Tablo-VLC: a VLC media player extension to play and save Tablo recordings


#1

I created this extension because I wanted a way to occasionally save recordings using a graphical interface.

If you’re unfamiliar with VLC, in a nut shell it’s a popular open source media player for Windows, Unix and Mac operating systems. This extension accesses Tablo from within VLC for playback and saving of recordings.

For information about VLC media player see http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

If you’re into features, VLC has a bunch of them like taking snapshots, on-screen subtitles, exporting video and audio, magnify/zoom, cropping, aspect ratio, output filters, audio visualizations, command line interface (including converting/saving), etc.

Lately, I’ve also preferred VLC for playback to Tablo’s flash-based browser player in Firefox since it’s faster to load (less clicking).

Some caveats:

I have tested the extension on Windows and Fedora but not on Mac (or iPhone/Android). If you try it on those platforms, let me know how it works out.

Populating 45 recordings into VLC takes 5-6 seconds on my Windows 8.1 computer (after the initial Tablo wake-up) with a wired LAN and less than 4 in unix. There is no meta data caching so everything is loaded fresh without the need for synchronization. Also, populating VLC is asynchronous so recordings appear and are useable as they are processed. This should be fast enough for many folks, but if you have hundreds of recordings, this extension might not be for you, as is.

VLC does not display video duration during playback. This is a VLC bug. See the readme for the VLC bug tracking url.

The extension only works with a single Tablo.


Download:

http://athigo.com/Tablo-VLC

The zip and tarball contains full sources with an MIT license.


#2

@kwaa cool, but how do I save locally??


#3

Btw,  populating surely means references to the playlists.  Don’t look for the 40GbE interface on the back of the Tablo (even then it can’t be done in 6 seconds of course).


#4

Oh wow …!! Seems to work ok on Mac but I havent tried saving anything yet.


any way to get the air dates to appear?

This is going to be great I love the last 24/last week/last month views as often I am looking for example the episodes of Sesame Street that aired this past week… etc… and just want to download the individual episodes that are new … etc…

thanks! … 

EDIT: nevermind I just had to enable the column to display in VLC.

#5

@kwaa - I am assuming this is for the old desktop version of VLC player and not “VLC player for modern windows” because I just tried it with the newer version for modern windows and though it appears to install ctrl-L doesn’t do anything.


#6

So far so good…  downloading and converting a show now to see how it does.  @Sleeper do you have an option to select ‘view’ and then ‘playlist’ ?  The skinned version doesn’t seem to have the menu or work with ctrl L but the plain VLC media player does for me… This is the first time for me using this so I definitely don’t know the ins and outs of it but I’m running Win 7 64bit.



#7

@kwaa is there a limit to the number of shows that will appear?  I’m looking for one in particular and it’s not there and I activated the id column and looks like 449 could be the maximum count?  Actually it looks like it’s only pulling shows through January 16th 2015… hmmm…


#8

This is great stuff.  My only question is (and I am genuinely not trying to offend or anything) - is the script “safe” ie - it doesn’t introduce any exploits where it phones home and/or allows access to the tablo from someone outside?


I am 99 percent sure it doesn’t - but reassurance is always nice :slight_smile:

#9
This is great stuff.  My only question is (and I am genuinely not trying to offend or anything) - is the script "safe" ie - it doesn't introduce any exploits where it phones home and/or allows access to the tablo from someone outside?

I am 99 percent sure it doesn't - but reassurance is always nice :)

Its platform agnostic … and its in LUA script so you can read it for yourself.


#10

Im still trying to sort out the best way to download with the Mac VLC client… @kwaa what method are you using to download videos?


#11

@ericgus I figured it out… Add to the playlist and then you have to export it… But it plays in real time so very slow.

Be faster with ffmpeg and a command like this:

ffmpeg -i "http://192.168.1.76:18080/pvr/110927/pl/playlist.m3u8" -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc -vcodec copy -c copy test1.mp4


But easy to get the link in VLC then ;)


#12
@ericgus I figured it out... Add to the playlist and then you have to export it... But it plays in real time so very slow.
Be faster with ffmpeg and a command like this:

ffmpeg -i "http://192.168.1.76:18080/pvr/110927/pl/playlist.m3u8" -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc -vcodec copy -c copy test1.mp4


But easy to get the link in VLC then ;)

I’m new to ffmpeg - I did the above and for a 1hr file got a 1.8gb file.  How would I lower the settings so that 1hr was closer to 800mb-1gb?


#13

Take out -vcodec copy -c copy

Then you can try adding -crf

(e.g. -crf 25)

To try further reductions…


#14

Thanks!  Will try that


#15

I tried that @cjcox and it did not do anything as far as file size




#16

Hmmm… should have.  I mean without doing the copy, you’re forcing a full transcode, which even with ffmpeg defaults, should end up with something about 1/3rd the size.  And then you can adjust the value of -crf to bring things down even lower.

Did it take a very long time?  That’s another indication that a full transcode is happening instead of mere stream copying.


#17

Original 1hr video - 3.78 Mbit/s and was 1.85gb

Using -crf 25 (and the string cjcox suggested) - same video is now 1.30 Mbit/s and only 640.8 megs.

Granted - it took longer to encode, but a lot of what I would want to archive or take remotely (on a device) wouldn’t need the higher bitrate.



#18

VLC 2.1.5 (64-bit on Windows 7) does not ask me to accept the https certificate from api.tablotv.com but I’m still getting following error:


main error: TLS client plugin not available

main debug: no access modules matched

main error: no suitable access module for `https://api.tablotv.com/assocserver/getipinfo'


Any ideas?


#19
@ericgus I figured it out... Add to the playlist and then you have to export it... But it plays in real time so very slow.
Be faster with ffmpeg and a command like this:

ffmpeg -i "http://192.168.1.76:18080/pvr/110927/pl/playlist.m3u8" -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc -vcodec copy -c copy test1.mp4


But easy to get the link in VLC then ;)

Yes its much easier … thanks for the ffmpeg tip… I just need to find a buch of options that gives me the same AppleTV2 template in Handbrake … great idea.



#20

Yes its much easier … thanks for the ffmpeg tip… I just need to find a buch of options that gives me the same AppleTV2 template in Handbrake … great idea.


You may know this already, but once ffmeg encodes it, I prefer just copying to file server then mess with iTunes. I play the MP4 via the Roku media player.

I find I’m using my AppleTV3 less and less these days.