Microsoft ending EPG for WMC in January

Global guide related discussion. All Windows versions.
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StinkyImp

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Re: WMC 7 EPG cut-off for January 2020

#21

Post by StinkyImp » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:12 pm

mattiedread wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:13 pm
Can anyone post a bit about the various alternatives, price, reliability, configurability etc?
Everyone's giving you alternatives to WMC. If you're asking about alternative guide listing providers that you can use with your existing WMC, then off the top of my head I can only think of three:
  1. EPG123 by garyan2 (Free but you need a $25 per year subscription from Schedules Direct, SUPER reliable, easily configurable)
  2. EPG Collector (Free, somewhat reliable, decently configurable but tedious) [See this post]
  3. zap2xml - Uses either the Zap2it or TV Guide listings (Free, pretty reliable, highly configurable but you need to stay on top of it)
Even though two of these are essentially no cost, I'd still recommend EPG123 because it's so much better than the other two. I've used all three and I've opted for EPG123 as my WMC guide provider for more reasons than I can list. The bottom line is that EPG123 is a "set it and forget it" program and has a "swiss army knife" set of tools.

If this wasn't what you were asking about, please accept my apologies!

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#22

Post by jimnms » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:35 pm

Paul Anderegg wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:43 pm
This popped up on my WMC on opening this morning. Fortunately I already have EPG123...time to make a donation.
I got that message too after applying updates and restarting. It crashed every time I selected learn more, so I'm wondering what I'm supposed to learn from that. :wtf:

I suspected this was coming since Win7's EOL is coming in January too, but I was already planning do ditch cable at the end of the month when the last of the shows I watch end. I've pretty much been sticking to cable just for a few shows. Now the last of those have ended or are ending their series, so there's no reason to keep paying for cable when there's nothing good to watch anymore. A few shows I still watch I can get OTA, so I'm going to upgrade the machine to Win10, get an antenna and look for some recording software that works with my tuner and Win10.

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#23

Post by kansanian » Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:57 am

jimnms wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:35 pm
Paul Anderegg wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:43 pm
This popped up on my WMC on opening this morning. Fortunately I already have EPG123...time to make a donation.
I got that message too after applying updates and restarting. It crashed every time I selected learn more, so I'm wondering what I'm supposed to learn from that. :wtf:

I suspected this was coming since Win7's EOL is coming in January too, but I was already planning do ditch cable at the end of the month when the last of the shows I watch end. I've pretty much been sticking to cable just for a few shows. Now the last of those have ended or are ending their series, so there's no reason to keep paying for cable when there's nothing good to watch anymore. A few shows I still watch I can get OTA, so I'm going to upgrade the machine to Win10, get an antenna and look for some recording software that works with my tuner and Win10.
Yeah, sad that MS still doesn't care.
IMO, there still isn't anything that competes with WMC.

Also considering canning cable. Still not sure I see any alternative I want to mess with for OTA. It already works great for that for me.

Thought about other things, tried several, still haven't seen anything that compares fully. So many things WMC does that almost no other thing does. As well. As fully. As easily.

Time to donate again soon to EPG123. Very thankful someone stepped up and did such great work on this.

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#24

Post by mercalia » Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:29 pm

I wonder why they never put Media Center in the store or charge for the epg there as a subscription. They missed a way to make some money.

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#25

Post by Waynezo » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:31 am

I am running WMC7 with xBox 360 as extender. Is EPG123 and schedules direct ($25 a year) my best solution? Are there any other alternatives?

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#26

Post by DavidinCT » Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:53 pm

Well, I am going ask this.... Come January 2020, people are going to freak out because the guide is no more..... Personally, I thought I read Microsoft was sharing the same guide data with the Xbox TV guide as WMC..., unless they are blocking it, just to kill off WMC for good.

So, I might as well ask... Not that I care about spending $25 a year for guide data but, this is for other people...I KNOW when Jan 2020 comes up and they kill it,t his place might be flooded with people asking this one question....

Is there a FREE guide option available ?
StinkyImp wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:12 pm
mattiedread wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:13 pm
Can anyone post a bit about the various alternatives, price, reliability, configurability etc?
Everyone's giving you alternatives to WMC. If you're asking about alternative guide listing providers that you can use with your existing WMC, then off the top of my head I can only think of three:
  1. EPG123 by garyan2 (Free but you need a $25 per year subscription from Schedules Direct, SUPER reliable, easily configurable)
  2. EPG Collector (Free, somewhat reliable, decently configurable but tedious) [See this post]
  3. zap2xml - Uses either the Zap2it or TV Guide listings (Free, pretty reliable, highly configurable but you need to stay on top of it)
Even though two of these are essentially no cost, I'd still recommend EPG123 because it's so much better than the other two. I've used all three and I've opted for EPG123 as my WMC guide provider for more reasons than I can list. The bottom line is that EPG123 is a "set it and forget it" program and has a "swiss army knife" set of tools.

If this wasn't what you were asking about, please accept my apologies!
Ah, didn't see that before I posted above... zap2XML looks interesting to play with... with some batch scripts and using the task schedule it could be made dependable.
-Dave
Twitter @TheCoolDave

Windows Media Center certified and WMC MVP 2010 - 2012

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#27

Post by adam1991 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:12 pm

Waynezo wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:31 am
I am running WMC7 with xBox 360 as extender. Is EPG123 and schedules direct ($25 a year) my best solution?
1000% yes.

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#28

Post by garyan2 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:23 pm

DavidinCT wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:53 pm
Ah, didn't see that before I posted above... zap2XML looks interesting to play with... with some batch scripts and using the task schedule it could be made dependable.
Zap2Xml will only get you so far. Its output is XMLTV which will then need to be converted to the MXF schema. There are a couple programs out there that will do this to some varying degrees of success. It really depends on what the user wants to see in the guide.

You can range from a very basic and free guide with program and episode titles and basic descriptions, to the $25/year guide that will include series and movie artwork, actor and character names, TV ratings, MPAA ratings, language, HD, SAP, Dolby, CC, Premiere flags, genres and categories, Live flags, and probably more.
- Gary
Stomping out the Rovi disease, one media center at a time. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#29

Post by StinkyImp » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:23 pm

adam1991 wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:12 pm
Waynezo wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:31 am
I am running WMC7 with xBox 360 as extender. Is EPG123 and schedules direct ($25 a year) my best solution?
1000% yes.
I see your 1000% and raise you times 1000% (for a total of 1 million%) and also add that it's the best solution for ANY version of WMC! :P
Last edited by StinkyImp on Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#30

Post by DavidinCT » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:24 pm

garyan2 wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:23 pm
DavidinCT wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:53 pm
Ah, didn't see that before I posted above... zap2XML looks interesting to play with... with some batch scripts and using the task schedule it could be made dependable.
Zap2Xml will only get you so far. Its output is XMLTV which will then need to be converted to the MXF schema. There are a couple programs out there that will do this to some varying degrees of success. It really depends on what the user wants to see in the guide.

You can range from a very basic and free guide with program and episode titles and basic descriptions, to the $25/year guide that will include series and movie artwork, actor and character names, TV ratings, MPAA ratings, language, HD, SAP, Dolby, CC, Premiere flags, genres and categories, Live flags, and probably more.
I hear ya. Thanks for all you do for this community !

I'm just looking at it because of all the people here who are going to be crying on Jan 2020 when their guide stops working and everyone is going to be begging a free solution. I completely understand it

I do plan on going to EPG123 at some point and as Jan is coming soon I might just wait till December. I figured I might setup Zap2Xml for a bit, so I can do a DIY thing for people here who don't know.

Like I said, just trying to do something for the community here... nothing more.. And I completely understand it's limits...
-Dave
Twitter @TheCoolDave

Windows Media Center certified and WMC MVP 2010 - 2012

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#31

Post by garyan2 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:33 am

DavidinCT wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:24 pm
I'm just looking at it because of all the people here who are going to be crying on Jan 2020 when their guide stops working and everyone is going to be begging a free solution. I completely understand it

I do plan on going to EPG123 at some point and as Jan is coming soon I might just wait till December. I figured I might setup Zap2Xml for a bit, so I can do a DIY thing for people here who don't know.

Like I said, just trying to do something for the community here... nothing more.. And I completely understand it's limits...
Oh, I absolutely don't take any offence to what you are proposing and will even help wherever I can. If EPG123 is not the right answer for someone, that is fine.

Before I created EPG123, I had created my own Zap2Xml (XMLTV) to MXF tool and was using it for a few months while I researched how WMC worked. It worked well during that time, but only because I controlled the source of the XMLTV file and the tool was specific to my needs. It most certainly was not future proof. Also, I feel that scraping a website (Zap2It) to generate the XMLTV file falls in a grey area. The website and account for Zap2It is freely available, but I don't think it was intended to be used in such a manner. If the abuse got too much, they could put a stop to it with some lines of code on their end and everyone who relied on it would end up back here or screaming at the creator of Zap2Xml.

When I get back home (currently on business travel overseas), I will try to find any notes I had on programs that converted XMLTV to MXF... I just know none of them met my needs. They may meet yours or at least allow you to play with them and develop that process.
- Gary
Stomping out the Rovi disease, one media center at a time. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#32

Post by DavidinCT » Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:31 pm

garyan2 wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:33 am
DavidinCT wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:24 pm
I'm just looking at it because of all the people here who are going to be crying on Jan 2020 when their guide stops working and everyone is going to be begging a free solution. I completely understand it

I do plan on going to EPG123 at some point and as Jan is coming soon I might just wait till December. I figured I might setup Zap2Xml for a bit, so I can do a DIY thing for people here who don't know.

Like I said, just trying to do something for the community here... nothing more.. And I completely understand it's limits...
Oh, I absolutely don't take any offence to what you are proposing and will even help wherever I can. If EPG123 is not the right answer for someone, that is fine.

Before I created EPG123, I had created my own Zap2Xml (XMLTV) to MXF tool and was using it for a few months while I researched how WMC worked. It worked well during that time, but only because I controlled the source of the XMLTV file and the tool was specific to my needs. It most certainly was not future proof. Also, I feel that scraping a website (Zap2It) to generate the XMLTV file falls in a grey area. The website and account for Zap2It is freely available, but I don't think it was intended to be used in such a manner. If the abuse got too much, they could put a stop to it with some lines of code on their end and everyone who relied on it would end up back here or screaming at the creator of Zap2Xml.

When I get back home (currently on business travel overseas), I will try to find any notes I had on programs that converted XMLTV to MXF... I just know none of them met my needs. They may meet yours or at least allow you to play with them and develop that process.
Thank you ! And when you get a chance... No rush, very busy with a lot of other things right now...so, it's one of those "when I have time" type things...
-Dave
Twitter @TheCoolDave

Windows Media Center certified and WMC MVP 2010 - 2012

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#33

Post by StinkyImp » Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:44 pm

DavidinCT wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:53 pm
I'm just looking at it because of all the people here who are going to be crying on Jan 2020 when their guide stops working and everyone is going to be begging a free solution.
Like I said, just trying to do something for the community here... nothing more.. And I completely understand it's limits...
Hi David!

As I said in my post about the totally "free" EPG providers, for OTA (not cable) EPG Collector is a lot more robust than zap2xml. It has some of the same features as EPG123 (like logos, TVDB integration, automatic mxf import, xmltv creation, etc). Once the initial configuration is complete, it's "set it and forget it" easy. In all my testing it worked flawlessly and automagically. It's also currently maintained by the author.

The only downside I could see in my testing was the propensity for some channels to have less than 24 hours of data. This wasn't a problem with the major channels, just the minor ones.

If you'd like to create a guide for WMC users that are adamant about totally free OTA guide data, it would probably be a good one to add to your tutorials.

After my testing of the three I mentioned, EPG123 is hands down the winner for me and passes the WAF.

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#34

Post by bencjedi » Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:00 pm

I'm a Cablecard user w/ Spectrum on Win7 WMC and recently used an old image to restore my PC in early July. The Digital Cable Advisor part of the install didn't work, so I used the bypass script in this thread viewtopic.php?t=11538. PlayReady part was ok.

I stumbled into this thread looking for a free way to convert WTV -> TS (lost whatever I had in the past and forgot what I had previously installed.. can't find the Moonlight DirectShow filters to install anymore.. grr)...and have a basic question regarding the loss of MS guide in January 2020...


What's my experience going to be for upgrading to EPG123 with my CableCard setup? PlayReady is also offline? Did the EPG123 site move? https://epg123.garyan2.net/downloads/epg123_Guide.pdf

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#35

Post by garyan2 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:11 pm

bencjedi wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:00 pm
What's my experience going to be for upgrading to EPG123 with my CableCard setup? PlayReady is also offline? Did the EPG123 site move? https://epg123.garyan2.net/downloads/epg123_Guide.pdf
You should be just fine on the transition. Right now, the DCA and PlayReady download/install still work but I don't know if we are bullet proof for the future.

The website is still there, just don't use the https protocol. http://epg123.garyan2.net/downloads/epg123_Guide.pdf
- Gary
Stomping out the Rovi disease, one media center at a time. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#36

Post by bencjedi » Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:27 pm

garyan2 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:11 pm
You should be just fine on the transition. Right now, the DCA and PlayReady download/install still work but I don't know if we are bullet proof for the future.

The website is still there, just don't use the https protocol. http://epg123.garyan2.net/downloads/epg123_Guide.pdf
Thanks!
Ah my HTTPS:Everywhere addon was messing up the URL.

I was trying to figure out what version of PlayReady my machine had installed. I found a download for v1.3. Will that one work for WMC? I want to have all the bits downloaded now in case whatever future event happens where I can't get back to where I was. If I don't get to do the update to EPG123 anytime soon it's just good to have this stuff already (though the guide makes it look pretty easy so I may get to this sooner than later)

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