Question Need help creating an xml file (Schedules Direct or xmltv, etc) for DVR - or other xmltv alternative!

Stevie G

Active Member
Hi all
I've recently bought a VBox 4134 satellite DVR (which has four satellite tuners). I'm in the UK, and I've discovered that the OTA EPG is rubbish; unlike our Freeview EPG which has 7 days listings, the satellite one only has the current and next show, so I'm needing to use something like Schedules Direct to get it picking up a full EPG.

I have signed up for the free trial, but I really can't work out where to go from there! I know I need to have an xml file for the VBox to get the listings from, but I can't work out how best to do it. VBox have a PDF guide on their website, but it seems to be very out of date (https://vboxcomm.com/wp-content/uploads ... ct-EPG.pdf)

Is anybody able to help me get it set up please? The VBox 4134 is an Android TV box and the DVR settings allow me to point it to an xml file on my LAN. I have a QNap NAS that can act as the host for the xml file on a network share, and from what I have been able to work out I need an application that can run periodically (daily?) to update the xml with new listings.

From what I can work out, I need an application that will connect to Schedules Direct's servers on a daily basis to download the latest UK EPG listings, and output them to an xml file on my network for the Vbox to be able to read them, and according to Schedules Direct's terms it has to be an authorised application.

Can anyone recommend an application that is best (easiest and reliable!) to use and mostly leave alone? I don't really want to use an additional DVR application as the VBox can do all the recording, etc once it has the EPG, and there's a nice addon for Kodi to also use that, but I don't quite understand which do what and how I can get them to work.

I've tried using xmltv but I can't seem to get that to do anything, but I can't find any guides on how to configure it so it's probably not connecting to the Schedules Direct server or offering my SD credentials to be able to access.

It's all really confusing.....!

Thanks!
 
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Stevie G

Active Member
Hi all
I've changed the title hoping it makes it less specific! I basically need something that will be able to connect to an EPG site such as Schedules Direct (but doesn't have to be them!) and pull down a 7-14 day UK EPG, and then output it as an XML file for my VBox DVR to read.
Can anyone help please?
Thanks!
 

razy60

Well-known Member
Hi all
I've changed the title hoping it makes it less specific! I basically need something that will be able to connect to an EPG site such as Schedules Direct (but doesn't have to be them!) and pull down a 7-14 day UK EPG, and then output it as an XML file for my VBox DVR to read.
Can anyone help please?
Thanks!
This should help.
 

Stevie G

Active Member
I'm guessing you're just being funny as not sure how that helps. I know what xml is; I need a way of accessing EPG data from an EPG service like xmltv, Digiguide or Schedules Direct and having it output into an xml file. Not the sort of thing anyone wants to do or update manually.

Is there anyone on here who uses a DVR with something like TVHeadend, Emby, etc and pulls down an EPG into an xml file for their DVR who can help?

I've tried using xmltv and webgrab+plus but can't get either of them picking up an EPG data (and there are no decent user guides on their resepctive sites)
 
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maddy

Well-known Member
I know exactly what you're going through as I looked at something similar a while back when trying to move away from Windows Media Centre. What a nightmare this is.

Have you tried XMLtv GUI - XMLTV GUI
 

Stevie G

Active Member
Yeah, I've got that installed but it doesn't seem to have many sources, only two UK ones and neither picks anything up.

I'm just trying using EPG123 pulling data from Schedules Direct, and also WebGrab+Plus. They both seem promising if I can get them configured properly. Schedules Direct would be better as it pulls down image files, etc, but it's $30 a year whereas WGP+ is free (or £5 a year donation)
 

beastman

Member
Steve G - did you sort out the EPG issue? I liked the look of that VBox 4134 box but without a decent EPG its a non starter.
 

Stevie G

Active Member
So far I'm still trying to get it working. Their support are trying to help but not that useful, I keep going around in circles. They keep pointing me to a couple of guides on their site, but one (for xmltv) is incomplete and wrong and the other (Schedules Direct) is - according to Schedules Direct themselves - against the terms of using their service. VBox is not permitted to use their EPG. I was able to pull data from Schedules Direct using EPG123, but 1) the VBox software does not adjust for timezone changes (it just shows is in UTC+00 instead of UTC+01 (BST) - I am waiting for them to hopefully fix this) and 2) as mentioned before, you're not supposed to use it with VBox.

I've also got it to sync with an EPG via WebGrabPlus+, but their EPG data is a bit more basic, and that still has the one hour UTC+00 issue.

They've recently pointed me to a directly hosted EPG on xmltv.org, and that does pick up listings, but it causes the Android TV app to creash as soon as I try to navigate the channel guide, probably because it's downloading a full 32MB file of a thousand plus channels.

Really frustrated and disappointed so far. It seems so good in theory but so far it's so incomplete on the software side. I'd love to be able to recommend it but at the moment I couldn't.

I'm still using my HDHomerun as my TV DVR as I can't get the VBox working reliably enough to get rid of the HDHomerun yet.

Hope that helps!

On the plus side, the VBox support have regularly responded. On the negative side, they never sign off on who is responding and it seems prettly clear than I am having conversations with different people and none are getting the whole conversation other than me!
 
Hello, not an answer to your question but there is a third part app that will allow you to manually set recordings, may be worth a play. The app is VBRec and is available on both Android and Apple app stores. Good luck.
 

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