Problems converting back to the RadioTimes grabber – solved

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I used to use the excellent RadioTimes XML data with the XMLTV grabber to get my listings for MythTV. When the RadioTimes data was a little slow in coming over Christmas and New Year, I gave the EIT listings data a try.

The EIT data (pulling the programme listings from out of the DVB signal) mostly worked, but I think my little argos indoor aerial is not quite reliable enough. I kept getting
Started PESPacket, but !payloadStart()
Error: offset>181, pes length & current can not be queried

and then the backend would crash. I can only assume that my DVB stream is too full of errors. I hope to get a proper loft aerial sometime, but generally recordings are “good enough” (as long as it’s not too windy).

The EIT grabber had run long enough to get a weeks worth of data, so I thought I’d turn it off and wait for the RT site to come back online. A few days later the wonderful people at the RT had their side all sorted, and I was in a position to re-instate the RT grabber. However, when I went back into mythtv-setup, XMLTV was not listed as an option when setting up the source. The mythtv-setup app would just spit out errors saying Failed to run tv_find_grabbers

Since I had it running in the past, I knew it worked, but I had upgraded Fedora and MythTV since I had set up Myth, so maybe that script is missing from my machine, and I had not noticed.

I started out by re-running tv_grab_uk_rt --configure as per the Myth XMLTV page, and that did what it was supposed to do. Then I ran a test tv_grab_uk_rt --config-file ~/.mythtv/Freeview.xmltv --output /tmp/freeview.xml and it pulled down the listings correctly and dumped them into the xml file. So I ran mythfilldatabase again, and it still did nothing much. Therefore, the xmltv grabber must need to be configured in the database somewhere.

I had a look in the database, and found the following line
mysql> select * from videosource\G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
sourceid: 1
name: Freeview
xmltvgrabber: /bin/true
freqtable: default
lineupid: NULL
password: NULL
useeit: 0
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

This looked promising, so I changed it to ‘/usr/bin/tv_grab_uk_rt’ and ran mythfilldatabase. However, it would complain that I was calling the grabber wrongly and the error was something like “You may need to upgrade your xmltv grabber”.

Then I changed it to just ‘tv_grab_uk_rt’ (because reading this post hinted at the fact that it might be hardcoded to the name, not the path) and it all started working again. Yey!

Don’t forget to check that all the channels are configured with the XMLTV IDs in the channel table, by looking at the Channel Info page in MythWeb (mine had all disappeared as part of the EIT change), and that your source has a corresponding xmltv file in ~/.mythtv/<sourcename>.xmltv

3 thoughts on “Problems converting back to the RadioTimes grabber – solved

    Fintan said:
    January 20, 2008 at 23:23

    interesting read how ever your lucky somewhat that you are able to watch it unless its not windy.
    so indoor aerial has no uses then?

    where i live aerial reception is bad so we have to use sky but only problem is you cant record one channel and watch the other so only time myth tv is used when we are out.
    reception have to be 100% other wise subtitles ( i am Deaf) are all scrambled up 😦

    netwolfuk said:
    January 21, 2008 at 10:55

    Hi Fintan, maybe you could look at running DVB-S (Freeview over Satellite) if you’ve got a dish already (unless you like paying Sky for your tele). I have no experience with it, it’s just a suggestion.

    Giacomo said:
    February 17, 2008 at 11:32

    I had exactly the same problem with the EIT data over christmas (yah, boo) and this morning turned to the RT data feed.

    Rather then hack the database, I stopped mythbackend and ran the setup programme and changed the EIT source to RadioTimes. This kept all my channel data (and channel numbers, icons etc).

    Then I went to mythweb, settings, channels and then adding in the xmltv id’s to each line of the database, channel by channel was the toughest part, as to work out which channel is which id has to be done by searching (or grepping) through the channel_ids file, like this one:

    All the ids that you add to the database should also be added to a file called:


    When you use the backend to switch from EIT to RadioTimes, the file will be created. I added those ids to the file, one per line, like this:


    And to finish, using the mythweb, settings, channels page to uncheck the ‘Use EIT data’ tickboxes for all the channels using the RadioTimes feed.

    The error message you get from your earlier post is because the xmltv version you have on your box uses a different format to the latest version of channel_ids that you downloaded – although you probably worked that out if everything is hunkydory now!

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