When does SchedulesDirect process run? (2 Viewers)

ultimatejoe

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I don't know if anyone is still supporting SchedulesDirect at this point, but I'm about to toss my HTPC in the garbage because I can't get my EPG data to update.

I have a SD subscription, and when I manually force a guide refresh it works just fine, but the plugin seems to be grabbing EPG data at random times throughout the day. Sometimes it does it at 2AM, sometimes it does it at 1AM, sometimes it does it in the middle of the afternoon... There's no rhyme or reason to it. My HTPC is in hibernation most of the day, so what ends up happening is that if it's not doing a refresh when I'm recording something, watching something, or encoding something, I just don't get an update that day... and as I run out of EPG data then nothing gets recorded.

I'm ready to pull (what's left of) my hair out. Does anyone have any ideas? I'm using PowerScheduler to wake my computer at a specific time to refresh my EPG, but SchedulesDirect plugin doesn't run at that time. I'm running MP1.26 I think. Any ideas?
 

CyberSimian

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    when I manually force a guide refresh it works just fine, but the plugin seems to be grabbing EPG data at random times throughout the day.
    I have no first-hand knowledge of Schedules Direct or its MP plugin, so the following may be wrong (or you may already have tried these settings):
    • Run PowerScheduler in "expert" mode. See this page in the Wiki.
    • On the "EPG" tab, select all items, but leave the "Run command" box empty.
    I think that that should be enough to get the Schedules Direct plugin to run once each day at the time that you specified, waking the HTPC as necessary. Of course, access to the internet must be available at the time that you specified, so you may need to leave your internet connection permanently powered on. (I mention this because I switch my internet connection off when I am not using it, but I can do that because I do not use an internet EPG.)

    The Wiki page says this about the Wakeup the computer for EPG grabbing:

    This option enables PowerScheduler to wake up the computer to start EPG grabbing if it is in sleep mode at the scheduled time. If this option is not checked, the computer will not wake up for EPG grabbing. EPG grabbing will be caught up on the same day as soon as the computer is up again.

    which sounds like the symptom that you have been experiencing.

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     

    ultimatejoe

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    Unfortunately that's exactly how it IS set up. My computer wakes up at the appropriate time to do the EPG grabbing... but the no EPG data gets run and there's nothing in the logs to indicate why that I can find. At the very least there's no reference to the SchedulesDirect process, which I do see when the plugin is forced to run manually.

    Thank you for the timely response regardless.
     

    CyberSimian

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    I'm using PowerScheduler to wake my computer at a specific time to refresh my EPG, but SchedulesDirect plugin doesn't run at that time.
    I tried this on my test system, which as it happens already had the Schedules Direct plugin installed. Because I had not booted this system for several months, TV Server tried immediately to obtain the EPG from Schedules Direct (there are lines in the DEBUG-level log that have "Schedules Direct" in them), but this failed (as expected) because I had not provided a userid or password.

    I set the PowerScheduler "EPG" tab to wake the system 10 minutes in the future to grab the EPG, and then hibernated the system. The system woke at the set time, but the log shows no evidence of the "Schedules Direct" plugin being invoked. This is the same result as @ultimatejoe . Presumably this plugin did work correctly in the past, but some change to MP or Windows has caused it no longer to work.

    @ultimatejoe : Did this plugin ever work correctly for you? If it did, it might be worth reverting MP to the version of MP that you were using when the plugin did work correctly.

    An alternative might be to use some other tool to obtain the Schedules Direct EPG as an xml file, and then use the XmlTv plugin to load the EPG into MP. Have a look at this thread which describes some possibilities.

    Sadly, lack of active team members means that this problem with the plugin is unlikely to be fixed. :cry:

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     

    framug

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    @CyberSimian : Don't know Schedules Direct plugin but please, try update tomorrow.
    Remember, only one update by day for EPG grabbing to avoid too much requests on xmltv websites. ;)
    Workaround can be made by changing value in server settings SQL table, if necessary....
    Hope it helps :)
     

    CyberSimian

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    Don't know Schedules Direct plugin but please, try update tomorrow.
    Remember, only one update by day for EPG grabbing to avoid too much requests on xmltv websites. ;)
    Unfortunately, my test system is simply another partition in my one-and-only HTPC. In order to test PowerScheduler's wake from hibernation to grab the Schedules Direct EPG, I would need to leave the HTPC idle for 24 hours. However, the HTPC is in use every day for "production" work. :(

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     

    ultimatejoe

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    Thanks both for all the help. I'm going to try Zap2xml with the Zap2It tv listings data and see if I can figure that out. Failing that, I'll see if there's a way to manually pull the SchedulesDirect data into an XML as described.
     

    CyberSimian

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    I'm going to try Zap2xml with the Zap2It tv listings data and see if I can figure that out. Failing that, I'll see if there's a way to manually pull the Schedules Direct data into an XML as described.
    I had a quick look at the Schedules Direct web site. There is this thread that is similar to your requirements. It suggests that all you need (after installing XMLTV) is to use these commands:

    To initially configure XMLTV:
    Code:
    xmltv.exe tv_grab_na_dd --configure

    To download EPG data from Schedules Direct:
    Code:
    xmltv.exe tv_grab_na_dd --days 7 --output tv.xml

    It looks quite simple, but I have not actually tried using any of this, so it is probably more complicated than the above. For instance, I don't know what the parameter "tv_grab_na_dd" means, but I might guess that it means "grab TV epg for North America (NA) using the XML (DD) format" (there is an alternative JSON format available, but MP cannot use that).

    Also, you need to download xmltv.exe, which is itself a challenge since it seems to be undownloadable from the XMLTV web site. I eventually found the xmltv.exe for Windows on SourceForce: here.

    For MP, you would need to:
    • On PowerScheduler "EPG" tab: specify the xmltv.exe command in the "Run command" field.
    • Enable the MP XmlTv plugin to cause MP to read the file generated by the previous step.
    • Remember to specify the correct path and filename for the EPG file generated by the first step.
    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     

    ultimatejoe

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    I was able to get everything working using mc2xml and xmltv. I still use SchedulesDirect as a source, but have turned off the Schedules Direct plugin.
     

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