[mythtv-users] UK EPG

Andy Harvey andy at harvs.net
Mon Jan 1 20:02:24 UTC 2024


On 01/01/2024 18:29, Paul Gardiner wrote:
> On 01/01/2024 03:06, Gary Buhrmaster wrote:
>> 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
>> choices)).
>>
>> 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)).
>
> I've been using Schedules Direct in the UK for several years now. 
> There have been a few temporary minor glitches (none recent), but it's 
> mainly worked really well for me. I'm not sure what support MythTV 
> provides for setup of UK Schedules Direct. Back when I started using 
> it, the support was minimal and I ended up writing some scripts to 
> heuristically match schedule channel names to transmission channel 
> names and from that fill in what's needed in the database channel 
> table. MythTV may well have improved in that respect since then. 

Ditto to that. I've been using Schedules Direct for UK schedules for a 
few years too. The data is pretty good episode numbers, first broadcast 
date, etc are fairly reliable. When there have been problems they are 
fairly responsive to support requests, though I've only raised a few 
tickets in 7 years using them. It's only $35 per year - a lot less than 
the Radio Times.





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