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Table of Contents

Overview

How to get EPG data for your TV Guide using the XmlTv plugin and XMLTV GUI grabber.

Background

XMLTV is an XML based file format for describing TV listings.

XMLTV GUI Grabber provides a GUI for configuration and grabbing TV listings (EPG data) which you can then import in MediaPortal using the XmlTv plugin included in MediaPortal. 

XMLTV GUI grabber currently supports the UK (Radio Times, Bleb.org, Digiguide), North America (Schedules Direct), Denmark (ONTV) and Israel (AZTV), with Lua scripting support for other sources

Note: Not all sources of XMLTV EPG data are free. Some require subscription or membership fees on the website.

XMLTV GUI Setup

To download EPG Data from the internet site you prefer:

  1. Download and install the latest version of XMLTV GUI.
  2. Run "XMLTV GUI".
  3. Click on Tools > Settings.
  4. Click on the Grabbers tab to display the list of available XML data providers:
    1. Select your preferred grabber: e.g. UK - Radio Times (14 days free data!)
    2. To change a grabber's settings click on the grabber and then click on Settings
    3. To select the channels that the grabber should download click on the grabber and then click on Channels., which will then display a list of available channels on the left hand side.
      1. Click on the channels in the left hand window (hold "CTRL" to select multiple channels) and then click on the ">>" button to move them to the right hand window (which shows the channels that you have selected to download data for).
      2. When you have selected all the channels you wish to download EPG data for, click "OK" to exit the channel list.
  5. Remaining within the Settings menu, now select the "Global Settings" tab, and then the "XML" sub-tab within the "Global Settings".
    1. Under Save listings to, enter the following location:
      • c:\ProgramData\Team MediaPortal\MP2-Server\SlimTVCore\v3.0\xmltv\tvguide.xml
        Note: this directory is a hidden directory in Windows so you will need to enable the show hidden folders option in Explorer).
  6. Click OK to exit the settings menu.
  7. Click on the Grab Listings button to gather the EPG data for your selected channels.

For more details, and advanced options see the XMLTV GUI Configuration wiki

XMLTV Plugin Setup

To import the downloaded EPG data Into MediaPortal's TV Guide, use the XmlTV plugin provided with MediaPortal 2:

  1. Run "MediaPortal 2 TV- Configuration"
  2. Go to Plugins and Enable the "XmlTV" plugin then select it to view the plugin configuration menu.
  3. Click on the Import button - this will load the data you just downloaded using XMLTV GUI into MP.
  4. Click on the Mappings tab.
  5. Use the drop-down Group menu to select your Favorites group, then click on the Load/Refresh button
    Note: this process can be conducted with any group.
  6. You will now see a list of all your channels from your Favorites group, with the Tuning Channel column representing the channels in the group, and the Guide channels column representing the channels you have downloaded using "XMLTV GUI" (see the image below). Many channels will have a green symbol where MP has auto-matched the tuned channel to the EPG channel.
  7. Go through the list looking for any red flagged channels and manually select the appropriate EPG channel for each one
    Note: some channels may have no corresponding guide channel and should be left blank.
  8. When all your tuned channels and guide channels are matched, click on the Save button.


  9. Now click on the Settings tab again and click on the Import button again
    Note: the MediaPortal 2 TV- Configuration GUI may appear to have hung after clicking on "import" this second time, but it hasn't. It may take 5 minutes or more to do a full forced import of EPG data, depending upon the size of the tvguide.xml file.
  10. When the MediaPortal 2 TV- Configuration GUI un-freezes, click OK to save the changes and exit the GUI.

You can now run MediaPortal 2 and test that your EPG displays correctly in the TV Guide.

Note: When you are happy that everything is set up correctly, you should stop and restart the MediaPortal 2 Server (or reboot your machine) .

Limitations

There are two limitations you will experience with this method, depending on the provider/grabber you use:

  1. There may be very limited data for radio channels 
  2. There may be some channels where no data exists.

However, all is not lost, because it is possible to fill the holes in TV and radio data using DVB EPG Data if you have a DVB card.

 Automating "XMLTV GUI" Data Grabbing

Now that you have set up the basic data grabbing system, you will want to automate the EPG data grabbing process.

To do this, you need to set up a Windows Scheduled Task to run the file "XMLTVConsole.exe" which is located in:

  • C:\Program Files\XMLTV GUI\

XMLTVConsole.exe is a DOS version of the grabber that grabs data using the pre-configured settings you have already made.

Schedule this task to run every day, when your HTPC is set to wake up and grab EPG data according to your Power Scheduler settings, Thus you will always have the full EPG data available from your provider.

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