Microsoft Kills Channel Guide for Media Center. EPG123 is an alternative.

Discussions of applications and operating systems and any problems, tips or suggestions. Win XP, 9x/2k, Linux, NT, photo editing, Virus/Spyware help
User avatar
FlyingPenguin
Flightless Bird
Posts: 29480
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2000 11:13 am
Location: Lady Lake, Florida
Contact:

Microsoft Kills Channel Guide for Media Center. EPG123 is an alternative.

Postby FlyingPenguin » Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:17 am

Yeah, I doubt any one else here is still using Media Center, and especially using media center with a cable card tuner, but I do and I still love it. We also have an Xfinity X1 DVR, but that's mostly for the wife. I like the skip function and more flexible recording schedules you can setup in Media Center.

Not surprisingly, Microsoft retired the channel guide server for Media Center last month now that Win7 is end of life.

There is, however, a guy who came up with a replacement 4 years back when Microsoft changed the cable guide service they were using to Rovi, which was nowhere near as good. I never had much of a problem with it so I kept using it, but I kept track of the project since I knew the day would come when they would turn it off.

This is the solution: http://epg123.garyan2.net/

You have to subscribe to Schedules Direct which is $25 a year, and they provide the channel guide data. Then EPG123 is an open source program that replaces the channel guide server that Media Center downloads the guide from to a local server that pulls the guide data from Schedules Direct. It also adds an option for a much more full-featured and customizable channel guide format.

So, I haven't done this yet. Going to sit down this week and set it up and see how it goes, but the project if fully mature (been running for 4 years) and according to the forums it's working fine. Some people have been using it for years, and some people like me are jumping on now that MS pull the plug.

Image
- "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." -Winston S Churchill

Image

User avatar
Losbot
Almighty Member
Posts: 3543
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:59 am
Location: South Florida

Re: Microsoft Kills Channel Guide for Media Center. EPG123 is an alternative.

Postby Losbot » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:26 pm

No but I have a tuner on my Plex so I can watch live TV from anywhere or have it record the live broadcasts.

User avatar
FlyingPenguin
Flightless Bird
Posts: 29480
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2000 11:13 am
Location: Lady Lake, Florida
Contact:

Re: Microsoft Kills Channel Guide for Media Center. EPG123 is an alternative.

Postby FlyingPenguin » Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:53 pm

Been reading up on this. Should be interesting. Since I have more than one Media Center PC, I need to setup a server that all of them can pull the channel guide data from. The server doesn't have to be a Media Center PC, so I'll probably set that up on the file server.
- "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." -Winston S Churchill

Image

User avatar
FlyingPenguin
Flightless Bird
Posts: 29480
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2000 11:13 am
Location: Lady Lake, Florida
Contact:

Re: Microsoft Kills Channel Guide for Media Center. EPG123 is an alternative.

Postby FlyingPenguin » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:09 pm

Okay, set this up tonight. Very straight forward, good documentation. No problems. Setup my file server as the main channel guide server. It downloads the guide daily via a task in the task scheduler, and saves the guide data to a file in a folder. Folder needs to be shared on the network. The client is installed on the Media Center PCs and it downloads the schedule from the server (again, running a daily scheduled task and looking in the shared folder on the server for the file).

Installation wizard was smart enough to import my old scheduled recordings and convert them to work with the new channel guide.
- "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." -Winston S Churchill

Image

User avatar
Losbot
Almighty Member
Posts: 3543
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:59 am
Location: South Florida

Re: Microsoft Kills Channel Guide for Media Center. EPG123 is an alternative.

Postby Losbot » Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:50 pm

Don't you just love it when software works beautifully like that?

User avatar
normalicy
Posts: 9372
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2000 4:04 am
Location: St. Louis, MO USA
Contact:

Re: Microsoft Kills Channel Guide for Media Center. EPG123 is an alternative.

Postby normalicy » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:11 pm

I basically gave up on Media Center about 3 or 4 year ago. Too much effort.

User avatar
FlyingPenguin
Flightless Bird
Posts: 29480
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2000 11:13 am
Location: Lady Lake, Florida
Contact:

Re: Microsoft Kills Channel Guide for Media Center. EPG123 is an alternative.

Postby FlyingPenguin » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:59 pm

They will pry my Media Center remote from my cold, dead hands... :)

I stick with it because once I set it up 10 odd years ago (and I've been doing media center since WinXP and analog tuners) it's been rock solid.
- "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." -Winston S Churchill

Image

User avatar
normalicy
Posts: 9372
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2000 4:04 am
Location: St. Louis, MO USA
Contact:

Re: Microsoft Kills Channel Guide for Media Center. EPG123 is an alternative.

Postby normalicy » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:36 am

I would get it set up and then it would have an issue. Then I'd fix the issue and another would come up. I did like being able to use a remote though.

User avatar
FlyingPenguin
Flightless Bird
Posts: 29480
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2000 11:13 am
Location: Lady Lake, Florida
Contact:

Re: Microsoft Kills Channel Guide for Media Center. EPG123 is an alternative.

Postby FlyingPenguin » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:30 pm

It was a long teething period, but once I got it setup properly, and learned it's oddities, I hardly ever have to mess with it except for the occasional reboot to clear a problem.

I think mine are stable because once I set them up, I never allowed them to install Windows updates. I am fairly certain most of the problems that people had were updates breaking things. My PCs are dedicated DVRs only, and they don't need any security or feature updates except for 3 or 4 updates you need to install initially to get Media Center up and running with Cable Card support. I don't need some security update for IE or remote desktop breaking some DLL that Media Center uses.

There's also some network tweaks I found that were necessary to speed up thumbnail and Metadata transfers from the media server, and the shared recording folders on all three MCE's.

The Ceton cable card tuners have been rock solid. I'm running the same three tuners and cable cards for six years or more.

I'm really spoiled by the ability to skip ahead & back, so I tend to record my own shows on the Media Center DVRs. It annoys me when I have to use my wife's Xfinity X1 DVR and have to fast forward.

I guess I've become a bit of a Media Center guru over the years.
- "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." -Winston S Churchill

Image

User avatar
normalicy
Posts: 9372
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2000 4:04 am
Location: St. Louis, MO USA
Contact:

Re: Microsoft Kills Channel Guide for Media Center. EPG123 is an alternative.

Postby normalicy » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:50 pm

Ahhh, maybe it was the updates. It seemed like it would work fine for several months & then suddenly go to crap with no changes by me.

I have an ATI HD tv tuner card that has been great for me. I basically only use over the air for the Olympics & the various awards shows. The rest I just navigate my server and open with VLC. It's nice because I don't have to worry at all about if there are format issues.


Return to “OS / Software Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests