[clug] iView on a TV that doesn't support it

Mike Carden mike.carden at gmail.com
Fri May 1 16:16:42 MDT 2015


I recently visited my Dad up in Bundaberg and was surprised to see that he
has a monster huge flat screen TV in his lounge room. I commented on it and
he muttered darkly about its inability to play content from ABC iView. It
seems that it while it is a 'smart' TV with a browser etc, it lacks the
codecs needed to actually play iView.

Being the helpful lad that I am, I resolved to help out by putting
something together to solve his problem. Back home I bought a Raspberry Pi
2, a wifi dongle, a mini remote keyboard, a case, a power supply and a
micro SD card which I immediately snapped in half by accident and had to
replace. Okay, so far, so good.

My idea was to set up Kodi (formerly XBMC) on the Pi and install a plugin
for iView which a quick Google assured me actually exists. I decided to use
the latest openelec image which includes the latest Kodi. That all
downloaded, burned to the card and booted just fine. After a bit of a
struggle with Kodi's not-quite-intuitive UI, I managed to add the
'SuperRepo' containing the iView Add-On and got the iView Add-On installed.
I grabbed the SBS one for good measure as well.

First impressions with Kodi on the RPi2 are very favourable - much snappier
than XBMC on the Rpi1 which is where I last tried to use it.

Then I set about using iView. Calling up Video -> Add-Ons -> iView, Kodi
goes into 'working' for quite a while. More than a minute. Maybe about 90
seconds. What seems to be happening is that it's downloading a list of
about 1800 programmes and their thumbnails because when it finally comes
back to life i am presented with an apparently unordered enormous list of
everything currently available on iView.

A keen geek like me might tolerate the huge delay and the massive random
list of shows, but my Dad, not so much. He'd expect to be presented with
something closer to iView's usual web interface, and to see it pretty soon
after he clicked on it.

I ought to mention that the SBS plugin is much better behaved and guides
you through selection options quite quickly without grabbing a massive list
so I expect the iView one is worse because of the way ABC doesn't expose
their stuff properly for easy interfacing.

So I am wondering what alternatives anyone can suggest. Rpi Kodi doesn't
have a web browser so I can't just do it that way. Have I perhaps missed a
much better iView plugin than the one in SuperRepo? Is there another
'turnkey' distro for the Pi I could use that might just run a web browser
at boot and give away the idea of Kodi? Otherwise I quite like the openelec
/ kodi combo for seamlessly booting as an appliance to the kodi home screen
and for its (mostly) snappy performance. And of course it can do a
bajillion more things than just play iView.



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