Windows gui frontend for hacktv

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steeviebops

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42
My Satellite Setup
A basic 28.2 Freesat config, but have had a long history of satellite TV dating back to the analogue 19.2 days. Using a HP EliteBook 8570w laptop (3rd gen Core i7, 16GB RAM, Quadro video card)
My Location
Drogheda, Ireland
Last November I decided to give a go at writing a frontend for hacktv. But I hadn't ever written anything serious and any experience I did have was in Visual Basic 6. Nonetheless, I carried on with the initial intent that it would be for my personal use, but since there has been some interest I thought I'd release my efforts to the public.

I built this with Wine in mind, which is one of the reasons why I chose VB6 over VB.NET. I do have a 64-bit native VB.NET build that I developed side-by-side but found that running it in Wine using Mono is very unstable whereas VB6 is flawless, provided that you install the VB6 runtimes from Microsoft (these aren't required on any modern version of Windows by the way). So if you run the GUI in Wine on Linux it will run the native version of hacktv. I've tested it on Fedora and Mint with GNOME and Cinnamon respectively.

When you run it you'll be presented with pretty much any of the supported options in hacktv on a HackRF. I haven't implemented fl2k or SoapySDR as I don't have access to them so can't test. I've also added a couple of nice features such as the ability to download a teletext service with a couple of clicks; I've added Teefax and even TVARK's SPARK service after finding it on Github. When you run hacktv it will also show the generated syntax in the status bar at the bottom of the window. If you need help with getting something working, sharing these parameters is definitely the best way.

The link below includes the GUI, VB6 source (if anyone is interested, but it does need to be tidied up) and also Windows versions of the latest builds of hacktv. The easiest way to get it working is to download the GUI and one of the two hacktv builds, then place all files in the same directory. But you can change the hacktv location in the settings menu. The GUI will detect what build you choose, and enable or disable the options supported by it.


I do apologise for not writing this in a better language, such as C, but coding isn't my strong point (I work in an IT MSP by trade) so I worked with what I had! For the same reasons I'm also not very confident that it's up to standard but I've tried to make it as stable as possible so it shouldn't do anything untoward.

If any new commands are added to hacktv in future, I will do my best to add them.
 

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Captain Jack

Captain Jack

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My Satellite Setup
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Thank you! One feature I wanted to add to HackTV is profiles. Basically a set of options included in a profile/config file, so you don't have to pick them every time. Might a good candidate for this.
 
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neo7530

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Cable / Hacktv
My Location
Berlin
Thank you for releasing this. :)
 
settopboxing

settopboxing

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My Satellite Setup
No current active setup, but keen interest in old systems and a considerable pile of old receivers.
My Location
UK
Hey, been following hacktv stuff here as a lurker, but now seemed as good a time as any to chime in.

If you're interested in more teletext services to add to the list, here are a few extras.

Appreciate the work everyone's putting into the project, hacktv is really quite something.
 
fsphil

fsphil

Member
Messages
93
My Satellite Setup
Still playing with analogue. Also running a Humax FOXSAT-HDR and a Thomson THS804.
My Location
UK
This looks great. Is there anything that could be added to hacktv to make interfacing with the UI simpler / better?
 
settopboxing

settopboxing

New Member
Messages
2
My Satellite Setup
No current active setup, but keen interest in old systems and a considerable pile of old receivers.
My Location
UK
This looks great. Is there anything that could be added to hacktv to make interfacing with the UI simpler / better?
I don't know how tricky it'd be to implement, but perhaps some external way of retrieving the input and output video feeds going in and out of ffmpeg for displaying in a more broadcast-console-like application? stdout is pretty easy to get hold of, which would be useful for some feedback, but I think for a more interactive easy to use front-end (especially for less technical people) it'd be nice to have feedback in terms of video in, video out, HackRF buffer state, etc.

Edit: When I start to think of it that way, it might be nice to be able to use hacktv as a library, so that applications could be built with it as an output sink. It's all extra work, I realise, but just a thought - might inspire some interesting uses of it.
 
S

steeviebops

Member
Messages
42
My Satellite Setup
A basic 28.2 Freesat config, but have had a long history of satellite TV dating back to the analogue 19.2 days. Using a HP EliteBook 8570w laptop (3rd gen Core i7, 16GB RAM, Quadro video card)
My Location
Drogheda, Ireland
Thank you! One feature I wanted to add to HackTV is profiles. Basically a set of options included in a profile/config file, so you don't have to pick them every time. Might a good candidate for this.
I actually thought about implementing this at one stage but wasn't sure how to do it. Might be an idea to save the settings to a config file and add a function to reload them. I'll definitely look into it.
This looks great. Is there anything that could be added to hacktv to make interfacing with the UI simpler / better?
When I initially planned this, I wanted to fully wrap the console output into the application. I got it working to some extent but for some reason I'd only see the output when hacktv had closed - it didn't show anything while it was running. I could never work out why but if I hooked the same code into ping.exe it would update in real time.
 
S

steeviebops

Member
Messages
42
My Satellite Setup
A basic 28.2 Freesat config, but have had a long history of satellite TV dating back to the analogue 19.2 days. Using a HP EliteBook 8570w laptop (3rd gen Core i7, 16GB RAM, Quadro video card)
My Location
Drogheda, Ireland
I successfully implemented a save/load feature over the weekend. I'll need to give it some testing but it looks to do exactly what it should do.
 
Captain Jack

Captain Jack

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My Satellite Setup
See signature
My Location
North Somerset
There's another 'feature' (useful or not, I dunno) in my fork that allows you to specify starting position of the video, the -p flag.

Also, hoping to release subtitling capability soon.
 
S

steeviebops

Member
Messages
42
My Satellite Setup
A basic 28.2 Freesat config, but have had a long history of satellite TV dating back to the analogue 19.2 days. Using a HP EliteBook 8570w laptop (3rd gen Core i7, 16GB RAM, Quadro video card)
My Location
Drogheda, Ireland
There's another 'feature' (useful or not, I dunno) in my fork that allows you to specify starting position of the video, the -p flag.
Already there in the source options in the top left. :)
 
Captain Jack

Captain Jack

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Messages
10,920
My Satellite Setup
See signature
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North Somerset
Yes, I am blind....
 
S

steeviebops

Member
Messages
42
My Satellite Setup
A basic 28.2 Freesat config, but have had a long history of satellite TV dating back to the analogue 19.2 days. Using a HP EliteBook 8570w laptop (3rd gen Core i7, 16GB RAM, Quadro video card)
My Location
Drogheda, Ireland
I've uploaded the new version with the save/load feature now. You can save your settings into a .htv file and load it back whenever you like. There is one caveat though, you can't use the same file with both forks.

I've also included a help file (hopefully it's of use to someone) and gave the application its own icon.

Another feature I'm considering is to add the ability to use youtube-dl to download and play a video file if a YouTube URL is specified as the source - thanks to @BSBSquarial for planting the seed with that one. Should be easy enough to add but I'm insanely busy in work with the coronavirus and the amount of work-from-home requests we're getting (we peaked at 87 today!) so time isn't really on my side for the moment.
 
S

steeviebops

Member
Messages
42
My Satellite Setup
A basic 28.2 Freesat config, but have had a long history of satellite TV dating back to the analogue 19.2 days. Using a HP EliteBook 8570w laptop (3rd gen Core i7, 16GB RAM, Quadro video card)
My Location
Drogheda, Ireland
@fsphil - there isn't really a separate thread for this so thought I'd just mention it here.

I have a video recorder which seems to be rather forgiving of the video format it can take (provided it's connected to the TV via SCART). I knew it could handle broadcast NTSC-M on its internal tuner without a problem but I tried the new untested PAL-M and it works fine, audio and colour both appear normal. So a positive test result it seems.
 
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