Random thoughts on EPG123

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Random thoughts on EPG123

Post#1 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:23 pm

Uncle! OK, there. I've given in, and went EPG123. Random thoughts:

* it took me several tries to make it work. It's still a bit of a science experiment. I started with a clean start, but got an error about "can't delete ehome folder" or something. Whatever. From there it took me, what--3? 4? clean starts to get a guide. I would get to where WMC thought I had a guide, but no guide data were loaded. Dunno why.

* I didn't mind the clean start so much because I'm OTA and I don't have all that much stuff to set back up. I really, truly only need to record CBS stuff plus The Blacklist. I think everything else I care about is on Hulu the next day.

* Doing all the clean starts and setting up signal, I ended up losing a major local channel. My channel scans went down from 25 to 21 after awhile. Dagnabbit. I had to add a couple channels manually. The NBC station is on real channel 14, and I had to have that. I don't know why channel scan stopped finding it by the time I was doing my 3rd or 4th scan.

* I dove in and, first thing, bought a year's worth of SD. No free trial, nuthin'. I figured, I was going to commit myself to this. It would work, or else. And there's no "or else". And since I was not going back, I decided to "lock the door behind me" so to speak by spending that $25. Now I'm committed (not unlike the old saw about the ham and eggs breakfast--the hen is involved, but the pig is committed). There's nothing better to make you focus on the task and complete it.

* Being a fresh pair of eyes, I would edit the documentation better to explain things to the guy on the street who's not elbows deep into coding and maintaining the project. For example, there's no mention of "And there, you're finished!" to separate the setup tasks from the optional tasks. Also, the steps are laid out pretty well, but the overall organization of the steps needs clarified. For example: the documentation branches out in the middle of a task to talk about optional, other tasks that maybe you'd want/need to do, maybe not--but the whens and whys and what orders of these alternate/sub tasks, and how to go back to them and what steps are needed to finish them, are not clear at all. That's why I say it's still a bit of a science project--you have to intuit the framework of what's actually happening, instead of it being laid out clearly, so when you're doing the tasks you don't have a lot of context. And you don't know what order to do things in if you have to backtrack and look at some of these other items (like my having to add channels manually); you have to intuit that. An introductory section of "this is what WMC does and how they do it, this is were we insert ourselves and take over, these are the things we change and do differently, these are the things you will no longer do in WMC because of that, and this is where we leave off and it's back to WMC" section would be A Good Thing.

* I simply took quick pics of my series recordings screens, and I'm adding them back in one at a time. I hoped that WMC might let me go into the existing recordings and "record series," but no go. No big deal.

* I set up the scheduled task for nightly updates, but I will absolutely check it tomorrow to make sure it ran. I still don't know that I entirely trust this Rube Goldberg machine. But like I said, I'm $25 into it, so it *will* work.

* Gary, my intent is to see this working consistently and then donate to the cause. If you don't see something from me in the next couple of weeks, don't hesitate to ping me.

My Plan A+1 was to just give in and get a Tivo. But I had just bought the new Silicon Dust Quatro, and I didn't want to hassle with selling it (nor am I interested in their DVR project). Plus, it works great. So here we are.
adam1991
 
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Post#2 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:14 am

Thanks for the overview. The only day my wife doesn't have a lot of "stuff" scheduled to record is Saturday, and since I didn't make the switch today it'll have to be next Saturday (or perhaps on the next Saturday when Rovi guide data fails again). As for right now -- our guide is still not working, but given that updates seem to be rolling out now, I expect it to be updated by late tonight or tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, I've added manual recordings for all our Mon/Tue/Wed stuff -- and if necessary will add Thu and Fri later.

I don't know why I haven't already switched to EPG -- every time this happens I decide I'm going to do it; download the latest EPG; and then make a detailed list of all our scheduled recordings (146 shows -- most are long since expired, so clearly this is a good time to clean up the list). But then the guide re-appears, and I postpone the switch.

But at this point I'm really ticked at how frequent this issue seems to have become, so I'm planning to do the switch next weekend.

Just for grins, about how long would you estimate it took from starting the switch to being ready-to-go with your new guide in place?

One other question: Does EPG have any impact on how you schedule recordings? In particular, can you still do "keyword" manual recordings? [My wife has several of those]
McGary
 
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Post#3 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:31 am

McGary

> But at this point I'm really ticked at how frequent this issue seems to have become

The same for me.
I got tired of the frequent guide outages, so I switched to EPG123 two months ago.
It was the best decision I ever made.

> Just for grins, about how long would you estimate it took from starting the switch to being ready-to-go with your new guide in place?

It took me 4 hours. It could take you a lot less time.

I was very worried about losing my WMC settings, so I made an image copy
of my entire system SSD and cloned it to a new SSD.

If I ever need to go back to the old system it will take only a couple
of minutes to pop the old SSD back in.

What took me the most time was re-entering all my scheduled recordings,
but that was before the transfer tool was working. That tool should help you a lot.

> In particular, can you still do "keyword" manual recordings? [My wife has several of those]

Absolutely.
I have about 100 keyword recordings and they're working nicely.

I say give EPG123 a try!
SwissCheese
 
Posts: 11
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Post#4 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:19 am

McGary wrote:Just for grins, about how long would you estimate it took from starting the switch to being ready-to-go with your new guide in place?

One other question: Does EPG have any impact on how you schedule recordings? In particular, can you still do "keyword" manual recordings? [My wife has several of those]


Umm....let's see, my SD receipt came in at 9:35am and I was out the door to go somewhere at 11:30am. I had a bite to eat somewhere in there as well.

I've never done keyword manual recordings, so I don't know.

Toward the end of my time period above, I spent a few minutes setting up a handful of recordings. One of those was Mom; I did a guide search, but it wasn't there. I discovered this afternoon that Mom starts up on 11/2, so it should be there; when I looked again, it was there. This was some 6 hours later. So it took awhile for the guide to index fully. (And in fact, at one point this afternoon I got some warning to that very effect when I resumed my recording setups.)
adam1991
 
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Post#5 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:24 am

If you watch my installation video on the website, you will see that it took me 00:07:16 to go from MS/Rovi to SD/Gracenote. Granted I've done the install hundreds of times and took some shortcuts, but it can be done in an amazingly short amount of time.

WMC works exactly as before except for one feature. You can't "demand" the guide update from within WMC. You can click the [Get Latest Guide Listings] and it will respond shortly to declare success, but it won't update the guide since there is no Rovi guide to update.

If you want to see how many of the 146 scheduled recordings can transfer immediately, you can use the EPG123 Transfer Tool and open the latest file in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\eHome\mcepgX-Y\backup\recordings folder. The file will be named by the date/time it was created. Anything that is green currently exists in transfer database... if you already have a SD account, you can right-click series to see if TheTVDB has the Gracenote ID to transfer.
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garyan2
 
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- Gary
Stomping out the Rovi disease, one media center at a time. http://epg123.garyan2.net

Post#6 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:16 am

Adam,

If you could provide updates (or even redo) the installation instructions, I'm sure Gary would appreciate it. The expert is the worst person to write the documentation for anything.. the best person to write it is a newbie!

(sorry to put words in your fingers Gary.. :) )
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rmeden
 
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