[mythtv-users] tv guide line-up free

David Shay david at shay.net
Wed Sep 5 02:18:40 UTC 2007

On 9/4/07, Robert Current <robert.current at gmail.com> wrote:
> > "David Shay" <david at shay.net> writes:
> > On 9/4/07, Robert Current <robert.current at gmail.com> wrote:
> > <Snip irrelevant stuff>
> >
> > > TitanTV offers free XML listing data to download, IF you have a
> > > partner product (Adaptec, ATi, Hauppauge, etc...).

Basically, your whole argument falls apart here.  THEY DON'T "offer
free XML listing data to download".  Show me somewhere on the TitanTV
site where they document these URLs.  Show me an implementation guide.
 Show me the process where you can obtain a legitimate UUID.  Don't
give me yours, just show me how you can obtain a legitimate one.
Please share that process with the community, we'd all be interested.

I'm fairly sure (though not 100% certain) that you can't.  The
business model you describe (linking downloads of data and online
viewing of a guide) is not something that they actually have
integrated into an end-user based application.  They have not linked
these two things together in the GBPVR Remote scheduling application.
Reread that thread on the GBPVR forum, and you will discover that
everything is done as a manually scheduled recording -- the only data
retrieved from the TitanTV site is the specific channel and date/time.
There are references to a TitanTV XML library, but it uses the same
unpublished URLs and UUIDs as discussed above, which I'm pretty sure
were obtained through reverse-engineering tactics of existing partner


> Once you set up the one time recording in TitanTV, it is easy to turn
> that into a recurring recording schedule from with MythTV.  You loose
> no flexibility what so ever.

Well, you certainly wouldn't have an ability to do something like
"record whenever a show with this title is on anytime on any channel".
 Personally, I use this a lot.  If you don't, fine.  I also don't
count on a show to always be on at 8PM on Tuesday's.

  In fact, you gain the chance to do a "oh
> shucks, I forgot, I need this tonight" one time recording when your
> not at home.  That's not a loss…  That's a benefit.

Already have it with remote secure access to Mythweb.

> And as for the issue of cost, and TitanTV's risks…  For one, TitanTV
> keeps track of how many times you login, trying to get you coming
> back, they even have contests, with prizes, all to get you coming back
> and logging in.  I'm cool with that, I don't mind logging in and
> looking around once in a while.

Again, you speak of some non-existent business model where they tie
downloads to browsing the site.  No such thing exists.

> If they have a problem, they could easily set up a "login once a week
> or your service will be canceled" policy.  Sure, that's not going to
> make everyone happy, but I'm quite positive some people will do that
> before they will pay $5/month for listing data.
> >
> > Same issue applies with the Yahoo and MSN URLs.  Sure they generate
> > XML, that makes them great in one sense.  Get's past most of the
> > screen-scraping problems. Trouble is you are effectively violating the
> > TOS of something.  For instance, the Yahoo Go-TV application that you
> > reverse-engineered to determine those URL's, etc.  The MSN website
> > that you reverse-engineered to determine those URL's, etc.  A TOS is
> > violated somewhere along the line for every single one of these that I
> > have seen.
> See above for most of that.  But, the trouble I see you get into when
> you don't offer options is that you get people who want options.  I
> don't see the harm in adding another Direct Data source, IF someone is
> willing to code it, and IF people are willing to use it.  The whole
> TitanTV thing seems to be a much better alternative than
> screen-scraping.  For some reason (who knows) there are people putting
> energy into screen-scraping, why not into TitanTV instead?  It makes
> more sense…
> If they shut off the data, they shut off the data…  That isn't my
> choice, your choice, or anyone here's choice.  For now, it's there,
> it's free, and at least possible that it will work.  Further, it might
> even be possible for TitanTV to make an advertising buck or two off
> the whole thing.
> I don't know about Yahoo, MSN, or any others.  But if they allow
> registered users to sign up, get XML data downloads, are partnered
> with hardware vendors that I want to support, and the TOS agreement is
> as clear as TitanTV's, then why not try them also?

No one has a business model as you describe.  If you would like to
contact Yahoo or MSN or Titan and propose such a thing and get it
implemented, go right ahead.  As it stands right now, no service
offers XML data downloads to registered users.  These have all been
discovered through techniques that would, in all probability be
considered "reverse engineering" by most readings of a

> The ONLY two legitimate reasons to not try an alternative I know of
> are this: not to do it that I see is if it is clearly illegal, which
> isn't the case here IMHO (and which hasn't stopped screen scraping
> anyway).  Or, second, if no one has time or is willing to work on it…
> The second option seems to be the case…  And I'll agree to that…  But
> the other excuses seem like FUD to me.

Speak for yourself.  I have had more than enough time and skill to
implement the second option for all three services (titan, yahoo, and
MSN).  I chose not to primarily because they violate terms of service
of those websites and secondarily because I know that they would not
be accepted into either the MythTV or XMLTV codebase (and would
thereby benefit only a very small number of end users).  As a tertiary
reason, my guess is that although none of these are as susceptible to
constant change as are the screen-scrapers, each has there own issues.
 In fact, the Yahoo format (not even XML, but "flat file, pipe
separated values") has changed once since the Zap2it announcement
already.  My guess is that TitanTV will kill those UUIDs any day now,
but you never know.

In any case, it all comes down to this:  Show me one XML service with
a document from it's source with something akin to an implementation
guide, or even something from the vendor that publishes those URLs as
being available to the public.  That will at least get one step closer
to showing that something is not violating a TOS.

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