Tuesday, April 9, 2013

XBMC Free Cable

I really like XBMC and especially the Free Cable plugin.
Most tv stations have deals with Hulu so I watch a bunch there, but CBS doesn't.
So I've used the Free Cable plugin to catch those shows.

Until recently when it stopped working.
The menu options were empty for those shows.
Thats the problem with web scraping code, it can break whenever the website changes.
I was at a loss util I stumbled upon this forum, which is just awesome.
There was a fix posted within the last 2 days.

It included a pastebin with replacement python code for cbs.py.
I reviewed it a bit (here's a good motivator to learning python better).
I gave it a try, replacing my file in appdata/XBMC/addons/plugin.video.free.cable/resources/lib,
and it worked!
I can see the episodes list again and watch shows.
So much better than trying to view them on the CBS site.
I'm not sure exactly why but it's better quality, plays smoother, and no commercials. Pretty amazing.

But even Hulu was having problems today.
Twice while I was trying to watch a show on Hulu, I was bumped to its 404 page. Random.
Oh the woes of internets tv. first world problems.

UPDATE 4/18:
Another fix to replace the cbs.py with another pastebin from same forum, and back to working again.

UPDATE 4/27: 
Again, another pastebin from the same forum to replace cbs.py. Fixed viewing shows.

UPDATE 9/19:
I haven't seen a new script yet and the latest one I have is broken since the CBS site changes. I decided to hack up the script myself, more details here.

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