[mythtv-users] Zap2it Labs Shutting Down?

ICMan icman at eol.ca
Thu Jun 21 02:35:07 UTC 2007


This is an opportunity.  MythTV or a sub-group could put together a new 
web site where we could collect listings directly from stations and 
rebroadcast it in a standard format.  Call it Universal Station 
Programming or some such.

Station sign-up procedure (not automated - have to vet input entities)
Automated station programming information uploads (propose a standard 
but open to negotiated format per station)
Standardized output (XML? Other?)
Encourage commercial customers (TV Times, TV Guide) at nominal charge or 
no charge.
Create a listings service on the web itself - perhaps in a similar 
format to the programming guide within MythTV (the idea here is to 
maximize readership, so that stations feel there is value to send us 
programming info.)

Essentially take over the "middle man" position, collecting all station 
information in North America.  I think that it would be a tough up-hill 
battle at the start, but if it caught on, there would be a tipping point 
where stations would come to us.  For that, we would have to be 
accurate, have a quick update mechanism in our output stream, and have a 
large audience.

Volunteers?

I recognize that there are constraints, particularly in the area of 
startup and operating capital.  We could put advertising on the web 
listings service, for example.  Also, there is a TON of legwork to do - 
identifying stations and then selling them on the idea of giving us 
their programming schedule on a daily or more frequent basis.  We have 
to make it easy for them.

Just starting the discussion.

ICMan

Kevin Hulse wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 20, 2007 at 12:10:47PM -0400, Jay R. Ashworth wrote:
>   
>> On Wed, Jun 20, 2007 at 10:22:41AM -0400, Preston Crow wrote:
>>     
>>> On Wed, 2007-06-20 at 09:30 -0400, Daniel Kristjansson wrote:
>>>       
>>>> Another option is to get the data directly from the stations
>>>> themselves, this was done by some MythTV users in Sweden with
>>>> much success. There are fewer stations there, but there are
>>>> also many more MythTV users in North America who are willing
>>>> to do some legwork.
>>>>         
>>> Yup.  I've already done that for Comedy Central, because the zap2it
>>> listings often lack the episode information.
>>>
>>> It shouldn't really be that hard to get listings for all the major
>>> channels.  Getting the local information for networks, independent
>>> channels, and such is more of a challenge.  (This might be a good place
>>> for a bounty system--someone who is good at writing scrapers might be
>>> willing to code one for your favorite local channel for price.)
>>>       
>> Well, perhaps someone needs to convince the networks to provide the
>> data, um, directly... in a standard format which could be centrally
>> aggregated...
>>
>> Naaaaaaah.
>>     
> 	
> 	It doesn't even need to be standardized. It just needs to be 
> easily accessable and freely redistributable. Once we have it and it's
> complete then we can process it by brute force if necessary. Each 
> channel can have a different processing method. It's more important that
> formats are consistent within channels even if they vary between them.
>
> [deletia]
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