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Manage TV user interaction

In the live TV experience the user changes channels and is presented with channel and program information briefly before the information disappears. Other types of information, such as messages ("DO NOT ATTEMPT AT HOME"), subtitles, or ads may need to persist. As with any TV app, such information should not interfere with the program content playing on the screen.

Figure 1. An overlay message in a live TV app.

Also consider whether certain program content should be presented, given the content's rating and parental control settings, and how your app behaves and informs the user when content is blocked or unavailable. This lesson describes how to develop your TV input's user experience for these considerations.

Try the TV Input Service sample app.

Integrate player with surface

Your TV input must render video onto a Surface object, which is passed by the TvInputService.Session.onSetSurface() method. Here's an example of how to use a MediaPlayer instance for playing content in the Surface object:

Kotlin

override fun onSetSurface(surface: Surface?): Boolean {
    mPlayer?.setSurface(surface)
    mSurface = surface
    return true
}

override fun onSetStreamVolume(volume: Float) {
    mPlayer?.setVolume(volume, volume)
    mVolume = volume
}

Java

@Override
public boolean onSetSurface(Surface surface) {
    if (mPlayer != null) {
        mPlayer.setSurface(surface);
    }
    mSurface = surface;
    return true;
}

@Override
public void onSetStreamVolume(float volume) {
    if (mPlayer != null) {
        mPlayer.setVolume(volume, volume);
    }
    mVolume = volume;
}

Similarly, here's how to do it using ExoPlayer:

Kotlin

override fun onSetSurface(surface: Surface?): Boolean {
    mPlayer?.createMessage(mVideoRenderer)?.apply {
        type = MSG_SET_SURFACE
        payload = surface
        send()
    }
    mSurface = surface
    return true
}

override fun onSetStreamVolume(volume: Float) {
    mPlayer?.createMessage(mAudioRenderer)?.apply {
        type = MSG_SET_VOLUME
        payload = volume
        send()
    }
    mVolume = volume
}

Java

@Override
public boolean onSetSurface(@Nullable Surface surface) {
    if (mPlayer != null) {
        mPlayer.createMessage(mVideoRenderer)
                .setType(MSG_SET_SURFACE)
                .setPayload(surface)
                .send();
    }
    mSurface = surface;
    return true;
}

@Override
public void onSetStreamVolume(float volume) {
    if (mPlayer != null) {
        mPlayer.createMessage(mVideoRenderer)
                .setType(MSG_SET_VOLUME)
                .setPayload(volume)
                .send();
    }
    mVolume = volume;
}

Use an overlay

Use an overlay to display subtitles, messages, ads or MHEG-5 data broadcasts. By default, the overlay is disabled. You can enable it when you create the session by calling TvInputService.Session.setOverlayViewEnabled(true), as in the following example:

Kotlin

override fun onCreateSession(inputId: String): Session =
        onCreateSessionInternal(inputId).apply {
            setOverlayViewEnabled(true)
            mSessions.add(this)
        }

Java

@Override
public final Session onCreateSession(String inputId) {
    BaseTvInputSessionImpl session = onCreateSessionInternal(inputId);
    session.setOverlayViewEnabled(true);
    mSessions.add(session);
    return session;
}

Use a View object for the overlay, returned from TvInputService.Session.onCreateOverlayView(), as shown here:

Kotlin

override fun onCreateOverlayView(): View =
        (context.getSystemService(LAYOUT_INFLATER_SERVICE) as LayoutInflater).run {
            inflate(R.layout.overlayview, null).apply {
                mSubtitleView = findViewById<SubtitleView>(R.id.subtitles).apply {
                    // Configure the subtitle view.
                    val captionStyle: CaptionStyleCompat =
                            CaptionStyleCompat.createFromCaptionStyle(mCaptioningManager.userStyle)
                    setStyle(captionStyle)
                    setFractionalTextSize(mCaptioningManager.fontScale)
                }
            }
        }

Java

@Override
public View onCreateOverlayView() {
    LayoutInflater inflater = (LayoutInflater) getSystemService(LAYOUT_INFLATER_SERVICE);
    View view = inflater.inflate(R.layout.overlayview, null);
    mSubtitleView = (SubtitleView) view.findViewById(R.id.subtitles);

    // Configure the subtitle view.
    CaptionStyleCompat captionStyle;
    captionStyle = CaptionStyleCompat.createFromCaptionStyle(
            mCaptioningManager.getUserStyle());
    mSubtitleView.setStyle(captionStyle);
    mSubtitleView.setFractionalTextSize(mCaptioningManager.fontScale);
    return view;
}

The layout definition for the overlay might look something like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<FrameLayout
    xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:tools="http://schemas.android.com/tools"

    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent">

    <com.google.android.exoplayer.text.SubtitleView
        android:id="@+id/subtitles"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_gravity="bottom|center_horizontal"
        android:layout_marginLeft="16dp"
        android:layout_marginRight="16dp"
        android:layout_marginBottom="32dp"
        android:visibility="invisible"/>
</FrameLayout>

Control content

When the user selects a channel, your TV input handles the onTune() callback in the TvInputService.Session object. The system TV app's parental controls determine what content displays, given the content rating. The following sections describe how to manage channel and program selection using the TvInputService.Session notify methods that communicate with the system TV app.

Make video unavailable

When the user changes the channel, you want to make sure the screen doesn't display any stray video artifacts before your TV input renders the content. When you call TvInputService.Session.onTune(), you can prevent the video from being presented by calling TvInputService.Session.notifyVideoUnavailable() and passing the VIDEO_UNAVAILABLE_REASON_TUNING constant, as shown in the following example.

Kotlin

override fun onTune(channelUri: Uri): Boolean {
    mSubtitleView?.visibility = View.INVISIBLE
    notifyVideoUnavailable(TvInputManager.VIDEO_UNAVAILABLE_REASON_TUNING)
    mUnblockedRatingSet.clear()

    mDbHandler.apply {
        removeCallbacks(mPlayCurrentProgramRunnable)
        mPlayCurrentProgramRunnable = PlayCurrentProgramRunnable(channelUri)
        post(mPlayCurrentProgramRunnable)
    }
    return true
}

Java

@Override
public boolean onTune(Uri channelUri) {
    if (mSubtitleView != null) {
        mSubtitleView.setVisibility(View.INVISIBLE);
    }
    notifyVideoUnavailable(TvInputManager.VIDEO_UNAVAILABLE_REASON_TUNING);
    mUnblockedRatingSet.clear();

    mDbHandler.removeCallbacks(mPlayCurrentProgramRunnable);
    mPlayCurrentProgramRunnable = new PlayCurrentProgramRunnable(channelUri);
    mDbHandler.post(mPlayCurrentProgramRunnable);
    return true;
}

Then, when the content is rendered to the Surface, you call TvInputService.Session.notifyVideoAvailable() to allow the video to display, like so:

Kotlin

fun onRenderedFirstFrame(surface:Surface) {
    mFirstFrameDrawn = true
    notifyVideoAvailable()
}

Java

@Override
public void onRenderedFirstFrame(Surface surface) {
    mFirstFrameDrawn = true;
    notifyVideoAvailable();
}

This transition lasts only for fractions of a second, but presenting a blank screen is visually better than allowing the picture to flash odd blips and jitters.

See also, Integrate player with surface for more information about working with Surface to render video.

Provide parental control

To determine if a given content is blocked by parental controls and content rating, you check the TvInputManager class methods, isParentalControlsEnabled() and isRatingBlocked(android.media.tv.TvContentRating). You might also want to make sure the content's TvContentRating is included in a set of currently allowed content ratings. These considerations are shown in the following sample.

Kotlin

private fun checkContentBlockNeeded() {
    mCurrentContentRating?.also { rating ->
        if (!mTvInputManager.isParentalControlsEnabled
                || !mTvInputManager.isRatingBlocked(rating)
                || mUnblockedRatingSet.contains(rating)) {
            // Content rating is changed so we don't need to block anymore.
            // Unblock content here explicitly to resume playback.
            unblockContent(null)
            return
        }
    }
    mLastBlockedRating = mCurrentContentRating
    mPlayer?.run {
        // Children restricted content might be blocked by TV app as well,
        // but TIF should do its best not to show any single frame of blocked content.
        releasePlayer()
    }

    notifyContentBlocked(mCurrentContentRating)
}

Java

private void checkContentBlockNeeded() {
    if (mCurrentContentRating == null || !mTvInputManager.isParentalControlsEnabled()
            || !mTvInputManager.isRatingBlocked(mCurrentContentRating)
            || mUnblockedRatingSet.contains(mCurrentContentRating)) {
        // Content rating is changed so we don't need to block anymore.
        // Unblock content here explicitly to resume playback.
        unblockContent(null);
        return;
    }

    mLastBlockedRating = mCurrentContentRating;
    if (mPlayer != null) {
        // Children restricted content might be blocked by TV app as well,
        // but TIF should do its best not to show any single frame of blocked content.
        releasePlayer();
    }

    notifyContentBlocked(mCurrentContentRating);
}

Once you have determined if the content should or should not be blocked, notify the system TV app by calling the TvInputService.Session method notifyContentAllowed() or notifyContentBlocked() , as shown in the previous example.

Use the TvContentRating class to generate the system-defined string for the COLUMN_CONTENT_RATING with the TvContentRating.createRating() method, as shown here:

Kotlin

val rating = TvContentRating.createRating(
        "com.android.tv",
        "US_TV",
        "US_TV_PG",
        "US_TV_D", "US_TV_L"
)

Java

TvContentRating rating = TvContentRating.createRating(
    "com.android.tv",
    "US_TV",
    "US_TV_PG",
    "US_TV_D", "US_TV_L");

Handle track selection

The TvTrackInfo class holds information about media tracks such as the track type (video, audio, or subtitle) and so forth.

The first time your TV input session is able to get track information, it should call TvInputService.Session.notifyTracksChanged() with a list of all tracks to update the system TV app. When there is a change in track information, call notifyTracksChanged() again to update the system.

The system TV app provides an interface for the user to select a specific track if more than one track is available for a given track type; for example, subtitles in different languages. Your TV input responds to the onSelectTrack() call from the system TV app by calling notifyTrackSelected() , as shown in the following example. Note that when null is passed as the track ID, this deselects the track.

Kotlin

override fun onSelectTrack(type: Int, trackId: String?): Boolean =
        mPlayer?.let { player ->
            if (type == TvTrackInfo.TYPE_SUBTITLE) {
                if (!mCaptionEnabled && trackId != null) return false
                mSelectedSubtitleTrackId = trackId
                mSubtitleView.visibility = if (trackId == null) View.INVISIBLE else View.VISIBLE
            }
            player.trackInfo.indexOfFirst { it.trackType == type }.let { trackIndex ->
                if( trackIndex >= 0) {
                    player.selectTrack(trackIndex)
                    notifyTrackSelected(type, trackId)
                    true
                } else false
            }
        } ?: false

Java

@Override
public boolean onSelectTrack(int type, String trackId) {
    if (mPlayer != null) {
        if (type == TvTrackInfo.TYPE_SUBTITLE) {
            if (!mCaptionEnabled && trackId != null) {
                return false;
            }
            mSelectedSubtitleTrackId = trackId;
            if (trackId == null) {
                mSubtitleView.setVisibility(View.INVISIBLE);
            }
        }
        int trackIndex = -1;
        MediaPlayer.TrackInfo[] trackInfos = mPlayer.getTrackInfo();
        for (int index = 0; index < trackInfos.length; index++) {
            MediaPlayer.TrackInfo trackInfo = trackInfos[index];
            if (trackInfo.getTrackType() == type) {
                trackIndex = index;
                break;
            }
        }
        if (trackIndex >= 0) {
            mPlayer.selectTrack(trackIndex);
            notifyTrackSelected(type, trackId);
            return true;
        }
    }
    return false;
}