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Overview

How the PowerScheduler plugin works.

Introduction

The PowerScheduler plugins check periodically if there are activities that should prevent the system from going to standby. If it detects any, it signals Windows that the system is not idle.

On Windows Vista/7/8 systems PowerScheduler can even prohibit an explicit standby request by another program or by a user accidentally pressing the system power button. Instead of going to sleep mode the system then enters “Away Mode”, i.e. display and sound are switched off, but the system keeps running.

On the other hand, if PowerScheduler detects no such activities, it can send the system to standby, if configured so. Otherwise it depends on the system power settings, if and when Windows suspends the system.

PowerScheduler also takes care for waking up the system from standby when there are scheduled events like a scheduled TV recording or EPG grabbing.

PowerScheduler Server-Plugin

For the MediaPortal TV-Server there is a PowerScheduler sever plugin that checks for typical server activities that should prevent standby:

  • User activity or playing media on a MediaPortal client
  • Timeshifting to a MediaPortal client
  • Recording radio or TV
  • Grabbing EPG (optional)
  • Network activity, active network shares (optional)
  • Running processes (optional)

For most of these activities you can configure if a program request or user action to suspend the system is accepted or results in entering “Away Mode” (always for recording and timeshifting).

On a MediaPortal TV-Server there are also various events that should wake up the system from standby when the event is due. These are

  • Scheduled recordings (radio or TV)
  • Grabbing EPG (for the built-in DVB EPG grabber and for all active EPG grabbing plugins)
  • Periodic reboots

Note: PowerScheduler can only wake up the system for predictable scheduled events. Thus it cannot wake up the server when a remote client is switched on and needs the server.

PowerScheduler Client-Plugin

On MediaPortal clients the PowerScheduler client-plugin checks for typical client activities that should prevent standby:

  • User is active (mouse, keyboard and remote activities)
  • MediaPortal is not on home screen (configurable)
  • Media is playing (music, video, radio, TV, recordings)
  • User is watching pictures or slideshows

If the PowerScheduler client-plugin detects such activities, it signals Windows that the system is not idle and informs the PowerScheduler server-plugin on an associated remote MediaPortal TV-Server that the server is needed too. Thus the server will be up as long as the client is active, regardless of whether its resources are really needed or not.

The PowerScheduler client-plugin also scans for other MediaPortal client plugins that need to run at a scheduled time (e.g. the “MusicDB Reorganization” plugin). If it detects such plugins, it requests the next scheduled runtime from them and wakes up the system at that time.

Client and Server on One Machine (Single-Seat)

The standard installation scenario for MediaPortal is that the MediaPortal client and the TV-Server are running on the same machine. In this case the PowerScheduler server-plugin becomes the master, which is responsible for actually preventing standby or waking up the system for a scheduled event.

However the PowerScheduler client-plugin must be enabled too. It checks for local client activities that should prevent standby and for client wake up requests. These are then passed to the local PowerScheduler server-plugin to handle them.

Technical Background

Power-Saving States

Sleep is a power-saving state that allows a computer to quickly resume full-power operation (typically within several seconds) when you want to start working again. Sleep puts your work and settings in memory and draws a small amount of power (S3 - Suspend-to-RAM).

Hibernation is the power-saving state that uses the least amount of power. Hibernation puts your open documents and programs on your hard disk and then turns off your computer (S4 - Suspend-to-Disk). On a laptop, use hibernation when you know that you won't use your laptop for an extended period and won't have an opportunity to charge the battery during that time.

Hybrid sleep is a combination of Sleep and Hibernation - it puts any open documents and programs in memory and on your hard disk, and then puts your computer into a low-power state so that you can quickly resume your work. That way, if a power failure occurs, Windows can restore your work from your hard disk. Hybrid sleep is typically turned on by default on desktop computers.

More information: Sleep and hibernation Frequently Asked Questions

Away Mode

When the computer is in Away Mode, the system appears turned off to the user - the display is turned off and audio is muted. However, the PC remains in the on state (S0 - Working) and otherwise fully operational, which allows background tasks to continue.

Away Mode is designed specifically for scenarios where the user is finished interacting with the computer, but the system must remain powered on to record a TV broadcast or share media files with other systems and devices. Away Mode enables a living room media PC to respond to a user’s power-off requests in the same manner as a television or set-top box that might appear turned off, but actually continues to work.

Warning:
Only power actions mapped to Sleep may cause the PC to enter Away Mode:

  • System button presses mapped to Sleep (Hardware Power or Sleep button, mobile lid switch)
  • Human interface device events (USB keyboard Sleep button, IR remote control Power button)
  • Windows Start menu power button or Sleep option

Power actions mapped to Hibernate do not cause the PC to enter Away Mode.

More details: Away Mode

   

 

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