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Tag: Kodi

Cool Shit: Netflix has Launched in SA

In what was the most chilled launch in history, Netflix kind of just appeared in South Africa. I would imagine some techie just got an email and flicked a switch and that was that.

The time for Netflix and Chill is NOW! You get a 1 Month free trial to see if it actually works.

Compared to the US version, some shows are missing, but do you really care? ShowMax is the bastard child of DStv so we can give that one a skip.

Oh, one note, you’ll be charged in US Dollars because our currency is about as stable as your mother in law.

My Infinity Project – Building The Best Media Centre

For my day job I’m a developer. That entails learning new technologies all the time. Time after time I’ve battled to keep interest making “To do” list apps and “Hello World” programs. A few years back a needed to learn PHP. Not just the basics, I needed to learn it well enough to make a production system for a client.

At the time I lived with my parents and our internet was poor to say the least. I used the internet at work to download things at night. I needed a way to manage these downloads remotely. I started looking at APIs and remote access. I decided setting up a simple PHP site pulling from APIs would be the best option. And so started my media centre infinity project.

I have to thank Johann Du Toit for the term “Infinity Project.” He introduced me to the term as an individual project that never ends. You keep evolving it over and over again making it better and better as you learn along the way.

I started with a basic page that showed downloads, their progress and I kept track of upcoming episodes of the series I liked to watch. I ran if off a RaspberryPi. Soon I updated an old laptop with some extra hard drive space and I put the extra power to good use.

Fast forward a few months and we had uncapped internet at home. I installed Kodi (then XBMC) and left the laptop plugged into my TV. Soon I stumbled across SickBeard and CouchPotato and started automating movie and TV show downloads. My basic PHP script got a make over and pulled from those APIs.

Soon my site was getting too large to manage so I rebuilt it from the ground up using CodeIgniter. I chose CodeIgniter because the learning curve wasn’t big at all. I got a lot of functionality out in a very short space of time. I was well on my way to “productising” my media centre manager. I made the mistake of using a Bootstrap based but paid admin theme. It seemed like a very good idea at the time, but without it being open source I couldn’t release any of my code. By this time I had moved to Cape Town and my media centre was my primary source of entertainment. I also had much better internet.

Web technologies are always evolving and recently I decided it would be a good idea to learn AngularJS. That way I would be able to make web based apps for iOS and Android as well as it being a stepping stone to really learning Swift properly. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to update my media centre.

I started with a few tutorials online and soon I had the basics down. I’ve always battled with markup. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it, I just didn’t enjoy it. I found AngularMaterial. I started over and soon I had a really good base to work from. I refactored my old code into an API with a REST library I wrote for CodeIgniter. (Based on this one but heavily updated for performance.) I learned about JSON Web Tokens along the way as a good way to authenticate requests.

Some of you may have noticed me being a little missing in action over the past few weeks. I’ve been focussing on work, some freelance work and helping build an Uber Style App for a startup. On top of all of this I managed to get my media centre into a presentable form.

So this is what I’ve come up with so far:

I made everything responsive as I use it on my phone the most often. I linked it to the Kodi API so I have “Play Now” buttons on the movies and series. I also have the “Now Playing” remote. This pulls whatever is playing from Kodi and the progress. I added in some play/pause and stop buttons. The side effect of having this available over the internet is that I can troll my girlfriend and pause whatever she is watching when I’m at work.

This project is far from over, I will keep updating it. As and when I learn new technologies. I’m hoping an iOS app can be next. Currently I’m running this off of a Mac Mini with OS X Server on it connected to a 4K TV. I’ve moved from SickBeard to SickRage as it is much more actively developed. I can run 4K movies and series at 30fps. (More than enough for video) I serve it to the world over my Telkom Fibre line. This is more than sufficient for my personal needs.

I look forward to your ideas and feedback, please leave them in the comments below or give me a shout on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll look into releasing what I’ve done on GitHub when I’m properly using environment variables and remove a few hard coded hacks. I hope you guys enjoyed this little write up.

Development: SuperSport Kodi Add-on

UPDATE

Please do NOT contact me regarding this, I will not make it public no matter what you are willing to offer me. I appreciate the polite requests I have received for this, however recently I have been receiving many rude emails saying “How dare I not make this public.” I am astounded by some people’s stupidity and no, swearing at me will not make me suddenly hand this over to you. I made this as a proof of concept. That is all this will ever be. Thanks.

Original Post

The Plan: Make a nice wrapper for SuperSport’s online streaming for my Kodi Media Centre.

This is quite a difficult topic due to piracy. So I’ll start out by saying, I will NOT make this public. I do have login credentials to legally access SuperSport’s web streams. I DO NOT condone people using similar plugins for Plex or Kodi to bypass authentication.

Now that that is out of the way, lets have a look at what I managed to get done. This was never meant to be pretty, it was meant to be a proof of concept. This was my first Python Script and my first Kodi Add-on. As it turns out, it was a lot easier than I expected.

Continue reading

Quick Update

Hi,

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I have been very busy at work and been playing the role of hacker in my spare time.

I have learnt Python and made my first Kodi (XBMC) add-on this week and I’m also making my first Mac App. Both of these are custom video streaming apps. Thanks to my new found bandwidth streaming works very well. I doubt my reverse engineering of what I am trying to stream is legal, even though I have a paid subscription so neither the Mac App nor the Kodi add-on will ever be released. I may however decide to publicly document them at some point.

I have also been investigating ways of becoming my own mini ISP to share my internet with neighbours. The simple fact is that FTTH is very expensive and most people won’t pay for it. I want to upgrade my line to 100mbps and then split the cost with a few neighbours. If you followed my FTTH posts, you’ll know that running cables in my building is almost impossible. I am now investigating how to create a secure data network with PPPoE passthrough across my entire building with minimal effort or cost. So far power line network adapters have been working very well. I will keep you guys posted and also do a review of those cool little adapters.

If you have any questions or suggestion, please feel free to contact me here.

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