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Table of Contents

Overview

How to get EPG data using the WebEPG plugin included with MediaPortal 2, plus using IMDB grabber for the US.

WebEPG

WebEPG is a plugin provided with MediaPortal 2. It actually uses XMLTV format, but was designed for MediaPortal 2. It can grab data from about 100 different websites from over 30 different countries, with 'grabbers' added regularly. You can even create your own grabber for your preferred TV Listings website.

One of the big advantages of WebEPG is that your channel names will automatically match the TV Channels you scan into MediaPortal 2. WebEPG uses the channels created by MediaPortal 2 and let's you easily map them to the channel from the TV Guide site. In addition with WebEPG you may get up to 14 days EPG data!

Web EPG Setup

This guide assumes you have already completed the following steps:

  • Setup your TV Engine and scanned your TV channels.
  • Setup your TV Channels with an All Channels group. You can have additional channel groups.

There are 3 main setup steps:

  1. US users only: If you wish to use the www_imdb_com grabber file you must first customize it with your local TV Channels
  2. Setup WebEPG, set channel mappings, and initial TV Guide import
  3. Enable periodic update to MediaPortal 2 EPG

IMDB Grabber (US only)


NOTE:  Per https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/threads/imdb-has-stopped-publishing-the-tv-grid-now-webepg-is-not-working-what-can-be-done.137446/#post-1232235, IMDb is no longer offering the TV Listing grid for US locations.


Note: This step is ONLY required if you select US grabber and must be done first.

Unlike most WebEPG grabbers, the www_imdb_com.xml grabber file needs to be customized to match your local MediaPortal 2 channels with the channels listed in the imdb.com TV listings.

Customize Channel IDs

Duplicate www_imdb_com.xml found in the folder "C:\ProgramData\Team MediaPortal\MP2-Server\SlimTVCore\v3.0\WebEPG\grabbers\US" to your own version e.g. www_imdb_com_[myzipcode].xml 

In your new www_imdb_com grabber file you need one channel entry for each station you want to grab, e.g.:

  • <Channel id=KTVU-HD siteId=KTVUDT />
    • Channel id=KTVU-HD is the channel ID MediaPortal found when it scanned channels
    • siteId=KTVUDT is the channel in the IMDB listing (left column in listing)

Channel IDs

  1. To get your local Channel ids:
    1. Start the "MediaPortal 2 TV- Configuration" program,
    2. Select Plugins *and enable *WebEPG. ,
    3. Select WebEPG plugin > TV Mappings, select a Group (Favorites, etc) and press Import.

The EPG Name column has the Channel ids for your channel group.

You can also select Import/Export, set the check box for TV Groups and export the info to a .xml file to get a list of Channel ids in your channel groups. You can open the .xml file with a browser or notepad to copy/paste the Channel ids to your grabber file.

Site IDs

To get *siteIds *for your location:

  1. Open www.imdb.com with a web browser
  2. Go to TV listings, enter your zipcode and select a cable provider. Make sure you press *go *when you set a zipcode and select a TV Provider. For over the air antenna you can use Comcast or another cable provider for your zipcode. This should give complete listings for your local TV stations. It is important to enter zipcode and select a TV Provider for your local area so WebGrab can download complete local listings. If you use a generic provider, WebGrab will only download listings for major network shows and will not have full listings.
  3. The channel names in the left column are the *siteId *you need for the grabber file. If you click on 1 channel it will show a 1 day TV listing for the channel with the data WebEPG uses. The browser address bar will show the channel you selected and is the *siteId=*KTVUDT you need for the grabber file.
    For example www.imdb.com/tvgrid/2012-05-24/KTVUDT/
    You also need to set the correct zipcode for your location. The zipcode sets the correct timezone for your location when downloading TV listings. Look in your private imdb_com.xml file for *ZIPCODE *and replace this with your zipcode or a zipcode in your timezone. If you do not update the ZIPCODE your TV Listings will use times for the US eastern timezone.
    start_date=[YYYY]-[MM]-[DD]/?zip=ZIPCODE
    Use Notepad or another text editor to open your copy of www_imdb_com.xml (e.g www_imdb_com_[myzipcode].xml )and add channel entries for all your channels. When you are done adding channels open the grabber file with a web browser to check for errors. 

    Some Common Problems

    Use a web browser to verify your www_imdb_com.xml file is correct
     
    Its easy to make a typo when you add your channels to the grabber file. To verify the grabber file is correct, open your favorite web browser (IE, chrome, firefox) and  use a mouse to “drag” the grabber file to the browser. If the file is correct, you will see the grabber file in the browser. If there is a problem, the browser you show an error message. If the browser can’t open grabber file, WebEPG will fail. See the SetupTv.log file for error messages. I prefer using firefox for checking the grabber file, it gives the best error information.
     
    *The WebEPG Channel Definition entries are Case sensiitive*
    When creating your channel list, you are creating "XML Code" that must have exact correct upper/lower case or it will be ignored.
    .<Channel id=KTVU-HD siteId=KTVUDT />
    Channel     must start with upper case C and have lower case hannel
    id               must be lower case
    siteId          must be lower case with upper case I for Id
    .
    The & character has special meaning in xml files.
     
    Some people have problems with the A&E channel and other channels that use the & character. The & is a XML file special character that needs to be replaced with & For example

The following fails.
<Channel id="A
&E" siteId="AETV" />

Use the following
<Channel id="A&amp;
E" siteId="AETV" />
 
Clear the EPG using MediaPortal 2 TV- Configuration > Manual Control
 
During debug you can clear the current EPG data using Manual Control. Press “Refresh DVB EPG” will show a popup message and clear the EPG. Ignore the “EPG grabber will restart” message, that does not apply to WebEPG. Go back WebEPG and press “Grab Now!”. When debugging WebEPG I set GrabDays = 2 to speed up the download and testing. When all the channels are correct you can increase GrabDays to 7 or 14 to get a full update. Remember to press “Save” when done making changes.

Channel Mappings

To set the WebEPG channel mappings:

  1. Select WebEPG  > TV Mappings
  2. Set Favorites in group, 
  3. Press Import to load the channels
  4. Press AutoMap to map the channels.

When this is done the grabber column shows the your copy of www_imdb_com file for all the channels.

You can also do manual mapping. If you find mapping problems or missing channels you need to edit your copy of www_imdb_com file to make the needed corrections. You may need to exit/restart the "MediaPortal 2 TV- Configuration" program to get the new channels loaded.

Download and Update EPG

To configure WebEPG to download new data and update the MediaPortal 2 EPG:

  1. Select WebEPG > General,
  2. Enable Write Program to TV Server database
  3. Select the checkbox for Delete old programs before import (Recommended!).
  4. Press Save to save the setup
  5. Press Grab Now! to start the grabber.

With 15 channels and 14 days it takes about 3 minutes to grab the data and downloads around 10 MB of data. The TV Server tv.log file should show WebEPG Channel/Program entries.

To verify the EPG data, exit "MediaPortal 2 TV- Configuration" and start MediaPortal 2. Select the TV Guide and verify your channels have the correct TV guide information using the imdb.com TV listings or another TV guide. It may take a couple tries to get the correct channel mapping setup.

When the WebEPG setup is done you should restart the MediaPortal 2 Server with the setup changes.

Schedule EPG Updates

You need to run WebEPG periodically to keep the MediaPortal 2 EPG up to date by downloading a new data and updating the MediaPortal 2 TV Guide. There are 2 ways you can enable periodic updates:

WebEPG Schedule

If your MediaPortal 2 server is always running you can select WebEPG > Schedule and set the time and days you want to grab EPG data.

When the WebEPG setup is done you should restart the MediaPortal 2 Server with the setup changes.

PowerScheduler

If you want to enable power management using PowerScheduler, start the "MediaPortal 2 TV- Configuration" program, select Plugins and enable PowerScheduler. See PowerScheduler  for more information about this plugin.

Select PowerScheduler > EPG and set the following check boxes and fields:

  • Prevent standby when grabbing EPG
  • Wakeup system for EPG grabbing, select a time, and set the days you want for EPG grabbing.

When the PowerScheduler setup is done you should restart the MediaPortal 2 Server with the setup changes.


Additional resources

  • MediaPortal WebEPG Forum. You can ask questions and read forum postings.
  • MediaPortal Log Files Wiki. Add log files to your forum messages to help with problem debug.

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