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TV listings for UK Freesat

It's a lot of palaver to go look at TVGuide.co.uk or Freesat.co.uk when you want to check specific channels rather than seeing a small EPG-style grid (which means neither of those links will work on NetSurf 😉).

So I wrote a little bit of code to pull the necessary information from the Freesat website and show it in simple text form.

The first time you use it, run fsg (fsg = freesatguide) for a list of available channels. It'll reply something like this:

*fsg
Syntax: fsg <channel ID>

The available channels are:
  560 BBC ONE London HD     700 BBC TWO HD          10005 ITV1 HD             
 1540 Channel 4 HD         1547 Channel 5 HD          818 BBC THREE HD        
  819 BBC FOUR HD           712 BBC ALBA HD           710 BBC Scotland HD     
 1011 ITV1                 1030 ITV1 +1              1118 ITV2 HD             
 1101 ITV2 +1              1119 ITV3 HD              1103 ITV3 +1             
 1120 ITV4 HD              1107 ITV4 +1              1121 ITVBe HD            
20002 S4C HD               1525 Channel 4 +1         1510 E4                  
 1511 E4 +1                1515 More4                1516 More4 + 1           
28010 E4 Extra            28009 4seven               1541 Channel 5+1         
28007 5USA                28008 5USA +1             28005 5STAR               
17013 5ACTION              4017 5SELECT             27000 TRUE CRIME XTR      
27003 TRUE CRIME           4010 TRUE CRIME +1       27001 LEGEND              
27004 LEGEND XTRA         27002 LEGEND XTRA +1      28006 5Star+1             
20028 Sky Mix HD           4013 Challenge           20026 Sky Arts            
 7009 Food Network         7010 Food Network +1      5007 DMAX                
 5008 DMAX+1              17011 PBS America         24004 W                   
 5005 Dave                 5003 Drama               26000 Yesterday           
19012 Really               4027 BLAZE                4015 Together TV         
 9008 HGTV                18008 QUEST HD            18005 Quest +1            
18006 Quest Red           18007 Quest Red +1        18004 Quest               
 4034 Court TV            21259 That's TV           21262 That's TV 2         
  820 BBC NEWS HD           711 BBC Parliament HD   20014 Sky News            
 2005 Al Jazeera English   7016 FRANCE 24 (in Englis 3020 Bloomberg TV        
15005 NHK WORLD-JAPAN      4036 CNBC HD              4026 Arirang TV          
21257 TRT World            8005 GB News             21261 TalkTV              
20027 SportyStuffTV        1520 Film4                1521 Film4 +1            
21013 Talking Pictures TV  3022 4Music               3021 The Box             
12001 KISS                14005 Magic               12002 Kerrang!            
  822 CBBC HD               821 CBeebies HD          5004 DAYSTAR HD          
 8003 Revelation           8004 GODTV               20012 Sonlife TV          
  837 BBC Radio 1           831 BBC Radio 1Xtra       838 BBC Radio 2         
  839 BBC Radio 3           840 BBC Radio 4           841 BBC Radio 5Live     
  830 BBC Radio 5 Sports E  844 BBC Radio 6Music      845 BBC Radio 4 Extra   
  842 BBC Asian Network     849 BBC Radio 4 LW        846 BBC World Service   
  834 BBC Radio Scotland    835 BBC Radio nan Gaidha  836 BBC Radio Wales     
  843 BBC Radio Cymru       847 BBC Radio Ulster      848 BBC Radio Foyle     
  833 BBC Radio London     4001 Capital              4004 Capital Xtra        
 4002 Classic FM           8001 Gold                25000 Radio X             
21008 talkSPORT           20011 Smooth RadioUK       9000 Heart               
13000 LBC 97.3              832 BBC Radio Cymru 2   23007 Virgin Radio        
19002 RTE Radio 1         19003 RTE  2fm            19004 RTE Lyric fm        
19005 RTE RnaG             3003 BFBS Radio          21006 TWR                 
  951 BBC Information     18009 QVC HD              18001 QVC Beauty          
18002 QVC Extra           18010 QVC Style HD         8002 Gems TV             
11006 Jewellery Maker     21258 TJC HD              21260 IDEAL WORLD         
 4032 Create and Craft      105 Freesat Info        

137 channels are available.
*

The numbers shown are the internal ID numbers of each channel. You'll need to remember the number(s) for the channel(s) you want listings on.

When you have picked the channels you want listings on, simply run the program again giving the channel number as the parameter, like this:

*fsg 1520
Today's programmes:

04:00 Teleshopping (120 mins)
      Teleshopping.

06:00 Teleshopping (300 mins)
      Teleshopping.

11:00 Baby's Day Out (115 mins)
      (1994) Comedy starring Joe Mantegna, Joe Pantoliano and Brian
      Haley. Inept criminals kidnap a millionaire's baby. But when the
      boy escapes, there's mayhem as they try to track him down.  [S]

12:55 Ice Age: Collision Course (110 mins)
      (2016) Animated comedy. Scrat the sabre-toothed squirrel
      accidentally reactivates a buried spaceship, with catastrophic
      results. Voices include Ray Romano, Denis Leary and Queen
      Latifah.  [AD,S]

14:45 Megamind (115 mins)
      (2010) Animated adventure. There are unexpected consequences when
      a blue-skinned, large-headed alien supervillain outwits and
      defeats his superhero enemy. With the voice of Will Ferrell. 
      [AD,S]

16:40 The Chronicles of Narnia: The... (135 mins)
      ...Voyage of the Dawn Treader: (2010) Fantasy. Lucy, Edmund and
      their annoying cousin Eustace are transported back to Narnia,
      where they make a scary, perilous journey to save the land. 
      [AD,S]

18:55 Home Alone (125 mins)
      (1990) Classic family comedy starring Macaulay Culkin. A boy's
      parents forget to take him on holiday with them. Then two inept
      burglars turn up. Can our resourceful young hero outwit them? 
      [AD,S]

21:00 Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (160 mins)
      (2015) Part five of the Tom Cruise action-thriller franchise. The
      secret agents must bring down a terrorist group, but that's not
      easy when the CIA are hunting you down...  [AD,S]

23:40 The Masque of the Red Death (110 mins)
      (1964) Horror with Vincent Price and Jane Asher, based on an
      Edgar Allen Poe story. Satanist Prince Prospero treats people
      like puppets. But he can't escape the coming plague.  [S]

01:30 Sleepy Hollow (130 mins)
      (2000) Supernatural horror. Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci star
      in Tim Burton's blood-curdling Gothic tale of a headless horseman
      who's going round lopping folks' heads off.  [S]

03:40 Teleshopping (140 mins)
      Teleshopping.

11 programmes listed.
*

The program will attempt to fudge the times so that they always appear as the British times regardless of the timezone settings on your computer (this is important for me as I am on European time, and while TVGuide gets the time right, Freesat does not. Neither does Cisana's TV Listings app. Given that my satellite receiver picks up its time from Astra, and is therefore on UK time, it's quite a problem if the listings are out by an hour when wanting to watch or schedule a recording.
Obviously, this hasn't been tested with summer time as yet, but it should work...

You can also provide a channel by name but with caveats. The first is that it'll take longer to provide listings as it first needs to get the channel list, and the second more important caveat is that it is an exact channel name match.

For example fsg cbbc will not work as there is no channel called "CBBC" (the matching is not case sensitive). So you have to specify fsg "cbbc hd" (in quotes so it is correctly given as the name). It's simpler for "Legend", and "Film4"...

As an alternative possibility, you can simply end the channel name with a star, in which case you'll get listings for the first channel that begins with the given string. So a quick way to get the listings for BBC ONE would be fsg bbc*, and fsg talking* for Talking Pictures TV (you can't use "talk*" as that would match TalkTV).

You'll need the URL fetcher (version 0.58 or later), AcornHTTP (version 1.09 or later), and AcornSSL (allegedly 1.06, but we've had innumerable version 1.06 releases for YEARS).

 

Download fsg001.zip (4.10K)
For RISC OS 5 machines.

 

If you stick it into !Boot.Library, it'll be available as soon as you open a TaskWindow.

Before you ask...

  • No, it won't show tomorrow or next Tuesday.
    This will be done at some point.
  • No, it won't show you when the programmes are on in your local time (if not UK).
    Get in touch if this is something you'd be interested in.
  • No, you can't specify channels using the Freesat channel number.
    Get in touch if this is something you'd be interested in (it uses the system internal number as that's the quickest way, and since I don't have a Freesat receiver my channel arrangement is different...).
  • No, it doesn't cache the channel list, so if you're looking up multiple channels by anything other than the ID number, it'll need to refetch the list each time.
    This is an optimisation to be looked into, certainly.
  • No, it won't show Freeview (UK Terrestrial) channels.
    Nor will it show what's on Sky. Or Canal+. Or Amazon Prime. Or...
  • No, it doesn't run on Windows/Linux/Mac (unless you run RPCEmu maybe? ☺).

 

 

Your comments:

Please note that while I check this page every so often, I am not able to control what users write; therefore I disclaim all liability for unpleasant and/or infringing and/or defamatory material. Undesired content will be removed as soon as it is noticed. By leaving a comment, you agree not to post material that is illegal or in bad taste, and you should be aware that the time and your IP address are both recorded, should it be necessary to find out who you are. Oh, and don't bother trying to inline HTML. I'm not that stupid! ☺ ADDING COMMENTS DOES NOT WORK IF READING TRANSLATED VERSIONS.
 
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jgh, 25th February 2024, 19:53
Ooo, that's useful in an unexpected way. I've been toying with getting a TV service, and that list shows that NHK World is available. I've found that with so many services you can't find what's actually avaialble until you actually start using (and paying) for it.

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