Microsoft ending EPG for WMC in January

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garyan2

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Re: Microsoft ending EPG for WMC in January

#221

Post by garyan2 » Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:29 am

Green Lantern wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:11 am
1) Paragraph 2 includes a definition of Content which includes, among other things, "directories, guides".
2) Paragraph 2 goes on to state "You may use the Content online only, and solely for your personal, non-commercial use, and you may download or print a single copy of any portion of the Content solely for your personal, non-commercial use..." The key part is "...and you may download or print a single copy of any portion of the Content solely for your personal, non-commercial use...".

Therefore, per their own current terms of service, you can download content (which by their own definition includes directories, guides) for your own personal use.
Right, but in typical legal fashion, the very next paragraph states:
You may not, for example, republish any portion of the Content on any Internet, Intranet or extranet site or incorporate the Content in any database, compilation, archive or cache. You may not distribute any Content to others, whether or not for payment or other consideration, and you may not modify, copy, frame, cache, reproduce, sell, publish, transmit, display or otherwise use any portion of the Content.
And if anyone wants to know what we are referring to, I thought I had provided the link above, but apparently not. The Zap2it website ToS is https://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/terms-of-service/
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#222

Post by garyan2 » Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:33 am

Also, there was this at the end of the 3rd paragraph:
and not to use any data mining, data gathering or extraction method.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#223

Post by otfrdok » Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:07 am

oakley516 wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:04 pm
As long as you're not using that PC to do websurfing, you'll be fine.
A Windows 7 PC used to surf will be just fine too.

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#224

Post by Vistaar » Tue Dec 31, 2019 10:04 am

Looks like my Rovi EPG data will expire at 6 PM. (Happy New Year to you too, Microsoft.) If I ever reinstall Vista from scratch again, I won't bother to install TV Pack 2008 - without which I wouldn't be here to share this moment with those of you running Windows 7 and above. I will henceforth be using NextPVR 4 exclusively. (NextPVR 5, now in public beta, does not support Vista.) NextPVR has native support for Schedules Direct; and for those like myself who are tuning over-the-air channels (I cut the cord in 2017), it can extract the limited EPG data that is contained in ATSC broadcast streams (measured in hours rather than days, but completely free).

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#225

Post by tluxon » Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:04 pm

garyan2 wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:02 pm
prsa01 wrote:...

Can't help with the moral dilemma, just know I've been using an xmltv file for my old replayTV units for years. At their age it was either a free option or dispose of them. Since I already had a process in place for them just planned to use the same xmltv file for WMC. Certainly not a major issue if you decide not to go that route. I'm just VERY thankful you are making epg123 available to keep WMC working.

Can certainly live with a second process using SD for WMC and xmltv for replayTV.

Thanks again for Epg123!
Actually, EPG123 makes an xmltv file as well which will look nearly identical to zap2xml, but with more info. If ReplayTV does anything with that.

I wish I knew there was an alternative for ReplayTV back then, I never would have gotten rid of it. I loved it.
Wow - people are still using ReplayTV (best DVR tech ever IMO)? I still have 3 RTV 5000's up on the shelf but haven't even run them since about 2010 - a couple years after switching over to all TiVos.

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#226

Post by joesc » Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:44 pm

I'm always amazed at how many former ReplayTV folks are on here. I too wish I didn't have to give up my units. I actually just shipped off my old 4500s to someone still using ReplayTV last summer. Still the best DVR. The sharing community lives on at PlanetReplay though.

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#227

Post by IT Troll » Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:52 pm

d00zah wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:42 pm
IT Troll wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:31 pm
The “end of the World” nags are getting irritating now, especially as I stopped using MS guide data several years ago. I take it no one has found a magic registry setting to turn them off?
viewtopic.php?p=135244#p135244
Sorry, I wasn’t clear. I’m running Windows 8 rather than Windows 7, so I am not getting the O/S EOL nags, just the EPG one. Hopefully this will stop soon.

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#228

Post by prsa01 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:16 am

joesc wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:44 pm
I'm always amazed at how many former ReplayTV folks are on here. I too wish I didn't have to give up my units. I actually just shipped off my old 4500s to someone still using ReplayTV last summer. Still the best DVR. The sharing community lives on at PlanetReplay though.
Still have 3 x 5 Ks. One in active use. Still work great. The only thing that caught them was time. Gets harder over time to justify a single tuner non-hd even just in energy use. Mostly just hard-headed about keeping something out of the landfill that does perfectly well what it was designed to do.

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#229

Post by Gadget Guy » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:57 pm

garyan2 wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:35 pm
Gadget Guy wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:56 pm
Like everyone else here, I need to do something about the guide in the next week or so. Fortunately I have a few days off this time of year.

I recently tried Jellyfin and became familiar with zap2xml when I setup the guide listings for it. I was just wondering if there is an easy way to use .xmltv files with EPG123 instead of Schedules Direct? My needs a very modest, since I'm only using a handful of local channels via antenna.
I'm working on a generic xmltv to mxf program, but being generic it is going to have to be somewhat limited. There are so many different generators of xmltv files, with varying levels of quality and completeness, that it is proving difficult to get what I would consider a minimum level of dependability/configurability.

I do have a ZAP2XML created that could be pretty much ready for release, but I'm trying to make sure it is safe. It will take any XMLTV file that has the "dd_progid" episode number system in it which is the Gracenote ID. This would mean that the Transfer Tool of EPG123 would work with it as well. These XMLTV files would come from sources like mc2xml, xmltv project's tv_grab_zz_sdjson generator, or even EPG123. It just so happens that zap2xml also contains the "dd_progid".

If you are not aware, zap2xml is basically a webscraper and as such is not considered friendly by the hosting party. Please visit https://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/terms-of-service/ to review Zap2It's Terms of Service.
Thank you for your reply. I understand your concerns with Zap2It and your decision to not include support for it.

With that said, I noticed that in addition to SD, EPG123 now supports the SiliconDust HDHomeRun DVR service listings. Is there any possibility to also support guide listings from Plex for those that have a Plex Pass (i.e.already paying for the guide)?

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#230

Post by garyan2 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:29 pm

Gadget Guy wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:57 pm
Is there any possibility to also support guide listings from Plex for those that have a Plex Pass (i.e.already paying for the guide)?
That would have to be someone else's project, I've got enough jobs as it is. I could certainly help out, but I'm not going to try and keep up with all the shenanigans over at Plex and their guide provider.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#231

Post by Gadget Guy » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:18 am

garyan2 wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:29 pm
Gadget Guy wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:57 pm
Is there any possibility to also support guide listings from Plex for those that have a Plex Pass (i.e.already paying for the guide)?
That would have to be someone else's project, I've got enough jobs as it is. I could certainly help out, but I'm not going to try and keep up with all the shenanigans over at Plex and their guide provider.
What shenanigans? Is there something about Plex that you don’t like?

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#232

Post by garyan2 » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:36 am

That was more tongue-in-cheek. I've stopped following a couple months back, but when they changed their provider from Gracenote to Rovi, there was a lot of screaming and gnashing of teeth. Everything was wrong in the UK, AU and NZ lost support, I don't know how bad the US stuff looked. There were still problems when I stopped following. It was just a deja-vu from July 2015 when MS did the same to us.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#233

Post by Green Lantern » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:01 am

garyan2 wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:11 pm
Okay, I did some experimenting, as well as created my own program to convert a ZAP2XML XMLTV file into a proper MXF file. I squeezed every last drop out of it and you can see what I got in the below table. I would consider EPG123 the GOLD STANDARD for the complete experience, and the program I created (ZAP2MXF), I can honestly say, is the best ever created in the history of man kind for the ZAP2XML XMLTV file. :P

zap2xml_compare.jpg
I really wish you'd never even posted this if you're not going to release ZAP2MXF. Seems a bit cruel to get people's hopes up for nothing.

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#234

Post by garyan2 » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:53 am

I wish the same thing, but not for the same reason. I would say right now ZAP2MXF is not dead, I just need to get enough information to make a good decision. Because ZAP2MXF is so singularly focused on basically the output of zap2xml, I have reservations. I reached out to the creator of zap2xml concerning Zap2it and webscraping, and his position is "I leave users to decide for themselves." I will wait for a response from Zap2it for their opinion/position. If their opinion is unfavorable of zap2xml, then ZAP2MXF is dead in its current form.

Now I can appreciate the creator of zap2xml's position, I am basically heading down the same path by creating a generic XMLTV to MXF program. Being generic, I can certainly point to a lot of XMLTV generators that come from paid-for APIs or services... particularly overseas. Even knowing that there will be some XMLTV files used that could be questionable in their origin, the other uses brings legitimacy to the need for such a program. I was hoping to get the generic version out before MS shut it all down (I didn't expect 1/1/2020), but as you can see I've been a bit busy lately.

I'm not a fan of webscraping though I've done it myself a couple times in the past. I justified that because I was the only one doing it with the program I created and it was for my own personal use. If I created something that could be seen as abusive being used by thousands of people, then I have to recognize that a large portion of the blame and damages would probably fall on me. Now you may think that what zap2xml does is fine, and I'm sure there are 10's, if not 100's of thousands of people who think the same and use it, but I like to be a bit more responsible and aware. So I guess I'm too nice to other peoples property and works, and too mean to other peoples wants and desires.

Another point to make here, yesterday Schedules Direct's servers had a bit of an issue due to the large influx of new members downloading guides for obvious reasons. Even with authorized use or their API and their AWS servers, their services were severely impacted and some users could not get their guides for a spell. Having thousands of people scraping a website would have a significant impact on that service as well without so much as a mother-may-I. At least Schedules Direct can plan for what they need based on membership numbers.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#235

Post by KevinRush » Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:36 pm

January 3, 2020
I woke up this morning and my TV Guide Data was back! I have been receiving a notice in WMC for the last week or so saying there were only days left of the Microsoft provided TV guide data. I started exploring switching to EPG123 but haven't got to it yet. I went a few days with no guide data, but was still able to tune to all my channels by using the channel numbers. My guide data now extends out two weeks.

Does anyone know anything about this?

[Moderator note: topic merged; search before posting]

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#236

Post by Green Lantern » Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:43 pm

garyan2 wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:53 am
I wish the same thing, but not for the same reason. I would say right now ZAP2MXF is not dead, I just need to get enough information to make a good decision. Because ZAP2MXF is so singularly focused on basically the output of zap2xml, I have reservations. I reached out to the creator of zap2xml concerning Zap2it and webscraping, and his position is "I leave users to decide for themselves." I will wait for a response from Zap2it for their opinion/position. If their opinion is unfavorable of zap2xml, then ZAP2MXF is dead in its current form.

Now I can appreciate the creator of zap2xml's position, I am basically heading down the same path by creating a generic XMLTV to MXF program. Being generic, I can certainly point to a lot of XMLTV generators that come from paid-for APIs or services... particularly overseas. Even knowing that there will be some XMLTV files used that could be questionable in their origin, the other uses brings legitimacy to the need for such a program. I was hoping to get the generic version out before MS shut it all down (I didn't expect 1/1/2020), but as you can see I've been a bit busy lately.

I'm not a fan of webscraping though I've done it myself a couple times in the past. I justified that because I was the only one doing it with the program I created and it was for my own personal use. If I created something that could be seen as abusive being used by thousands of people, then I have to recognize that a large portion of the blame and damages would probably fall on me. Now you may think that what zap2xml does is fine, and I'm sure there are 10's, if not 100's of thousands of people who think the same and use it, but I like to be a bit more responsible and aware. So I guess I'm too nice to other peoples property and works, and too mean to other peoples wants and desires.

Another point to make here, yesterday Schedules Direct's servers had a bit of an issue due to the large influx of new members downloading guides for obvious reasons. Even with authorized use or their API and their AWS servers, their services were severely impacted and some users could not get their guides for a spell. Having thousands of people scraping a website would have a significant impact on that service as well without so much as a mother-may-I. At least Schedules Direct can plan for what they need based on membership numbers.
Thanks for the detailed response. It is genuinely appreciated.

Since you have apparently contacted Zap2it directly to ask about this use case, their reply should resolve this one way or the other... if they reply. That being said, I suspect that if you do get a reply it will likely be from some individual who just takes the easy approach of saying NO without actually consulting anyone. Which is a shame because I sincerely believe that theirs is a typical terms of service which is clearly intended to stop others from downloading and using their data for commercial purposes and doesn't have an issue with personal use. In fact, I really see no substantive difference between individuals going to their website and using bandwidth to peruse listings vs downloading them for their WMC guide. Indeed, if anything, the latter would likely use less bandwidth for anyone setting it up in a reasonable manner. For example, if people have to manually peruse listings on their website and then setup manual recordings in WMC then I think most would look through the Zap2it listings on their website (thus using bandwidth and server resources) far more frequently than if they simply downloaded the data into their WMC guide just once per week.

Anyway, just my thoughts on the topic. Hope it all works out somehow.

And to all the others on here that think this is all ridiculous and people should just pay the 25 bucks to SD. This ignores all the low income people who use an old (often donated or bought very cheap from a charity shop) PC with tuner hooked up to an antenna because OTA is all they can afford. But that at least gives them a free and functional DVR setup which can record their favorite shows for when they are unable to watch them live. For them, a $25 subscription is not an option. Even per year. So, for all the smug people on this forum who've made derogatory comments about people unwilling to pay a mere 25 dollars, try actually going to the poor parts of your town and do something like spend a little time in the grocery store. Watch how many people checkout with nothing more in their basket than a loaf of white bread and pack of baloney... that's it, nothing else! Because that's all they can afford to feed themselves for the week. If you've never seen that sort of heartbreaking scenario then take your head out of the sand because I have and it definitely does exist. So, not everyone is as fortunate as you and can afford a $25 subscription. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be able to get just a little bit of enjoyment from being able to continue using their Windows Media Center that they've relied on for years.

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#237

Post by RedWMC » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:29 pm

I also have not moved over to epg123 because I migrated to plex but still have the W7 WMC running.
My guide was in the same situation as you say yours was in. My current guide goes til Jan14 at 4:30 pm MT (Comcast Cable).

According to Wikipedia:
When support for Windows 7 ends[26] on January 14, 2020, EPG data no longer be available for download from Microsoft

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Media_Center

The Microsoft link says starting in January 2020 so I would expect that you will lose the guide again.

Starting in January 2020, Microsoft is retiring its Electronic Program Guide (EPG) service for all versions of Windows Media Center. To continue receiving TV Program Guide information on your Windows Media Center, you’ll need to configure an alternate TV listing provider.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/window ... center#343

If guide data is important to you I’d recommend switching to EPG123, and not hold out until it dies again.
Last edited by RedWMC on Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#238

Post by Space » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:33 pm

I also received guide listings today, but only for OTA, I have no listings for any of my cable channels (FiOS). As suspected, this "outage" was not intentional, but just Microsoft being Microsoft. I suspect that ending the guide early was not their intention but didn't get fixed due to apathy (and the holidays). Most likely this is working due to no action from Microsoft, although there is a chance they kicked something.

However, it is clear that the Microsoft guide service IS going away, so this is just a temporary reprieve for those who need more time to choose and migrate to a new solution.

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#239

Post by bookmarked » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:36 pm

Green Lantern wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:43 pm
Thanks for the detailed response. It is genuinely appreciated.

Since you have apparently contacted Zap2it directly to ask about this use case, their reply should resolve this one way or the other... if they reply. That being said, I suspect that if you do get a reply it will likely be from some individual who just takes the easy approach of saying NO without actually consulting anyone. Which is a shame because I sincerely believe that theirs is a typical terms of service which is clearly intended to stop others from downloading and using their data for commercial purposes and doesn't have an issue with personal use. In fact, I really see no substantive difference between individuals going to their website and using bandwidth to peruse listings vs downloading them for their WMC guide. Indeed, if anything, the latter would likely use less bandwidth for anyone setting it up in a reasonable manner. For example, if people have to manually peruse listings on their website and then setup manual recordings in WMC then I think most would look through the Zap2it listings on their website (thus using bandwidth and server resources) far more frequently than if they simply downloaded the data into their WMC guide just once per week.

Anyway, just my thoughts on the topic. Hope it all works out somehow.

...
I agree. Also, don't forget that Zap2it can't get too restrictive with their terms because they would run up against US copyright laws covering personal and fair use. They are claiming the protections of copyright law on their website, so they have to live within all of the the terms of that law, including the rights of people to make use of the information that they publish.

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#240

Post by viper » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:40 pm

Just FYI - MS updated guide data through Jan 13th when I selected update guide data now

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