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September 3, 2015

TV listings

All TV listing writers must either be extremely bored, drunk or both

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 24th 2009 5:33PM

When I discovered a strange written TV listing in my cable box's menu, I thought I had discovered the rare bit of gold from TV's El Dorado. It turns out there are gold nuggets all over the place.

One of our eagle-eyed readers pointed us towards "WTF Comcast," a collection of similar weird TV listings that sound like they were written by...well, to be honest, me, except cleverer.

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Halloween TV Shows and Specials | Schedule | 2009 Guide

by Anthony Colarusso, posted Oct 19th 2009 5:00PM
Halloween TV: 'Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin
All Hallow's Eve has captured America's fancy as a holiday phenomenon second only to Christmas -- well, when it comes to TV specials, anyway. Looking for your favorite Halloween shows and specials, plus some new ones, too? Whether you're in the mood for a good old-fashioned horror movie frightfest, a seasonal TV classic, or a candy lover's cooking showcase, check out the upcoming daily ghoulish goodness from now until Halloween. It's our treat.

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TV Guide drops The CW from their grid

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 13th 2009 8:03AM
The CWI don't watch anything on The CW, but I know that there are a lot of people who do. Gossip Girl, Supernatural, Smallville, 90210, One Tree Hill, Privileged. It's always the last channel in the ratings of the big five networks (including ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC), but these shows have their fans. So it's a little odd that TV Guide would drop the network from its grid (scroll down).

Yup, the long-running magazine says that there just isn't enough room to list all of the channels now, so they've gotten rid of The CW and other channels recently, including MTV and their own TV Guide Network (though that was just sold to Lionsgate).

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EasyTV Data to pick up where Zap2it Labs leaves off

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 14th 2007 12:55PM
MythTV EPGA few weeks back, Zap2it Labs announced that they would shut off their free XML TV listings in September, due to abuse of the service. This could spell big trouble for MythTV, GB-PVR, and other personal video recording software packages that rely on Zap2it for their electronic program guide data.

A group of developers from MythTV, XMLTV, and MacProgGuide have formed Easy TV Data in response to the announcement. The group is engaged in some super-secret behind the scenes development to provide reliable TV listings after Zap2it cuts the cord on September 1st.

The simplest alternative is to use screen scraping software that would visit TV listing web pages and grab the data. But this is not as reliable as the XML data Zap2it currently provides, since web services can and do frequently change their site design. Hopefully the Easy TV Data group have something a bit more exciting in mind.

[via Download Squad]

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Zap2it Labs will discontinue free TV listings in September

by Brad Linder, posted Jun 20th 2007 10:04PM
Zap2it labsZap2it Labs has announced that it will no longer offer free television listings after September 1st. You may be wondering what the big deal is. After all, there are a million web sites where you can get your TV guide data.

But Zap2it Labs provided listings in an easily indexable formula, making it the program guide data source of choice for MythTV, GB-PVR, and Media Portal. These programs are also capable of handling XMLTV data, but there aren't really any good programs right now for scraping program guide data for U.S. television listings. We can probably expect to see that change in the very near future.

There's an active discussion taking place in the GB-PVR forums about alternative data sources, such as Yahoo! TV or TitanTV. But GB-PVR's lead developer says he doesn't have plans to design a program to scrape the data. Rather he suspects the much larger developer community working on MythTV will lead the way.

[via Brent Evans]

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Controversial Australian TV guide company to offer video on demand

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 12th 2007 1:00PM
IceTVIceTV offers Australian subscribers access to electronic program guide information. Sounds simple enough, but Australian broadcasters are less than happy about that fact. The country has a law that considers program guide data to be the property of broadcasters, making Australia one of the most PVR-unfriendly countries around, because a good PVR requires access to television listings.

So what does IceTV do? It one-ups things by planning a new service that will allow IceTV subscribers to download TV shows and movies. The company is working with movie studios to secure content, but those deals won't engender any good will from the already annoyed Australian broadcast companies.

The service will initially work with PCs running Windows Vista and Windows XP Media Center Edition. Mac compatibility is being held up due to DRM issues, but should be available in the future.

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Snapstream launches Couchville: A new kind of TV guide

by Brad Linder, posted Mar 5th 2007 10:00AM
Snapstream, the company behind BeyondTV, has launched a new product called Couchville. Odds are Couchville is the evolution of the secretive Columbus project Snapstream began beta testing last year.

So what is Couchville? Well, to put it simply, it's a TV guide. But it's a bit more than that. First, Snapstream has integrated BeyondTV Buzz. If you click the Buzz button, you'll see the top 15 programs recorded by BeyondTV users over the last week, as well as the top scheduled recordings for the next few days.

The other thing that sets Couchville apart from other TV listings sites like TVGuide.com or Zap2it is that it has a web 2.0, AJAX feel to it. Instead of clicking on a "next page" button to get more listings after a page refresh, you can click and drag the guide much like you would drag a map in Google Maps.

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MeeVee: get your TV/online video listings all in one place

by Brad Linder, posted Feb 9th 2007 10:32AM
MeeVee at its most basic level is a web site offering personalized TV guides. You select your favorite progams, and MeeVee will let you know when they're on. It will also examine your taste in TV shows, movies, genres, and actors and let you know when programs you might want to watch are on.

Now MeeVee has added online video search to the mix, locating videos on YouTube and network web sites that relate to your preferences. So if you select BattleStar Galactica, you can find out when the next episode is on and you can also watch video clips and fan-made videos all in one place. Well, sort of in one place. MeeVee actually has separate tabs for "On TV," "Network Video," and "Community Video." And seeing as how a lot of the content on sites like YouTube is video clips uploaded by users, there's really not much difference between the Network Video and Community video sections.

That said, I like where this is going. I'm not sure there'd be a better way to integrate online video and television listings. But I like that you can select "comedy" as an interest and receive information on upcoming comedy programs and links to funny videos online.

[via DownloadSquad]

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