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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Is there a SHEF command to download guide data?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 10:37 PM

I found the SHEF command set reference that details what commands you use to talk to receivers/DVRs via HTTP at http://www.satinstal...Set-V1.3.C.pdf. I don't see any commands to access the full guide data the receiver has stored. Is there perhaps an undocumented command to do this? I'd like to find a way to access the guide data in some sort of textual format (plain text, XML, HTML, whatever)

 

If this isn't possible to obtain from the receivers themselves, does Directv make this available anywhere? I know about http://www.directv.com/guide, but that is not text data - it isn't something you can use to grab the full guide information. I suppose it would be possible to do with the right series of HTTP requests, but it would be pretty inefficient.

 

All I'd really want would be the guide for what is playing right now on each channel. Getting information for future broadcasts for say a couple hours in advance would be nice but not really necessary. Anyone know how to do this? I tried asking directv.com, but I got the email equivalent of a blank stare. If there was some way to get this request routed to the correct people I'm sure I could get some sort of real answer, but that's easier said than done...

 

The reason why I'm asking is to see if there's some way to get the Directv guide data integrated with a touchscreen remote, so you see the guide on the touchscreen and would be able to select channels from it, rather than have it displayed on the TV (which is important if you aren't in front of the TV you're trying to control) I know there's the Directv app, which probably does this, but it isn't useful to me since it is not a universal remote (no control of TVs, audio system, etc.) Not to mention I'd have to upgrade 16 H20s since they can't do DECA :)


SL5, PI-6S, SA-6AL 3xSWM16, 21 H20-100, 1 H20-600, 7 H24-700/AM21


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#2 OFFLINE   dennisj00

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 07:15 AM

Nope, not available to the public.

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#3 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 10:19 AM

Darn, I was afraid of that. Anyone know of some way to contact whoever in Directv is responsible for the SHEF command set to make a request that some ability to download the guide data that's already present in the receiver's memory be added to it in a future revision?

 

Do the Cutting Edge participants ever get to recommend software changes to Directv's engineers, or do they just point out issues? I took a look in that forum before posting this, but it looks like the communication is all one way, just reporting issues, though maybe there's a closed forum where this occurs I'm not aware of.

 

Adding a command to SHEF would be the ideal solution, since it wouldn't add any load to Directv's web server, or even require the receiver have an active Internet connection. It could just be dumped out in any old format, even a simple CSV file would be fine.

 

Thanks for the response, even if the answer wasn't what I was hoping to hear :)


SL5, PI-6S, SA-6AL 3xSWM16, 21 H20-100, 1 H20-600, 7 H24-700/AM21


#4 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:19 PM

there is tedious way to do that - get APG stream (sat tuner card) to your PC and do parse some PIDs with the guide data

#5 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:29 PM

Darn, I was afraid of that. Anyone know of some way to contact whoever in Directv is responsible for the SHEF command set to make a request that some ability to download the guide data that's already present in the receiver's memory be added to it in a future revision?

 

Do the Cutting Edge participants ever get to recommend software changes to Directv's engineers, or do they just point out issues? I took a look in that forum before posting this, but it looks like the communication is all one way, just reporting issues, though maybe there's a closed forum where this occurs I'm not aware of.

 

Adding a command to SHEF would be the ideal solution, since it wouldn't add any load to Directv's web server, or even require the receiver have an active Internet connection. It could just be dumped out in any old format, even a simple CSV file would be fine.

 

Thanks for the response, even if the answer wasn't what I was hoping to hear :)

The thing is even if DIRECTV created such a SHEF command, it would likely be passkey encrypted to make it available only to manufacturers building universal remotes having a similar functionality as your trying to develop personally.    


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#6 OFFLINE   Gary Toma

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 02:29 PM

Sounds like you are trying very hard to re-invent titantv.com.  Set up an account for yourself and your iPad will have all the programming information you want, right at your fingertips.




#7 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 02:46 PM

Sounds like you are trying very hard to re-invent titantv.com.  Set up an account for yourself and your iPad will have all the programming information you want, right at your fingertips.

The iPad can only be used for IP control of the DIRECTV receivers isn't it?

 

The TS, if I understood him correctly wants to find some way to integrate the DIRECTV channel guide data into a touch-screen universal remote which controls AV components by IR command.   


DIRECTV sub. since Sep. of '95


#8 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 10:48 PM

The iPad can only be used for IP control of the DIRECTV receivers isn't it?

 

The TS, if I understood him correctly wants to find some way to integrate the DIRECTV channel guide data into a touch-screen universal remote which controls AV components by IR command.   

 

 

Exactly. A friend of a friend is a developer at one of the companies that develops an iOS/Android touchscreen remote app compatible with Globalcache IR distribution devices. I passed along my wish for the functionality I'm describing and was told that if I could provide them with a way to get Directv's guide data they'd work to integrate it into the software. They would like to do it not only for Directv, but Dish and all the major cable providers. But for some reason getting guide data is difficult - not sure why this should be so when it is free for the taking on all their web sites (just not in a format that would be very efficient to make use of)

 

I downloaded Directv's iPhone app and it shows the schedule, which it is obviously downloading from Directv's servers. It may be encrypted, but if not I could sniff the traffic and figure out how it is getting at it. That would be useless of course, since it wouldn't be supported and could go away without notice.

 

If I knew who to talk to in Directv I could put them in touch with the developer and see what happens from there. Though really, Directv ought to be reaching out to the developers of all such software because having it better support Directv is to the mutual advantage of both parties. If someone was using some sort of touchscreen remote, whether it is Harmony or one of the iOS/Android apps, and Directv was supported and Dish wasn't, that might be a factor in which service they subscribe to, or vice versa if Dish or a cable provider is more forward thinking and Directv isn't.


SL5, PI-6S, SA-6AL 3xSWM16, 21 H20-100, 1 H20-600, 7 H24-700/AM21


#9 OFFLINE   kkl

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 02:23 PM

http://waltzremote.com get his Guide data via directv's website.  Perhaps you could go in that direction.



#10 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 06:50 PM

Interesting. I'll have to see if I can figure out how he gathered that info off their website. Thanks for the link!


SL5, PI-6S, SA-6AL 3xSWM16, 21 H20-100, 1 H20-600, 7 H24-700/AM21


#11 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 10:00 PM

I use the DirectVR remote app on my iPhone. Somehow they are able to pull (some) of the guide

 

https://itunes.apple...abz/id400971703


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#12 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 12:15 AM

I've been playing around with this a bit, and while you can't get guide data per se, the SHEF getProgInfo command will tell you what is playing on any channel. While it is by no means fast, my H24 is able to respond to about three such queries per second. That's fast enough that a script running on my wireless router could get all the information for channels I care about in under a minute.

 

There's a time parameter allowed in the query as well, though it only lets you go out two hours, so it is really only useful for programming coming up in the near future. For what I'm looking to do that's just fine, but it isn't useful for those who'd like to replicate the full guide.

 

There also isn't any way to get a full list of channels, but since the channels never change numbers this really only matters for when new channels get added. Personally, I don't want to see what's on all the channels anyway, and I know it'll be less hassle adding the occasional channel Directv adds that I care about, versus having to delete channels every time they add one I don't.

 

I looked into waltzremote.com, he is hitting the www.directv.com/guide and pulling that information down. He says he's only doing it a few times an hour to keep the load down, but if Directv changes the way they display it, or too many others get the same idea, it could stop working any day. Seems like a better idea to get the information off one of my own receivers.


SL5, PI-6S, SA-6AL 3xSWM16, 21 H20-100, 1 H20-600, 7 H24-700/AM21


#13 OFFLINE   djrobx

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 12:30 AM

 

All I'd really want would be the guide for what is playing right now on each channel. Getting information for future broadcasts for say a couple hours in advance would be nice but not really necessary. Anyone know how to do this? I tried asking directv.com, but I got the email equivalent of a blank stare. If there was some way to get this request routed to the correct people I'm sure I could get some sort of real answer, but that's easier said than done...

 

Don't expect this, ever.   The "public" SHEF command list has actually shrunk.    You used to be able to pull full info for recordings and play them (such that you could present a list menu in your own interface), but that was removed.    They moved a lot of this functionality to a "private" requests that only the DirecTV's app can generate the correct token keys for. 

 

Even DirecTV's app goes directly to the internet to gather guide data.  

 

I'm just glad they left basic IP control functionality public.

 

-- Rob



#14 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 12:18 PM

You must not have read my most recent post. You can get the guide data for what is playing on any/every channel (at a rate of about 3 per second on my H24, probably an HR44 could do better) and up to 2 hours ahead. It was in the SHEF commands, but I was under the impression that getProgInfo might actually change the channel - the document says it takes the channel number "to tune to". It wasn't until I tried it myself I confirmed it just looks it up the info and doesn't change channels.

 

I did see that the DVR functionality was to be removed from the SHEF command set. I guess they want to control that experience through their app only for some reason, or possibly had other concerns. When they did this there was advance warning those APIs were deprecated, and there hasn't been any public indication anything else is. So I'm not too worried about anything else being removed without some warning.

 

Even the fact you can't get the whole channel list out of the receiver isn't really that big of a deal. If you wanted an automated way to generate a channel list, just look up the guide data for every possible channel number, including possible subchannels in the OTA range. It would take a few hours, but would only need to be redone once every week or so to look for changes.

 

I guess you'd also have to deal with subchannels in Directv's content, like the ones that appear for BTN. Not sure if the '610-3' subchannels exist all football season, or only appear on Saturdays when they get used. I'm sure a way to deal with this sort of thing could be found if someone really wanted to do this.


SL5, PI-6S, SA-6AL 3xSWM16, 21 H20-100, 1 H20-600, 7 H24-700/AM21





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