Thursday, June 28, 2007

Myth Buster

    I think I've mentioned that I use a computer setup with MythTV to record a few TV programs every week. It has an Air2PC ATSC digital HDTV tuner card installed so it gets digital broadcasting over the air with a regular antenna. It works good for local broadcasting.
    The TV listings come from Zap2it Labs, via the Internet, and allows me to view upcoming programs and to click on the ones I want to record. It works good. The programs broadcast on digital channels are usually much clearer than regular broadcast programming.
    Well, Zap2it has announced that they will no longer offer this free service and are cutting the listings off in September. This leaves a lot of people, including me, wondering how to do the scheduling in the future. There are alternatives, but reportedly, they take more effort to capture and organize the data.
    I guess we will see what happens. Last week, when the listing was supposed to be updated, it deleted the listings instead. I forced another update and it didn't work, so I was getting ready to take a shot at manual scheduling. But, I visited the lab's website and checked my account and everything looked good, so I tried the update one more time and it worked. I've pushed the manual test out a couple of weeks.
    Reading the MythTV forum, it looks like there is an attempt to find an alternative to Zap2it, well see about that, too.
    I'll add that the labs say that "abuses" are the main reason for stopping the service. I suspect that's a typical corporate excuse to bail from the business.


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