[mythtv] Brainstorming a new idea for the program guide

Robert McNamara robert.mcnamara at gmail.com
Mon Sep 21 20:56:48 UTC 2009

On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 1:45 PM, Jay Merrifield <fracmak at gmail.com> wrote:
> The first version of the code would essentually be adding a banner to the
> epg. What I was thinking of doing is when mythfilldatabase runs, it would
> also run ttvdb.pl to grab the url of a banner for all tv programs (and
> eventually movies). It would download that banner locally to a similar
> location to the channel icons. A new db column on the program table would
> have a path to the banner. Then when the EPG is being rendered, if the
> option is turned on to display banners, whatever row you're on, would
> essentually double in size to make room for the banner art. So if you used
> to show 4 rows in the EPG, you'd show 3, with one being double sized. We'd
> then display the banner below the text, sized appropriately for the
> height/width of the timeslot.

A couple of things about this-- Some of the ideas you are proposing
are entirely theme related, and once the Guide Grid is a little more
flexible (and some additional functionality is added to MythUI) they
should be possible.  There are a few things that raise warning bells
for me:

1) Writing new code to call the grabbers.  I have no problem w/ being
able to call grabber scripts, but I *do* want the metadata
grab/download code to be generalized and moved into the backend such
that any plugin/screen can access it in a generic fashion.

2) The massive load downloading banners for all programs would create
on our (open, free) sources.  I think that all myth users downloading
art for all shows (or even all those they bring up in the EPG) would
probably very quickly put TVDB out of commission.

3) When/if the downloading is added, it should be possible to get
fanart and covers as well as just banners.  I would be troubled by an
approach that hardcoded one of the pieces of art but ignored the

Problem #1 is easily overcome-- One of my tasks for .23 is to do it.
Problem 3 is more of a caution and an opportunity to note that we want
MythUI to be as flexible as possible for themers.  Problem 2 is the
biggest issue in my mind.  I don't think we can expect TheTVDB to be
an acceptable source of this info unless Myth is able to provide all
the bandwidth (ie, a mirror) or we find an alternate source of the
data (which may also be possible by way of TMS).

> The second version would expand the banner to be used on the schedule page
> and other places that seem appropriate. Eventually making it to a new view
> of the recordings page so you can pick your shows by banner.

This should be defined by the theme, not hardcoded.


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