Cutting the cord EPG – Finding the programming guide (part 6)

Has been a while since my last post.  Summer fun keeps me away from programming and playing with hardware, but I did do some on the evenings.  Now that is is getting colder and the evenings are closing in I am getting back to it.

After some deliberation and pondering how to get the TV guide I decided to use Schedules Direct to retrieve my program listings.  These guys charge $24 per year for a subscription, but provide a XML SOAP interface.  I decided against trying to screen scrape the TV listings from a website for a couple of reasons.  First complexity.  Screen scraping is not fun and if the web page changes it can mean a rewrite of the scraping code.  Second, web pages now are much more complex than they used to be and use Ajax etc to retrieve listings.  This means it is even harder to screen scrape, and thirdly because a lot of the sites explicitly mention that it is illegal to scrape the web pages.  And for $2 a month I do not have to worry about that.

My next posting will be around the software I have been developing.


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