[mythtv-users] Supporting schedulesdirect.org

Chris Petersen lists at forevermore.net
Wed Aug 8 17:52:54 UTC 2007

Kai Holthaus wrote:
> The *data* IS free.

Some is.  But good luck getting it.

When this whole thing started, I figured I would try to get a data feed
from a couple of my local TV stations, since I thought it would be nice
to augment (and eventually replace) the TMS data.  Only one replied to
me, and they sent me their "feed" which consisted of an xls file that
was hand-entered by someone each week.  There were no multi-line cells
(e.g, "Morning News" was broken up into two cells so it could fit on two
lines).  There was no episode name info, just the show title.

When I wrote back asking about how I'd get the full info for what's on
the website, they said that they had no control over that and subscribed
to a service (surprise, it's provided by TitanTV).  When I asked about
the data they send out in the EDI feed, they told me that the station's
parent company paid some other service to put it into the broadcast
stream (who I assume gets it from TMS/GemStar).  In the end, I was told
to go to TMS if I wanted the data, because the station couldn't give it
to me themselves (because they didn't have it).

The end result of this loop is basically:

 * Some department at the local affiliate has the original data, and
   sends it to TMS/GemStar (but no one seems to know who these people
 * Every other department at the TV station seems to get *their* version
   of the data from TMS and/or GemStar, usually in a roundabout way,
   rather from the station itself.

TMS also provides some extra info that really helps MythTV scheduling,
particularly the programid/seriesid fields.  You will never get unique
identifier fields like these from screen scraping.  With TMS data,
you're paying for the value-add, which (like Kai said) is all of the
work that they've gone through to collect, organize, standardize and
enhance the "factual" data that they collect from the TV stations


P.S. I still have hopes of working directly with TV networks for data
feeds, but I doubt it will ever happen (there are just too many of them).

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