User Guide

Learn how to get the most out of SichboPVR.

Getting set up.

Minimum requirements

Although it's not apparent, SichboPVR is actually two applications, a server and a client.

The server needs Windows 7 or newer, but will run on pretty much any spec because it doesn't use a lot of resources.

The client needs:

Linux support is planned/in-progress.

The setup screen

Upon launching the client, it will automatically find your TV tuner if it's plugged in. Otherwise it'll ask you to plug one in.

Once found, you might be asked to select a signal type (Over the Air, Cable or Satellite) if you have multiple types of tuners or a hybrid.

Once a signal type is decided, you will simply select your region or satellite.

Channels will be scanned in and you can cancel the process at any time if you think there will be no further channels. If channels are found you'll be taken straight to the guide and TV will be playing.

A default "Good Channels" list is established which contains a set of stations automatically selected by doing nice things such as selecting HD over SD, and assigning the strongest signal if the same channel is available from multiple transmitters. The TV dropdown menu lets you edit the channel list or create new lists if desired.

Using the guide screen.

With a mouse (desktop mode)

The SichboPVR guide is designed to behave more like an intuitive zoomable map than a static grid. Click, drag and "throw" left or right to instantly move in any direction, or simply use your mouse wheel to scroll up or down. Inertia is used to speed up scrolling and panning. Holding Ctrl when using the mouse wheel will zoom in and out like a map.

To record something or see additional airings, simply right-click the episode. If you want to record an entire series or set up intricate rules, the Series Options sub menu will let you do that with just a few clicks.

To record an arbitrary block of time, click on the channel's logo and select Create a recording. Enter a title and start/stop times and it'll create a pseudo EPG event in the guide and record it.

With a remote (couch mode)

Onscreen cues should be self-explanatory with Red, Green, Yellow and Blue command button indicators shown any time SichboPVR is operating in remote-control mode. Highlighting a show or channel will change the function of the command buttons.

Channel Up/Down buttons on your remote will move entire pages at a time and you can hold down buttons to fly through really quickly if your model of remote control repeats its signals when buttons are held down.

Viewing channel lineups

Simply click on a channel's logo to view its upcoming schedule for the week ahead.

Searching

The search button will let you instantly jump to things in the EPG lineup, with the soonest and most relevant shows first. Click the search button a second time and it will perform a more exhaustive search, grouped by TV show.

Troubleshooting.

Most problems tend to be related to tuner drivers or display drivers. Feel free to e-mail me (Simon) about it. If you want to investigate an issue on your own, everything you're looking for is located in a single convenient folder: C:\ProgramData\SichboPVR4. Microsoft hide the ProgramData folder by default so you might need to paste the path into the folder address bar and hit your Enter key, or turn on hidden items under the Windows Explorer View menu.

service-log.txt has diagnostic logs on everything to do with your TV tuner and the server portion of SichboPVR.

client-log.txt has diagnostic logs on everything to do with graphics, playback and the client (UI) portion of SichboPVR.

Troubleshooting Setup

My TV tuner isn't being detected.
Contact your TV tuner device manufacturer and make sure that you have the latest version of their drivers for your operating system.
Something's not gone well.
If during scan you get a message about something wrong with the device, make sure no other software is using it.
Not all of my tuners work or I want to disable some tuners.
SichboPVR assumes that all plugged in hardware is going to be fully functional. If you have a tuner which has known problems or perhaps you want to reserve it for something else, you can edit service-settings.json in the C:\ProgramData\SichboPVR4 folder, locate the tuner and set its DoNotUse value to true and restart the server.
My region or satellite isn't listed during scan.
The C:\ProgramData\SichboPVR4\frequency-hints.json file contains definitions of all known valid/working scanning frequency sets. You're welcome to modify the file in Notepad and any changes will appear in the app, but please e-mail Simon if you think a new one needs to be added or if you're unfamiliar with editing json files (their syntax, though fairly human-readable, is easy to get wrong, making the file broken.) The goal of frequency-hints.json is to list only common and known working satellites and frequency sets. For satellite entries, it should contain only the bare-minimum honing or home transponder frequency.
Some channels are missing.
If a channel is missing, go into the TV dropdown menu at the top of the screen and edit the default Good Channels list.
A screenshot of the guide screen TV dropdown menu
Use the search button at the top, or look through the list to see if your channel was filtered away during scanning. Clicking the plus button on a channel in the left column will add it to your list.
A screenshot of the list editor.
If SichboPVR hasn't picked up a station and you know the frequency that it should be under, try tuning to one of the other stations in that frequency for a few seconds and then go back into the guide, and you will probably be presented with a New channels found alert, because SichboPVR is always in a continuous state of 'channel scan'. Sometimes the initial channel scan might not quite get everything on its first pass. There's a balance between taking forever to scan, versus getting 99% of everything fairly quickly, which is what SichboPVR does.
But version 3 had more channels!
The number of channels shown in V3's setup screen is usually misleading. It's a count of duplicate stations across different frequencies and includes radio as well as unplayable data/garbage/encrypted stations.
SichboPVR4 filters out all of the noise and only shows stations that you can actually decode and play, and goes a step further simplifying things by combining the same channel appearing on multiple frequencies as one entry, and then picking the strongest signal automatically.
If after looking through the All Channels list in v4 or editing a list you still can't find a channel from v3, send me an email about it and attach your old v3 C:\ProgramData\SichboPVR\Settings folder as well as your new v4 C:\ProgramData\SichboPVR4\ *.json files, and we can compare them together and see what's up.
Video's not playing correctly or it crashes.
For countries that broadcast in H265/HEVC, your display driver needs to support it in a non-broken way. Some graphics card drivers advertise H265 decoding support, but are in fact buggy or broken. These include Intel Haswell graphics and Nvidia Maxwell cards which will freeze internally or simply crash completely at random.

For countries that broadcast in H264/AVC, your graphics card needs to be relatively capable in order to deinterlace 1080i content (Intel Haswell or newer.) SichboPVR does not use Microsoft/vendor-defined video processing and instead does its own thing to ensure a consistent, reliable and identical picture output regardless of video card type, driver versions, or even operating system (eventually.) Older integrated SoCs such as Intel Atom series will struggle to run the SichboPVR deinterlacing pixel shader at the required 50 fields per second, in addition to all of the UIs other work at 60fps. Opening the Level Mixer panel in SichboPVR lets you turn off high quality deinterlacing which might help on down-level hardware, but the picture quality will be low.

If you have some other problem...

Feel free to send me an email about it. Please attach service-log.txt and client-log.txt from C:\ProgramData\SichboPVR4\ if the issue is technical in nature. Relevant screenshots of an issue are also helpful.