Small patch for zap2xml2.pl to get full program descriptions

EDIT: It appears that the original zap2xml program has been taken down, and zap2xml2 has been renamed to zap2xml, replacing the original program.  Also, I believe the patch mentioned in this article is already present in the newest version, but if you aren’t getting full descriptions it wouldn’t hurt to take a look at the script and make sure. For additional hints on using zap2xml, see the (recently updated) article, Some hints for getting free-to-air satellite channels into the Electronic Program Guide in Kodi or XBMC (or another frontend).

Those of you who have been using zap2xml to get free-to-air satellite channels into the Electronic Program Guide in Kodi or XBMC (or another frontend) have probably discovered that it stopped working sometime in July, 2015.  If you go to the zap2xml site it has this note:

  • 2015-07-09
    • zapit removed their newer listings(?), zap2xml2 still works

But if you attempt to use zap2xml2, you may have found that you don’t get program descriptions on some or all programs. For some reason this seems to vary by user; the author of zap2xml2 is among those who don’t seem to see this problem. But if you are one of the ones who does find that the show descriptions are missing, there is a simple fix. Use any text editor to open the zap2xml2.pl file and find this line:

$rc = Encode::encode(‘utf8’, &getURL($urlRoot . “ZCGrid.do?fromTimeInMillis=$ms”) );

Change it to add the part shown in boldface below:

$rc = Encode::encode(‘utf8’, &getURL($urlRoot . “ZCGrid.do?isDescriptionOn=true&fromTimeInMillis=$ms”) );

Hope this helps someone.  I don’t understand why the newer style listings were removed, but for the time being that appears to be the situation.

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2 thoughts on “Small patch for zap2xml2.pl to get full program descriptions

  1. does this also allow capture of series info (season#, episode#)? I am using zap2xml2 and it doesn’t have the -s (or -series) command line option available, like the newer one does – which requires a subscription to ChannelsDirect.

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    • Huh? First of all there is only one version of the program now, called zap2xml and available at http://zap2xml.awardspace.info/, and it most certainly does NOT require a subscription to ChannelsDirect, whatever the heck that is. It gets its listings from either zap2it.com or (if you use the -z option) tvguide.com. Using zap2it.com, the season and episode numbers are only shown in the extra program details, and you can only get those by using the -D option which makes an additional separate http request for each and every program in the listings! This is not only rather unfriendly to the provider (after all, we are getting these listings for free and therefore should not be overburdening the servers), but also it adds very significantly to the amount of time required to download the listings (if you try it you will probably think the download has stalled, it is that slow). And even if you were to use the -D option, it’s not a given that it would capture the season and episode numbers in the way you expect.

      tvguide.com does not appear to show season and episode numbers at all.

      I’m guessing that this information was more readily available in the original Zap2it listings format, but that was discontinued prior to the time this article was written.

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