HOWTO: TVA Automatic Searches

The autosearch feature in TVAnyWhere has caused a lot of feedback and comments. Read on for a closer explanantion of all the options available tweaking the search results, and a thorough walkthrough of the search syntax. This HOWTO only applies to the autosearch feature in build 2.1.10 or higher.

The autosearch feature of is a very powerful tool to help navigate the vast program database TVA offers. The current version is pretty rough round the egdes, but it does the job. Read on for a closer explanantion of all the options available to tweak the search results, and a thorough walkthrough of the search syntax.

Defining an Automatic Search actualy consists of three phrases; defining search terms, sdetting search options and deciding what to do with matching programs. First of all open the Preferences dialog and find the Automatic searches tab. Check the box to enable automatic searches altogether. Click Add… (or Edit…) to define an automatic search.

Defining search terms

The search term naturally defines which text to look for in the programs. Depending on options you set later on different fields can be searched and case sensitivity changed. But for now lets concentrate on the terms.


Simple phrase: The above will match all programs where the phrase occur

eckbo eia gjertsen klm hærland nærum antonsen

Multiple phrases: The above will match all programs where any of the phrases occur

"Bruce Willis" "Nicolas Cage" "John Travolta" "Pierce Brosnan"

Multiple words as one phrase: The above will match all programs where any of the names occur. To group several words into one phrase, enclose them in quotes.

"norsk humor" -eckbo

Negation: The above will match all programs were the first phrase occur. Matching programs where the phrase preceeded by a minus-sign occur will be excluded. Multiple negation terms is allowed.

film "Bruce Willis" "Nicolas Cage" -"Hugh Grant" -drama

Complex combinations: Using these rules you may mix and match to create complex selections.

Note: In the current version it is not possible to do AND searches. Multiple phrases, either normal or negated, will be OR-ed together. One matching term out of many will include the program and one matching negating term wil exclude it.

Search options explained

Okay, onto the options. The options available limits programs to include in the search, decides what fields to look in and so on. Most of these a pretty self explanatory. Use the time boxes to limit searcher to specific times of the day. Limit to specific channels by selecting one or more (use Ctrl) in the channel list.

Check the boxes to decide what fields you want to include in the search. To enable case sensitive searches check the box for this on the right. You can also disable the search term functionality described above by checking the box for Use Exact Phrase. Only programs that match the search term exactly as written for one of the selected search fields will hit.

Note: Use Exact phrase may be combined with Case sensitive search.

Handling matches

Now you’ve written search terms and set options for your search. Its time to decide what to do with them. Basically all matches will be shown in the autosearch tree, below the search it belongs to. To see the autosearch tree use Ctrl-T to toggle between the complete channel view and the autosearch view in the left pane.

You may also show the autosearch tree below the channel tree. To do this, find the Other visual settings tab in the Preferences dialog and check the box Show automatic search result below channels. To hide autosearch entries without hit, check Hide if empty.

You may enable alerts and automatic actions for those alerts on the matches too. Simply check Auto-set alerts for hits and then Auto-enable custom actions for hits. You may change the default custom action for hits as well. This will override the one set for the channel the program belongs to. Stay tuned for a closer explanation of Custom Actions, and enjoy the Automatic Searches!

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