To follow up on a post from two weeks ago, users of MythTV, GB-PVR, and other DVR packages received some good news today. They’ve been staring down a deadline – for several years Zap2it Labs has provided guide data free of charge for personal use. However, due to abuse of the service, Z2L announced they they would be discontinuing the service on September 1, 2007. This would leave several popular DVR packages, such as MythTV, without a reliable source of schedule data in the US and Canada. Without guide listings, the software is far less useful.
While the business side is going slow, the technical side is making significant progress.
* We have a functional web app to create/manage accounts/lineups
* We have a working XMLTV grabber.
* We have a working MythTV grabber
* We have a working GB-PVR grabber
Schedules Direct is pleased to announce that it has licensed US and Canadian television program information from Tribune Media Services. This data will be distributed directly to the users of Open Source and Freeware applications.
Membership dues will be billed through PayPal and will be offered to non-commercial users in the United States and Canada.
Information on pricing, terms of service, and a FAQ will be released shortly
So it looks like they’re likely to have something in place before the September 1st deadline to provide data continuity. For those who don’t know, Tribune Media Services (TMS) is the parent of Zap2it Labs, so this is the same data. (TMS also supplies the data for TiVo, ReplayTV, and many other services.)
And, even if this falls through, there is another safety net being readied. CTpvr, a commercial DVR software provider, licenses the TMS data to use with their DVR software. It looks like they’re also planning to launch a new product, CT Program Listings Software, which will provide guide date for non-commercial use. As with the Schedules Direct offering, pricing has not yet been announced.
(Hat tip to PVR Wire for the CTpvr info.)