MediaPortal plugin - looking for beta tester(s)

Hi,

I’m currently developing a MediaPortal (http://www.team-mediaportal.com/) plug in to control the Vera-box with.
Since i do not have all types of devices I’m looking for beta-testers who want to help improving this plug-in.
Especially; users with IP-cams, door-locks and central heaters (HVACS) connected to their Vera box.
Also Vera 1 / 3 and UI5 users are welcome (i’m still on Vera 2 with UI4)

Thanks…

Note: the plug in runs on MediaPortal and control’s Vera so it brings home automation functionality on your HTPC (home theater PC)

Sounds interesting… I’m game… What info do you require & do you want me to send to a private message here or to your email?

Thanks Again,

John

Hi John,

Thanx for your response.
For some reason, i’m not able to sent personal messages (newbie status i guess).

With this post is the MediaPortal plug in, just install it on your MP with the MPE-installer (browse for local extentions)
Do not forget to configure it with the correct ip address. (You can leave the port-number as is, unless you did have done some thing special)

And please let me know your comments. (either via PM or bart [a] eversdijk [dt] com)

Disclaimer: this plug-in is still beta!!!

Greetz, Bart

Nice work, thanks for sharing!

Some test results (using port 3480):

MP displays a list of Vera’s scenes, but running a scene sometimes locks up MP. Had to terminate MP via task manager. Might be a problem with Vera itself, because my V2@1.5.255 is very unstable. Some/Most of my devices are missing from the MP menu.

Vera V2@1.5.255:
Box not found @ … FormatException …

Vera V1@1.3.1338:
Box not found @ … NullReferenceException …

I think your plugin has some problems with parsing Vera’s configuration file and the message ‘Box not found’ is misleading.

Different version of Vera sw might be the problem, i’m using the UI-support functionality as described on ui-wiki pages (http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/UI_Simple)

I did notice a different layout in the past…

Can you please send me the output of this url: http://vera.ip.addres.here:3480/data_request?id=lu_sdata&output_format=xml
And can you please check if using port : 49451 gives the same response?

Thanx…

(note: of course replace “vera.ip.addres.here” with the actual IP address)

Please provide an email address via PM.

I’ve just released the first stable version of the MediaPortal plug-in.

Feature list:

  • Real time Vera status update
  • Threated communication (no-screen-lockups)
  • IP Cam support (with movement control support)
  • Improved error handling
  • Clean up code (coding standard compliance)
  • Supports remote connection (via fwd1.mios.com)
  • New image set
  • Improved configuration (Vera-box look up)

The new plug in can be found here http://www.team-mediaportal.com/extensions/micasaverde-vera-controller or by using the MediaPortal plugin install/update function

Please let me know what you think about this plug-in

Successfully tested on Vera V1@1.1.1338 and Vera V2@1.5.265.

Support for multiple Veras would be nice (workaround: use UPnP-bridging …).

Is there a way to move your plugin into the MP main menu?

Thanx for testing !

Putting the Plug in into the MP main menu, is on the same way other Plugin’s handle this.
It can be done by using the MediaPortal configuration tool.

  • open the ‘Plugins’ page (second option from bottom)
  • select the Vera Controller plug in
  • hit the “In Home” button (moving it one level back use the “In Plugins” button")

I thought about multiple Vera’s, but I was not sure yet how to visualize them.
There are a number of options:

  • threat them separately by adding a “Category” like selection control (so only keep track/updates of one box at the time)
  • threat them separately by having a selection page, before showing the current page (at accessing the Vera Controller)
  • threat them as one ‘big’ Vera box by merging the the scenes and devices into the current layout (and thus continuously keep track of all the boxes
  • and I’m sure there are more options…

Do you have thoughts about what option will fit best?

Hello Bart,

I loaded the new version yesterday. All went well loading, scenes, devices, sensors and cameras (see additional comments below) worked great. :smiley:

The following were observations:

The icon changes when the command is sent. If not delivered was reset to previous state = Very good. ;D

You need to drill into an individual item to change status. Consider adding active on/off of first layer. :-\

At first look it appears it does not distinguish between binary and dimmer switches as all displayed a slider.
Binary switches slider display 0/1 and 1/1. Could be hidden.

The dimmer sliders were not active for manual changes but reactive to Vera set levels.
For dimmer could consider adding a set level input control/command.

(I have JVC camera which have different APIs and therefore, I can not test movement).

Also, user may not know they can change the configuration of Media Portal to add this to there home page rather than going through the drill down to plugins.

Regards
Tim

Hi Tim,

Thanx for your comments!

[ul][li]Device activation on the 1ste layer, how would you like to see that implemented?
What i could do is using RC next/prev button => on/off, fwd/rwd => increase/decrease. level (+/- 10%), play button for scene start
would that be sufficient?[/li]
[li]In fact the sliders should work (although not perfect yet) keep moving down to navigate to the slider, once it has focus with left/right the slider can be controlled[/li]
[li]JVC cam: the controls should behave the same as in the standard UI4 (prop. UI5) so if they work there, they should also work with MP Vera controlle[/li]
[li]I explained this also in my previous post, maybe adding a help button in my plugin will help…[/li][/ul]

Greetz, Bart

Hello Bart,

I do think you are really providing a very viable UI to what is in the Vera. Maybe, the ability to hide scene should also be consider. That way, it could give a very clean feel that also make the user feel there are in control.

[quote=“BartEv, post:11, topic:170024”][ul][li]Device activation on the 1st layer, how would you like to see that implemented?
What I could do is using RC next/prev button => on/off, fwd/rwd => increase/decrease. level (+/- 10%), play button for scene start
would that be sufficient?[/li][/ul][/quote]
That sound like a great idea!

[ul][li]In fact the sliders should work (although not perfect yet) keep moving down to navigate to the slider, once it has focus with left/right the slider can be controlled[/li] [/ul]
Still did not get it to work. I see the are becoming active (green) but I have not been able to drag along to set a value. I will keep trying and try moving my tongue around. Maybe have my 2yo daughter do it as well.
[ul][li]JVC cam: the controls should behave the same as in the standard UI4 (prop. UI5) so if they work there, they should also work with MP Vera controller [/li] [/ul]
JVC have a different API and even has significant changes between models. They have not got the same standard. I do not control them via Vera just display the jpg file.
[ul][li]I explained this also in my previous post, maybe adding a help button in my plugin will help...[/li][/ul]
I believe that would be a very good idea. It should not need to be too complex but everyone will have different expectations.

I’ve just added 2 new features

Still did not get it to work. I see the are becoming active (green) but I have not been able to drag along to set a value. I will keep trying and try moving my tongue around. Maybe have my 2yo daughter do it as well.
Very, very strange. Which MP version and which Vera versions are you using?

[quote=“BartEv, post:13, topic:170024”]I’ve just added 2 new features

Still did not get it to work. I see the are becoming active (green) but I have not been able to drag along to set a value. I will keep trying and try moving my tongue around. Maybe have my 2yo daughter do it as well.
Very, very strange. Which MP version and which Vera versions are you using?[/quote]

Hello Bart,

I hope this is helping and below are the details and additional comments.

I was using a Vera 2 firmware 1.1.1362 with MP 1.2.2.0 and Vera Control 0.9.0.1. I retested again with Vera Control 0.9.0.2 and received the same results when testing the slider. I then uninstalled and reinstalled manually Vera Control 0.9.0.2 and the test results were the same.

I can display the Help Screen and contents by right clicking on the screen and the I-button, however, as the same icon is displayed when issues commands, it will also launch the “Vera Box” help. Standard convention left click did not display help menu

When I start Vera Control (Vera Box), it capture the last message displayed and in my case, this was Running Lua Startup as a result of a Scene. This remained active and and was not cleared. See attached VeraControl1.

RC next/prev button => on/off, fwd/rwd => increase/decrease. level (+/- 10%), play button for scene start.
This is not being displayed. See attached VeraControl 2 and 3.

Queued Commands - Or Cancelled Command. When as Icon is clicked and then subsequently reversed e.g. Clicked On and then immediately off, the message received with the Warning icon stating Request was cancelled, however, it isn’t cancelled but rather the commands are queued.

Regards
Tim

Hi Tim,

I was using a Vera 2 firmware 1.1.1362 with MP 1.2.2.0 and Vera Control 0.9.0.1. I retested again with Vera Control 0.9.0.2 and received the same results when testing the slider. I then uninstalled and reinstalled manually Vera Control 0.9.0.2 and the test results were the same.
been able to drag along to set a value

What exactly do you mean with dragging? Because dragging the slider as in moving it with your mouse is not supported by MediaPortal. One has to navigate to the slide and then use the RC left/right buttons or your cursor keys to control the slider. As far as i known none of the MP sliders can be controlled with your mouse

I can display the Help Screen and contents by right clicking on the screen and the I-button, however, as the same icon is displayed when issues commands, it will also launch the "Vera Box" help. Standard convention left click did not display help menu

The info/help screen becomes visible hitting the i-button, menu button, right mouse-click, F3 (=menu button) and F8 (= i-button)

RC next/prev button => on/off, fwd/rwd => increase/decrease. level (+/- 10%), play button for scene start. This is not being displayed. See attached VeraControl 2 and 3.

That’s a good one, i did not think about that. I’ve added a second status line a the bottom of the main screen this line will show the status of the selected device, scrolling through the right list will now real time update this status line. (see version 0.9.0.3) The second line reflects the general Vera status, if the message remains visible it means Vera is for some reason keep sending this status message. It is out of the control of the MP plug in and should be visible on web-control-page as well.

Queued Commands - Or Cancelled Command. When as Icon is clicked and then subsequently reversed e.g. Clicked On and then immediately off, the message received with the Warning icon stating Request was cancelled, however, it isn't cancelled but rather the commands are queued.

The canceled text is actually reflecting to the first none completed command, if one issues new command before the previous was sent completely, the pending command is canceled in favor of the new one. This is done, to prevent lock ups… A command is pending as long as Vera did not received the command. As soon as Vera starts executing the command (status change in UI) the command is received, and thus not pending any more and thus not canceled.

A new plug in available…
version 0.9.0.3

  • Show device status of selected item also on main screen,
  • Added the ability to show devices automatically when selecting a new room (= extra config option)
  • bug fix: wrong scene dialog was shown in DefautWide skin

Hi Bart,

Just for your info, I had never used this program before you asked for Beta Testers. So, I am not fimiliar with the normal use. However, I am willing to test and thus, I may need the feedback to head me in the correct direction.

Yes, the sliders work. The only incident encountered was repretition use the keyboard did cause the Cancelled Command to be displayed. As previous discussed, an additional option to increase/decrease 10% or set level entry may resolve this and provide a more efficient method to control changes to dimmers.

Yes, the Help works.
Last message would be as stated retained in Vera.

Next thought would be redundant log on procedure for mobile (laptop) users. That is to enable the user to configure, both local and remote logon. It would then start up and default to local, if local if not available, change to remote.

Regards
Tim

Hi Tim,

First of all, please do understand that i’m very happy with your feedback and giving additional explanation is no problem at all!
Just keep asking (i will do as well :-)) it will improve to plug in !

Regarding the sliders: like i said in an earlier post they operate not perfect yet. I’ve tried to build in a kind of delayed response mechanism, so it tries to detect a number of changes direct after each other preventing unnecessary request, causing this cancellation messages. I need somehow improve this mechanism.

Adding a +/- 10% button is actually a good idea and might be sufficient, i also had some thoughts about the Vera approach (having 3 additional buttons 25%/50%/75%) where the slider can be used for ‘fine tuning’. What would, in your opinion, be the best solution?

Next thought would be redundant log on procedure for mobile (laptop) users. That is to enable the user to configure, both local and remote logon. It would then start up and default to local, if local if not available, change to remote.
I'm planning to enhance to connectivity part for support of multiple Vera boxes (i hope to get some feedback from A15e on this feature request), again your suggestion would be a good additional feature in this area. I'll build this in!

Thanx,
Bart

Mate,

Thanks for the response.

I like the predefined values, incremental changes can be then preformed as required. It makes great sense not to overdose on options to achieve a simple tasks. To be honest, I use 10% at night within triggered scenes only. Other than that the 25%/50%/75% or on is what I use. I’m not sure how you can deal best deal with the latency with using the keyboard, which can make the system think it is receive multiple commands.

Another thought virtual devices Like datamine etc, do not displays their function in Vera Control. (I like that name better). Maybe an option to hide… Go hand and hand with Multiple devices and aggregation of multiple units. Do want to much clutter etc.

Thoughts:
Conguration has check box multiple units.
Build an array to hold all units details.
If multiple units select, list units for user to select.

Tim

I’m proud to announce an updated version of the Vera Control MediaPortal plugin, i’ve managed to add most of the feature requests as listed in this topic.

To summarize these are the new features:

  • Added multi box support (parallel update/control)
  • Added fallback to remote connection
  • Move scene trigger to side action menu
  • Added sort options
  • Added filter options
  • Added view by category option
  • Added flow view
  • Changed dimmer dialog (added 25/50/75% buttons)

The plug can be found here: http://www.team-mediaportal.com/extensions/home-automation/micasaverde-vera-controller or trough the MP-update feature

[quote=“BartEv, post:19, topic:170024”] I’m proud to announce an updated version of the Vera Control MediaPortal plugin, i’ve managed to add most of the feature requests as listed in this topic.

To summarize these are the new features:

  • Added multi box support (parallel update/control)
  • Added fallback to remote connection
  • Move scene trigger to side action menu
  • Added sort options
  • Added filter options
  • Added view by category option
  • Added flow view
  • Changed dimmer dialog (added 25/50/75% buttons)

The plug can be found here: http://www.team-mediaportal.com/extensions/home-automation/micasaverde-vera-controller or trough the MP-update feature[/quote]

Hello Bart,

I now have two Vera 2 one UI4 and one UI5. They are also bridged, so this provided a good test bed and all of the above worked very well.

The UI presentation works extremely well.
Faster rendering then UI5
Selecting an individual units or multiple is just so simple.
Well Done!!! Anyone with multiple units would benefit!

The only thing I forgot to mention previously:
Where a device is generated using a JSON, the options are not available E.g DSC Alarm plugin.
Potentially hide slider for binary switch.

Bonus for every user is:

  • Added sort options
  • Added filter options
  • Added view by category option

The above alone, makes this more usable then the standard MIOS functions; albeit UI4 or UI5. This provides a dymanic capability that a lot of users have asked for through out this forum.

Regards
Tim