FAQ UlangoTV App

An dieser Stelle tragen wir aktuelle und immer wiederkehrende Fragen (FAQ) rund um die Android App UlangoTV zusammen.

Inhalt:
Missbehaviour of the App
  Repair Network Freezes
  Recover from a frozen or missbehaving App
    Recover on the Amazon Fire

Versionen der App UlangoTV
  Direct Installation of UlangoTV without Google or Amazon
  Installation of Apps on the Fire TV without Amazon App Store

Color Codes – Yellow – Blue – Magenta – Red
  I have Premium, but I don’t see blue, magenta or red – why?

Availability and Quality of Streams
  Yesterday I had 50 channels – now there are only 12 – why?

Missbehaviour of the App

Unfortunately, it happens sometimes that the app actually or apparently freezes or crashes and can not be re-started. The reasons are complex and mostly are on non-repairable errors in the interface between the software and the Android hardware. Here we first describe how to get out of the problem.

Repair Network Freezes

Most freezings are network related:  The app waits for some network operation to finish, but cannot be interrupted in that state.  Unfortunately this is a common problem with Android Apps – not only with UlangoTV where we depend on libraries that are not ours. A simple method in those cases is to close the network for some seconds.  If you are on ethernet, it’s simple:  just pull the network cable for a few seconds.  If you are on WLAN, switch off/on WLAN.  In most cases the App will be responsive again – if not, see below.

Revover from a frozen or missbehaving App

There is a very good description by Google:  Fix an installed Android app that isn’t working
In addition to that our recommendation is, not to restart your device immediately, but to try to stop the App completely.  This works pretty easy with a pointing device or touch in the so called “Recents View”.  After returning home with the Home-Key you can reach this function from your Navigation Line of your System with the Symbol  or  .

Here you can terminate the App by swiping away  oder click of the ‘x’ Button.

On occasion, it is even difficult to make the navigation bar visible with the Home button. Usually a short press on the power button several times helps. If that doesn’t help ether the device must then be restarted as a last resort.

Recover on the Amazon Fire

The Fire does not know this “Recents View”.  So in that case you have to use the settings, which you can always reach via the Home-key: Settings => Applications => Manage Installed Applications => UlangoTV 2.1 => Force stop

Versions of the App UlangoTV

The version number always has the form {features}.{major_number}.{minor_number}, e.g. gbxav.2.1.26 .

With features the app tells the server about capabilities of the system, e.g. ‘g’ stands for compression support, ‘a’ tells the server, that it is an Android system.

The major_number will only change, wenn there are major changes in the interaction with the user.

The minor_number will be increased on every little change.  Because we follow the principal “Continuous Development”, this number changes rapidly – typically 3-4 times a month.  Not every minor version will be published in the stores, but they may be accessible via the beta link http://apk.ulango.tv/21beta (a beta on the major_mumber 2.1 branch)

Release Notes are visible in the App.  As soon as a new version is loaded, this information will show up in the “wellcome dialog”.   Later you can still  get this information via Settings => Account in the app.

most recent stable versions can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or Amazon App Store .
These versions may be different.  But we always try to have identical .apk files for all Android devices.   De most recent stable version can also be downloaded from our Server .  The ending  number of the link corresponds to the major_number of the version (without the dot inbetween – e.g. http://apk.ulango.tv/21).

Direct Installation of UlangoTV without Google or Amazon

Newer Versions or special Testversions can be loaded directly from our Website.  Important Links are always published on the ulango.tv home page Home Page of ulango.tv.

The following steps are necessary:
  1. Erlaube das Laden von Apps unbekannter Herkunft:
    Amazon Fire TV: Settings => Device => Developer Options => Apps from Unknown Source => ON.
    Android Standard: Settings => Security => Unknown Source => ON.
    Don’t be shy. We guarantee that our binaries are bit-identical copies of the versions posted to the “official” stores.
  2. Open a browser Browser with the Link to the .apk z.B.  http://apk.ulango.tv/21 .
  3. After download, the install .apk file can be opened (from the headerline you can also draw the downloeded files)
    That will install the file and you may open it immediately.
    (Carefull: In some Android installations you need to deinstall the App before installing a new version, if it exists with the same app name)

It’s very different with the Amazon Fire TV which usually has no Browser and does not allow to install with standard capabilities.

Installation of Apps on the Fire TV without Amazon App Store

We have written a special blog post Install apps on Fire TV without Amazon App Store geschrieben.

Color Codes – Yellow – Blue – Magenta – Red

I have Premium, but I don’t see blue, magenta or red – why?

There are two filters that a search result must pass:

  • Self-restriction on yellow, blue or magenta.
    Default is the self-restriction on the maximum possible level: Yellow – registered only, Blue – Trial, Magenta – Premium.   There are reasons,to deliberately restrict the visible streams to a lower level – or to raise to Red for Premium Users.  See details in our Blog Article “UlangoTV 2.0 – Yellow – Blue – Magenta now makes sense!“.
  • The Channel-Filter on Regions, Categories and Playlists.
    To make things easier we have introduced a checkbox “No Search Limits”.  If clicked – no channel filters are applied!

Setting of your Search Orders is done on the page “My Search Orders” on our Website.

Availability and Quality of Streams

A lot of questions, especially from newcomers at UlangoTV, refer to the availability and quality of the streams. Our standard answer, which can also be found in our terms and conditions, is: We are not the operators of the Stream Servers. We only find URLs on the net and pass them on to our UlangoTV app. It’s our obligation to keep as much useless stuff as possible away from the user and to add useful information as quickly as possible with information from our channel library to the users.

Yesterday I had 50 channels – now there are only 12 – why?

We are confronted with an extremely varying quality of streams. Of the many million stream URLs that are found on the net, only a very small percentage works permanently. Most URLs do not work already at the first appearance in search engines. Many which are working are often usable only a few hours. Many channels are covered, if at all, only by extremely short-lived streams. These streams are usually test accounts by the stream providers, who want to draw their attention to their offers. The legality of these offers is often questionable to say the least. The stream by itself has no information on any copyright that the Stream Provider may have disregarded. We therefore characterize these streams with a magenta color. The user can decide for himself whether he wants to use these streams.

Back to the question: So if a user has this kind of channels in his playlists, which are only covered by a single, as we say “ephemere”, then it is very likely that all of a sudden all streams will be dropped and thus the channels are no longer covered.

The user can also understand this in detail by looking at the information about the stream to the right of the list. There is e.g. “Known Since about 4 hours”. An example of a stream we only know for 4 hours. If there is “since 3 days”, then it means that the stream has already survived the phase of the test accounts (6-24h) and probably lives even longer.

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Install apps on Fire TV without Amazon App Store

The Problem

Again and again it happens that you like an app or even a certain newer version of an app, which is not available through the Amazon App Store, but you would like to have it on your Fire TV. This is possible in principle by a so-called SideLoad, but not quite as easy as from the Amazon Store. Of course, the user must be aware that installing Android apps bypassing the Amazon App Store is risky, but manageable. Because the Android OS separates apps from each other quite effectively, so that no undesirable side effects occur.

There are several methods, two of which are chosen here. First of all, the Fire TV has to be prepared for the installation of external apps:

Prepare the Amazon Fire TV for later direct installation of apps

Make a note of the IP-Adress of your Fire TV.  You find it on your Fire TV über Home -> Einstellungen -> Gerät -> Info -> Netzwerk.  Die Ziffernfolge dort brauchst Du später für die Installation – z.B. 192.168.178.43

Apps unbekannter Herkunft zulassen

Home -> Settings -> Device -> Developer options -> Apps from Unknown Sources -> ON

ADB-Debugging an

Home -> Settings -> Device -> Developer options -> ADB-Debugging -> ON

USB-Debugging ON (optional)

(You only need this when Amazon Fire and your PV are not in the same Network and you have to use USB to connect both of them)

Home -> Settings -> Device -> Developer options -> USB-Debugging -> ON

Uninstall an already existing app with a different version

For the installation to be possible, an already existing version of the same app must be uninstalled.

Go to Home – > Settings ->Applications – Manage Installed Applications

Select the App to be uninstalled -> Uninstall -> Uninstall

(This is also done directly with the tools of the two methods described below)

Alternative A: Installation with Apps2Fire from your Android SmartPhone

Installation is very easy if you have an Android SmartPhone or Tablet. From this it is very easy to push any app that is already installed there on the Amazon Fire. This happens in the following steps: (a) Installation of Appt2Fire on your Android Smartphone or Tablet

Visit the Google Play Store and search Apps2Fire (Original) from Koni

Install, Open and connect to your Fire TV:

Go to Settings and enter the IP address of your Fire TV, which you have noted before. If there is a problem with the connection to the fire, please check this IP address again.

A particular convenience of the Apps2Fire app is the possibility to search for the device in the net by clicking on the magnifying glass. A network search is started. Simply select the device and the IP address is so easily taken over.

Install UlangoTV 2.0 from the Google Play Store on your SmartPhone / Tablet. Go to the Play Store and search for “ulangotv2”. If you found UlangoTV IPTV Explorer 2.0, install this app.

Now go to the tab “Local Apps” and look for the entry UlangoTV 2.0 (tv.ulango.ulangotv2). Click and Install. A popup should be “Info – Installation successful – UlangoTV 2.0”. That’s it!

Alternative B: Installation with the PC Program adbLink

First install the latest version of the adbLink application on your Windows, Mac or Linux PC.
Search for “adblink jacola” with your browser. The link to jacola.com should be in the first place.

Go there and look up the corresponding links for download for the operating system of your PC.

AdbLink 3.1 for Windows Mirror
AdbLink 3.1 for OS X 10.7 or greater Mirror
AdbLink 3.1 for x86_64 Linux Mirror

I have put no links here intentionally, as these should always be ta from the website jacola.com. Follow the instructions for installing adbLink on your OS Variant.

After the start, the connection to your Fire TV must first be established. If you have started the latest version 3.1, just go to the “Ad Hoc IP” field and enter the IP-Address that you wrote down in the preparation. Then Connect. In the window above, “Connected devices” should show your IP address and “Connection status” should be “IP connection”.

Now you are ready for an installation of the APK to the Fire TV.

Download the APK from our website on your PC: http://apk.ulango.tv/20
There should be a single .apk file on your PC. Please do not unpack! (Windows users may have to make the file extensions visible through the File Explorer to distinguish directories from individual files)

Now click on “Install APK” in adbLink. Navigate to the APK file you just downloaded. After opening and answering the popup with “yes” the installation starts. Final message should be “APK (s) installed”

Transfer the App UlangoTV to the Home menu -> Current

To make sure that the app does not always have to be started from the Manage Installed Applications on Fire TV, it is convenient to transfer the app to the Home -> Current menu.

Go to the Home -> “Your Apps & Games” menu. This menu may be empty – doesn’t matter. Go to the end of this menu. There is either nothing or “All displays”. Press and hold the Home button until either a grid with all the installed apps appears, or until a screen appears, with which you can normally switch to sleep mode. Just click on the apps icon on the left and the grid with all installed apps appears. Search the yellow / blue / magenta diamond symbol of UlangoTV. Start the app. This brings the app to the first position of the Home menu -> Current and can be restarted very easily next time.

 

 

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A Nightmare becomes true – learning from an experienced Rails Developer

I am writing this to give myself air and because I think you can still learn a lot from incidents like this I have experienced here as an old hare.

Imagine: You are solely responsible for a complex software. You have to introduce new essential features for the system. You have slowly brought the new features into the system via “feature switches”. Many already use the new features. Now comes the time when you can start switching off old features and all users more or less compulsively are lead to the new features. This is probably the most difficult moment of a product launch. There is no easy return. Just at this moment happens what all developers and system administrators are afraid of. The system dies and there is a complete data loss for several days.

This is exactly what happened with the UlangoTV 2.0 introduction.

The whole story is so exemplary and classic that I think it will interest many of the technically skilled, how it could come to it and how one can liberate oneself without damage from such a catastrophe.

A fatal crash with big data loss – how can it happen?

Most web and app servers use Linux systems because they have proven to be particularly stable, secure, powerful and inexpensive over the years – so we too. Many administrators are proud that their systems have not been restarted for more than 6 months or more and that they are just stable. Backups are made regularly – today mostly by the providers via snapshot on the lowest level of the raw partitions. To this end, regular DB backups are made with the DB tools, which guarantee the necessary transaction security.

The DB backups are a special problem, if the databases become too big as in our case – over 50GB. Importing such data requires a lot of time and leads to a great downtime in the event of a disaster. The only way to achieve high availability is the introduction of redundancy. How this helped in our case relatively quickly back on the legs, more below.

Now to the crash in more detail. In ongoing operation with increasing system load, it suddenly happens that some processes are no longer finishing their work in time. The load swells, the system begins to swap until practically everything hangs. You quickly identify load causes, services are turned off. But suddenly this does not help anymore because there is obviously a blockage situation in the system (A waits for B, B waits for C, C waits for A – deadlock – you know what I mean). Very bad, if the blockade obviously lies at the bottom of the filesystem. Now the moment has come, where only a reboot can help. And then it happens: The system can not be rebooted because there are inconsistencies in the filesystem. This is usually not too bad, because a modern file system carries enough redundancy in itself to repair itself. Unfortunately, however, this was also not possible in our case. No chance to make the system work again. So a backup had to be restored – from the last day – a few hours before. After an hour we realize that the filesystem is already too broken here, that it is no longer usable. Another backup back – another hour – does not work either. Now it’s slowly becoming critical. In the meantime, we are preparing a new system into which we can upload our backup – uploading the compressed data: 22 hours !!

So a backup back – the weekly backup 5 days back. Hurray – it works. I decide to relinquish the import of the DB and to manage with the data loss of 5 days somehow. Phew

Restoration of data from redundant sources

When it comes to recovering from a data loss as quickly as possible, all kinds of sources can help. This is where the strengths of the Ruby on Rails programming language we use come into play, with the help of which AdHoc programs could be written very quickly. In our case, we had three sources: 1. Central log files, which were redundantly stored on other servers. 2. Our external order data at PayPal and 3. Our Riak-based key-value storage for channels and streams.

From the logfiles, it was relatively easy to restore user data – apart from the passwords, of course. With an AdHoc program the data were imported and the users were notified by e-mail to reset their passwords.

The restoration of the order data proved to be much more difficult, since the order information was also lost, and it was not always possible to associate the payments with users.

Finally, relatively easy was to restore our central database for streams and channels. We had transferred this data to a so-called key-value store (Riak) a long time ago, in particular in order to distribute the load on requests as well as the redundancy achieved over several servers. It is the key to a virtually unlimited scalable system. It is a technology that is used today in all large systems and was used for the first time by Amazon in a larger style (Dynamo).

Conclusion

For us, the following are the main conclusions

  1. More frequent reboots of the system to detect “creeping” destruction of data, which then also migrates into the backups, early.
  2. Storage of the DB Backups close to the server in order to make it available as quickly as possible.
  3. Improved centralized logging (syslog daemon)
  4. Relocat even more data – especially users and order data – in distributed KV stores to minimize the “single point of failure” situations.

So – now I’ve got rid of it and I feel much better and ready to tackle new challenges at UlangoTV!

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Special EM2016 Offer at UlangoTV

A reason to cheer: The UlangoTV EM Offer

The next big sports event is coming up. From Juni 10 to July 10 the 15th European Soccer Championship 2016 is celebrated in France.

EM2016-12+1-PayButton

As a Bonus for the “EM 2016” we are offering 13 months UlangoTV Premium for the price of 12.

13 Months UlangoTV

The action is terminated with the first game France vs. Romania June 10, 2016 at 21:00 CET.

UlangoTV – >3.500 international Live Streams

★ Google Play Store – derzeit nicht verfügbar
★ Amazon Fire App Store – https://goo.gl/ij9f64
★ Samsung UserAppStore – https://goo.gl/6mDjCf

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