Synchronizing DVD Commands

Synchronizing DVD Commands

DVD commands do not always complete instantly. For this reason, some of the methods in IDvdControl2 are asynchronous. These include playback methods, such as PlayTitle, and menu navigation methods, such as ShowMenu and ReturnFromSubmenu. An asynchronous method returns immediately, without waiting for the command to complete. After the method returns, other events may prevent the command from completing, even if the method succeeded. DirectShow provides several options for synchronizing commands, ranging from no synchronization to full synchronization using filter graph events.

All of the asynchronous methods have a dwFlags parameter and a ppCmd parameter. The dwFlags parameter specifies the synchronization behavior, and the ppCmd parameter returns a pointer to an optional synchronization object. Different behaviors result depending on what values you give for these parameters.

No Synchronization

For a basic DVD playback application, the best option may be simply to ignore synchronization issues. Occasionally a command may fail or the UI might lag slightly when it updates, but these errors will be on the order of fractions of seconds.

To issue a command with no synchronization, set the DVD_CMD_FLAG_None flag in the dwFlags parameter and set the ppCmd parameter to NULL:



hr = pDVDControl2->PlayTitle(uTitle, DVD_CMD_FLAG_None, NULL);


Blocking

If you set the EC_DVD_CMD_FLAG_Block flag in the dwFlags parameter, the method blocks until the command completes:



hr = pDVDControl2->PlayTitle(uTitle, EC_DVD_CMD_FLAG_Block, NULL);


In effect, this flag turns an asynchronous method into a synchronous method. The drawback is that your UI blocks if you call the method from the application thread.

Synchronization Object

All of the asynchronous methods can return a synchronization object, which you can use to wait for the command to start or end. To get this object, pass the address of an IDvdCmd pointer in the ppCmd parameter:



IDvdCmd *pCmdObj = NULL;
hr = pDVDControl2->PlayTitle(uTitle, DVD_CMD_FLAG_None, &pCmdObj);


If the method succeeds, it returns a new IDvdCmd object. The IDvdCmd::WaitForStart method blocks until the command begins, and the IDvdCmd::WaitForEnd method blocks until the command ends. The return value indicates the status of the command.

The following code is functionally equivalent to setting the EC_DVD_CMD_FLAG_Block flag, shown previously.



IDvdCmd *pCmdObj = NULL;
hr = pDVDControl2->PlayTitle(uTitle, DVD_CMD_FLAG_None, &pCmdObj);
if (SUCCEEDED(hr))
{
    // Use pCmdObj to wait for the command to complete.
    hr = pCmdObj->WaitToEnd();
    pCmdObj->Release();
}


In this case, the PlayTitle method does not block, but the application blocks by calling WaitForEnd.

Command Status Events

If you set the DVD_CMD_FLAG_SendEvents flag in the dwFlags parameter, the DVD Navigator sends an EC_DVD_CMD_START event when the command begins and an EC_DVD_CMD_END event when the command ends.

The event's lParam2 parameter is the HRESULT return value for the command. The event's lParam1 parameter provides a way get the synchronization object for the command. If you pass lParam1 to the IDvdInfo2::GetCmdFromEvent method, the method returns a pointer to the synchronization object's IDvdCmd interface. You can use this interface to wait for completion of the command, as described earlier. However, if you passed NULL for the ppCmd parameter in the original IDvdControl2 method, the DVD Navigator does not create a synchronization object, and GetCmdFromEvent returns E_FAIL.

The following code shows how to use command status events with no synchronization object.



hr = pDVDControl2->PlayTitle(uTitle, DVD_CMD_FLAG_SendEvents, NULL);

// In your event handling code:
switch (lEvent)
{
   case EC_DVD_CMD_END:
       HRESULT hr2 = (HRESULT)lParam2;
       /* ... */ 
       break;
}


Note that without a synchronization object, you cannot tell which command is associated with the event. The following code shows how to use events with the synchronization object. The idea is to store the synchronization objects in a list and then compare object pointers when you get the EC_DVD_CMD_START or EC_DVD_CMD_END event.



IDvdCmd *pCmdObj = NULL;
hr = pDVDControl2->PlayTitle(uTitle, DVD_CMD_FLAG_SendEvents, &pCmdObj);
if (SUCCEEDED(hr)) 
{
    // Store pCmdObj in a list of pending commands.
}

// In your event handling code:
switch (lEvent)
{
case EC_DVD_CMD_END:
   {
       IDvdCmd *pObj = NULL;
       hr = pDvdInfo2->GetCmdFromEvent(lParam, &pObj);
       if (SUCCEEDED(hr)) 
       {
           // Find this object in your list by comparing IUnknown
           // pointers. Assume the following function is defined in 
           // your application:
           IDvdCmd *pPendingObj = GetPendingCommandFromList(pObj); 
           if (pPendingObj)
           {
               // Update UI accordingly (not shown). 
               pPendingObj->Release();
           }
           pObj->Release();
       }
    }
    break;
} 


Flushing the DVD Navigator's Buffers

During playback, the DVD Navigator buffers video data. The amount of buffered data varies. When the DVD Navigator switches to a new piece of video, data already in the pipeline is not lost, so the transition is seamless. By default, when the DVD Navigator issues a command, it does not flush data already in the pipeline. As a result, there may be some latency before you can see the effect of the command, depending on how much data is buffered. To increase the responsiveness, you can force the DVD Navigator to flush by setting the DVD_CMD_FLAG_Flush flag.



hr = pDVDControl2->PlayTitle(uTitle, DVD_CMD_FLAG_Flush, NULL);


This flag can be combined with any of the flags described previously, using a bitwise OR. A side effect of flushing is that some video may be lost, so do not use this flag if you need to guarantee there are no gaps in the video.

Related topics

DVD Applications

 

 

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