NOTE: Instructions for the tvguide.com option no longer work. Do not try to use these setup instructions. The WebGrab++ site/forum may have some suggestions/options for USA EPG download.
The setup guide describes how to configure WebGrab+Plus to download EPG data and Xmltv to import the downloaded EPG data into MediaPortal. WebGrap+Plus is a flexible tool that can grab EPG data from over 150 of web sources and supports more than 40 countries.
To get the most complete and up to date information see the *WebGrab+Plus *home page on the web.
- The Features web page describes what WebGrab+Plus supports.
- The EPG Channels web page shows the countries and web sources supported.
- The Documentation section of the Downloads web page has additional information for WebGrab+Plus setup.
WebGrab+Plus also has optional MDB and REX postprocessors that can add additional functions to WebGrab+Plus. This setup guide only describes how to setup the main WebGrab+Plus EPG grabber.
WebGrab+Plus and Siteini Setup Overview
?The following describes how to setup WebGrab+Plus to download data from web sources and import data into the Mediaportal TV Guide. There are 3 types of files.
- WebGrab++.config.xml, This is the main setup configuration file and controls how many days of EPG data to grab and other setup options. It also has the list of the channels WebGrab+Plus will grab. See the WebGrab+Plus configuration web page for more information.
- Site.ini, These files have the web source specific rules that control how EPG data is grabbed. You will normally download this from the EPG Channels web page. Consult the home web page for documentation if you want to write your own Site.ini file
- Site.channels.xml, These files have a list of channels available from the web source. Normally these are downloaded with the Site.ini file. In some cases you need to use the Site.ini file to generate the Site.channels.xml file.
The main WebGrab+Plus setup steps are:
- WebGrab+Plus Download and Install
- Customize WebGrab+Plus for your location
- Enable xmltv plugin and map TV channels
- Schedule periodic EPG Updates
WebGrab+Plus Download and Install
Open the WebGrab+Plus home page with a web browser and download both the Base Version and any Updates on the home page. When this guide was written the current versions were Base V1.1.1 and Update V1.1.1/48. Extract both files, the Base file is ".rar" file so you will need to use a .rar extractor like 7zip or similar program.
Open the Base folder you extracted (WebGrabPlusV1.1.1MSI\WebGrab+PlusV1.1.1MSI) and click on install.bat to install WebGrab+Plus. This will also ask to launch a WG-Dependencies check that will verify you have the needed versions of .NET and other software installed on your system. If needed it will download and install the needed software. When the install is complete it will give an option to launch WebGrab+Plus, say "no" and let the installer finish. You need to customize configuration files before running WebGrab+Plus.
Repeat this for the Update folder (patchexe_48_0) and do a "right click" on patchexe.bat to run the update as Administrator. When this is done WebGrab+Plus will have installed the needed files in the following folders (Vista or Win7).
C:\Program Files (x86)\ServerCare\WebGrab+PlusV1.1.1
ProgramData Files: (note this is a hidden folder in Vista/Win7)
Customize WebGrab+Plus for your location
Open the WebGrab+Plus EPG Channels *page to see Site.ini file options for your country. You can download the Site.ini by either downloading the *INI Pack zipfile from the *WebGrab+Plus *home page or click on the arrow to download 1 set of Site.ini and Site.channels.xml files.
If you are in North, Central, South America or the Caribbean the tvguide.com.no-provider.ini Site.ini file is a good option but you will need to customize the file for you location. Open the* Customize TVguide.com.no-provider* section of the setup guide for additional setup steps.
To customize WebGrab+Plus do the following, this example uses UK radiotimes.com.ini:
- Copy the Site.ini (radiotimes.com.ini) file to the WebGrab+Plus data folder
- Open the Site.channels.xml (radiotimes.com.channels.xml) file with a text editor (notepad), a XML editor (notepad++), or another editor, this has a list of the channels supported by the Site.ini file
- Edit the *WebGrab++.config.xml *configuration file with a text editor (notepad), a XML editor (notepad++), or another editor to customize this file.
- Remove all of the channels in the channel list at the end of the file. Be careful not to remove the last line with </settings>
- find the line with* <timespan>0</timespan>* and verify the timespan is set for 0 to grab today's EGP data
- find the line with* <postprocess run="y" grab="y">mdb</postprocess>* and set run="n" to disable the mdb postprocessor
- copy/paste the channel entries you want to grab from Site.channels.xml file to the* *configuration file, for example
?<channel update="i" site="radiotimes.com" site_id="94" xmltv_id="BBC1">BBC1</channel>
- You can use more than 1 Site.ini file. Copy the needed Site.ini files to the WebGrab+Plus data folder and add the needed channels from each Site.channels.xml file.
- See the WebGrab+Plus Config *web page for more information about the configuration file. Some Site.ini files may also need a *Cookie for setup.
- save/close the file
Run WebGrab+Plus, this will grab 1 day of EPG data and generate a guide.xml file with xmltv compatible program listing information.
- Start > AllPrograms > WebGrab+Plus > WebGrab+Plus.exe (or desktop shortcut)
- Copy guide.xml to tvguide.xml.
This completes the steps needed to configure WebGrab+Plus for your location and generate the initial tvguide.xml file. The next step is to enable the xmltv plugin and setup your TV Channel mappings.
Setup XMLTV Plugin and Channel Mappings
You can setup the XMLTV Plugin and Channel Mappings using the instructions XMLTV mc2xml setup guide. When setting the tvguide.xml folder use the path to the WebGrab+Plus data folder.
Schedule EPG Updates
You need to run WebGrab+Plus periodically to keep the MediaPortal EPG up to date by downloading new data and updating the tvgude.xml file. The XmlTv plugin periodically checks the tvguide.xml file and imports new EPG data when the file is updated.
The MediaPortal PowerScheduler plugin or a Windows Scheduled Task can be used for EPG updates. You can use the instructions shown in the XMLTV mc2xml setup guide with a few changes.
- Edit the* WebGrab++.config.xml* configuration file, modify the <timespan>0</timespan> field and set the number of days you want to grab. For the US tvguide.com you can set up to 14 days, different web sources may have different limits. On my test system with 25 channels and 14 days an update takes about 25 minutes.
- Use Notepad to create a small script to run WebGrab+Plus and update the tvguide.xml file. Use the path for this script as the program run using Windows Scheduled Task or PowerScheduler. For example my RunWebGrab.bat script has the following:
- If you are using MediaPortal PowerScheduler to control when your TV Server sleeps and wakes you need to add WebGrab+Plus to the list of processes that prevent standby so WebGrab+Plus can complete the EPG updates. See the *PowerScheduler *wiki for more information.
The PowerScheduler++ plugin can also be used for periodic EPG updates. See the PowerScheduler++ Wiki for more information on downloading, installing, and using this plugin.
Additional resources for WebGrab+Plus:
- MediaPortal XmlTv Wiki. This describes the XmlTv settings in detail.
- MediaPortal XmlTv Forum. You can ask questions and read forum postings. There is an active WebGrab+Plus message thread if you have questions or problems.
- MediaPortal Log Files Wiki. Add log files to your forum messages to help with problem debug.
This part of the setup guide describes additional steps needed to make a custom version of the tvguide.com.no-provider.ini file for your location and generate a custom channels.xml file.
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