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post #1 of 108 Old 05-22-2018, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Exclamation WMC losing guide data Jan 2020

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MICROSOFT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY THE AGREEMENT GOVERNING THE EPG AT ANY TIME, IN ITS SOLE DISCRETION, BY PROVIDING YOU NOTICE OF MODIFICATIONS IN THE MANNER DETAILED BELOW. This includes any and all changes to subscription fees, service operation, and user rights and responsibilities.
https://privacy.microsoft.com/en-us/...rms-of-service
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post #2 of 108 Old 01-30-2019, 07:50 PM
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For Movies, not TV Shows?

IMHO, MS really dropped the ball on this one. They could have segued WMC into a content streaming hub with a seriously consistent revenue stream to go with it.

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post #3 of 108 Old 12-10-2019, 01:17 PM
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Exclamation WMC losing guide data Jan 2020

*********************
MOD NOTE: This is split from the original WMC guide thread to reflect the sunsetting of Windows Media Center.
*********************

Old news by now, but Microsoft is officially pulling the plug on guide data January 2020:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...age-center#343

As far as I'm concerned, they actually stopped when started this thread nearly 5 years ago and they switched to Rovi, which was barely better than no guide data at all.

Currently there is at least one 3rd party guide data provider that plugs into WMC:
- EPG123

It uses data from Schedules Direct. The developer of EPG123 hangs out at TheGreenButton and has answered a lot of questions there.

Last edited by mdavej; 12-14-2019 at 03:00 PM.
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post #4 of 108 Old 12-10-2019, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
Old news by now, but Microsoft is officially pulling the plug on guide data January 2020:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...age-center#343

That's actually good news. They say " To continue receiving TV Program Guide information on your Windows Media Center, you’ll need to configure an alternate TV listing provider." Which most of us already do.

I'm guessing we are safe until at least when win 8.1 support ends.
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post #5 of 108 Old 12-10-2019, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by grittree View Post
That's actually good news. They say " To continue receiving TV Program Guide information on your Windows Media Center, you’ll need to configure an alternate TV listing provider." Which most of us already do.

I'm guessing we are safe until at least when win 8.1 support ends.
I'd say you're safe as long as those other guide providers stay in business. I still run DOS, Win 3.1, WinNT, Win95, Win XP, Win 7, etc., regardless of "support". Win 7 isn't going to just shut down at the end of Win 8.1 support.
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post #6 of 108 Old 12-11-2019, 12:55 AM
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There are three guide data providers for USA and Canada. They are TiVo (previously known as Rovi), Tribune Media (Aka Zap2it), and TV Guide. Rovi acquired TiVo a couple of years ago and took on their name. Many tv providers use Rovi/TiVo so you see the exact same errors. I can't remember who uses Tribune these days since TiVo was one of their biggest customers until Rovi bought them out. TV Guide has their printed listing book and a few providers as well. I think they also produce the TV guide channel which is a non interactive guide that shows what's on tv for those who just want to be a couch potato and have it do the scrolling.

I don't think any of them are going anywhere. Rovi is far better now than years ago because the TiVo acquisition forced them to shape up - when you have thousands of customers paying for data, and getting far worse after the transition, they complain loudly. The TiVo forums (which was once a part of AVS decades ago) were full of furious people complaining and calling about bad data. Some threads still persist today too, as the data is still full of errors.
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post #7 of 108 Old 12-11-2019, 06:11 AM
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Schedules Direct gets their guide data from Tribune which is what we use with EPG123. It is a far cry better than the crap generated by Rovi/Tivo and well worth the $25 annual subscription.
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post #8 of 108 Old 12-11-2019, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Worf View Post
TV Guide has their printed listing book and a few providers as well. I think they also produce the TV guide channel which is a non interactive guide that shows what's on tv for those who just want to be a couch potato and have it do the scrolling.
They don't do the scrolling guide anymore. CBS bought the TV Guide channel and turned it into the Pop network.
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post #9 of 108 Old 12-11-2019, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by captain_video View Post
Schedules Direct gets their guide data from Tribune which is what we use with EPG123. It is a far cry better than the crap generated by Rovi/Tivo and well worth the $25 annual subscription.
Although I now just use Emby guide data which is from Tribune or SchedulesDirect anyhow, for WMC it is epg123 FTW!

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post #10 of 108 Old 12-30-2019, 08:05 PM
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WMC is telling me I have less than 3 days of guide data left (never saw this warning before). It asked if I wanted to download new guide data, I said yes, it says download complete, and still says less than 3 days of data left.


So is Dec 31 the last day of guide data? I remember 6 months or so ago they said they would eventually stop the guide data.


Does that alternative software, EPG123 I think, still work?
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post #11 of 108 Old 12-30-2019, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aab1 View Post
WMC is telling me I have less than 3 days of guide data left (never saw this warning before). It asked if I wanted to download new guide data, I said yes, it says download complete, and still says less than 3 days of data left.


So is Dec 31 the last day of guide data? I remember 6 months or so ago they said they would eventually stop the guide data.


Does that alternative software, EPG123 I think, still work?
Yes, EPG123 works great!

Not only does it work well, but in recent weeks I've been getting 6 days of program data from Microsoft on one WMC machine. Our main WMC PC, which is on EPG123, is getting 16 days of program data.
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post #12 of 108 Old 12-31-2019, 01:17 AM
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Well, one big problem with the free data is it stops often - usually around the new year, when daylight saving time comes on or off, etc. it seems someone at Microsoft needs to come around and kick the server to process new guide data and it usually happens just before it runs out. There was a group that you could use to send feedback when it happened but I don't think it's monitored anymore.

Of course, I took it as the opportunity to switch to epg123 and now have a ton of guide data, more than I ever had before. Takes under an hour to do, and with holiday programming it means there's lots of idle time to do such things without losing programming.
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post #13 of 108 Old 12-31-2019, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worf View Post
Well, one big problem with the free data is it stops often - usually around the new year, when daylight saving time comes on or off, etc. it seems someone at Microsoft needs to come around and kick the server to process new guide data and it usually happens just before it runs out. There was a group that you could use to send feedback when it happened but I don't think it's monitored anymore.
I don't think anyone will be kicking the server anymore. I got a popup a couple of weeks ago saying Microsoft is retiring their guide data service in January 2020. They didn't say which day in January but I wouldn't be surprised if it was January 1.
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post #14 of 108 Old 12-31-2019, 10:22 AM
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I was wondering the same thing. Figured guide data from MS would stop on January 14 along with support, but now I'm guessing that my guide hasn't updated past today for the last time ...
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post #15 of 108 Old 12-31-2019, 01:45 PM
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I figured this day would eventually happen, which is why I initially supported the HDHomeRun DVR Kickstarter campaign thinking they would have DRM recording and playback capability. Turns out it was just wishful thinking on my part as they never officially announced that level of support at the time. When EPG123 came out I jumped on it and couldn't be happier. I turned off automatic updates on my Windows 7 HTPCs ages ago so I jumped the gun and cut myself off from Microsoft completely. Their announcement of no longer supporting Windows 7 means nothing to me as I intend to keep using it for as long as my hardware stays alive.

The one thing that concerns me about Windows 7 is whether or not Microsoft will still activate licenses for it in the event that I have to do a reinstall on down the road.
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post #16 of 108 Old 12-31-2019, 05:37 PM
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By then everything we're doing on 7 will work on 10 (or 19, or whatever they're up to), so it will probably be time to say goodbye to 7 anyway.
That said, I'm still very happy with 7 and just started my trial with Schedules Direct, and I will agree that the transition, though not completely painless, wasn't bad.
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post #17 of 108 Old 12-31-2019, 06:11 PM
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When I was running WMC EPG123 worked great. I already had a SchedulesDirect subscription, no issues pulling that guide data into WMC. Recommended if you wish to stay with the MS ecosystem.

Since then (a few years back now) I have found that the only channels my cable co sets as Copy Once are the premium movie channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.) so I have gone back to my tried and true MythTV setup.

I only bring this up in this thread to let folks know there may be valid alternatives to their HTPC setups. Mine is a stripped down version of Xubuntu running MythTV (Google how to install the PPA) with HDHomeRun Prime and Ceton ETH-6 tuners. Have been a happy user of MythTV since 2006, am using it to watch the Alamo Bowl right now. It drives 7 different TVs in our house, using Raspberry Pi 3+ as frontends.

So, back to the original issue: I was using SD before they became SD. Many of the members worked for or had agreements with Zap2it Labs and when the whole DRM issue hit hard in 2007, went on to create SD to maintain the best possible EPG. I thank them for their perseverance during those times and I will continue to use their service.

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post #18 of 108 Old 12-31-2019, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by LastButNotLeast View Post
By then everything we're doing on 7 will work on 10 (or 19, or whatever they're up to), so it will probably be time to say goodbye to 7 anyway.
That said, I'm still very happy with 7 and just started my trial with Schedules Direct, and I will agree that the transition, though not completely painless, wasn't bad.
Michael
The odds of Microsoft ever reviving WMC in a later version or getting it certified by Cable Labs is pretty much zero. Unless SiliconDust gets their HDHR app certified to work with copy protected content, Windows 7 will continue to be the only game in town when it comes to watching and recording said channels. When Microsoft drops something they rarely, if ever, go back and pick it back up.
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post #19 of 108 Old 12-31-2019, 10:11 PM
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post #20 of 108 Old 01-01-2020, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Currently there is at least one 3rd party guide data provider that plugs into WMC:
- EPG123

It uses data from Schedules Direct. The developer of EPG123 hangs out at TheGreenButton and has answered a lot of questions there.

Thanks for posting this info. I just ran through the process and the guide data looks better than ever. I subscribed to Schedules Direct and also donated to the EPG123 dev, what a great effort to save MCE. We still use it every day with the Ceton Quad Tuner / Verizon FIOS.
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post #21 of 108 Old 01-01-2020, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by LastButNotLeast View Post
Don't need microsoft.
https://www.itechtics.com/windows-media-center/
and others.

Thanks for the link. I knew other people had successfully installed WMC in Windows 10 but it seemed like it was a hit or miss situation. I currently run both a Windows 7 HTPC with WMC and a Windows 10 HTPC with JRiver Media Center for 4k video playback and also for playback of other archived movies, TV shows, and music. One of the reasons I built a separate HTPC was because JRMC did not play well with WMC. I will probably keep both platforms, but the idea of being able to upgrade to Windows 10 and still use WMC is intriguing. I may just have to try this out on one of my spare PCs and see if it works.
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post #22 of 108 Old 01-01-2020, 09:21 AM
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I keep both on the same machine. F11 allows me to switch OS if I want to.
A separate PC is probably safer, though.

Michael
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post #23 of 108 Old 01-01-2020, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by LastButNotLeast View Post
I keep both on the same machine. F11 allows me to switch OS if I want to.
A separate PC is probably safer, though.

Michael
I could do that, but I'm always recording something in WMC, mostly in prime time, and I can't do that if I want to watch something on my server in Windows 10. Having two separate HTPCs is much more convenient than using one that I have to switch between two different OSes. I need to have the option to use both simultaneously.
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The one thing that concerns me about Windows 7 is whether or not Microsoft will still activate licenses for it in the event that I have to do a reinstall on down the road.
Yes, that is a provocative question. Anyone know for sure?

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post #25 of 108 Old 01-01-2020, 02:17 PM
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XP has been unsupported for years, yet I activated a copy just the other day. So I don't think you have anything to worry about with Win 7 for the next several years at least. I'd be more worried about having to replace old hardware with new compatible hardware. I have lots of hardware for which no Win 7 drivers exist.
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post #26 of 108 Old 01-01-2020, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
XP has been unsupported for years, yet I activated a copy just the other day. So I don't think you have anything to worry about with Win 7 for the next several years at least. I'd be more worried about having to replace old hardware with new compatible hardware. I have lots of hardware for which no Win 7 drivers exist.
Thanks. I figured you could still activate older versions of Windows, but I've never tried to activate one past their support date.
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post #27 of 108 Old 01-02-2020, 01:05 AM
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Today the data ran completely out, but only hours later I'm back with just under 2 weeks of guide data so it's back.
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post #28 of 108 Old 01-02-2020, 05:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aab1 View Post
...just under 2 weeks of guide data
Does it run out on January 14th?
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post #29 of 108 Old 01-02-2020, 07:08 AM
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It will run out sooner rather than later, so I'd make arrangements now.
And this time I've actually taken my own advice!
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post #30 of 108 Old 01-02-2020, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aab1 View Post
Today the data ran completely out, but only hours later I'm back with just under 2 weeks of guide data so it's back.
just looked at mine,....NOTHING...and did a manual download...still nothing
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