Hello all, been a lurker on here for years. So I've got multiple Media Centers of various vintage in my family's abodes (XP MCE 2005, Vista, and Win 7).
The XP Media Center remains alive for a while (since 2002) because it "just worked" and because I have hardware (an ATI eHome wonder in it) that has no forward looking OS drivers. If something works and has no path forward, I'm loathe to throw it out if it can be made to work still.
Plus I don't think Microsoft will make a Rovi friendly feed for older OS's. It doesn't seem their style to be cool in that way.
Thanks to Tinkerer103's post on BladerunnerPro, I used that and found an xmltv source I was able to make XP MCE work again for the North America space.
And believe it or not, I used Zap2It to provide the feed for my DishNetwork Set Top Box which is probably some irony here. The post is long, and not for the faint of heart, but it can yield a working XP MCE 2005 system, I use mine with a Dishnetwork STB.
Free / Open Source Components used:
1. BladerunnerPro (web archived copy of 3.5)
2. Zap2XML (command line that pulls the feed from zap2it.com)
3. Find And Replace Text (FART) command line tool
4. Effort and time for the channel mapping and troubleshooting
To make Zap2XML work:
1. First go to Zap2It.com and register for a free acount with an email address of your choice via your browser.
2. Go to the TV Listings page and set your preferences for your US based provider (Dish/Directv/Cable/etc)
3. Go to Preferences and then edit the channels on the grid to make sure you have just the channels you want in your guide and that they're sorted, select the checkboxes for "Show six hour grid" and "show only my favorite channels in the grid"
4. Go and download ZAP2XML (http://zap2xml.awardspace.info/
5. Go and download FART (http://sourceforge.net/projects/fart-it/
6. Create a directory where you'll run the grabbing and transform process for Bladerunner and put Zap2xml and Fart binaries there. I used C:\Windows\eHome\Zap2XML for mine.
7. Create the XMLTV.DTD file as per Tinkerer's note above in this thread and put it in your grabber directory, it gets wiped out on each run so create a copy you can copy to Bladerunner's Guidedata.
8. Create a batch file to get the the guide data and make it suitable for Bladerunner. Here's an example of mine called getguide.bat. It removes the top lines that error-out Bladerunner and remove the language encoding that prevents importing of text.
rd /S /Q cache
zap2xml.exe -u <YOUR ZAP2IT USERID> -p <YOUR ZAP2IT PASSWORD> -U
fart --remove xmltv.xml "<!DOCTYPE tv SYSTEM \"xmltv.dtd\">"
fart --remove xmltv.xml " lang=\"en\""
fart xmltv.xml "generator-info-url=\"email@example.com
copy xmltv.dtd c:\windows\ehome\bladerunnerpro\guidedata\
copy xmltv.xml c:\windows\ehome\bladerunnerpro\guidedata\
copy channelinfo.xml c:\windows\ehome\bladerunnerpro\quickguide\
You'll notice I copy the files to Bladerunner's directories for each run at the end.
Also for this command, look at the top of your xmltv.xml file.
fart xmltv.xml "generator-info-url=\"firstname.lastname@example.org
" will most likely be "zap2xml@<YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS DOMAIN USED FOR ZAP2IT ID>". So you'll want to change the @gmail.com to the suffix of the mail domain used in your registered email account for Zap2It.
9. Run the batch file once to create an xmltv.xml as you'll need that to make your ChannelInfo.XML file and ignore the copy file errors this time as BladeRunner is not installed yet. You should have an XMLTV.XML file if successful in a usable state by Bladerunner. This gets removed by Bladerunner after each run, so staging it here is useful.
10. Now create your ChannelInfo.XML file in the grabber directory. This is the TEDIOUS part. A short, starter example is below, but it will be long to build based on your channel lineup. You'll need to look inside the top part of your XMLTV.XML file to find the channelID's and create the mapping as the automatic creation in Bladerunnerpro didn't make a usable map for me. You can customize the text in the name and make sure the virtual channel lines up with your actually tuner channel. I just have 3 channels below as an example.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
I keep a copy of the ChannelInfo.xml in the grabber directory and copy it to Bladerunner's Quickguide directory that way Bladerunner skips its creation plus I can edit the lineup in one spot if need be. Add a few channels first to test (like 1-3) and then add more once you get the hang of it.
11. Install BladerunnerPro, follow the BRPConfigurator instructions to remove the HDit part and in the grabber section, add an entry for your grabber batchfile. I used the program CMD.EXE in windows\system32 with the parameter "/C c:\windows\ehome\zap2xml\getguide.bat" to make it run the batch file created earlier. Bladerunner will auto add a task to your scheduled tasks to pull this down at 4:21pm everyday and will trigger MCE to import the guide.
12. For good measure, I re-ran the configure the guide after Bladerunner to make it all work and troubleshot any issues.
This should make XP MCE work again. Please note your Guidesetup will say "EPG Guide" no matter what zip you put in, and will only go to the local files created by Bladerunner. I was seeing a week's worth of data in mine so I may want to lessen the frequency of the grab. Most guide features (Search, Add Recording, Movies) all worked, though Movies no longer showed DVD art and some additional detail, but that was a small item to discard to get a working system in my opinion.
I hope this helps others who are looking to keep their XP MCE 2005's going a bit longer, and as Microsoft would say, no warranties or guarantees are expressed or implied with the information above and your mileage will vary.
Good luck to your experiences.