Changes between Version 34 and Version 35 of WikiStart
- 09/22/13 18:50:53 (4 years ago)
v34 v35 2 2 = Shepherd = 3 3 4 Shepherd provides reliable, high-quality Australian TV guide data by employing a flock of independent data sources. 4 Shepherd . 5 5 6 6 === 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 7 The 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. 10 8 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 9 Australians 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 13 Each 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 15 Shepherd 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 19 Today, 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. 15 20 16 21 === 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. 22 Shepherd knows . 18 23 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. 24 When switching between data sources, Shepherd. 20 25 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. 26 . 22 27 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. 28 Shepherd is ed. It will automatically update itself with fixes, enhancements, and additional grabbers and postprocessors as they become available. 24 29 25 30 === Download & Installation === 26 31 See 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. 30 32 31 33 === How does it work? === … … 36 38 === Mailing List === 37 39 For 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.