[mythtv-users] UK EPG

Gary Buhrmaster gary.buhrmaster at gmail.com
Mon Jan 1 03:06:41 UTC 2024

On Sun, Dec 31, 2023 at 6:45 PM Mike via mythtv-users
<mythtv-users at mythtv.org> wrote:
> Hi All,
> I've been having a fiddle with my MythTV setup and been wondering about
> the programme guide.  I think in the long lost past I was using the TV
> Times via XMLTV.  It broke or something and since then I've been relying
> on the import of the FreeSat EPG.

Most (at this point all?) of the various (official) XMLTV
(usually) web page grabbers for UK EPG have broken
(in some cases the upstream site disappeared, in
some cases the T&C's restrict usage (so the official
project will not provide a solution), or has moved
to using a subscription model that no one has
chosen to understand, and in some cases the web
site blocks access based on the XMLTV user-agent
(and, again, the official project respects the site's

Collecting, curating, and distributing an accurate
and useful EPG has a cost, and people expect to
be paid for such work (I can't really blame them,
as I am not independently wealthy such that I
can afford work for free).

Due to regulations, many stations may offer an EPG
as part of their broadcasting service, but they tend
not to be motivated to put more than the regulatory
minimums into the effort (as it costs them more),
so the details are limited (if they exist at all).

In the US, the OTA (in-band) EPG is just minimally
adequate but tends to be less than a day and has
only minimal program detail, so is, essentially,
inadequate to make good scheduling decisions.
Most of the MythTV users in the US end up
using one of the paid guide services (Schedules
Direct is, apparently, a favorite of the US based
community, and is rumored to be used by a
number of the core US based MythTV developers).

While the US is not the UK, similar market
influences are happening.  If you want a good
EPG, you are likely going to have to pay (again,
quality EPG costs money, and people (and
organizations) want to be paid for it.  I
understand that Schedules Direct also offers
EPG for the UK, but I presume there are
others.  I don't know the the current
exchange rate, but a price of something in
the range of $3/mo is worth it to me in the US
(and, as I like to point out, is less than a single
cup of designer coffee in the US, or single pint
of beer (at least the last time I was in the UK)).

Free is great, until it does not offer what I

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