Manual Reference Pages - TV_GRAB_UK_RT (1)
tv_grab_uk_rt - Grab TV listings for United Kingdom/Republic of Ireland
tv_grab_uk_rt [--config-file FILE]
[--days N] [--offset N]
[--output FILE] [--quiet] [--debug]
tv_grab_uk_rt --configure [--config-file FILE]
tv_grab_uk_rt --configure-api [--stage NAME]
[--config-file FILE] [--output FILE]
tv_grab_uk_rt --list-channels [--config-file FILE]
[--output FILE] [--quiet] [--debug]
tv_grab_uk_rt --get-lineup [--config-file FILE]
Output TV listings in XMLTV format for many channels available in the
United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. Source data comes from
machine-readable files made available from the Radio Times website.
First run <B>tv_grab_uk_rt --configureB> to choose which channels you want to
receive listings for. Then run <B>tv_grab_uk_rtB> (with optional arguments) to get
around 14 days of listings for your configured channels.
<B>--helpB> Print a help message and exit.
<B>--versionB> Show the versions of the XMLTV libraries, the grabber and of
key modules used for processing listings.
<B>--capabilitiesB> Show which capabilities the grabber supports. For more
information, see <http://wiki.xmltv.org/index.php/XmltvCapabilities>
<B>--descriptionB> Show a brief description of the grabber.
<B>--config-file FILEB> Specify the name of the configuration file to use.
If not specified, a default of <B>~/.xmltv/tv_grab_uk_rt.confB> is used. This
is also the default file written by <B>--configureB> and read when grabbing.
<B>--output FILEB> When grabbing, write output to FILE rather than to standard
<B>--days NB> When grabbing, grab N days of data instead of all available.
Supported values are 1-15.
<B>--offset NB> Start grabbing at today + N days. Supported values are 0-14.
Note that due to the format of the source data, tv_grab_uk_rt always downloads
data for all available days and then filters for days specified with --days and
--offset. Specifying --days and/or --offset in order to speed up downloads or
reduce data transfer will therefore have no effect.
<B>--quietB> Suppress all progress messages normally written to standard error.
<B>--debugB> Provide detailed progress messages to standard error. Due to the
volume of debug information produced, it is not advised to use this option
during normal grabber use.
<B>--gui OPTIONB> Use this option to enable a graphical interface to be used.
OPTION may be Tk, or left blank for the best available choice.
Additional allowed values of OPTION are Term for normal terminal output
(default) and TermNoProgressBar to disable the use of Term::ProgressBar.
<B>--configureB> Prompt for which channels/lineup to download listings for,
where to store the cache directory for retrieved listings, what character
encoding to use for output, and whether to enable programme title and bad
<B>--list-channelsB> Outputs an XML document containing all channels
available to the grabber.
<B>--list-lineupsB> Outputs an XML document containing all channel lineups
available to the grabber.
<B>--get-lineupB> Outputs an XML document containing the configured channel
All data is the copyright of the Radio Times and the use of this data is
restricted to personal use only. Commercial use of this data is forbidden.
In accessing this XML feed, you agree that you will only access its contents
for your own personal and non-commercial use and not for any commercial
or other purposes, including advertising or selling any goods or services,
including any third-party software applications available to the general public.
A channel lineup is a list of TV and radio channels that are available in a
particular location on a particular TV platform (e.g. Freeview).
Whilst configurations containing individual channel=... entries are still
supported, the grabber allows a user to select their location and TV platform
at configuration time and have their channel lineup generated dynamically
at runtime. This means that if a new channel launches or a channel ceases
broadcasting, an update to the relevant lineup (stored on the XMLTV server)
will result in listings containing such channel changes without any reconfiguration by the user.
During configuration, the software asks the user to choose the character
encoding to be used for output. Currently supported encodings are UTF-8 and
Over time, listings may contain inconsistent programme details, such as
the programme title combined with episode details for some showings of a
programme, but separate for others; or the episode title being given as the
programme title, and the programme title given as the episode title. Some
programme titles may also change slightly over time, or across channels.
Enabling title processing during configuration enables this software to
process programme titles against a list of flagged titles. The
software will correct such programme titles, which in turn should result in
better performance of PVR software which rely on consistent programme data.
Please be aware that enabling title processing will result in the grabber
taking slightly longer to complete its operation due to the extra
N.B. Please note that title updates can clearly alter programme titles near
to transmission time, and it is therefore quite possible for PVR schedules
to fail if they have been configured using an old title. Whilst care is
taken to ensure title updates are made as far ahead of transmission as
possible, be aware that last minute updates can be made.
MIS-ENCODED UTF-8 SOURCE DATA
Prior to the transition of the XMLTV service to metabroadcast.com in December
2011, there was an ongoing issue with source data containing mis-encoded UTF-8
characters. Since the transition, the source data should be UTF-8 safe and
automatic processing of the data may not be required. A configuration option
is provided to permit detection and correction of such character encoding
errors and users are recommended to enable this option during configuration.
Improvements to date and time handling in the grabber have increased performance
6-7X. Grabbing 14 days of listings with utf-8 and title fixups enabled
should take about 2 seconds per configured channel on a typical machine.
tv_grab_uk_rt will only terminate early if it is impossible to continue with grabbing
data. This can be due to a lack of channel configuration data, a bad/missing
configuration file, or filesystem permission problems. Running the grabber in
non-quiet mode should report why the grabber failed.
Non-fatal errors are reported during a grabber run, and can result in listings
for a channel being skipped either in part, or entirely. Progress messages
will state why data is missing when it is possible to do so. A non-zero exit
status will normally be given when the grabber has encountered problems
during listings retrieval.
The environment variable HOME can be set to change where the configuration
file is stored. All configuration is stored in $HOME/.xmltv/ by default. On
Windows it might be necessary to set HOME to a pathname containing no spaces.
The environment variable XMLTV_SUPPLEMENT can be set to change where the
supplemental XMLTV files are retrieved from. By default, the file is
retrieved from the XMLTV supplement server. See XMLTV::Supplement for
If you want the grabber to use customised local copies of the supplemental
files, you should set XMLTV_SUPPLEMENT to the path of the directory containing
a tv_grab_uk_rt/ directory containing the supplement files. For example, if
your local supplement files are stored in /usr/local/share/xmltv/tv_grab_uk_rt/
you should export XMLTV_SUPPLEMENT=/usr/local/share/xmltv/ before running the
Ironically, the Radio Times feed does not offer listings for radio. They
have been asked about the possibility of adding radio listings, but stated
that this would require significant development effort. It has not been
ruled out entirely, but is unlikely to be added soon.
Users who would like to obtain BBC radio listings in XMLTV format are advised
to investigate a new grabber that obtains listings from the BBC Backstage
service. See <http://wiki.xmltv.org/index.php/BBC_Backstage> for more
You can subscribe to and read the XMLTV users mailing list by visiting
<http://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/xmltv-users>. This is a source
of help and advice for new users. A searchable archive of the list is
available at <http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.tv.xmltv.general>.
xmltv(5), <http://wiki.xmltv.org>, <http://www.radiotimes.com/>
If you encounter a reproducible bug, please report it on the XMLTV bug
tracker at <http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=39046&atid=424135>,
making sure you assign the bug to the tv_grab_uk_rt category. Please check
that the bug has not already been reported.
The source data on the Radio Times website is generated daily before 0600.
Occasionally the source data may not get recreated, leaving
the source files for some (or all) channels empty. Users are encouraged
to wait at least 1 day before reporting an issue with missing listings,
as they frequently reappear in the next update or later the same day. If listings continue to
be missing from the Radio Times website, please report the fact on the XMLTV users
There have been several occasions in the past when the Radio Times channel index has been
missing from the Radio Times website. This file is essential to being able to
run the grabber, as it contains the list of channels having available listings
data. If this file is missing or empty, and there is no locally-cached copy of
the file, it will not be possible to run the grabber. The file usually
regenerates automatically over the course of the next day, at which point it
will be possible to run the grabber successfully.
There are no other reported ongoing issues.
Since 2007 the maintainer has been Nick Morrott (knowledgejunkie at gmail dot com).
The original author was Ed Avis (ed at membled dot com). Parts of this code
were copied from tv_grab_se_swedb by Mattias Holmlund, and from the XMLTV
wiki <http://wiki.xmltv.org/>. Regional postcode information was kindly
made available from <http://www.ukfree.tv>.
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