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The UK TV Guide and Search add-on takes data from radiotimes.com that includes 14 days of programme information for over 400 channels. You select the channels you are interested in, the add-on grabs the data (it will fetch any selected channel one time per day to keep it up to date), and puts it into a database on your local drive. You can then view a traditional Guide, or Search the data by channels, dates, genres, a few special attributes, and a search word - this will quickly return a list of all the programmes that meet your search.
The data includes a good description, a number of programme attributes (including, for example, whether the programme is a film, a premier, or a new series), and a full cast list. Also useful, the data has Series and Episode numbers so you can actually understand which part of the series is being broadcast.
On first use your initial task is to simply pick some channels from the channel list on the left. As you pick each one it will fetch the data for that channel. As you do this the Guide view will be updated.
Once you have a few channels selected you can navigate the Guide and play with the Search.
On the Guide tab the Now button will navigate to the current date and time whereas the Refresh button will navigate to whatever date and time you enter. You can assign colours to the different genres from the Colours drop-down, and highlight the current search using the Highlight Search check-box.
On the Search tab there are 5 filters: Channels, Dates, Genres, Attributes, and Title. Assigning something to one or more of these will create a filter that is applied when the Search button is clicked. If a filter is not assigned it will not apply any filter for that category.
Be careful with the 'Omit' options on the drop-downs: they are cunning. If, for example, you tick 'Omit Channels' then any channels that you tick that follow will be Omitted, if you untick 'Omit Channels' then any channels you tick that follow will be Included. In this way you can use your ticks to either include or omit items - whichever means less clicking. There are tool-tips on all of the 'Omit' options to remind you how they work.
There is a 'context menu' - one of those right-click menus - on the channel list that allows a number of operations. You can Alias the channel names, for example you might like to see simply 'ITV1' in the list instead of 'ITV1 Thames Valley North'. You can also Add, Rename, and Delete channel groups so, for example, you might like to create separate groups for Freeview channels and Sky channels.
Also, look out for the context menus on the Guide, Search, and Favourites panes. Wherever you can see a programme there are options to add and delete your Favourites ♥.
Otherwise, just click stuff. That's what I do. And look out for the tomatoes.
[Disclaimer: Use of this add-on does not guarantee that you will find anything worth watching on TV.]
This add-on fetches data from: xmltv.radiotimes.com/xmltv/ [extensions.UKTVGuide.sourceURL] using XMLHttpRequest. If you want to view some raw data try: http://xmltv.radiotimes.com/xmltv/channels.dat (which is the channels data), or: xmltv.radiotimes.com/xmltv/160.dat (which is the schedule data for Film4).
The data on this feed is only to be used for personal and non-commercial use. I have the blessing of the data administrators, Meta Broadcast, that its use in a free, publicly available, Firefox add-on is allowed under their conditions of use - the relevant notice is viewable in the add-on by clicking the 'i' icon.
The add-on will create an SQLite database in a folder called UKTVGuide [extensions.UKTVGuide.databaseFolder] in the Firefox profile folder.
The add-on will not gratuitously fetch the data. It will only fetch data for channels selected in the Channel List, and it will only fetch the data, at most, once a day. There is a table in the SQLite database that controls this.
The add-on is only of any real use to people in the UK as the data feed is for UK TV channels. Ultimately, the data is hosted by the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) - Radio Times is a BBC publication, although ironically there is no data for the radio channels. The administration of the data is sub contracted to Meta Broadcast (see: http://metabroadcast.com/blog/providing-the-radiotimes-xmltv-feed-from-atlas ).
· A couple of styling tweaks (relating to Linux).
· An important tweak to how the permissions get applied when creating the database folder.
The permissions issue only effects Linux systems. Previously, the database folder could get created with the wrong permissions meaning that it cannot be accessed properly. If you currently have this problem you will need to delete the folder: /home/[user folder]/.mozilla/firefox/[profile folder]/UKTVGuide and then simply restart the add-on, at which time the folder will be created correctly (note: .mozilla is a hidden folder).
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