Microsoft ending EPG for WMC in January

Global guide related discussion. All Windows versions.
User avatar
garyan2

Posts: 4669
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:23 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

Re: Microsoft ending EPG for WMC in January

#141

Post by garyan2 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:24 am

billmich wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:13 pm
is there end coming sooner than we thought?
My last couple of update attempts (last night and tonight) have failed....
It does seem to be stuck again. Downloads on my Rovi VM only got out to the 19th.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. http://epg123.garyan2.net

dab2kab

Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:03 am
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#142

Post by dab2kab » Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:43 am

ive been wondering since the announcement the guide was ending what theyd do if it broke before January. At this point it would be understandable to just not fix it i guess...

billmich

Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:52 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#143

Post by billmich » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:33 pm

Mine ends at 7 pm ET on 12/18.

rickmktg

Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:05 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#144

Post by rickmktg » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:54 pm

billmich wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:33 pm
Mine ends at 7 pm ET on 12/18.
Same here.

Glad I updated my cottage system to Windows 10, Next PVR, and SchedulesDirect. I'll be checking it this AM to see if it's still working fine, and if so will proceed to upgrade my home system to the same. It will be nice to be rid of the Microsoft drama, way too much energy spent on this over the years.
Moved to W10 and NPVR in December 2019. Bye.

drewcu

Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:14 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#145

Post by drewcu » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:30 pm

tonywagner wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:47 pm
So here's how I got a free, non-Rovi guide right now using zap2xml and xmltv-to-mxf. First steps:
  1. Download and install epg123
  2. Run EPG123 Client, Client Setup, steps 1 & 2 (which will reset WMC -- do a backup first, if you like)
    While setting up WMC, be sure to enter 00000 as your zip code to get a blank guide -- and don't forget to manually add any VHF channels in WMC if necessary
  3. Create the folder C:\epg
  4. Download and install zap2xml, put the resulting "zap2xml.exe" file in C:\epg
  5. Download and install a Java JRE
  6. Download my "xmltv-to-mxf-0.0.2-SNAPSHOT.jar" file (which is just the GitHub version plus my period subchannel fix) and put it in C:\epg as well
    https://file.io/ndLsGO
Once that's done, you can use a batch file for the update process. Save the following as "update.bat" in C:\epg (substituting your own Zap2It username and password, of course!):

Code: Select all

cd C:\epg
zap2xml -u username -p password
java -Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 -jar xmltv-to-mxf-0.0.2-SNAPSHOT.jar xmltv.xml
C:\Windows\ehome\loadmxf -i mxf.xml
%SystemRoot%\ehome\ehPrivJob.exe /DoReindexSearchRoot
Finally, the first time you set this up, you will also have to associate the WMC channels with their guide listings. I just had to click "Match by # Number" in the EPG123 Client and it was done. But future updates can just run the batch file again, unless your channel lineup changes.

Still missing categories in WMC, so I might look into improving the "xmltv-to-mxf" program further.

Also, My Channel Logos seems to behave strangely after this -- but I wasn't really using the logos before, so it's no big deal for me.
First of all, thank you Tony for this guide and all other developers for their pieces of the puzzle (Gary, etc)!

Got it working I thought with TVGuide... that is until I tried to right-click on a show and "Record Series." That option is missing for my Windows 8.1 WMC (in Virtualbox) using EPG123 and your guide above.

All of the shows I imported using EPG123 show no scheduled recordings even though I see them listed in Series in WMC. If I go into the Series Setting, everything seems fine, but shows that should have airings in the next week indicate there are none.

I then did a clean start in EPG123 and this time used Zap2it. Thankfully this time, most of my shows are able to be added as Series in WMC. There are exceptions like a more local NY channel SNY where the Record Series option is unavailable. I am trying to do a Keyword series addition on SNY for this one-off. Hopefully not too many more channels with this issue.

So word to the wise, use Zap2it instead of TVguide to avoid similar issues with Series in WMC. Maybe it was just a weird installation issue for me that one time with TVguide, but may as well just use Zap2it just to be safe.

Would be nice to know how to get WMC to better recognize Series using either EPG though.

EDIT: Think I figured out why I cannot record certain shows on SNY -- they are designated as LIVE in these EPGs and evidently that prevents WMC from seeing a Series as a possibility. Other non-live shows on SNY seem to have Series as options so guess it's not the channel, but rather live shows (I think) as the culprit here.

Drew

tonywagner

Posts: 157
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:53 am
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#146

Post by tonywagner » Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:55 am

drewcu wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:30 pm
First of all, thank you Tony for this guide and all other developers for their pieces of the puzzle (Gary, etc)!

Got it working I thought with TVGuide... that is until I tried to right-click on a show and "Record Series." That option is missing for my Windows 8.1 WMC (in Virtualbox) using EPG123 and your guide above.

All of the shows I imported using EPG123 show no scheduled recordings even though I see them listed in Series in WMC. If I go into the Series Setting, everything seems fine, but shows that should have airings in the next week indicate there are none.

I then did a clean start in EPG123 and this time used Zap2it. Thankfully this time, most of my shows are able to be added as Series in WMC. There are exceptions like a more local NY channel SNY where the Record Series option is unavailable. I am trying to do a Keyword series addition on SNY for this one-off. Hopefully not too many more channels with this issue.

So word to the wise, use Zap2it instead of TVguide to avoid similar issues with Series in WMC. Maybe it was just a weird installation issue for me that one time with TVguide, but may as well just use Zap2it just to be safe.

Would be nice to know how to get WMC to better recognize Series using either EPG though.

EDIT: Think I figured out why I cannot record certain shows on SNY -- they are designated as LIVE in these EPGs and evidently that prevents WMC from seeing a Series as a possibility. Other non-live shows on SNY seem to have Series as options so guess it's not the channel, but rather live shows (I think) as the culprit here.

Drew
You should PM Gary here, he can send you a much better tool for getting zap2it listings into WMC. (He hasn't officially released it yet, otherwise I would just share a link.)

drewcu

Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:14 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#147

Post by drewcu » Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:35 am

Thanks but I did PM Gary a week ago or so and never heard back...

User avatar
garyan2

Posts: 4669
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:23 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#148

Post by garyan2 » Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:18 am

Sorry, it kinda got lost in my inbox. Just PM'd you.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. http://epg123.garyan2.net

User avatar
garyan2

Posts: 4669
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:23 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#149

Post by garyan2 » Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:28 am

drewcu wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:30 pm
Got it working I thought with TVGuide... that is until I tried to right-click on a show and "Record Series." That option is missing for my Windows 8.1 WMC (in Virtualbox) using EPG123 and your guide above.

All of the shows I imported using EPG123 show no scheduled recordings even though I see them listed in Series in WMC. If I go into the Series Setting, everything seems fine, but shows that should have airings in the next week indicate there are none.

I then did a clean start in EPG123 and this time used Zap2it. Thankfully this time, most of my shows are able to be added as Series in WMC.
The Transfer Tool for EPG123 converts a Rovi series ID to a Gracenote series ID. Since Zap2it is sourced by Gracenote, the Transfer Tool will still work. Since TVGuide is sourced by Rovi, the series IDs are wrong and won't work.
drewcu wrote:There are exceptions like a more local NY channel SNY where the Record Series option is unavailable. I am trying to do a Keyword series addition on SNY for this one-off. Hopefully not too many more channels with this issue.
More than likely, this is due to xmltv-to-mxf-0.0.2-SNAPSHOT.jar not setting the Generic flag on programs like your local daily news shows. I don't think it will see them as part of a series, but rather as all the same program. So it is not Live shows, rather simply not being identified as a series.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. http://epg123.garyan2.net

Space

Posts: 1828
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:44 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#150

Post by Space » Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:22 am

Has anyone contacted TiVo/Rovi to notify Microsoft that the guide has stopped updating?

I understand that the guide will be stopping in January, but this is premature, and I've allocated time towards the end of the year to work on a bunch of things with my HTPC, one of which is converting to EPG123, but I need that time.

SugarFree

Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:28 am
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#151

Post by SugarFree » Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:58 pm

First reported to Tivo on Monday. Escalated yesterday: TiVo Support: Case # 2261578 Ref ID:ref:_00D409pu7._500f31OFSCw

Same "loop" problem we've had many times before. The guide keeps repeatedly downloading an old guide, and so it believes all is well. To fix, MS needs to delete that guide from its servers - and then our systems will grab a new one.

If I knew where to find the file, and its name, I'd try deleting it and then doing a manual update - but I have no idea.

SugarFree

I'll call Tivo again later to see if they heard back, but they almost never do.

rickmktg

Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:05 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#152

Post by rickmktg » Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:12 pm

SugarFree wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:58 pm
First reported to Tivo on Monday. Escalated yesterday: TiVo Support: Case # 2261578 Ref ID:ref:_00D409pu7._500f31OFSCw

Same "loop" problem we've had many times before. The guide keeps repeatedly downloading an old guide, and so it believes all is well. To fix, MS needs to delete that guide from its servers - and then our systems will grab a new one.

If I knew where to find the file, and its name, I'd try deleting it and then doing a manual update - but I have no idea.

SugarFree

I'll call Tivo again later to see if they heard back, but they almost never do.
As I go through life, I always keep in my mind companies that promise and don't deliver. Microsoft will always be in my mind for creating WMC with a guide that has never been properly supported and went out several times a year, and each time you know they say "hey, did that intern Bob document how he fixed this last time?" Google gets a high place on that list also.
Moved to W10 and NPVR in December 2019. Bye.

Green Lantern

Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:45 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#153

Post by Green Lantern » Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:08 pm

rickmktg wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:12 pm
As I go through life, I always keep in my mind companies that promise and don't deliver. Microsoft will always be in my mind for creating WMC with a guide that has never been properly supported and went out several times a year, and each time you know they say "hey, did that intern Bob document how he fixed this last time?" Google gets a high place on that list also.
Agreed. Actually, I wouldn't have had a problem with Microsoft ending the guide IF they hadn't charged for WMC 8.1. However, since they did charge, I expected them to maintain it through 2023 just like 8.1. They probably think it doesn't really matter if they urine off WMC users based on them considering us mere home users. However, some of us home users are in corporate positions with the authority to give or not give large amounts of money to Microsoft. So, when you set precedents of not being honorable and some CIO/CTO/etc is making a decision whether to give a large contract or purchase order to MS or one of their competitors, that lack of honor could be what tips the scales in favor of the competitor.

SugarFree

Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:28 am
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#154

Post by SugarFree » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:31 pm

Tivo just heard back from MS (which is rare), with: MS has indicated they will look into this.

At least they're now aware of it. With luck, they'll fix it tonight. If anyone reading this should get a new guide later, please let us know here with time and your cable system. Fixes seem to roll out alphabetically.

SugarFree

User avatar
twkisner

Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:28 pm
Location: Texas

HTPC Specs: Show details

#155

Post by twkisner » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:35 pm

Green Lantern wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:08 pm
Agreed. Actually, I wouldn't have had a problem with Microsoft ending the guide IF they hadn't charged for WMC 8.1. However, since they did charge, I expected them to maintain it through 2023 just like 8.1. They probably think it doesn't really matter if they urine off WMC users based on them considering us mere home users. However, some of us home users are in corporate positions with the authority to give or not give large amounts of money to Microsoft. So, when you set precedents of not being honorable and some CIO/CTO/etc is making a decision whether to give a large contract or purchase order to MS or one of their competitors, that lack of honor could be what tips the scales in favor of the competitor.
Yes, I also imagined going to 8/8.1 would buy me more time for the guide and was one of the reasons for upgrading, given the myriad of other problems that it caused to go from Windows 7 to Windows 8.

When they flipped the guide to Rovi, I wasn't happy, but I was like ugh, it's still free, I can roll with it.

EPG123 is a fantastic upgrade, and I'm (now) very grateful for the effort that went into it when Rovi sucked that has made the transition super simple.

At the end of day, it looks like upgrading from 7 to 8 gained me nothing but grief. I've got it running in Hyper-V now on a Windows 10 machine, which I could have done just as easily with Windows 7.

Space

Posts: 1828
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:44 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#156

Post by Space » Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:49 pm

SugarFree wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:31 pm
Tivo just heard back from MS (which is rare), with: MS has indicated they will look into this.

At least they're now aware of it. With luck, they'll fix it tonight. If anyone reading this should get a new guide later, please let us know here with time and your cable system. Fixes seem to roll out alphabetically.

SugarFree
Thanks for this update. I sent a message to the TiVo support email address and didn't hear anything.

McGary

Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:03 am
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#157

Post by McGary » Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:27 am

Just had the message about the guide pop up on my system -- probably hadn't done the update that generated the message until earlier today. Guess this weekend is "switch to EPG" time -- I've come close several times, but the guide issues always managed to resolve themselves just before I actually did it. Not much choice now.

I had assumed (clearly INCORRECTLY) that since WMC is supported on Windows 8, that the guide would be active until the final end of Windows 8.1 support in Jan 2023 … but clearly Microsoft has taken a different approach.

As others have also noted, Microsoft has the gall to say in the pop up that you need to switch to an alternate provider, but if you click on the "More Info" button they simply take you to the "you should switch to Windows 10" page, with NO information about how to maintain guide data in WMC.

I've also just noted (per a few notes posted above) that my guide data ends on 18 Dec, notwithstanding Microsoft's claim it'll end in early January. EPG is definitely a project for this weekend !!

bookmarked

Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:44 am
Location: US

HTPC Specs: Show details

#158

Post by bookmarked » Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:02 am

I just told WMC to fetch a guide update and it succeeded - OTA, so no cable system to report. I have data through 12/25 at 5pm.

There is a problem, though. Comparing it to TV Guide, it looks like they missed a 30 minute show today at 8:30am CT on my local NBC affiliate. This has thrown off the schedule for the entire rest of the time. For example, the 6pm local evening news starts at 5:30pm every day.

I'm still looking for other problems, but that was the only really glaring one.

So, check for updates but look for errors.

SugarFree

Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:28 am
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#159

Post by SugarFree » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:08 pm

Verizon Fios up and running this morning, good thru 12/25 at 7 pm. At first I thought there were errors - missing series eps - but it appears to be holiday programming taking over the last few days of the guide. Still, switching to EPG shortly. It will be nice to finely step off the roller-coaster.

Happy Holidays!

SugarFree

Space

Posts: 1828
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:44 pm
Location:

HTPC Specs: Show details

#160

Post by Space » Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:06 pm

Yep, FiOS here, now have data out to 12/25 at 7pm for almost all channels, a few (3 or 4) seem to stop on 12/23 or 12/24 for some reason.

Thanks SugarFree for engaging TiVo & Microsoft on this. Hopefully this will be the last time for this.

Post Reply