The guide data service we contract with has lately been experiencing periodic, frequent downtime. TiVo (formerly Rovi) provides this cloud service in all supported countries. TiVo continues to investigate the cause of this outage. It has not yet been determined, but is server-related on their side. Has nothing to do with Roomie, and it is affecting all TiVo customers using this service/API.
There are only two real providers of this kind of global metadata in the world, so we’re working with TiVo as needed to help them resolve the issue. We have no insight into the details as the cloud side of this is maintained by TiVo.
While we do expect the short term issue to resolve in the near future, TiVo recently announced they will be ending support for the incarnation of service/API we currently use on April 30, 2020. They have also committed to release a new service/API at some point in the next few weeks to replace the one ending April 30. It is not clear why there is such urgency to shutdown the old API even before a new API has been released, but it is what it is. Our role is to handle it, not question it.
This has various important implications:
- All versions of Roomie/Simple below a future release will no longer be able to retrieve guide data after approximately April 30. You will need to be on (estimating) 6.1 or later of Roomie to retain guide metadata. Final details of this will be announced after we have moved to a new service/API.
- The exact future guide service is not yet finalized, and the time required to adapt to it is also unknowable, but we have allocated a large amount of time to try to make sure this gets done by April 30. We are evaluating all options, and expect to have new guide service in place before the cutover. However, April 30 is not very far away, so any unexpected issues could cause gaps.
- It is possible that small variations in country support may be part of this migration. This may include added countries or removed countries. Generally, removed countries would only apply to very small countries in the EU or Caribbean. Again, it’s too early to say.
- It is also possible that references to specific channels or providers or other finer details of that nature will not be valid in a new service/API. Re-defining either your Providers or Channel lists may be required as part of any such transition in the future. We plan to make every attempt to eliminate this issue, but it has a fair chance of being insurmountable.
As a reminder, guide service is not part of any purchase/subscription as per the Terms of Service, but we do at this time plan to keep it going for the foreseeable future – with the caveat that you must be on the latest release at all times as usual. This kind of cutover by TiVo is exactly the event anticipated when the Terms of Service were originally written that way.
While other products in our space such as Harmony long ago abandoned guide data altogether (back in 2012 or so, they also used Rovi before they removed all such features), I still love the linear guide, and feel there is no substitute for linear television with guides for some purposes. Going forward, after we adjust to a new service/API, we hope to expand the guide beyond its current feature set to explore OTT guide integration. In the meantime, the next few months are likely to be transitional as the wonderful service/API we have used for 9 years is finally shutting down.