What is the best workflow to configure 5+ WMC PCs w/ EPG123?

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What is the best workflow to configure 5+ WMC PCs w/ EPG123?

Post#1 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:25 pm

The EPG123 guide makes sense and one PC is working great! ROVI has been such a PITA for months now. So, let me begin by shouting out three cheers for Gary Ryan and his EPG123 program! I just made a PayPal donation and hope others are compelled to help as well.
So, as the post title says, what is the best workflow to configure 5+ WMC PCs with EPG123?
Other details for our home:
• All PCs are on a hard-wired LAN
• All PCs run Win 8.1
• All PCs share 2x OTA channels from a HDHomeRun Connect (HDHR4-2US) and 3x Comcast cable (Houston digital Comcast) channels from a HDHomrRun PRIME (HDHR3-CC)
• “Server / primary HTPC” is on 24/7 and has a big RAID where most recorded shows are stored (and viewable with other WMC clients throughout the house except shows that are DRM protected of course)
I’m looking for some specific instructions (and tips too) to update all PCs as efficiently as possible:
Step 1: configure “server / primary HTPC” fully
Step 2: follow the EPG123 guide… but skip… and then, …
I’m also interested to know the best place to install EPG123 on the “Server / Primary HTPC”. The default is c:\epg123, but if I install in on the RAID drive (M:\), that drive is already mapped for all the other WMC PCs so sharing the .mxf file would be easier.
JShort
 
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Post#2 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:57 pm

To the top...

Hasn't someone here set up one WMC and then cloned the channels and setup to other WMC PCs?

I'm still hoping for some tips.

Thanks,

Jim
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Post#3 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:07 pm

JShort wrote:The EPG123 guide makes sense and one PC is working great! ROVI has been such a PITA for months now. So, let me begin by shouting out three cheers for Gary Ryan and his EPG123 program! I just made a PayPal donation and hope others are compelled to help as well.
So, as the post title says, what is the best workflow to configure 5+ WMC PCs with EPG123?
Other details for our home:
• All PCs are on a hard-wired LAN
• All PCs run Win 8.1
• All PCs share 2x OTA channels from a HDHomeRun Connect (HDHR4-2US) and 3x Comcast cable (Houston digital Comcast) channels from a HDHomrRun PRIME (HDHR3-CC)
• “Server / primary HTPC” is on 24/7 and has a big RAID where most recorded shows are stored (and viewable with other WMC clients throughout the house except shows that are DRM protected of course)
I’m looking for some specific instructions (and tips too) to update all PCs as efficiently as possible:
Step 1: configure “server / primary HTPC” fully
Step 2: follow the EPG123 guide… but skip… and then, …
I’m also interested to know the best place to install EPG123 on the “Server / Primary HTPC”. The default is c:\epg123, but if I install in on the RAID drive (M:\), that drive is already mapped for all the other WMC PCs so sharing the .mxf file would be easier.

You will definitely want the server/client kind of configuration. Here is what is recommend.

1) Setup the server / primary HTPC per the EPG123 installation guide. Installing on your raid drive is perfectly fine just all your clients will need access to the folder. You task should be the Full Mode to create the mxf file and import into your local WMC.

2) On each client, run through the EPG123 guide Steps 1 and 2. Setup up the task by selected the Client Only radio button and clicking the text field that says "*** Click here to set MXF file path. ***". Navigate to your shared drive to the epg123.mxf file. Set your time, wake & automatch option as you want and create the task.

3) To complete the clients, click the [Manual Import] button which will bring up a file search prompt starting at your shared path, select the mxf file to import and let it do its thing. When complete, click the Automatch by: [# Number] button to populate the guide.

The scheduled task on the server should be at least 15 minutes prior to the clients tasks (I use 1 hour, but doesn't really matter too much). The clients may need their tasks edited to change the user account and password to access your shared if it is protected.

That is it and hopefully understandable.
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Post#4 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:58 am

Thanks Gary, that's exactly the kind of suggestions I was wanting.

I haven't deployed to all PCs yet, as I continue to tweak the master MXF. The combination of OTA and Comcast "triplicate" channels (SD + HD + 1000+ channel HD) continues to give me grief.

Jim
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Post#5 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:07 pm

This was not in the original. Thanks to Space and Gary for working this out last year and now you have it!
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Post#6 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:47 pm

GreenButton FTW, again. I haven't been here in years, but when I come by, I find exactly the information I need. Thank you guys!

By the way, JShort, please let me know what you find works for you - sounds like I have exactly the same source (Comcast, with its triplicate SD+HD+1000+ channels), and my system/network is really similar to yours.
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Post#7 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:18 pm

What kind of problem are you having with the Comcast lineup?
I have a quad OTA tuner and two Primes using Comcast and it all works flawlessly.
All of the Comcast channels appear in my lineup.
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Post#8 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:52 pm

Regarding, "the combination of OTA and Comcast "triplicate" channels (SD + HD + 1000+ channel HD) continues to give me grief", I have one PC working exactly like I want it now.

I'm still a newb to epg123, but I think that I will require a step number 4) for each WMC PC which is additional to Gary's suggestions above. And unfortunately, unless someone shares a new tip, I will have to do this step #4 on each PC separately.

Here's what I've come up with for my new step #4:
- Edit channels from WMC (Tasks / Settings / TV / Guide / Edit Channels) and UNCHECK all the duplicate channels.

For example in Houston ABC (KPRC DT) comes up listed 3 times (OTA channel 2.1, Comcast 612, and Comcast 1002 (part of the new 1000+ channel numbering). I only want it once, so that searching for shows and setting up automatic recording of "series" shows doesn't show all the duplicates. Too, for any channels that are available OTA, I want to serve them from the 3x channels of HDHomeRun fed from a physical antenna in our attic. This way, the 2x Comcast channels are better leveraged for recording or viewing content that is uniquely available on the Cable feed.

Notes:
- If I try to remove any of the duplicates during any of the epg123 setup steps, then all channels that require that channel guide information get nuked
- If anyone knows of a way to copy / paste a file from somewhere on a PC that will copy the results of my new step #4 over to other PCs (aka WMC "surgery"), then I'd love to know that trick
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Post#9 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:15 pm

Thanks, JShort. Despite some early errors on my part with the automatching, I got this working on my primary/server WMC rig last night (clients to be set up tonight), and interestingly, I didn't encounter your issues with the duplicates in Comcast channel numbers above 1000.

...Actually, I don't see the 1000+ channels at all in the listings pulled from SchedulesDirect. I know they're there, I used to get them in the Rovi listings. Perhaps a difference between me (Denver) and you (Houston) in the SD data?


My setup: Comcast CC w/ Ceton InfiniTV6 ETH,
Last edited by Phoil on Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post#10 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:16 pm

JShort wrote:Regarding, "the combination of OTA and Comcast "triplicate" channels (SD + HD + 1000+ channel HD) continues to give me grief", I have one PC working exactly like I want it now.

I'm still a newb to epg123, but I think that I will require a step number 4) for each WMC PC which is additional to Gary's suggestions above. And unfortunately, unless someone shares a new tip, I will have to do this step #4 on each PC separately.

Here's what I've come up with for my new step #4:
- Edit channels from WMC (Tasks / Settings / TV / Guide / Edit Channels) and UNCHECK all the duplicate channels.

For example in Houston ABC (KPRC DT) comes up listed 3 times (OTA channel 2.1, Comcast 612, and Comcast 1002 (part of the new 1000+ channel numbering). I only want it once, so that searching for shows and setting up automatic recording of "series" shows doesn't show all the duplicates. Too, for any channels that are available OTA, I want to serve them from the 3x channels of HDHomeRun fed from a physical antenna in our attic. This way, the 2x Comcast channels are better leveraged for recording or viewing content that is uniquely available on the Cable feed.

Notes:
- If I try to remove any of the duplicates during any of the epg123 setup steps, then all channels that require that channel guide information get nuked
- If anyone knows of a way to copy / paste a file from somewhere on a PC that will copy the results of my new step #4 over to other PCs (aka WMC "surgery"), then I'd love to know that trick
GuideTool

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Post#11 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:22 pm

Phoil wrote:...Actually, I don't see the 1000+ channels at all in the listings pulled from SchedulesDirect. I know they're there, I used to get them in the Rovi listings. Perhaps a difference between me (Denver) and you (Houston) in the SD data?


[I work for Schedules Direct]

Please open a ticket at the Schedules Direct website. Comcast may have migrated you to the Comcast Master Channel Lineup.
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Post#12 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:53 pm

Sammy2 wrote:
JShort wrote:Regarding, "the combination of OTA and Comcast "triplicate" channels (SD + HD + 1000+ channel HD) continues to give me grief", I have one PC working exactly like I want it now.

I'm still a newb to epg123, but I think that I will require a step number 4) for each WMC PC which is additional to Gary's suggestions above. And unfortunately, unless someone shares a new tip, I will have to do this step #4 on each PC separately.

Here's what I've come up with for my new step #4:
- Edit channels from WMC (Tasks / Settings / TV / Guide / Edit Channels) and UNCHECK all the duplicate channels.

For example in Houston ABC (KPRC DT) comes up listed 3 times (OTA channel 2.1, Comcast 612, and Comcast 1002 (part of the new 1000+ channel numbering). I only want it once, so that searching for shows and setting up automatic recording of "series" shows doesn't show all the duplicates. Too, for any channels that are available OTA, I want to serve them from the 3x channels of HDHomeRun fed from a physical antenna in our attic. This way, the 2x Comcast channels are better leveraged for recording or viewing content that is uniquely available on the Cable feed.

Notes:
- If I try to remove any of the duplicates during any of the epg123 setup steps, then all channels that require that channel guide information get nuked
- If anyone knows of a way to copy / paste a file from somewhere on a PC that will copy the results of my new step #4 over to other PCs (aka WMC "surgery"), then I'd love to know that trick
GuideTool

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

If the intent is simply to enable/disable channels in the guide, EPG123 Client will do this as well. If the intent is to merge channels, then yet, Guide Tool.
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Post#13 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:06 pm

No Gary, if I uncheck channel 1002 in lineup2 (Comcast Houston Digital), epg123 gives me a "the number of stations to download has decreased from 116 to 115 from the previous configuration" message and it nukes my channel 2.1 from OTA in lineup 1 (in my WMC channel guide).

The "name" "KPRCDT (KPRC-DT)" for both channel lineups is identical, so I'm assuming that's why unchecking something in epg123 configuration tool for lineup 2 was nuking my channel guide for the same "name" in lineup 1.

So is this possibly a design flaw in epg123 for my use case which includes the identical "name" in two different Schedules Direct lineups?

Thanks,

Jim
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Post#14 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:15 am

JShort wrote:No Gary, if I uncheck channel 1002 in lineup2 (Comcast Houston Digital), epg123 gives me a "the number of stations to download has decreased from 116 to 115 from the previous configuration" message and it nukes my channel 2.1 from OTA in lineup 1 (in my WMC channel guide).

The "name" "KPRCDT (KPRC-DT)" for both channel lineups is identical, so I'm assuming that's why unchecking something in epg123 configuration tool for lineup 2 was nuking my channel guide for the same "name" in lineup 1.

So is this possibly a design flaw in epg123 for my use case which includes the identical "name" in two different Schedules Direct lineups?

Thanks,

Jim

I wouldn't call it a flaw. The way I look at it, the lineups you subscribe to with Schedules Direct gives you access to all the stations those lineups hold. You can and will have the same station in multiple lineups. When you enable that station to be downloaded in epg123 for any lineup, that station will be selected for download for all lineups... it is the same station, same call sign, same stationID. So your choices are to disable the undesired channel in the WMC guide (or use the client), or unsubscribe that station from the channel (edit channel for no listings in WMC) and turn automatch off. You can also merge the channels so that KPRCDT (KPRC-DT) will have both the OTA tuners and the Digital Cable tuners assigned to it.
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Post#15 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:54 am

Can I ask a question based on this subject... I DUAL boot my HTPC, I dual boot with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 W/WMC, there are benefits to each of them, I even have a custom batch file that all I do is select an option in a menu and reboot and from that point forward it will always boot in to the other OS.

How will EPG123 work in this case ? Do I set EPG123 up on 7 and 8.1 (7 is normally the one I use the most), if I decide to move over to the other for a while, how can I make sure the guide will be updated all the time on BOTH OS's... Can I log into Schedule's direct on each OS, as it would be impossible for them to login at one time ?
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Post#16 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:07 am

DavidinCT wrote:Can I ask a question based on this subject... I DUAL boot my HTPC, I dual boot with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 W/WMC, there are benefits to each of them, I even have a custom batch file that all I do is select an option in a menu and reboot and from that point forward it will always boot in to the other OS.

How will EPG123 work in this case ? Do I set EPG123 up on 7 and 8.1 (7 is normally the one I use the most), if I decide to move over to the other for a while, how can I make sure the guide will be updated all the time on BOTH OS's... Can I log into Schedule's direct on each OS, as it would be impossible for them to login at one time ?

There are certainly ways to make this happen. The challenge is the fact that you have Win7 and Win8.1 which require different versions of the epg123Client.exe.

Does each OS have a dedicated drive or share? Is there a "common" drive each has access to?
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Post#17 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:00 pm

garyan2 wrote:
DavidinCT wrote:Can I ask a question based on this subject... I DUAL boot my HTPC, I dual boot with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 W/WMC, there are benefits to each of them, I even have a custom batch file that all I do is select an option in a menu and reboot and from that point forward it will always boot in to the other OS.

How will EPG123 work in this case ? Do I set EPG123 up on 7 and 8.1 (7 is normally the one I use the most), if I decide to move over to the other for a while, how can I make sure the guide will be updated all the time on BOTH OS's... Can I log into Schedule's direct on each OS, as it would be impossible for them to login at one time ?

There are certainly ways to make this happen. The challenge is the fact that you have Win7 and Win8.1 which require different versions of the epg123Client.exe.

Does each OS have a dedicated drive or share? Is there a "common" drive each has access to?


Yea, all the media and games drives are setup as the same letters on both OS's (I even have a 10 image for it as well with WMC).

Will they both be downloading data to a "shared" spot, or can only one logon to grab the data ? Or can they just work indepentanly, so When 7 is up, it's doing its thing, and when 8.1 is up it's doing it's own thing.

There is a few things I need to map out on my complex WMC setup before making the switch and this is another one of them.
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Post#18 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:40 pm

I think the easiest thing to do would be to install epg123 to the same folder for both OS's so they can use the exact same configuration file, cache and logos folders. There will have to be some manual intervention on the scheduled tasks, but it will work just fine.

1) Install EPG123 on Win7 per the installation guide and create your scheduled task for Full Mode.
2) Rename epg123Client.exe to epg123Client_w7.exe and edit the scheduled task action (the second action) to the new file name.
3) Install EPG123 on the Win8.1 OS per the installation guide and create your scheduled task for Full Mode.
4) Rename epg123Client.exe to epg123Client_w8.1.exe and edit the scheduled task action to the new file name.

What this breaks is the ability to use the Save & Execute button from the main EPG123 configuration GUI, it will update the MXF file but will fail to import due to filename change. Everything else will work just fine.
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Post#19 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:38 pm

I was curious about this scenario & tried an experiment. Created a 'c:\guidedata' folder, moved epg123.mxf & created a symlink to it in the epg123 install dir:

mklink epg123.mxf C:\guidedata\epg123.mxf (although common .mxf could be anywhere)

and ran the update task without destroying the symlink. Each OS can have its own epg123 install with a symlink to a common epg123.mxf. Seems easier than modifying tasks... could even be batched to config for each instance.

C:\epg123>mklink epg123.mxf C:\guidedata\epg123.mxf
symbolic link created for epg123.mxf <<===>> C:\guidedata\epg123.mxf

C:\epg123>dir epg123.mxf
Volume in drive C is Win 7 Ultimate x64
Volume Serial Number is B6AD-17DF

Directory of C:\epg123

07/12/2017 03:24 PM <SYMLINK> epg123.mxf [C:\guidedata\epg123.mxf]
1 File(s) 0 bytes
0 Dir(s) 27,577,700,352 bytes free

C:\epg123>dir C:\guidedata\epg123.mxf
Volume in drive C is Win 7 Ultimate x64
Volume Serial Number is B6AD-17DF

Directory of C:\guidedata

07/12/2017 03:27 PM 169,026,322 epg123.mxf
1 File(s) 169,026,322 bytes
0 Dir(s) 27,577,077,760 bytes free

This also has the added benefit of maintaining full functionality from either OS.
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Post#20 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:58 pm

Further investigation suggests the following files could be shared via symlinks:

epg123.cfg
epg123.mxf
guideImages.xml

while this one could be copied & necessary path substitutions made:

epg123Task.xml

Still simple to script & preserves full functionality.
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