[mythtv-users] The Daily Show with mythnetvision
r.d.vaughan at rogers.com
Thu Jun 10 00:52:26 UTC 2010
If a source does not have an API then the next best thing is a RSS
feed. As you mentioned just using the RSS feed will sometimes only allow
you to access the Web page. If you want to get full browser screen plus
auto play then that takes additional work.
First check the Terms Of Service (TOS) as what I will mention next
may be illegal for some sources. Anything I mention next assumes that
you are meeting TOS and have some programming experience. Make sure you
read the grabber standards for the XML a grabber needs to produce.
Here are the steps I take to get to the goal of "Full browser screen and
auto play" in MythBrowser. If you can also get download links to the
video then that is gravy. You need to reverse engineer how the web site
creates their video window. Usually the video is using a Flash player.
1) View the source of the Web page in a browser.
2) Look for the <embed> tag. This can give you the html information so
you can create a local HTML file to use as the link that MythBrowser
executes. In MythTV trunk version of MythNetvision see the
"mythtv/internetcontent/nv_python_libs/configs/HTML" directory for some
examples. The grabber link would be for example
Some sites make it easy as they actually provide the embed html code for
3) You now need to look at the RSS data and see what the "videocode"
needs to be for each video item in the RSS feed. Sometimes that is
straight forward but most of the times you will need to do a multi step
a) Read the RSS data.
b) Read the associated HTML page for an item as provided in the RSS data.
c) Find the "videocode" in the HTML page so you can create the link
"file://....." as described above. When I write videocode I really mean
the unique code used to identify a video. From the bbciplayer example
above that would be "b00s5nfv" for one video on the BBC iPlayer site.
4) Test the link that your grabber will make in MythBrowser BEFORE
developing the grabber. Firefox will play links that MythBrowser will
It often takes a while before you can find the most efficient method of
achieving the goals as stated above.
I have found that the best ways to parse XML and HTML at least with
python is using the lxml libraries. These libraries support XPath
expressions and XSLT style sheets. There are a growing number of
grabbers that are implemented with the aforementioned technologies in
MythTV trunk. See the MythNetvision wiki grabber table for grabbers
marked for MythTV 0.24.
If you know python or want to learn it feel free to reuse the library
functions found in "mythtv/internetcontent/nv_python_libs" directories.
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