Providing TV listings

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[edit] Requirements

Required skills:

  • Using a command line/terminal
  • Configuring software using text files
  • Creating programs that read websites or other sources and convert them to other formats. The language you use to do this doesn't matter. It should be possible to use anything like VB or Java. Without such a program you would need to convert the data manually. We strongly discourage converting the data manually!

Download the TvDataStarterKit:

The operating system doesn't matter, the tools are written in Java and should run on any platform that runs TV-Browser.

[edit] Providing TV listings

There are three possibilities to get your listings into TV-Browser:

[edit] Excel/XML

We wrote a little tool to enter and extract data for one channel in a Excel sheet (we call such tools Primary Data Service or PDS).

Alternatively, it's possible to enter and extract the data to and from an XML file.

How this works is explained in the tutorial. It also explains the other tools you need to prepare the data.

[edit] Primary Data Service

There is also the possibility of writing your own PDS that reads the data from a website or some other source. Of course, to implement such a service you have to know Java programming. If you do know Java read the guide about how to proceed.

[edit] Tips

[edit] TV data services

The third way to provide your listings is a program so called TV data services. (See Tutorial: Development of a TvDataService). These will be loaded directly into TV-Browser as a plugin. An example of such a plugin is the NextViewDataService.

This third possibility should only be used in special cases. The development is much more involved than for a PDS, and everyone who wants to use your service needs to install a plugin, while in the PDS case he only needs to enter an URL.

[edit] More tips

[edit] TV listings usage permit

To be allowed to use the listings of different TV/radio stations an official permission of the broadcasting service is needed. Here you can read an example mail


Request for permission to use program schedules

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am a volunteer of the free electronic program guide 'TV-Browser' (for information, please see
"http://www.tvbrowser.org/"). This is an open source project without any commercial interests, 
meanwhile we already count over 200,000 active users.

We wish to extend our program magazine by your [station/stations] [STATIONNAME/S]. That is why
I ask you to furnish me an access to your press area or admit my address to your press
distribution list and to give me the permission for preparing and providing your program data
on our web servers for the users of the program guide. If your organisation does not carries on
a press area or distribution list, I ask for an allowance to read out the data of [STATION URL]
in the form of an automated procedure.

Moreover I would need your station emblem for viewing in the environment of the program
information if possible and it would be nice, if you could also send me an optional permission
for using program pictures within the program area of TV-Browser.

The program data is stored at our web servers and protected against unfamiliar exploitations
because of the application specific format. The user of TV -Browser gets an emphatic note
about the data's rights holder. Program data of expired days gets deleted after one day so that
there is no deposition chance.

Yours faithfully,
[ABSENDERNAME]

You should use friendly, but decisive wording.

Important: Do not forget to provide them with your name, address, phone and fax number, if available and usable.

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