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SageTV EPG Plugin
Up Una EZ Player SageTV EPG Plugin

 

 

Overview

SageTV is one of the best Personal Video Recorders (PVR) software packages on the market today.  It delivers a feature rich, fully networked PVR and Digital Media Centre experience which is easily controlled and navigated by a simple remote control from the comfort of your living room couch.

The lifeblood of any PVR is reliable, high quality program listings data.  This data is used to populate the PVR's internal Electronic Program Guide (EPG) which users can then use to choose TV programs to record.  The PVR also uses this data to determine  when the users favourite shows are on so that it can automatically record them.  SageTV integrates high quality listings for the USA market.  However, it provides no official support for Canadian TV Listings.  Up to this point, Canadian SageTV users have had to obtain their listings data from XMLTV.  The XMLTV listings, while good, suffer from the following problems:

  • The setup process required to integrate the XMLTV data into SageTV can be a challenge for inexperienced (and even some experienced) users. 
  • The XMLTV data is obtained by web page "scraping" or parsing and is thus the XMLTV grabber can be disabled by any changes in the source website.  This makes the XMLTV feed potentially unreliable.
  • The XMLTV data content is not considered "high quality".  It is missing many attributes that are usually found in high quality listings e.g. cast information, show duration (this has to be "guessed" by XMLTV data importers), reliable ratings and advisory information, etc.

Recently  Zap2It, a division of Tribune Media Services, has made their excellent EPG listings available as a high quality data download known as Zap2It Data Direct.  Zap2It Data Direct provides high quality listings for both the USA and Canada.  DigiCasa has written a software plugin which fully integrates this high quality data service into SageTV.  Now at last Canadian users of SageTV can enjoy the same level of listings quality as their US counterparts.

Key Features

  • Very easy to install, no complicated batch scripts are required.
  • Fast. Much faster than the XMLTV plugin for the same number of days.
  • Uses high quality data directly from one of the best sources of EPG guide data in North America.
  • Fully integrated into SageTV.  Once installed, the plugin behaves exactly in the same way as the native US listings download built-in to SageTV.
  • Supports multiple lineups.
  • Free!  Both the plugin from DigiCasa and the data feed from Zap2It Data Direct are absolutely free.

Installation Steps

  • Go to Zap2It Data Direct and set up an account with them.  Please use TMYO-DCYO-CBUT as your Certificate Code for signing up.  This is the certificate code that has been allocated for the SageTV Data Direct plugin.  Make sure you use an email address that you monitor.  Every few months, Zap2It will send a survey out to your email address for you to complete .  Failure to complete this survey could possibly result in access to your listings feed being terminated (until you actually complete the survey). 
  • Once you've signed up, select the lineup appropriate for your location.
  • Download the SageTV Zap2It Data Direct plugin.  Unzip this file in your SageTV installation directory e.g. C:\Program Files\Frey Technologies\SageTV
  • Download the Java Library Package.  This contains Java libraries required by the plugin.  Unzip this in the lib\ext directory of your Java JRE install e.g. C:\Program Files\Java\j2re1.4.1_02\lib\ext
  • If you have not yet installed SageTV, install it then run it at least once (so it creates its database and properties files).  Choose any lineup you like even if it doesn't match your location.  This is strictly just to get SageTV installed and past the initial setup screen.  You will be able to set it up for your proper location once the plugin is installed.
  • Make sure SageTV is completely shutdown (not sleeping, completely shut down).
  • In the SageTV installation directory edit the Sage.properties file (use Notepad or Wordpad) and look for the line  "epg/epg_import_plugin=" and change it to "epg/epg_import_plugin=zap2it.Zap2ItImportPlugin" then save your changes.
  • Now edit the zap2itconfig.xml file (right click on it and choose "Open with") using Notepad or Wordpad.  Fill in the username and password you used when signing up for the Zap2It Data Direct service in step 1 above.  Also choose the number of days that you wish to download at a time.  The minimum is 1 and the maximum is 13. Use 1 or 2 days initially in order to speed up the rest of the installation steps.  You can always change this later.   Do not change the webserviceURI setting unless you understand what you are doing.  Save your changes.
  • Start SageTV.
  • If you have SageTV 1.4.x then do the following: From SageTV main menu, choose Setup, then Setup Wizard. Select 'Add or Modify a Source', select the tuner card you want to configure, enter TRIAL as your access code, enter 00000 as your zip code then press Enter. At this point you may have to wait up to one (1) minute before the next screen appears (depending on your Internet connection speed).  The plugin must download the entire dataset from Zap2It before showing lineup information.  Select the appropriate lineup then choose Basic Service.  Next select/deselect the appropriate channels in the list shown so that the resulting selected channels match the lineup you receive. Press the right arrow when done.  Next select the input you want to use on the TV tuner card (typically TV Tuner - Cable).  Repeat the previous steps for each tuner in your system if you have a multi-tuner setup.  Once all tuners have been configured press Complete Setup, then press Enter.  Now navigate to the Sage TV Guide and enjoy your high quality listings.
  • If you have SageTV 2.x then do the following: From SageTV main menu, choose Setup, then Setup Wizard. Select the tuner card you want to configure, choose the appropriate input (typically "TV Tuner") and select the appropriate tuning option.  Select " Configure this Source with Programming Guide Data", then select the appropriate option.  Enter 00000 as your zip code then press Enter. At this point you may have to wait up to one (1) minute before the next screen appears (depending on your Internet connection speed).  The plugin must download the entire dataset from Zap2It before showing lineup information. Select the appropriate lineup then choose Basic Service.  Choose "Add a New Source" then repeat the previous steps if you have a multi-tuner setup and wish to configure other tuners.  When finished choose "Complete Setup".  Next choose Channel Setup to select/deselect the appropriate channels in the list shown so that the resulting selected channels match the lineup you receive.  Now navigate to the Sage TV Guide and enjoy your high quality listings.
  • From this point on, SageTV will automatically call the plugin and update the listings when required.  No further user intervention is necessary.

Troubleshooting

If you're having trouble getting the plugin to work, try the following steps:

  • Make sure that you've entered your username and password correctly in the zap2itconfig.xml file.
  • Check the Zap2itdata.log file created in the SageTV install directory to see if it is reporting any errors.
  • Go to the DigiCasa Forum and post your problem there.  Support for this plugin will be provided through that forum.

Release Notes and Previous Version Downloads

Version 1.20

  • TV Ratings changed so they are now compatible with SageTV's Parental Control logic.
  • Rerun logic enhanced  (some news, sports and other shows were inappropriately set as reruns).
  • New handling for multi-part movies and other shows introduced.  The plugin will now make each part of a multi-part movie/show unique so that SageTV will reliably record all of the parts.  See the zap2itreadme.txt file included in the download for details.

Version 1.10

  • lineup names improved again for better clarity
  • Foreign characters are displayed properly
  • New rerun handling logic introduced.  See the zap2itreadme.txt file included in the download for details.

Version 1.03

  • Better lineup names are generated (to help distinguish between analog and digital/satellite lineups).

Version 1.02

  • Now supports multiple lineups (up to 10)
  • More elegant fix for issue where EPG data was not downloaded for the current hour.

Version 1.01

  • Corrected issue where EPG data was  not downloaded for current hour.

Version 1.00

  • Initial release
  • Support for single lineup configurations

 

Send mail to webmaster@digicasa.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2004 DigiCasa
Last modified: 10/11/04