TMS dropping Data Direct!!! But no reason to panic.

TMS dropping Data Direct!!! But no reason to panic.

Postby rmeden » Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:29 pm

Greetings SD members.

Schedules Direct has been operating since 2007 to provide a stable environment for non-commercial media applications to receive TV listings data, but that does not mean things never change! :)

We have been informed that Gracenote (formerly Tribune Media Services) will be ending the guide data service currently used by most users of Schedules Direct. Their plan is to end support for this service on November 1, 2014.

Thankfully there is no need to panic, as Schedules Direct was already hard at work implementing a more modern JSON-based service using newer/better data feeds from TMS. This service offers the following improvements:

  • More efficient "differential" transfer method. You only download the data that changes. Mid-day updates are fast and efficient.
  • The ability to combine multiple source feeds into one output product.
  • Additional data fields, including:
    • "season/episode" numbering!
    • Images for cast, episodes
    • NFL Sunday Ticket Details!!!!
  • Completely custom lineups, including "Free to Air” Satellite
  • ability to share QAM tuning info
  • Additional International Lineups

This service is up and running now, and grabbers are available for MythTV and SageTV. We also encourage others to develop grabbers for their own applications.

In addition to the JSON service, a separate service is being developed to mimic the DataDirect feed. It's not ready yet but should be able to provide basic functionality for those legacy applications that can't move to JSON. It is expected to have most, but not all of the data currently in the Data Direct feed and will be updated daily. More details will be available about this later.

We can use this forum thread for the discussion.

Robert Eden
President, Schedules Direct

Information on the replacement Data Direct serivce is http://forums.schedulesdirect.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2591
rmeden
SD Board Member
 
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:31 pm
Location: Cedar Hill, TX

Re: TMS dropping Data Direct!!! But no reason to panic.

Postby TinCanFury » Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:51 am

Robert,

Thanks for the update, sounds like an exciting change! You mention "grabbers for MythTV" are already present. Can you go into this a bit further to explain what is required by MythTV users to update to using this new version of the SD service?

Thanks!
TinCanFury
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:16 am

Re: TMS dropping Data Direct!!! But no reason to panic.

Postby TinCanFury » Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:25 am

Excellent. Is it possible to switch between the new grabber and the old if any issue were to arise?

Thanks!
TinCanFury
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:16 am

Re: TMS dropping Data Direct!!! But no reason to panic.

Postby sub » Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:25 pm

Thanks for the info - but that news sucks majorly, since I can't just make changes to my grabber behind scenes to switch to the new data service without the user knowing. I really don't want my users to have to worry about this, and don't want them to go through the pain of remapping channels to a new EPG source.

Are you sure you can't do a one-off load of the data so the json service is at least pre-populated with the existing lineups?

Alternatively, the post mentioned a new service is being built to mimic data direct - will this be available before the real data direct service is taken down, and will it be prepopulated with their users existing lineup info?
sub
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:18 pm

Re: TMS dropping Data Direct!!! But no reason to panic.

Postby sub » Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:38 pm

rkulagow wrote:I've updated the documentation at https://github.com/SchedulesDirect/JSON-Service/wiki/API-20140530

it puts the client tasks at the top so that you'll know the sequence to follow.
I had already read this, but these sounded like the steps for a new user - not a user who has already been using SD for a couple of years, who has already setup their lineups etc on the schedules direct website. You might want to update the documentation to make that clear. (though I'd still prefer you to come up with a better solution for existing users)
sub
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:18 pm

Re: TMS dropping Data Direct!!! But no reason to panic.

Postby rkulagow » Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:58 pm

I had considered a mass migration, but there are users who implemented kludges to their accounts to try to workaround issues with the old XML service. New service, new configuration method.

If you want to hide things from the user, your client already knows which lineups the user has; if you're in the US or Canada, then you can do something like:

If the lineup starts with "000", it's a Canadian satellite or cable.

If it's "PC:" it's over-the-air; if there are 5 digits then it's US. If it's 4 characters, it's Canadian.

Otherwise, it's U.S. Satellite or Cable.

If it's satellite or cable, and there's no ":", then add "-DEFAULT", otherwise, take whatever character appears after the ":" and paste that to the end.

So:
IL57303:X -> USA-IL573093-X
PC:60030 -> USA-OTA-60030
0005995:X -> CAN-0005995-X
CA76345 -> USA-CA76345-DEFAULT

The one wrinkle is Canadian over-the-air; it has to be 6 characters (full Canadian postal code), and at least in MythTV the old system only used "PC:{4 characters}".

Because we don't store channel state on the server, the grabber needs to make sure that it only requests the channels that the user wants. In MythTV, there's a "Visible" field, and the example grabber only pulls schedules for channels that are marked as "visible".

Please continue over in the Developers Corner. Thanks.
rkulagow
SD Staff
 
Posts: 810
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 3:15 pm

Re: TMS dropping Data Direct!!! But no reason to panic.

Postby emveepee » Sat Sep 13, 2014 5:53 pm

Can we use the same SD code for the JSON site now? It was one or the other before.

Martin
emveepee
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:21 am

Re: TMS dropping Data Direct!!! But no reason to panic.

Postby rkulagow » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:49 am

There's universal authentication now, so your existing username and password on the XML service will work on the JSON service.

However, lineups aren't migrated, and the JSON service doesn't store "channels" like the XML service, so take that into account with the new grabber.
rkulagow
SD Staff
 
Posts: 810
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 3:15 pm

Re: TMS dropping Data Direct!!! But no reason to panic.

Postby hobbes1069 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:12 pm

Ok, just finding this thread the other day...

I manage the MythTV packages for Fedora Linux on RPM Fusion. I'd like to understand what I can do from a package/distro point of view to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Can this change be done without any interaction from the end user?

Thanks,
Richard
hobbes1069
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:23 am

Alpha testers requested for DD replacement service

Postby rmeden » Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:05 pm

I expect to be ready shortly for alpha testers of the replacement DD service. This is the one with less functionality than the JSON grabber, but requiring minimal (if any) changes on the client side.

I'm looking for 2-3 testers to assist. (preferably folks with different applications). If interested, drop me a PM or email with your email address and application. "Guru" level technical ability isn't necessary, but could be useful if it fails w/o a useful error message. :)

Robert
rmeden
SD Board Member
 
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:31 pm
Location: Cedar Hill, TX

Next

Return to General Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests