite list. This list display event in the next 24 hours ordered by
- - Hide main menu entry:
- This hides the main menu entry 'search'. Attention: when
the plugin is assigned to key 'green' then hiding the plugin will give you
VDR's standard schedule menu (see below to avoid this).
- - Main menu entry:
- If not hidden, the name of main menu entry can be set here.
Default is 'Program guide'. Note: If you set it to something different
from the default then the main menu entry is no longer dependent on the
OSD language. Setting it back to default or empty restores this behavior
1.4.2 EPG menus
- - Start menu:
- Select the starting menu 'Schedules' or 'Now'
- - Ok key:
- Choose here the behavior of key 'Ok'. You can use it to
display the summary or to switch to the corresponding channel. Note: the
functionality of key 'blue' (Switch/Info/Search) depends on this
- - Red key:
- Select if you like to have Standard ('Record') or
'Commands' as assignment for key 'red'.
- - Blue key:
- select if you like to have Standard ('Switch') or 'Search'
as assignment for key 'blue'.
- - Show progress in 'Now':
- In the menu 'what's on now' you can display a progress bar,
that displays the progress of the current item.
- - Show channel numbers:
- Select this if you like to have a leading channel number
before each item in the EPG menus.
- - Show channel separators:
- Display channel group separators between channel in the
menus 'Overview now',...
- - Show day separators:
- Display a day separator between events on different days in
the schedule menu.
- - Show radio channels:
- Also list radio channels.
- - Limit channels from 1 to:
- If you have a large channel set you can speed up things
when you limit the displayed channels with this setting. Use '0' to
disable the limit. If the current channel is above the limit, the limit is
ignored and all channels will be displayed again.
- - 'One press' timer creation:
- If set to 'yes' a timer is immediately created when
pressing 'Record', else the timer edit menu is displayed.
- - Show channels without EPG:
- Display channels without EPG to allow switching or create a
- - Time interval for FR/FF [min]:
- In the menus 'now', 'next', 'user def 1', ... you can shift
the displayed time by pressing FastRew, FastFwd on your remote control.
Adjust the amount of minutes to jump here.
- - Toggle Green/Yellow:
- If you don't have FastRew, FastFwd on your remote control,
set this to yes. When pressing '0' in the menus, this toggles the
assignment of the color keys and assigns e.g. '<<' and '>>' to
'green' and 'yellow'.
- - Show favorites menu:
- A favorites menu can display a list of your favorite
broadcasts. Enable this if you want an additional menu besides 'Now' and
'Next'. You can choose between displaying this menu before or after the
menus with user-defined times. Any search can be used as a favorite. You
only have to set the option 'Use in favorites menu' when editing a
1.4.3 User-defined EPG times
- - for the next ... hours:
- This value lets you adjust the timespan used to display the
- - Use user time 1..4:
- Add up to 4 user-defined times besides 'now' and
- - Description:
- Name of the user-defined time, e.g. 'Afternoon', 'Prime
time', 'Late night'.
1.4.4 Timer programming
- - Time:
- The associated time of the user-defined time.
- - Use VDR's timer edit menu:
- When programming a standard timer epgsearch uses an
extended menu, that also supports a directory item, user defined weekday
selection and subtitle completion. If you are using a patched version of
VDR, that also has an extended timer edit menu and like to use this menu
rather than epgsearch's then set this option to 'Yes'.
- - Default recording directory:
- This entry will be used in standard timer programming as
default directory. You can also use EPG category variables (e.g. 'My
Movies~%Category%~%Genre%'). When the timer edit menu is launched
epgsearch tries to replace all variables with the values found in the
description of the event. If not all variables could be replaced then the
directory item is left blank.
- - Add episode to manual timers:
- When manually adding a timer epgsearch can automatically
add the episode name to the timer file resulting in a sub-folder for the
later recording, that is named with the episode name. Choose here how this
should be done. 'smart' tries to recognize if this makes sense. Therefore
it checks the length of the event and skips the subtitle if the event has
more than 80min.
1.4.5 Search and search timers
- - Default timer check method:
- Manual timers can be checked for EPG changes. Here you can
setup the default check method for each channel. The following methods
* no check
* by event ID: checks by an event ID supplied by the channel provider.
* by channel and time: check by the duration match.
Not all channels provide a proper event ID, so you can setup the default for
each channel here. When programming a manual timer, this default use used
in epgsearch's own timer edit menu.
- - Use search timers:
- If yes, the plugin makes a background scan of the EPG and
adds timers if it finds matching entries. This applies only to searches
that are marked with 'use as search timer'.
Search timers will always be created local, even if SVDRPDefaulthost is set
to a different host.
- - Update interval:
- The update interval of the background scan for search
timers in minutes.
- - SVDRP port:
- For VDR versions through 1.7.14, the default SVDRP port was
2001. Starting with vdr-1.7.15 it was changed to 6419. If you want to use
a port other than the default, set it here to get the search timers
- - Default Priority:
- Default priority of generated timers.
- - Default Lifetime:
- Default lifetime of generated timers.
- - Margin at start/stop:
- Default margins of generated timers.
- - No announcements when replaying:
- suppress event announcements while any replay is
- - Recreate timers after deletion:
- epgsearch remembers by default which timers where already
created by search timers and will not recreate them if they were removed.
To disable this behaviour set this to 'Yes'.
- - Check if EPG exists for ... [h]:
- If you get EPG content from external providers it is
possible, that something fails and some recordings are skipped because of
the missing EPG. With this function one can check if EPG content exists
for the next ... hours. With '0' the check is disabled.
- - "Warn by OSD:"
- Set this to 'Yes' to get warned via OSD.
- - "Warn by mail:"
- Set this to 'Yes' to get warned by email. Please configure
the email account in 'email notification'
- - "Channel group to check:"
- select hier the channel group to check. Perhaps you have to
create it before in 'channel groups'
- - Ignore Pay-TV channels:
- Set this to 'Yes' if you don't want to have events from
Pay-TV channels when searching for a repeat.
- - Search templates:
- Here you can manage search templates which can be used when
creating a search.
- - Blacklists:
- Here you can manage blacklists which can be used to
suppress unwanted events within a search. A blacklist can also be marked
as global. Since the default setting of a search timer for 'use
blacklists' is 'only global', this is a simple way to exclude unwanted
events form all search timers, except: If the search timer has the option
'use blacklists: none' no blacklists are taken into account. Also the
search for repeats within the OSD ignores any blacklists.
- - Channel groups:
- Here you can setup channel groups (e.g. Sport channels,
Pay-TV channels) that can be used as criterion in searches. The same can
be done in the search edit menu.
: if you get your EPG from external sources make sure that
search timer updates are disabled while your EPG is updated. The reason for
this is that epgsearch will remove timers without events assigned to them.
This situation can exist while the new EPG is feeded to VDR. A simple way to
disable search timer updates is to use the SVDRP command SETS in your EPG
svdrpsend plug epgsearch SETS off
<your EPG update script>
svdrpsend plug epgsearch SETS on
1.4.6 Timer conflict checking
- - Ignore below priority:
- If a timer will fail with a priority below the given value,
you won't get an OSD message about this and the conflict will be
classified as 'not relevant' in the conflicts overview.
- - Ignore conflict duration less ... min.:
- If a conflict will last only the given minutes it will not
produce an OSD message and the conflict will be classified as 'not
relevant' in the conflicts overview.
- - Only check within next ... days:
- Here you can specify the day range that should be used for
the conflict check.
- - Check also remote conflicts:
- If SVDRPPeering is active, conflicts for remote timers will
be checked, if set to "yes". For this to work epgseach-plugin
has to be active on the remote host too. Default is "no".
- - After each timer programming:
- This performs a conflict check after each manual timer
programming and - if the new/modified timer is involved in a conflict -
pops up an OSD message about it.
- - "When a recording starts:
- Set this to 'yes' if the conflict check should be performed
when a recording starts. In the case of a conlfict you get immediately a
message that informs you about it. The message is only displayed if the
conflict is within the next 2 hours.
- - After each search timer update:
- Specify here if you want to have a conflict check after
each search timer update. If set to 'No':
- - every ... minutes:
- performs a conflict check in the background every ...
minutes and informs about relevant conflicts via OSD. Set this to '0' to
disable this feature.
- - if conflicts within next ... minutes:
- - every ... minutes:
- if you like to have a more frequent check and OSD
notification when a conflict appears within the given time, use this
- - Avoid notification when replaying:
- Set this to 'yes' if the don't want to get OSD messages
about conflicts if you currently replay something. Nevertheless messages
will be displayed if
the first upcoming conflict is within the next 2 hours.
Also have a look at epgsearch(4), section 'Working with the timer conflict
1.4.7 Email notification
Please make sure, that 'sendEmail.pl' is in the path of your executables and
that the 'epgsearchupdmail.templ' and 'epgsearchconflmail.templ' exists in
epgsearch's configurations directory!
- - Search timer notification:
- Enable this, if you want to get an email notification, when
the search timer background thread has
- created a new timer
- modified an existing timer
- deleted a timer, that was void because of EPG changes or other user
(Also requires 'Use search timers' in the search timer setup to be
- - Time between mails [h]:
- For search timer notifications one can set the minimum
distance in hours between the mails. As soon as this time has elapsed a
new mail is sent after the next search timer update. A value of '0' means
no delay and will cause immediate mail delivery.
- - Timer conflict notification:
- Enable this, if you want to get an email notification about
timer conflicts. The notification will only include 'relevant' conflicts
as specified in the timer conflict setup. epgsearch will always send a new
notification if there is any change in the current conflicts.
(Also requires 'After each search timer update' or 'every ... minutes' in
the conflict check setup to be activated.)
- - Send to:
- The mail address of the recipient. Note: Some providers
(like Arcor) don't allow the same address for sender and recipient.
- - Mail method:
- You can choose between:
- sendEmail.pl: this is a simply script shipped with epgsearch, that allows
mail delivery also on systems without a configured mail server. Please
copy it to your $PATH
- sendmail: requires a properly configured mail system
- - Email address:
- Your full(!) email account address to be used for sending
- - SMTP server:
- The name of your SMTP server to be used for sending the
- - Use SMTP authentication:
- Select 'yes' if your account needs authentication to send
- - AUTH user:
- Specify the accounts username if your account needs
- - AUTH password:
- Specify the accounts password if your account needs
authentication. Note: The password is saved as plain text. You have to
make sure on your own that your system is safe and no VDR configurations
files are visible to non authorized persons.
After the account setup, check if it works with 'Test'. If you are using
'sendEmail.pl' for mail delivery, there should be something like 'Email sent
successfully' at the end of the test output. The test function is not
available for method 'sendmail'.
Also have a look at epgsearch(4), section 'Email notifications'.
This is quite the same as VDRAdmin's auto-timers, but needs no external
software. When you create a search, you can give it an option to use it as
search timer. Now the plugin scans EPG entries in certain update intervals
(->setup) in the background and creates timers if there are matching
entries. If you don't like to get a new timer, but only want to be informed
about the event set 'Announce only (no timer)' to yes. Since these search
timers are quite useful for serials, you can set the option 'serial recording'
in a search, which creates timers whose recordings are stored in a folder with
the serials name and whose entries are named with the episode name. If there
is no episode name, the plugin names the recording with a date/time string.
To use search timers, you also have to activate them in the plugins setup. Also
edit the SVDRP port, if you are not using the default 2001.
If you want to trigger a background scan manually simply
This can also be part of your shutdown script. (Add here a sleep afterwards to
give the plugin the time to finish the scan.)
For more info about searchtimers please refer to epgsearch(4), 'Description of
the search process' and 'How do Search Timers work?'
This section explains the feature 'Avoid repeats' for a search timer. Sometimes
one cannot avoid double recordings of an event only by setting the
corresponding search criterions.
Therefore the feature 'avoid repeats' tries to check before creating a timer, if
the same event was already recorded in the past or if there is a timer that
records the same event. If so, there will be no new timer for the event.
To check if two events are the same there are many possible settings for a
search timer. You can choose the title, subtitle, description or extended EPG
categories within the description of an event to be compared with the elements
of another event.
This comparison is always done case-sensitive and for the whole term. But the
description of an event makes an exception of this. First all text within the
description will be truncated that looks like an extended category entry, e.g.
'Rating: tip'. An extended category entry is a line of text beginning with
max. 40 signs, followed by ':' and ending with max. 60 further signs. The
reason for this cutting is that some categories like the rating of an event
are not part of the description of the repeat of the same event.
The remaining text will now be compared by length. If the difference is bigger
then 90%, then we rate the description of the two events as different. If not,
we apply the Levinsthein-Distance-Algorithm (LD), which makes a fuzzy text
comparison. We accept the description of the events as equal, if LD returns a
match of more then 90%. Since LD is quite runtime intensive (O(mn)), you
should not choose 'compare description' as the only comparison criterion, but
combine it always with other criterions.
As already mentioned each search timer update checks search timers with this
feature for recordings in the past or an already existing timer for the same
To remember past recordings epgsearch stores their info in the file
epgsearchdone.data. You can have a look at the contents of this file calling
'show recordings done' in the 'actions' of the searches menu. This file only
stores info about recordings that are complete, i.e. that started and stopped
just in time. So a broken recording will not be stored in this file and
epgsearch will automatically try to record the next repeat, if there is any.
How to use it?
As you see, the whole feature depends on the quality of the EPG. After creating
such a search timer, you should first check if it does what is intended.
Therefore the menu of search results has an additional mode for the key 'blue'
named 'Timer preview'. Here you can see, what timers the next update would
create. Existing timers are labeled with 'T', future timers with 'P'.
Hint: If the programming results in a conflict simply disable the conflicting
timer in the timers menu. The next search timer update, will try to program a
different timer for the same event, if it exists.
When it works not correctly :-)
To get a better control of the programming or not-programming of the timers when
using this feature a log file was introduced. When starting epgsearch with the
command line option '-v n' where n is the log level than you get additional
info in the file epgsearch.log. Available log levels are 0 (no logging) to 3
(extended logging). See also the manual for the command line options.
Some EPG providers deliver additional EPG information like the type of event,
the video and audio format, cast,... in the content summary.
Note: This is different from the content descriptors introduced in vdr-1.7.11,
that are delivered as extra data with a common standard. Unfortunately not all
providers deliver this data, or the set wrong descriptors. So you can use the
approach of 'extended EPG info' here, which is a way to extract that info from
the content summary.
Using tvm2vdr or epg4vdr you can import this into vdr. To use this information
with search timers one has to configure it with the file epgsearchcats.conf in
the epgsearch config directory. The format of the file is as follows:
ID|category name|name in menu|values separated by ','(option)|search mode(option)
- 'ID' should be a unique positive integer
(changing the id later on will force you to re-edit your search timers!)
- 'category name' is the name as delivered by the EPG provider, e.g. 'Genre'
- 'name in menu' is the name displayed in epgsearch.
- 'values' is an optional list of possible values
- 'search mode' specifies the search mode:
0 - the whole term must appear as substring
1 - all single terms (delimiters are ',', ';', '|' or '~')
must exist as substrings. This is the default search mode.
2 - at least one term (delimiters are ',', ';', '|' or '~')
must exist as substring.
3 - matches exactly
4 - regular expression
10 - less
11 - less or equal
12 - greater
13 - greater or equal
14 - equal
15 - not equal
Sample files for epgsearchcats.conf are delivered with the plugin in the
Simply copy the one that fits for you to the epgsearch configuration directory
filename epgsearchcats.conf and then have a look to the search timers edit
menu (after a restart of VDR).
Since setting up a new epgsearchcats.conf is a lot of work, I've added a small
tool 'createcats', that makes the biggest part of the job. It should have been
compiled with the plugin and exists in the sources directory.
See createcats(1) for information about how to use it.
Internals: epgsearch scans the summary of an event for the category name
followed by ': ' for all categories that have a corresponding value set in the
search timer. The search is case sensitive regarding the category name as also
To use this plugin as a replacement for the default green key, simply put the
in your keymacros.conf. If you don't like to get another plugin entry in your
main menu, first hide it by setup. Then you could use my launcher-plugin and
put the line
Green @launcher x
in your keymacros.conf, where x is the position of the Epgsearch plugin within
launchers menu listing.
Another approach is using a patch to VDR that replaces vdr's standard schedule
menu with epgsearch (vdr-replace-schedulemenu.diff.gz in the patches subdir,
thanks to the author Uwe/egal@vdrportal). When using this patch the entry
should look like
This patch is already included in some patch collections, like the Bigpatch.
epgsearch delivers 2 'mini'-plugins. Both require an installed epgsearch (but
epgsearch can be hided in the main menu):
- - epgsearchonly:
- For those who only want to use the search feature and/or
search timers or simply want to have a separate main menu entry for the
search feature. This plugin creates a main menu entry 'Search' which calls
epgsearch search menu. Activation in VDR start script with
- - conflictcheckonly:
- The timer conflict check can also have its own main menu
entry which displays epgsearch conflict overview menu. It has a setup
option to display an information about the last check directly in its main
menu entry. Activation in VDR start script with
See epgsearch(4) or read online
Searchtimers. See "epgsearch.conf(5)".
Categories, advanced epg. See "epgsearchcats.conf(5)".
EPG-commands, like the commands in commands.conf. See
Pre-defined patches which can be selected while editing an searchtimer. See
Configuration of the OSD menu layout. See "epgsearchmenu.conf(5)".
User defined variables. See "epgsearchuservars.conf(5)".
The done-data. See "epgsearchdone.data(5)".
The switchtimers. See "epgsearchswitchtimer.conf(5)".
The blacklist. See "epgsearchblacklists.conf(5)".
The channelgroups. See "epgsearchchangrps.conf(5)".
Templates for searchtimers. See "epgsearchtemplates.conf(5)".
Mike Constabel <epgsearch (at) constabel (dot) net>
Copyright (C) 2004-2010 Christian Wieninger
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under
the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software
Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY
WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR
A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with
this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin
Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA Or, point your browser to
The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The project's page is at http://winni.vdr-developer.org/epgsearch
The MD5 code is derived from the RSA Data Security, Inc. MD5 Message-Digest