Zap2it program guide data for MythTV goes AWOL for San Francisco broadcast TV

This week, my MythTV system stopped recording on most of the over-the-air digital channels. I had noticed, for example, that a program was supposed to record on Sunday, but did not, even though it had appeared in the to-do list on Thursday. This seemed quite strange, until I looked at the program guide data and found that only two of the channels were receiving program guide data:

No guide data!

I tried to refresh the database contents using mythfilldatabase, but the program completed quickly and didn’t put any data in. A check of the MythTV mailing list turned up the suggestion to add the XMLTV channel id numbers, but I added those numbers to my system when I first built in in 2005. To try and figure out if the problem was my system or the data feed, I ran mythfilldatabase in verbose mode, and found that it wasn’t receiving any data for most of the channels. A check from Zap2it Labs showed that the number of available channels was very small because most of the digital channels didn’t exist. Of the channels I received, only KTSF-DT and KCSM-DT (2 subchannels) were feeding me guide data.

Missing channels at the data feed

The eventual work-around was to delete my over-the-air channel lineup and re-create it from scratch. As part of that process, I received a much fuller list of channels to pick from for some reason:

Zap2it Labs rebuild, now with all channels back

With all the right channels selected, I could run mythfilldatabase to get all the data for the next two weeks, minus the current day. (To get the current day, you need to run mythfilldatabase –refresh-today.)

It appears that what happened is that at some point last week, Zap2it rebuilt their channel lineup. Every day, mythfilldatabase dutifully went out to get new data, and received an indication from Zap2it that the channel had no programs. Therefore, all the scheduled recordings would show up until the day before they would normally be expected, at which point, they guide data would get clobbered and they would drop off. Thankfully, everything seems to be running fine now.

One Response to “Zap2it program guide data for MythTV goes AWOL for San Francisco broadcast TV”

  1. […] A quick check of the guide data showed that there was “NO DATA” on TV, just like last week. Only now, it was because the format of the digital channels stored by Zap2It apparently changed. When I went to edit the linup on line, I saw that the digital channels had vanished; re-constructing the lineup showed the problem. The digital channels are now referred to not by their frequency, but by their remapped number. (In the picture below, KQED’s digital channels are 9-1 through 9-5; a week ago, they all appeared as channel 30.) […]

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