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The end is nigh?

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:40 pm
by adam1991
The Rovi guide situation turned bad awhile back, and isn't getting any better.

Now the alternative is also seeing issues. Temporary? Who knows?

Anyway, without guide data a DVR solution isn't a DVR solution.

Here's to hoping that I'm wrong, but I have to wonder how limited the remaining life is for WMC.

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:18 pm
by garyan2
Such doom and gloom. An alternative isn't going anywhere and whatever happened on 31 Jan / 01 Feb has been resolved and will be fully mitigated in the next release of EPG123. If you are talking about the slowdown from SD for a few days, there was direct communication with their administrator/support and it was resolved in a few hours Sunday.

Regardless of whether you are talking about a different alternative, EPG123 and SD has everyone's back.

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:30 pm
by adam1991
no, no doom and gloom.

But I was there at the end and beyond for ReplayTV. Memories fade slowly. And I put up with the Rovi guide for a long, LONG time--until it literally got down to a day remaining. Then I worried, and changed direction. I figured I really couldn't, or wouldn't, count on them. All was well--BUT.

The fact is, for the second time in a week last night my connection to SD errored out with a server 500 error. Not found. That's really what I'm talking about. Then I add in what others were seeing from SD, and it's a bigger picture.

Yes, a manual run this morning was completely successful. But we've come to depend so much on SOME sort of guide service serving each of us, and now I have to wonder.

Without a *reliable* guide service--and now each guide service raises questions--the hoops to jump through get smaller and farther apart, until it's just not worth it. That decision comes at a different time for everyone, but the question remains: are we a noticeable step closer to the end than we were two weeks ago?

You're right--a single burp does not a disaster make. But it makes one sit up and notice, and be wary.

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:39 pm
by garyan2
The server 500 error will be mitigated in the next release as well. EPG123 will simply try the request again and it will probably succeed... I'm testing out that feature now, but it is difficult to get a 500 error, let alone verify EPG123 can handle it.

You know, we just need to let SD know there is something going on and they will look at it. Yesterday was the first real time I had seen it, myself. Issues will come and go, but it is the support available that should give you some confidence in the future.

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:25 pm
by dkrom
One way to stop stressing about WMC is to only check if you stop seeing the guide showing future shows. I've had my scheduled task disappear twice now - probably a windows thing, who knows (really, I've posted about it and nobody has experienced it). When I see that I can't scroll more than a few days, then I know I have to look at epg123 and see if the task has been deleted. From what I'm reading, you've sounded the alarms by missing two nightly downloads... That's a far cry from ROVI getting down to one day. And Gary is on it and responding, again a far cry from the MS silence you get from a ROVI error.

Finally - I just want to say thanks Gary for an awesome product and keeping us all informed ASAP on issues.

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:54 pm
by adam1991
I've never had the scheduled task disappear. I hit the TV every morning and see the little EPG bug in the corner. It's been green now ever since I installed the version that shows it--until these last two times, where it's red.

I like seeing it; I can get a leg up on whatever's going on before it comes down to "nothing's showing past next Monday".

It's only two days of nightly access, but it's sudden and close together. That's a warning flag. I'm never going through a Rovi-type thing again. I played that game, was patient, and it all worked out--until one time it didn't, and came down to a day left. Uh-uh. Not gonna happen again.

As for Gary responding, my concern isn't with Gary at all. It's with the thing we can't control: the guide people. This was never a Gary problem, and as much as he can code around the issue and provide visual alerts and whatnot, it isn't his issue at all. My concern is with the guide people and whether they're really in business to be in business, or whether this is an indicator of something far worse to come.

Like what we saw with Rovi pretty much right away.

Remember, at first the Rovi issue was a far cry from what we know the Rovi issues to be today. Every journey starts with a single (mis)step.

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:34 am
by Space
adam1991 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:54 pm
...

As for Gary responding, my concern isn't with Gary at all. It's with the thing we can't control: the guide people. This was never a Gary problem, and as much as he can code around the issue and provide visual alerts and whatnot, it isn't his issue at all. My concern is with the guide people and whether they're really in business to be in business, or whether this is an indicator of something far worse to come.

...
The "guide people" are a small group of people at a non-profit organization. I don't think they even get paid to do this work (EDIT: According to their FAQ, some do get paid for their time, but still have day jobs). They are not in business to be in business, they are doing it (I assume when they have free time away from their real jobs) because they want to support the community.

http://www.schedulesdirect.org/aboutus

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:50 am
by adam1991
And there you go. Like I said, I was there at the end of ReplayTV and beyond. I recognize this state of affairs.

Trying to make me feel sorry for a "small group of people at a non-profit organization" changes nothing about my basic argument here.

Two years of Rovi doing what it does, and now a sudden run of bad luck at the "little guy" alternative--and you say you're not suddenly highly aware of how fragile our ecosystem really is?

That it's a "small group of people at a non-profit organization" changes nothing about the fragility of it all or how it affects me and my willingness to suggest that the end is nigh. Tomorrow? No. Next week or next month? No. But if you think you'll be using 7MC 5 years from now, or even 3 years, I think you're fooling yourself.

How many people today are running ReplayTVs?

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:02 am
by jachin99
If schedules direct calls it quits, then it won't just be WMC that loses out. You might as well find a paid service like emby or plex (Each pays for their own guide data) or go with a cable box. The MXF interface in WMC isn't very likely to change in WMC, and it looks like there is or was an option for replacement guide data for replay TV. If it uses a XMLTV option then you may even be able to use epg123

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:49 am
by adam1991
Let's all be aware of our future--for example:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/27-repla ... ir-tv.html

The question isn't if, the question is when.

(ATSC 3 won't help things; will Silicon Dust have Win7 driver for their ATSC 3 tuners? Stay tuned...)

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:57 pm
by GnatGoSplat
My Rovi guide is still working, but aren't there free alternatives that would work?
If not, then maybe my WMC relationship will be coming to an end.

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:34 pm
by adam1991
Really? Is $25/year for a clearly superior product compared to Rovi going to make you cut off your nose to spite your face?

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:02 am
by Scallica
GnatGoSplat wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:57 pm
My Rovi guide is still working, but aren't there free alternatives that would work?
If not, then maybe my WMC relationship will be coming to an end.
:shock:

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:20 am
by GnatGoSplat
adam1991 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:34 pm
Really? Is $25/year for a clearly superior product compared to Rovi going to make you cut off your nose to spite your face?
Yes, I abhor recurring fees. It's why I've never paid for TV service of any kind and use free OTA in the first place. I don't pay for cell service, shop at Sam's, or subscribe to Amazon Prime either. :lol:

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:59 am
by adam1991
so, slippery slope, eh?

A tool is a tool. I won't refuse to buy a hammer if I need one, simply because "I already have tools in a box that my grandpa gave me, I don't buy tools". If you need to pound nails, there's a huge ROI on buying a hammer regardless.

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:33 pm
by GnatGoSplat
Huge difference though, you can actually buy a hammer. Pay once and you own it. A recurring fee is just a rental. Refusing to pay for Tivo and ReplayTV subs is what drove me to WMC in the first place over 15yrs ago.

I will try free solutions like EPG Collector before I say goodbye to WMC, but I'd switch to Amazon Fire TV Recast before paying recurring fees in spite of the poor reviews.

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:11 pm
by StinkyImp
GnatGoSplat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:33 pm
I will try free solutions like EPG Collector before I say goodbye to WMC...
I used to feel exactly the same way... So I installed EPG Collector on an air-gapped test machine for a few months. It worked flawlessly after I got it set up. The only deal breaker was that it had to be run a few times a day in order to have a (somewhat) complete guide.

My wife and I decided that we could save some headaches (and our waistlines) by giving up two pizzas a year and instead, "rent" a Schedules Direct subscription to use with EPG123. That was 2 or 3 years ago and so far we haven't had any regrets.

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:45 pm
by Scallica
GnatGoSplat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:20 am
Yes, I abhor recurring fees. It's why I've never paid for TV service of any kind and use free OTA in the first place. I don't pay for cell service, shop at Sam's, or subscribe to Amazon Prime either. :lol:
No one likes re-occuring fees, but they are a part of everyday life unless you live off the grid, in the middle of the woods. I'm all about saving money where possible, but a good deal is a good deal...and $2/month is pretty much free. Like StinkyImp said, it is two pizzas a year. So why not lose a few pounds? :-)

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:57 am
by adam1991
GnatGoSplat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:33 pm
Huge difference though, you can actually buy a hammer. Pay once and you own it. A recurring fee is just a rental.
So, food?

Once something is used up, it's used up. Time gets used up. I would argue that guide data itself is more like food in that you must continue to buy it, because when used up by time, it then goes away.

You're not paying ongoing for the service, you're paying ongoing for the data that by its nature is not a durable good--and never will be.

Re: The end is nigh?

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:55 pm
by GnatGoSplat
I can't live without food, shelter, utilities, insurance, fuel, or paying taxes. I can live without a premium guide to record Survivor, especially if there are free alternatives.

WMC's guide is pretty low on my scale of things I'd like to invest money into. My wife feels as strongly about subs as I do, maybe more so since she grew up poor, so definitely not happening.