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EPG-Buddy a new EPG Tool with easy usage


Claus Peter

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Claus Peter

 

Hi.

I like to introduce our latest tool, called "EPG-Buddy". This program should make EPG grabbing as easy as possible. Up to now a good EPG is one of the most complicated things to achieve in the HTPC world. Nearly all available sources needs complicated scripting and fiddling with XML files or similar. "On Air"- EPG often is of bad quality or not available at all. Available Sources for grabbing EPG data from online sources are hard to configure, especially  if you are new to this topic. Here is where EPG-Buddy jumps in. With EPG-Buddy you can configure your EPG with a few mouse clicks and after you're done your EPG is refreshed completely invisible and automatic on a daily or weekly base. You can use various sources for your EPG data. As EPG-Buddy delivers it’s data in XMLTV compatible format it can be used together with nearly every available TV solution for PC including, but not limited to MediaPortal  (both, 1 and 2), Argus TV, NextPVR, DVBViewer,… Some features may not be available for every solution but the main features are working with all of them as long as they are able to use XMLTV compatible EPG data..

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The recent supported EPG data sources are:

  • Tvguide.com - a fast and free source for North American countries (USA, Canada, Mexico)
  • Rytec Network - a fast and free source for many European countries.
  • TVSpielfilm - a fast and free source for German speaking countries
  • epgData - a fast but paid source for German speaking countries
  • Clickfinder - a fast but paid source for German speaking countries
  • WebGrab+Plus – a paid but very slow source for nearly every country and language in the World. The "free" version is crippled too much to be usable at all. Best is to avoid WebGrab if ever it's possible
  • External XML files - to use XMLTV- compatible XML files from other sources.

 

Some of the comfort features may not be available or even possible for all TV solutions. But it can be used with all of them, as long as they are XMLTV compatible. Full support incl. all comfort functions is available for DVBViewer, MediaPortal 1 and 2, NextPVR and Argus TV. 

 

A full blown manual (around 50 pages) is included in the installer. But it also can be downloaded separately if you first want to get a clue. If you have installed the program, an extra download of the manual is not necessary.

 

    This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.
    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
    GNU General Public License for more details.
    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    along with this program.  If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.
 

The source code is included in the installer package.

 

A note about the first run. When calling up the first time, the relevant data must be loaded from the TVDB for all series in the entire EPG (that is very, very many). But that only happens the first time. On the one hand it takes forever and on the other hand it would completely overload the TVDB. Therefore, the data is cached locally and only updated when changes are made. As a result, the very first run of Epg-Buddy unfortunately takes a very long time, possibly many hours. The local cache must first be built up from scratch. It depends very much on your internet speed and the number of channels that you have configured for the comparison with the TVDB. However, the second time through, it shouldn't take much longer than about an hour, depending on how many channels you have configured and how much of it is loaded via WebGrab. In my everyday life, a slow internet connection (approx. 5 Mbit throughput instead of the 50 MBit that I have to pay) with all German-language free TV channels from Astra 19.2, of which about 60% with TVDB comparison and TV Spielfilm as data source, it takes usually about 35 - 40 minutes until the EPG is completely finished.

 

And unfortunately it must also be pointed out that it happens far too often that various anti-virus programs incorrectly classify EPG-Buddy or almost all other programs written in the same programming language as viruses. This is always a false report. If you have EPG-Buddy from a trustworthy source such as the official download page, you can and must ignore these messages and set up appropriate exceptions. Unfortunately, the manufacturers of (all) AV programs are absolutely not interested in minimizing this type of constant false reports.

 

Thank you for reading and have a lot of fun with EPG-Buddy.

 

The recent Version is 0.7.0.27 and can be found at:

Download

 

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  • Griga pinned this topic
  • 2 months later...
Claus Peter

Hi.

tvguide.com has changed their services completely. Ths needs a huge rework so it will take it's time until tvguide.com (or an alternative) is working again, sorry.

 

Aside this, there are changes on the TVSpielfilm API. An easy to fix thing. 

Simply replace the file in the EPG-Buddy folder with the file from the link above and it will work again.

 

https://modellbahnblog.de/buddy-tools/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/EPG-Grabber_0.151.042.zip

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  • 3 weeks later...
Claus Peter

Hi.
There is a new version 0.7.1.4 available for download (link is in first post, as always). Sadly there still is no solution for tvguide.com
But as a provisionally solution you can use WebGrab+Plus instead. We found an oder version that still is working without paying and licensing. So we downgraded WebGrab inside EPG-Buddy to make it usable for all again. We don't know how long this will last, but for now it is working.

The other big change is, we now use TheMovieDatabase instead of TheTVDB as source to compare data entries with to get season and episodes numbers. As TVDB announced to shutdown their free API in first quarter of 2021 we thought it is better to change before the shutdown.
Aside this there are some fixes and changes related to different data sources especially for TVSpielfilm.

The upgrade will be a bit different as normal because of the WebGrab downgrade. You best uninstall EPG-Buddy before installing the new version. Then have a look inside the remaining installation folder and remove everything related to webgrab. Especially the WebGrab- subfolder and, if still existing the WebGrab+Plus.exe must be deleted. The installer checks for versions of files to replace and only updates newer versions. That's why you need to remove the WebGrab stuff before installing the new version (with older Webgrab).

If you already have purchased a WebGrab V3 licence you best use it as external XML Source. Direct support for WebGrab V3xx and above won't come back into EPG-Buddy...

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Claus Peter

Hi.

There is a new version 0.7.1.5 available for download. I missed to remove a debugging option so in 0.7.1.4 sometiemes a window appears, that shows the content of an array. Very useful during debugging but not that nice in daily usage. You simply could click away this window and everything goes on as usual. But this should not stay this way. 

Excerpt for the debugging window (that did no longer appear) everything is the same as in 0.7.1.4...

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