Typecast is a new kind of television guide (also called an electronic program guide or EPG). Typecast displays the results of your custom searches so that you can find the shows you care about. Conventional guides display a huge grid of programs arranged by television station or channel number and force you to scroll through it, desperately trying to find something you might be interested in. Maybe they let you type in a program title or even search for a keyword, but even that makes you do all the work of figuring out the title or the correct keyword.
Typecast displays only the television programs that you want to watch. Typecast helps you create custom searches to display the shows you are interested in. You can create searches for your favorite television programs or for programs you don’t even know about yet (e.g., HD action comedies with Pierce Brosnan or Charisma Carpenter).
Even if you already have a DVR (I have two Windows Media Centers, two Rokus, and two cable guides), Typecast is a great companion because its search capabilities are more advanced than any DVR or cable provider. Typecast can perform sophisticated searches to find your programs and help you verify your DVR’s upcoming recording schedule.
Download Images to use with Typecast searches (optional)
Windows Media Center (optional)
If you use Windows Media Center, you can install the optional Typecast WMC component. This enables Typecast to communicate with WMC so it can indicate which programs have been recorded and which are scheduled to be recorded so that you can check your WMC recording schedule directly in Typecast. You can also use Typecast to schedule programs to record on your WMC. (This can replace Ceton’s abandoned My Media Center application.)
To enable these features, download Typecast WMC Server and install it on your Windows Media Center 8.1 or 7 computer.
Note: Typecast does not enable you to watch television; it’s a guide to shows you want to watch.
Schedules Direct’s terms of service require software that uses their data to be provided free of charge. In accordance with their TOS, 12noon publishes Typecast for free. (Of course, I welcome donations.) 🙂
Typecast uses listing data from Schedules Direct. Schedules Direct is an excellent non-profit organization that provides reliable and inexpensive television programming data from Tribune Media Services (Gracenote). Schedules Direct has a rich history of providing quality television listings for personal use.
You need to subscribe to the Schedules Direct service in order to use Typecast. They offer a free one-week trial, so you can try out Schedules Direct and Typecast to see if they’re useful for you. Schedules Direct also offers a low-cost two-month subscription if you want to try it out for a bit longer before getting a full one-year subscription. As of March 2020, these cost USD$6 and USD$25, respectively.
If you already use software that consumes Schedules Direct listings (e.g., MythTV, DigiGuide, EPG123), you don’t need to purchase an additional subscription. You can use your existing Schedules Direct credentials with Typecast. (However, be sure those applications don’t update their listings at the same time because Schedules Direct allows only one authentication token at a time.)
Use the Lineups and Stations toolbar buttons to select your lineups and the stations in each lineup that you want to search.
Create searches to display the programs you care about. You can edit, delete, and copy searches you’ve created.
Press CTRL+N to create a new search.
You can search using the following properties:
- title (can use regular expressions)
- description (can use regular expressions)
- episode title (can use regular expressions)
- episode description (can use regular expressions)
- new, repeat, premiere , HD, SD, closed-captioned
- minimum season number
- minimum episode number
- earliest and latest start date
- earliest and latest start time
- earliest and latest original air date
- content ratings
- minimum movie rating
- earliest and latest movie year
- genres (or exclude genres)
- advisories (or exclude advisories)
- cast (all or any)
- production crew (all or any)
Searches can display reminders and send e-mails a certain amount of time before a program starts.
Your searches are stored in the
Typecast.xml file saved in your
Documents\Typecast\ folder (or whatever folder you specify in the Settings window on the General tab) so you can back it up or copy it to a new computer.
Programs and Schedules
Typecast displays the results of your custom searches in a single list, sorted by start date/time, title, and high-definition. You can sort the list differently by clicking a column header. Typecast automatically highlights programs that are currently airing (pink) or have already aired (gray).
When you create a search, you specify whether the title is bold, the title color, background color, border color, and images. This can help you quickly locate the results of a search. You can hide a search’s results from the list by clearing its check box.
Typecast’s detail pane displays information about the selected program:
- date and start/end times (including duration)
- episode title (if applicable)
- episode description (if available)
- season and episode numbers (if available)
- total seasons and episodes (if available)
- station name, affiliate, and callsign
- channel number
- station logo (if available)
- premiere or finale
- new or repeat
- high-definition or standard-definition
- original air date
- content rating (for the lineup’s country)
- movie year and rating
- genres, advisories, cast members,
- production crew
- cover art (if available)
Copy to Clipboard
Copies the schedule’s information to the clipboard.
Exclude Program From All Searches
Excludes the selected program from all searches. The program will no longer appear in the results. If you change your mind, open Settings, display the General tab, and remove the program from the list of excluded programs.
Exclude Program From Specific Search
Excludes the selected program from the matching search(es). The program may appear in new searches. If you change your mind, you can edit the search, select the Excluded tab, and remove program from the list of excluded programs.
Update Search to Exclude This Episode and Earlier
Typecast updates the search(es) to specify the minimum season and episode after the selected episode. If you change your mind or want to modify them, you can edit the search and use the Episodes tab.
Exclude Episode From Specific Search
Excludes the selected episode of the program from the matching searches. The episode may appear in new searches. If you change your mind, you can edit the search, select the Excluded tab, and remove the episode from the list of excluded episodes.
These commands are useful if you have a cloud DVR service and want to remember what programs you have scheduled to be recorded.
(Note that these commands are different from the Window Media Center feature, which actually schedules recordings on WMC.)
|(future) This specific airing of the program will be recorded|
|(past) This specific airing of the program was recorded.|
|This program will be recorded, but not this specific airing.|
|This was recorded, but not this specific airing.|
Mark This Program as Recording
Mark this program (or episode) as being recorded. Typecast will display one of the below images next to each airing of the program.
Mark This Series as Recording
Mark every episode of this program as being recorded. Typecast will display one of the below images next to each airing of the program.
Unmark This Program/Series as Recording
Clear the recording marks from this program or series.
E-mail This Schedule
This e-mails the schedule’s information to the default e-mail address. You must configure your e-mail information in Settings.
Main Window and Notification Area
The main window’s toolbar displays the available commands. You can specify the earliest date for the displayed schedules, configure your lineups and station channels, force a listings update. You can also export your schedules to a CSV file that you can then import into Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook’s Calendar.
You can use the following shortcuts to quickly change the starting date for displaying your program schedules.
- CTRL+Q — Previous week
- CTRL+W — Previous day
- CTRL+E — Today
- CTRL+R — Next day
- CTRL+T — Next week
You can use the Export Results toolbar button to save your program schedules to a CSV file. Then you can import this file into Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook’s calendar. In order to save you time, Typecast automatically saves the results to file named
TypecastResults.csv on your desktop.
Typecast adds an icon to the notification area so that when you close the main window, Typecast doesn’t exit but it does remove its icon from the task bar. If you prefer to keep Typecast on the task bar, you can minimize its window instead.
Use the notification-area icon to display the main window again or to exit Typecast. Single- or double-click the icon to display the window. Right-click the icon to select a command (including Open and Exit) from the menu.
Display and Actions (Reminders and E-mail)
For each search that you create, you can customize how it’s displayed in the list, including bold title, title color, background color, border color, and an image. (You can specify any image, but it’ll be limited to 16×16.)
Typecast does not come with pre-installed images, but you can use the link above to download a free set of thousands of images designed by FatCow.com.
You can also specify actions to occur a specified time before a matching program starts:
Typecast can display a reminder window or send a reminder e-mail some time before the program begins. You specify how long before the start time and the e-mail address(es).
Note: Hiding a search’s results by clearing its check box does not stop its actions. If you don’t want a search’s actions to happen, you need to remove them using the Actions tab.
Command Line Options
If you pass an
-exit switch on the
Typecast.exe command line, Typecast will update the listings, raise any pending actions (e.g., reminders and e-mail), then exit the application. This is useful if you do not want Typecast running all the time (even though it consumes only a few dozen megabytes of RAM and zero CPU time when it’s inactive).
You will find
Typecast.exe in a folder similar to this:
You can use the Toggle All toolbar button to quickly view the results of just a few searches. First, press the button to hide all searches. Then tick the check box of the searches you want to see. When you’re done, press the Toggle All button again to show all searches.
One way to quickly see the results of a single search is to double-click the search. This displays the Search window, and the search’s results are displayed in the bottom pane. Then click Cancel to exit the Search window.
A schedule’s context menu will display an Edit Search … command even though that search is unchecked.
A search may be listed in the Exclude command’s list of searches even though the selected airing is NOT marked by that search. This is because another airing of the program is in a different search’s results. For example, “The Fog” might be displayed by the search “Movies on channel 8,” and also displayed by search “Movies on channel 10.” If you right-click the Channel 8 search, the Exclude command will list both searches because they each have an airing of “The Fog” in their results.
The Exclude From Searches command only operates on displayed searches. So, if you don’t want to exclude a program from a particular search, untick that search, and then use the Exclude From Searches command. Afterwards, tick the search again.
Even after excluding a movie, it might appear later in Typecast’s results. Some movies have multiple IDs and each one must be excluded.
One feature of Typecast is that if a program’s schedule matches multiple searches, Typecast will combine the display attributes of the searches. This means that it’s possible to display all episodes of a program and highlight just the new episodes (or just the premieres and finales or just the episodes with a specific cast member, etc.).
- Create one search to match all episodes (e.g., set Title to Modern Family and set Background color to “Gold”).
- Copy that search (press the Copy toolbar button).
- Tick the New check box.
- Select the Display tab.
- Untick the background color’s check box.
- Tick the Bold title check box.
- Press the OK button.
Now the first search matches all episodes of Modern Family and displays them with a gold background color. The second search matches only new episodes and displays their title text in bold.
If Typecast and Windows Media Center use different sources for listings (e.g., Schedules Direct vs. Rovio), it’s possible for there to be station mismatches, and some WMC recordings will not match with the schedules displayed in Typecast.
Record series: You must select an episode in the future or WMC will return an error.
Record series: If the program displayed in Typecast does not match the callsign of the program in Windows Media Center, WMC will create a keyword search.
If a recording request has an error, all airings of that program in Typecast are marked with the error icon.