3 November 2005
By Don Saunders
GShow TV 0.6.2
Following the instructions on GShow TV's website, I added the following line to /etc/apt/sources.list
deb http://staff.akumiitti.fi/~pvakevai/debian unstable main
After running sudo apt-get update to refresh the database, I then proceeded to install GShow TV by typing at a shell sudo apt-get install gshowtv. This also installed the package libgtk2-gladexml-perl (which allows programmers to use the gladexml part ofthe libglade library). Configuring XMLTV to download the programme listings was also
Running GShow TV for the first time, it was necessary to point the software to the XMLTV xml file. Although I had not configured either of FreeGuide, or Maxemum TV-Guide to display channel icons, with Gshow this was imperative, as there are no text descriptions in the channel panel, and consequently all the channels appeared the same. However,after installing suitable images files to the ~/.gshowtv/images folder, I was now ready to use the program.
You can see GShow in operation in the screenshot below (click the graphic to see it in it's full glory). Unlike the previous two applications reviewed, Gshow also provides a graphical user interface for a Personal Video Recorder. However, as I have not yet installed a tv card in the machine, I have yet to test this functionality. Therefore, for the purposes of this review I will confine myself to exploring the features of the software as a program schedule viewer.
Unlike both FreeGuide, and Maxemum, GShow TV takes an age to start up as it spends a long time parsing the xmltv file. From the screenshot above, you can see that there are four main panes. There is only a list mode available, and unlike Maxemum it can only show the programming for an individual channel. There is a useful favourites function, which shows the dates and times listing every occurence over the period for which listings are held, as well as a very useful search facility which helps to locate programmes of interest. The program is simplistic and there is limited customisation available. However, it performs the basic functions of a tv programme lister reasonably well.
As previously mentioned, GShow TV is more than just a TV listing, and I hope to test its functionality as an interface to recording programmes at a later date.