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Tutorial: Explanation of key terms

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Tutorial: Explanation of key terms

Post by saxon210 on Sun Sep 30 2012, 13:02

This is an explanation of important key terms that relate to Clarke-tech/Xtrend receivers.

A bootloader provides basic functions to load (install) images (see image below). It depends on the version of the bootloader to determine which images can be installed.

The bootloader for UBIFS file-system is currently available for two image structures:

Bootloader from 19/07/2011 (release date 2011-07-19)
That bootloader primarily supports both JFFS2 and the new flash memory file system UBIFS. All of current and previous images can be installed onto that bootloader (see image below).

Bootloader from 30/09/2011 (release date 2011-09-30)
That bootloader supports file systems J2FFS and UBIFS. With that bootloader, all of the current and previous images can be installed (see image below).
Changes to bootloader from 19.07.2011: After installing that bootloader, bootloader and images must be put into et9x00 directory on the installation medium (USB pen). Bootloader can be installed only using channel-down or channel-up button on the front panel after the display message "flash image?" In previous bootloader versions pressing OK button was accountable therefore.

Images – including backup images – still have to be installed with the OK button.

An image is the software of the receiver. An image contains all software components that are fundamental to use the receiver. In addition (but not necessarily) the image may contain additional features (plugins, picon, skins), which facilitate and expand the functions of the receiver.

An image must be installed (flashed). Therefore, the image has to be saved on an USB pen. Then you plug the USB pen to an USB port of the receiver and restart the device. All other USB storage devices should be turned off during flashing (switch off power-supply units) or be disconnected so that the USB pen with the image is recognized as the only USB storage device.

Additional software for an image. Plugins extend the usability of the receiver. Plugins can be installed and uninstalled at any time. There are several methods (see »Installing from feed«).

A skin is a plugin that provides a graphical representation of E-n-i-g-m-a-2. Skins can be installed and uninstalled just like plugins. If you want to uninstall a skin that is currently in use, then you should first go to »Menu > Settings > System > Skin« to change actual skin to an other skin. After selecting other skins, you will be asked if the GUI shall be restarted. This must be confirmed. If a recording is running, you should wait until the end of the recording until the reboot. Otherwise, the actual recording will be canceled and the associated timer will be deleted.

Picons are the channel icons (symbols) that appear in the skin and can be seen in the EPG overview.

The picon directory sometimes may be very large due to the channel pictures which are in PNG format. A fullbackup of that image may be not correctly installable because the current boot loader version is size-limited up to 100 MB (your backup-image don't may be bigger-sized than that limitation). That's why it may be useful moving picon directory to an USB pen that is permanently connected to the receiver. After removing picon directory to the USB stick special settings are not necessary. Directory /media/usb/picon is one of the default directories for picons.

Installation from feed
This refers to the installation of a plugin via software management.

(»Feed« means the internet address which is provided for online-updates and downloading plugins. You do not have to worry about this, because the feed addresses are saved in each image. You can change it manually but that's not necessary and not recommended - except on the specific instructions)

There are several ways to install additional software (plugins). Please press the corresponding buttons on remote control unit to execute various installation methods.

Method #1 Menu > Plugins > Green button
is the most useful for advanced users.
Advantage: All by feed offered plugins are displayed and can be installed.
Disadvantage: Each plugin has to be selected and installed individually. After installation, you will have to start over again whith new selecting a additional plugin. A reasonably well-functioning memory is useful. But a double installation is not possible, since previously installed plugins are not newly displayed.

Method #2 Menu > Setup > Software Management > Manage Extensions
is the simplest.
Advantage: Descriptions are shown most of the times – in which not all of them are easy to understand. For skins, there is usually a preview for most of the skins. In the menus you can select the desired plugins with the OK button and install them all at once. It's pretty fast. It is the recommended method for beginners, because it is the easiest method.
Disadvantages: Not all available plugins are displayed, even though most of them are shown.

Method #3 Menu > Setup > Software Management > Install local extensions
is specially designed for plug-ins that are stored on an USB device or on internal hard disk drive.
Advantage: Installing multiple selected plugins in one step as in Method 2
Disadvantages: none

Method #4 Menu > Setup > Software Management > Advanced Options > Packet Management
is the most elaborate method.
Advantage: All of the plugins and available additional modules (driver, front panel updates, codecs, etc.) that are provided by the feed are displayed and can be installed.
Disadvantage: Too much diversity can be confusing. Maybe you install software components that are never needed. Method 4 is the only advanced and advisable method to users who know exactly what they want to install or uninstall.

Method #5 Installation of plug-ins via USB pen or hard drive
Plugins as installable files have the file suffix .ipk. These files can be stored on an USB pen or to internal or external hard disk drive. DreamExplorer is recommended when installing plugins using this method (to install DreamExplorer via the feed go to Menu > plugin > green button > extensions). DreamExplorer is a file browser which allows you to do much more than just installing plugins (additional information on the corresponding thread).

We are only interested in the installation function. So when you are in DreamExplorer use the remote control to mark plugins that you would like to install, press OK and confirm with OK button to "Install this package".

Installing plugins via telnet
Telnet is software that provides access to the receiver over network. A well-known telnet program is PuTTY.

In order to gain access to the receiver from a network computer, you must put in the appropriate access data in the telnet program. These are
• Internet address ( however it may vary) and
• password

If the telnet access has been configured successful, a telnet window that looks something like this will appear (displayed text may vary)

ETxx00 root @: ~ #

In this window you can enter Linux commands.

First of all, change
cd /directoryname
on the path to which the plugin was previously saved. For an USB pen, enter the following code:
cd /media/usb
To install plugins, use the command
opkg install pluginname
The pluginname must be the exact name of the .ipk file. After installation, a success message or error message will appear.

Flash memory
is the memory in which the Linux system of the receiver stores all plugins, skins, etc. It is practically same as the C: drive folder with programs on a Windows PC. Flash memory is non-volatile memory, meaning that all data stored in the flash memory are retained even after turning off the receiver.

When flashing an image, the flash memory will be overwritten with data of the new image.

RAM (random access memory) is a fast but volatile memory. The receiver writes data on the RAM that is needed during the process. Some of the data is read by the receiver while booting from flash memory or from attached storage devices (hard disk drive, USB pen), others arise during the television and radio reception, or during receiving of EPG or opening a teletext-window, web browsing etc.
[Here I could use some help. In addition there is even more to say about RAM.]

Initialize Hard disk drives
For the use of PVR of the receiver (PVR = Personal Video Recorder) a hard disk drive is required for recordings. To the ET9x00 receiver internal and external hard drives can be connected. The hard disk drive must be connected, before a recording is executed. Otherwise, the recording is stored in flash memory, which inevitably leads to a crash of the receiver, because the size of the flash memory is not sufficient for recordings.

To use the hard disk drive, it must be initialized. This is done via the dialog window in
Menu > Setup > System > Harddisk > Initialization. That command starts initialization.

The initialization performs all the necessary commands to the disk storage used to make a recording (partitioning, formatting with Linux file system, mounting as hdd, etc.).

ATTENTION: All data stored on the hard disk will be erased through the initialization!

The initialization takes a while – often half an hour or even longer. During this time you can use the receiver normally (but you should not record anything). After initialization, a confirmation message will appear. Then you should reboot the receiver immediately. Only after booting will the initalised hard disk drive be recognized as a recording memory (mounted).

After this procedure you should check in Menu > Setup > System > Recording paths, whether the following issues are set correctly:

Default movie location: /hdd/movie
Timer record location: <default movie location>
Instant record location: <default movie location >
Timeshift location: /media/hdd

In addition, recommended settings for recordings under Menu > Setup > System > Record (at the bottom of the menu) should be:

Recording data sync size: 4 MB
Recording demux buffer size: Huge 2 MB

These settings refer that recordings first are summarized in RAM (cache) and then be written on the hard disk drive. This dramatically increases the performance of the hard drive. Multiple simultaneous recordings are then saved without errors.

is an interface to run Linux commands (scripts). There is detailed information about PPanel in the thread PPanel -> was ist das eigentlich + die Erklärung dazu!

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