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EPG-Buddy a new EPG Tool with easy usage.

Discussion in 'Tools and other software' started by Lehmden, November 26, 2016.

  1. Lehmden
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    Hi.
    I like to introduce our latest tool. It's called "EPG-Buddy" and should make EPG grabbing as easy as possible. Up to now a good EPG is one of the most complicated things to achieve in the MP world. Nearly all available sources needs complicated scripting and fiddling with XML files or similar. "On Air" EPG often is of bad quality or not available at all. Available Sources for grabbing EPG data from online sources are hard to configure if you are new to this topic. Here is where EPG-Buddy jumps in. With EPG-Buddy you can configure your EPG wit a few mouse clicks and after you're done your EPG is refreshed completely invisible and automatic on a daily or weekly base. You can use various sources for your EPG data. At beginning TVSpielfilm (German website with direct and ultra fast data download) and WebGrab+Plus are supported. More will follow soon.
    As there were some German only versions available before, only supporting TVSpielfilm a German threat is available a bit longer already. If you can read German, you can find it here:
    EPG-Buddy ein neues EPG Tool

    The installation is straight forward, simply run the installer. Sometimes there is an extra option at the end of the installation procedure to update your database. This only is necessary if you have a previous version installed that needs a database update. If you install EPG-Buddy for the first time or have uninstalled it completely before the installation, then it is not necessary to run the upgrade tool.

    Let's have a first look at the GUI, that only is used for configuration. The GUI is available in English and German language (as this are the only two languages I can understand). The language you can select in the menu. Changes are used on next start of the program.
    Zwischenablage-1.jpg
    On this screenshot you also can see the first page of the program, "Setup TV" . At the moment here only is the setup for MediaPortal2 available but support for MediaPortal1 will be added soon. All TV engines with XMLTV support (like e.g. MediaPortal 1 and 2, Argus TV, DVB-Viewer,...) can use EPG-Buddy nevertheless. The only difference is, with supported systems (atm only MP2) you can choose the channel name from a dropdown list read out of the TV database. With not supported systems you need to enter the channel name by hand, if you want to have an automatic mapping in XMLTV plugin later. This page is self explaining, I'm pretty sure.

    Next page "EPG-Source" also is easy to use. Here you select which EPG sources you want to use. You can use as many sources as you like in parallel. If you click on the sources logo you will be directed to the corresponding website.
    Zwischenablage-2.jpg
    This two sources did not need credentials, but the column is there already for later usage (e.G. SchedulesDirect needs credentials)...

    Let's get serious now. Next page "EPG-Data" is the heart of the program, the configuration of your EPG. Here you will find a sub- page for every available EPG source that most likely needs slightly different usage. If you are interested in configuring TVSpielfilm you are most likely able to read German. Detailed information how to configure TVSpielfilm can be found in the German threat.
    At least I like to show you how this page is looking:
    Zwischenablage-6.jpg

    And now how to configure WebGrab+Plus for usage...
    As there are more than 400 websites available from within WebGrab it is necessary to pre-select the few sites you really want to use. Which site is the best for you, I can not tell as this depends on your country, your region and your TV provider... Try a few sites that sound familiar to you and see if they are covering all your channels. The first thing you need to do is to click the button below "Website- preselection". Then a list with lots and lots of websites is shown. Here you should set the mark on all sites you want to use later. If you select a site here that you did not use later, nothing bad is happen aside the dropdown list for your websites is a bit to long... We have set a mark at "tv.com" as example. Also I don't know anything about TV in USA it looks as if "tv.com" supports a lot of US- channels.
    Zwischenablage-7.jpg

    After you've done you need to click "Set". Then your sites are stored for usage. Now the channels configuration appears (again). The dropdown list now should show the sites you've selected. If this is not the case you could quickly go to a different page and then back again to this. Sometimes the list did not refresh that fast, depending on the speed of your hardware. But normally you only need to do this once, so this is no big deal...

    Now you can configure your channels one after the other. First select the website to use from the dropdown list in the middle of the page and then click on "show". Now the list below is filled with every channel that is available on this website. When in "Manual" mode suitable for every TV engine the page looks like this:
    Zwischenablage-8.jpg
    On bottom left you can set how many days you like to grab your EPG data. In the right area the settings for the focused channel are set. The input field tells you how the channel recently is named in the final XML If this name matches the channel name in your TV database the mapping inside the xmltv plugin is fitting perfect without any interaction. So you can edit the name here, if you like. If not you need to do the mapping in xmltv plugin by hand... If the upper checkbox is marked EPG data for this channel is grabbed from the recently selected website. If there is no mark (like on the screenshot) this channel will not grabbed from this site. The lower checkbox activated the so called "e2t" mode. This means all EPG data for this channel are compared with TVDB to get the matching season and episodes numbers for any series episode that is to be aired on this channel. Aside this, if the description field is empty it will be filled with TVDB description. Normally this only is done if the EPG description is empty. But you can force the usage of TVDB descriptions if you check "Always overwrite plot with TVDB data" on the left. The changes to a channel are stored as soon as the next channel is clicked. This also is true for the last channel you've edited. You need to click once at a different channel to store changes for the last one.

    Most things are identical if you use the database mode.
    Zwischenablage-4.jpg
    The only difference here is that you don't need to edit the channel name by hand. You easily can select it from the right dropdown list so it matches your TV database perfectly. You can switch between both modes every time you like with the radio buttons on top left. Once you have set all channels you want EPG for you can click on the bottom- left button. Now the WebGrabConfig will be created and you are good to go.

    Only one step left to your automatic EPG... Set a scheduled task for grabbing the EPG data. This is done on the next page "Schedule"
    Zwischenablage-5.jpg





    On the left you select the day(s) of the week when the EPG data should be loaded. In the middle there you choose the time when this should be done. Time needs to be entered in 24 hours format. And on the right you have 3 "action" buttons. The top most is deleting any previous schedules you may have set before. In the middle you add a scheduled task to Windows task-planer. Both actions needs "Admin" rights and for this the program is asking for proper rights. This is necessary and can not be prevented.

    With the lowest button you can trigger a manual grabbing of EPG data. If you do so, some DOS boxes are popping up where you can see what's going on behind the curtains. And you also can cancel the operation here by simply closing the dos boxes. If the grabbing runs in automatic mode those boxes are not showing up and you will not notice the grabbing at all...

    We finally made it... As long as it is EPG-Buddy this is the case. But we need to configure MP to use our grabbed EPG.
    The first step is to activate XmlTv plugin in TV configuration, if not done already.
    Zwischenablage-9.jpg

    Then we need to set the plugin to use our data. For this we select the EPG-Buddy installation folder as input.
    Zwischenablage-11.jpg
    Important is to select "Import files in new tvguide.lst" and deselect "Import new tvguide.xml".

    And the last step is to validate the mapping:
    Zwischenablage-12.jpg

    If you have set the channel names properly you don't need to manually change something here. If not you may map a lot of channels by hand. Don't forget to save the mapping when you're done.

    Now a very last step is left to do, but only if you are using the PowerScheduler Plugin. In Expert mode you should add the process "Grab-EPG" to the list or processes preventing the system to go into standby mode.
    Zwischenablage-13.jpg

    And you can set this plugin to wake up the system to grab EPG at the time you've scheduled the task in Windows task planer. Normally the EPG grabbing starts as soon as the system is awake if it was asleep while the grabbing should have run.

    The recent Version is 0.4.1.8 and can be found in our repo at:
    EPG-Buddy

    That's all for now.
    Have fun.
     
    Last edited: October 13, 2017 at 11:15
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 2
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  3. breese
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    Installed the new version.
    Got to the stage of EPG Data, the TVSpielfilm shows the menu of cannels
    EPG_Buddy 01.jpg

    Web-Grab does not show any web sites to choose from.
    EPG_Buddy 02.jpg

    EDIT: I found you need to click the Web Site preselection Start to get the list of sites....
     
  4. breese
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    In the EPG Data screen.
    Choose Web Grab +Plus
    Channel Names Select, either of them.
    Click Website - Preselection - Populates list
    Click Website - Preselection - Appends another list to the list.
    For each time you click the button, it appends to the list again.

    Also, I do not see TVGuide.com listed in the list. This is the U.S. site I use for EPG
     
  5. Lehmden
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    Hi.
    Thanks for trying EPG-Buddy.

    Yes, that's intended and so was written in the first post.

    Only site having a corresponding ".channels.xml" available are shown as without the ".channels.xml" I can not use the site...

    I just saw that TVGuide.com has a different named ".channels.xml"... There it is named "tvguide.com_channels_byTimezone.xml" Simply rename it to "tvguide.com.channels.xml" like all the other files and it will be shown (most likely at the end of the list)
    As a proof:
    Zwischenablage-1.jpg
    This was achieved only by renaming the file..

    In next version I will provide a renamed file, but up to then you need to do it yourself.. You will find it in "EPG-Buddy\WebGrab\ where you also will find the "WebGrab++.config.xml" and the webgrab log, if it was running before already...

    I've found a fix that will be included in next version...
     
  6. breese
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    I found the readme for tvguide included with the lists (tvguide.com_info.txt)
    I created the dummy channel and included my Zip Code (60004)
    I then removed the * from in front of the lines to create a new tvguide.com.channels.xml then ran the Webgrab+Plus.exe (As Admin).
    It ran but did not seem to create the tvguide.com.channels.xml in the same folder as tvguide.ini

    Seems the WebGrab+Plus.exe found a different ini file in C:\ProgramData\ServerCare\WebGrab called ustvnow.com.ini instead of using the file in C:\Program Files (x86)\EPG-Buddy\WebGrab
     
  7. Lehmden
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    If you run WebGrab+Plus.exe without giving the path to the folder containing the config and siteini files it always will search in "C:\ProgramData\ServerCare\WebGrab"
    if you want to use the siteini and config from EPG-Buddy you need to call it like this (assuming that you have used default EPG-Buddy instalation path and using x64 Windows):
    Code (Winbatch):
    1. WebGrab+Plus.exe "c:\Program Files (x86)\EPG-Buddy\WebGrab\"
    This way it uses the siteini and config from EPG-Buddy.
     
  8. breese
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    Completed my first EPG Grab with a partial list of channels.
    Exception:


    Problem signature:


    Problem Event Name: CLR20r3

    Problem Signature 01: EPG-Grabber.exe

    Problem Signature 02: 1.0.0.0
    Problem Signature 03: 583963c9
    Problem Signature 04: Microsoft.VisualBasic
    Problem Signature 05: 12.0.20806.33440
    Problem Signature 06: 520078f6
    Problem Signature 07: 32c
    Problem Signature 08: 36
    Problem Signature 09: System.InvalidCastException

    OS Version: 6.3.9600.2.0.0.16.7
    Locale ID: 1033
    Additional Information 1: 5861
    Additional Information 2: 5861822e1919d7c014bbb064c64908b2
    Additional Information 3: a10f
    Additional Information 4: a10ff7d2bb2516fdc753f9c34fc3b069


    EPG-Grabber Exception 01.jpg






     
  9. Lehmden
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    Hi.
    This is an issue where @lightshock needs to jump in. He has written the EPG-Grabber tool that is adding season and episodes numbers to the EPG data after they are grabbed by WebGrab+Plus. For TVSpielfilm EPG-Grabber also is downloading the EPG data itself.

    Most likely this issue is due to different date notation formats in Europe and USA. Such issues only can be found by users like you living in a different part of the world than us... So it's nice you find it and we hopefully can fix it soon...
     
  10. Lehmden
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    Hi.
    A new version 0.2.0.7 can be found in first post.
    All issues encountered here are fixed now (at least I hope so :whistle: ). Aside this there also is support for a new EPG data source "epgData.com"
    For using epgData.com you need to enter a pin
    Zwischenablage-2.jpg
    After that you best restart EPG-Buddy as during startup the channel lists for TVSpielfilm and epgData.com are refreshed.
    Then the usage is nearly the same as for TVSpielfilm.
     
  11. breese
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    I installed the new version and found a few things.
    The tvguide.com.channels.xml you provided is the basic cable providers list.
    The system needs the ability to run WebGrab+Plus to locate channels by zip code if the user is on ATSC.
    I have included copies of the Cable channels and the atsc channels

    Also, once you go thru the Menus and get the proper list of channels from the MP2 DB, when you choose a channel to map, the Pull Down menu to the right is not working. It mirrors the same info from the MP2 DB.
    I high lighted the pull down in red here......

    I just discovered the pull down does not show when you choose Manual for Channel Names Select
    If you choose MP2-SQLite the pull down does show up
    EPG-Buddy.jpg
     

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