Changes between Version 34 and Version 35 of WikiStart


Ignore:
Timestamp:
09/22/13 18:50:53 (4 years ago)
Author:
max
Comment:

Rewrite; was kind of out of date.

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  • WikiStart

    v34 v35  
    22= Shepherd = 
    33 
    4 Shepherd provides reliable, high-quality Australian TV guide data by employing a flock of independent data sources. 
     4Shepherd delivers reliable, high-quality Australian TV guide data (EPG). 
    55 
    66=== Background === 
    7 Australians have traditionally had two options for acquiring TV guide data: 
    8  1. Downloading pre-compiled data from a service like [http://www.icetv.com.au IceTV] or [http://www.oztivo.net/twiki/bin/view/TVGuide/WebHome OzTivo] 
    9  1. Using a tv_grab_au script to read data from a web site like ninemsn.com.au 
     7The Shepherd project began in 2007 when Australians with Home Theatre PCs lacked a good method of obtaining an EPG. The free-to-air stations fought against the free availability of such data, apparently fearing that Home Theatre PCs / PVRs would allow people to skip ads. Instead, they filed lawsuits, sent cease & desist letters, and obfuscated their online TV guide websites. 
    108 
    11 Each method has drawbacks. The quality of pre-compiled data varies, while tv_grab_au scripts tend to frequently break. 
    12 Shepherd aims to solve the traditional problems of tv_grab_au scripts: 
    13  1. It employs multiple TV guide grabbers and data sources, switching between them as necessary when one fails 
    14  1. It auto-updates, eliminating the need for users to manually address problems 
     9Australians had two options: 
     10 1. Download an EPG from [http://www.oztivo.net/twiki/bin/view/TVGuide/WebHome OzTivo], which was community produced by users manually describing shows 
     11 1. Use a script to access data in an online TV guide such as [http://au.tv.yahoo.com/tv-guide/ Yahoo!] 
     12 
     13Each method had drawbacks. The community-generated EPG could be unreliable in non-metro areas, tended to only include the most basic of show details, and was somewhat error-prone. The scripts would stop working each time the associated online guide changed format, which happened frequently as the sites tried to deny them access. 
     14 
     15Shepherd solved this problem by: 
     16 1. Employing a flock of online guide grabbers, and switching between them on the fly as necessary to cover failures 
     17 1. Auto-updating, thus eliminating the need for users to manually intervene to fix problems 
     18 
     19Today, Australians have many more options. [http://www.icetv.com.au IceTV] won its legal battle and sells an EPG online; many hardware HTPC/PVR devices exist with inbuilt EPG; and the TV stations themselves broadcast an EPG via EIT, which although still somewhat error-ridden is improving considerably. Nevertheless, Shepherd remains a free, robust method of obtaining high-quality guide data, particularly for MythTV. 
    1520 
    1621=== Description / Features === 
    17 Shepherd knows enough about the capabilities of each grabber in order to make intelligent judgments about which is most appropriate for any given situation, maximizing data quality while minimizing bandwidth usage. It analyses the XML output from each grabber to determine whether any further grabbers are required to obtain a full dataset of the required channels. It then employs postprocessor components to further refine the data: the [wiki:imdb_augment_data] postprocessor adds movie information from [http://www.imdb.com IMDb.com], tvdb_augment_data adds series/episode details from [http://thetvdb.com TheTVDB.com], [wiki:flag_aus_hdtv] marks shows that are available in High Definition, and more. 
     22Shepherd knows the capabilities of each grabber and can make intelligent decisions about how and when to deploy them to maximize data quality and coverage. It analyses the output from each grabber to determine whether any further grabbers are required to obtain a full dataset of required channels, and employs postprocessors to further supplement the data with information from sources such as [wiki:imdb_augment_data IMDB] and Metacritic. 
    1823 
    19 When switching between data sources, Shepherd's reconciler keeps show names consistent. For example, if you're used to recording a programme called ''"House"'' but a different data source names it ''"House, M.D."'', Shepherd remembers the original name and automatically substitutes it. 
     24When switching between data sources, Shepherd is able to keep show names consistent. For example, if you're used to recording a programme called ''"House"'' but a different data source names it ''"House, M.D."'', Shepherd is able to identify the second name as a variation of the first, and automatically substitute the original in order to match any recording rules you have established. 
    2025 
    21 If you're a MythTV user, during installation Shepherd will help you choose appropriate guide data for each of your MythTV channels, and can even install MythTV [wiki:channel_icons channel icons] for you. 
     26Shepherd is particularly useful for MythTV users, as it can feed guide data automatically to MythTV with minimal user configuration. It can even install MythTV [wiki:channel_icons channel icons]. 
    2227 
    23 Shepherd is designed to be ''future proof'', never requiring manual intervention once installed and configured. It will automatically update itself with fixes, enhancements, and additional grabbers and postprocessors as they become available. 
     28Shepherd is future-proof, requiring no manual intervention once installed. It will automatically update itself with fixes, enhancements, and additional grabbers and postprocessors as they become available. 
    2429 
    2530=== Download & Installation === 
    2631See the [wiki:Installation] page. 
    27  
    28 === Status === 
    29 Shepherd is a reliable source of free-to-air guide data. Pay TV data is also available, but less well supported. 
    3032 
    3133=== How does it work? === 
     
    3638=== Mailing List === 
    3739For help or further discussion, please join our mailing list at [http://groups.google.com/group/shepherd-list?hl=en&pli=1] 
    38  
    39 === Bug Reports === 
    40 Please check to see if there is an existing [report:1 open bug ticket] on the problem you have.[[BR]] 
    41  
    42 Please help us by reporting problems/issues/bugs/stuffups by lodging a "New Ticket" via the above menu.