tv_imdb - Augment XMLTV listings files with data.


tv_imdb --imdbdir <dir> [--help] [--quiet] [--download] [--prepStage (1-7,all)]

tv_imdb --imdbdir <dir> [--help] [--quiet] [--movies-only][--stats][--output FILE] [FILE...]


Very similar to tv_cat in symantics (see tv_cat) except whenever a programme appears with "date" entry the title and date are used to look up extra data by using the XMLTV::IMDB package.

--output FILE write to FILE rather than standard output

--quiet disable all status messages (that normally appear on stderr).

--download try to download data files if they are missing (in --prepStage).

--stats force output of grab stats (stats output disabled in --quiet mode).

--movies-only only augment programs that look like movie listings (4 digit 'date' field).

All programs are checked against data (unless --movies-only is used).

For the purposes of tv_imdb, an "exact" match is defined as a case insensitive match gainst data (which may or may not include the transformation of '&' to 'and' and vise-versa.

If the program includes a 4 digit 'date' field the following is matches are attempted, the first succeeding match is used:

1. an "exact" title/year match against movie titles is done

2. an "exact" title match against tv series (and tv mini series)

3. an "exact" title match against movie titles with production dates

within 2 years of the 'date' value.

Unless --movies-only is used, if the program does not include a 4 digit 'date' field the following matches are attempted, the first succeeding match is used:

1. an "exact" title match against tv series (and tv mini series)

When a match is found in the data the following is applied:

1. the 'title' field is set to match exactly the title from the data. This includes modification of the case to match and any transformations mentioned above.

2. if the match is a movie, the 'date' field is set to 4 digit year of production.

3. the type of match found (Movie, TV Movie, Video Movie, TV Series, or TV Mini Series) is placed in the 'categories' field.

4. the url to the page is added

5. the director is added if the match was a movie or if only one director is listed in the data (because some tv series have > 30 directors)

6. the top 3 billing actors are added.

7. genres added to 'categories' field (current list of genres are Short, Drama, Comedy, Documentary, Animation, Adult, Action, Family, Romance, Crime, Thriller, Musical, Adventure, Western, Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, War, Film-Noir, Music

8. imdb user ratings added to 'star-ratings' field.

HOWTO In order to use tv_imdb, you need:

1. choose a directory location to use for the tv_imdb database (you'll need about 1/2 GB of free space),

2a. run 'tv_imdb --imdbdir <dir> --prepStage all --download' to download the list files from Or,

2b If you have a slow network connection you may prefer to omit the '--download' flag and be prompted for what you need to download by hand. See <> for the download sites. Then once you have the files rerun without '--download'.

Note: '--prepStage' sucks a bit of memeory, but you can run each prepStage separately by running --prepStage with each of the stages (see --help for details).

3. Once you have the database loaded try 'cat tv.xml | tv_imdb --imdbdir <dir> > tv1.xml'.

Feel free to report any problems with these steps to


The '--prepStage' needs a lot of memory to run at a reasonable speed, over 200 megabytes with the current imdb data files. For there to be 200 megabytes free for tv_imdb, the system will need at least 256 megabytes of RAM. Running with less can take hours (or days!) - although fortunately this stage needs to be run only once after downloading the data files.

Could use a --configure step just like the grabbers so you do not have to specify the --imdbdir on the command line every time. Also this could step you through the prep stages with more description of what is being done and what is required. Configure could also control the number of actors to add (since some movies have an awful lot), currently we are adding the top 3.

How and what to look up needs to be option driven.

Needs some more controls for fine tuning "close" matches. For instance, currently it looks like the North America grabber only has date entries for movies, but the data contains made for video movies as well as as real movies, ot is it's possible to get the wrong data to be inserted. In this case we may want to say "ignore tv series" and "ignore tv mini series". Along with this, we'd want to define what a "close" match is. For instance does a movie by the same title with a date out by 1 year or 2 years considered a match (currently we're using 2).

Nice to haves include: verification/addition of programe MPAA/VCHIP ratings, addition of user ratings (by votes) to programes. Potenially we could expand to include "country of origin", "description", "writer" and "producer" credits, maybe even "commentator".

Heh, if the XMLTV.dtd supported it, we could even include urls to head shots of the actors :)




Jerry Veldhuis,