Schedules Direct

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Software-update-available.png This page is up-to-date as of MythTV version 0.27.6, the current release is 33.1

Users of MythTV v31 and above, see: XMLTV for setup information.


Schedules Direct is an organization created by several MythTV developers and others with similar projects to provide program listings data as a replacement for the packaged Data Direct feed from the Zap2it Labs division of Tribune Media Services. The project was originally known as Easy TV Data, but was changed to Schedules Direct due to some concern over possible trademark infringement. The site can be found at

The cost of a Schedules Direct membership is currently US$25/year, with a 7 day trial.

The standard MythTV distribution supports the Schedules Direct data feed. There is no software installation required over and above the MythTV build.

If you located in the USA and you will be using Schedules Direct (recommended), sign up for a user id and password before continuing with MythTV configuration. You get a 7 day trial so you do not need to pay to continue with setup.

Original Announcement

Greetings from the newly-formed team at Easy TV Data,

This organization was formed by members of various software projects in response to the announcement from Zap2it Labs that they will be discontinuing the free TV listings service that they have been providing to the non-commercial free and open source communities for the last 3+ years.

We know that many of you are waiting on the edge of your seats to find out what's going on behind the scenes here, and we're just as excited to tell you, but we can't give you many details while we are still involved in negotiations. We can, however, let you know that we are actively working on a solution that will provide what we hope will be a smooth transition away from Zap2it Labs by the September 1 deadline. We will release more details as soon as we are able to do so, so please keep an eye on for updates.

In the mean time, we are in need of a good lawyer who is familiar with business contracts and federal nonprofit law (preferably someone willing to work pro bono, at least initially). We are also looking for a good accountant (we are registered in Washington State) to help with any eventual financial/tax paperwork. If you are qualified and willing to help, please contact us at

Thanks for sticking with us,

The Easy TV Data Board:

  • Isaac Richards, Chairman (MythTV)
  • Robert Eden (XMLTV)
  • Daniel Kristjansson (MythTV)
  • Kevin Odorczyk (MacProgGuide)
  • Chris Petersen (MythWeb)

More information will be added as it becomes available.

Frequently Asked Questions

As gleaned from the mythtv-users mailinglist:

Q). Who is funding this project?

  • You are if you're a member :)

Q). What will a subscription cost?

  • "The cost of a Schedules Direct membership is currently US$25/year, with a 7 day trial."
    • Early adopters received extended terms on their subscriptions as well as some bonus days of data. Members of the mailing list inquired sharply as to what the conspiracy was behind this behavior... with their tongues firmly in their cheeks.

Q). What payment methods are supported?

  • PayPal and Google checkout, but other methods are in the works.

Q). What is the schedulesdirect board cut of the profits?


  • No one gets paid for being a SD board member, however expenses are now reimbursed. (they were not initially)
  • We all have full time "real" jobs, and some of us have even had to use up vacation time to get this started.
  • Some people do get a small stipend for non-board related duties (development,support,administrative stuff)

Q). Why not just accept credit card numbers directly?

  • No one involved with Schedules Direct wants to touch credit card numbers -- PayPal and other similar processors like Google Checkout will do all of that for us, and assume the risk of dealing with the security nightmare.

Q). Where will schedulesdirect be hosted?

  • SD currently pays for hosting with Amazon Web Services.

Q). Where will the data be served from?

  • The data is served from Schedules Direct own servers, hosted by Amazon Web Services.

Q). What about long-term or lifetime subscriptions?

  • We don't want to start offering long-term subscriptions because we don't know how many people will be signing up. The cost to us (and thus to you) is significantly different if 1000 people sign up vs 5000 (or higher!) -- we're estimating (relatively high) on the initial fees in case only a few people sign up. If you were to sign up for a 2 year membership at the initial rate, and we can drop the end user cost by 5x within the first couple of months, you'd probably feel like you got ripped off.

Q). How do you configure MythTV to take advantage of Schedules Direct?

  • Read Setup Video Sources
  • To ensure that listings are kept up to date, run `mythtv-setup`, select "General", go to "Program Schedule Downloading Options" (the last page), then enable "Automatically update program listings" and set "Guide data arguments" to "--dd-grab-all".
  • If you are migrating from the old Radio Times or Atlas XMLTV grabbers in the UK, see also Migrating to Schedules Direct in the UK.

Q). Can raw Schedules Direct data be captured?

Sometimes, it's useful to look at the raw data received from Schedules Direct. This procedure explains how to do that.

Open two terminal windows on (or via ssh to) the backend.

In the 1st, become the super-user:

$ sudo -i
[sudo] password for someUserName:

In the 2nd window, run mythfilldatabase:

mythfilldatabase --dd-grab-all

It's easier if this window is made a very wide one. Watch for lines that contain output similar to the following:

...Writing to temporary file: [/tmp/mythtv_ddp_SkY1eY/mythtv_ddp_5ATtHn]
...Grab complete.  Actual data from 2016-02-19T18:34:40Z to 2016-03-07T18:34:40Z (UTC)

When the Grab complete line prints, from the 1st window copy the temporary file for later examination (the original file will be removed when mythfilldatabase finishes.)

# cp /tmp/mythtv_ddp_SkY1eY/mythtv_ddp_5ATtHn /tmp/mfdb.copy

Examine the mfdb.copy file as required.


  • In October 2014 Schedules Direct announced that they would start serving the data directly from their own servers instead of from the servers of TMS (providers of the data service). The old feed from TMS would cease on November 1st 2014. MythTV has already changed over to use the new URL in 0.27.4 and the future 0.28 release. Schedules Direct users should see no change and no interruption in service if they upgrade to the latest MythTV release. Or see Schedules Direct URL Change for other options.
  • There is a Schedules Direct grabber available which uses an alternate JSON feed. See XMLTV. Starting with MythTV v31 and above, only the JSON feed is supported not DataDirect.