Solutions At Hand

Handhelds, smartphones, mobile technology and the digital lifestyle.

Are you still hunting for the listings for your favourite TV shows?

Posted by Michael Brown on September 19, 2007

Still buying the paper for the daily TV listings? Or the TV Guide magazine for this weeks listings? Wish you could see what’s on next week? You can, and you can do it on your Palm or Treo.

Pocket TV Browser

I started using Pocket TV Browser about a year or so ago, and it’s been a hit with myself and my wife! I use it in combination with the Open-Source XMLTV to grab two weeks worth of listings, which get formatted for the Palm and installed at the next HotSync. In the Palm application, you can search on keywords and mark favourite programs. It automatically launches to the listings view at the current time, and it indicates by colour whether a program hasn’t started yet or if it’s in progress; it even indicates if something is a repeat! You can even add TV programs to your Palm Calendar, which is great for those folks who just have to see it live!

Pocket TV Browser ListingPTV SearchPTV Search ResultsPTV Add to Dialog

For those people using Pocket TV Browser and/or XMLTV, you need to know that the free listings formerly provided by labs.zap2it.com has gone away. To fill the void left by their departure, a bunch of people from various Open-Source projects have banded together to create a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing a low cost listings service for those projects (and users) who depend on the listings service. You can find more information at schedulesdirect.org. XMLTV has been updated to work with the Schedules Direct service, and you can find information on how to configure XMLTV or Pocket TV Browser at the Schedules Direct forums.

My set-up is a little different from most. Usually, you would install the Windows application which would sit in the System Tray and periodically fetch the listings, and then convert them to a Palm ‘.pdb’ file, which is later HotSynced onto the handheld. In my case, I already get the XMLTV listings weekly for our Freevo Home Theatre PC, of which the server runs 24/7, anyway, so why download the same stuff twice?. I don’t get to my Windows desktop nearly so often as I would like, so I installed the Pocket TV Manager application onto my Linux Server using the Wine package, which let’s you run Windows applications natively on Linux. I have it configured to, weekly and automatically, use the existing Freevo listings and covert it to a PDB file, which is then placed in the Palm Desktop Install directory. I can either HotSync it when I have time, or I can access my home directory on the server and copy it onto my Treo over Bluetooth.

You can find Pocket TV Browser at www.doublebit.com/ptvb/, and XMLTV at xmltv.sf.net. For listing information, check out schedulesdirect.org

Originally posted to PalmAddicts here.

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