Author Topic: How accurate should the Ice EPG be??  (Read 6436 times)

Offline cbm8880

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How accurate should the Ice EPG be??
« on: September 20, 2010, 11:14:23 AM »
Hi All,

This is my first post and I have just recently started using IceTV with my Beyonwiz DP-P2. Maybe my expectations are too high/technically difficult, but I am finding that the program guide is significantly out at times. For example on GO!, Big Bang Theory is a program that we record but the show doesn't start until at least 5-10 mins into the recording even though we are using only 2 mins pre pad. There are many other shows where this is the case. Is this an IceTV issue? ie should the program guide be updated so that it shows the starting times of show more accurately?

Or am I expecting too much here?

Thanks.

Offline raymondjpg

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Re: How accurate should the Ice EPG be??
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010, 11:42:03 AM »
Hi All,

This is my first post and I have just recently started using IceTV with my Beyonwiz DP-P2. Maybe my expectations are too high/technically difficult, but I am finding that the program guide is significantly out at times. For example on GO!, Big Bang Theory is a program that we record but the show doesn't start until at least 5-10 mins into the recording even though we are using only 2 mins pre pad. There are many other shows where this is the case. Is this an IceTV issue? ie should the program guide be updated so that it shows the starting times of show more accurately?

Or am I expecting too much here?

Thanks.

In my experience the start/end times for shows provided in the Ice EPG are a pretty accurate reflection of what is provided (or at least published) by the TV stations. Ice can really do little more than that, and cannot anticipate actual start/end times of shows any more accurately than you or I.

In my opinion commercial channels deliberately start late so that the live viewer, even switching on a little late, will still be exposed to a period of advertisements before the show starts. Or it could be that they are just sloppy...
Topfield TF7100HDPVRt, Beyonwiz DP-P2, Beyonwiz T2, Beyonwiz U4, Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2200, Hauppauge WinTV-MiniStick 01240, Hauppauge WinTV-dualHD (x2)

Offline Mitch IceGuide

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Re: How accurate should the Ice EPG be??
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010, 12:20:59 PM »
Yes that's true. We suggest perhaps expanding your padding time and write to TV Channels. Although I believe this is done intentionally.

Offline prl

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Re: How accurate should the Ice EPG be??
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2010, 03:56:53 PM »
...
In my opinion commercial channels deliberately start late so that the live viewer, even switching on a little late, will still be exposed to a period of advertisements before the show starts. Or it could be that they are just sloppy...

The commercial channels now typically don't have ads between shows. They go straight from the end titles of one into the start of the next. This makes swapping to a show on another channel more difficult.

These games are definitely part of strategies to retain viewers on a channel. Have a look at the Wiki entry on Broadcast programming. You'll find the two techniques I mentioned under Bridging and Hot switching. I'm sure you'll recognise other programming techniques in the Wiki entry, too.
Peter
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Beyonwiz T2, T3 & T4 for testing

Offline raymondjpg

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Re: How accurate should the Ice EPG be??
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2010, 06:59:35 PM »
...
In my opinion commercial channels deliberately start late so that the live viewer, even switching on a little late, will still be exposed to a period of advertisements before the show starts. Or it could be that they are just sloppy...

The commercial channels now typically don't have ads between shows. They go straight from the end titles of one into the start of the next. This makes swapping to a show on another channel more difficult.

These games are definitely part of strategies to retain viewers on a channel. Have a look at the Wiki entry on Broadcast programming. You'll find the two techniques I mentioned under Bridging and Hot switching. I'm sure you'll recognise other programming techniques in the Wiki entry, too.

I'm sure all of that happens, but somewhere in the scheduling there appears to be a deliberate strategy of starting late in prime time. If you are not interested in the lead-in show, having to endure 10 minutes of the end of it would amount to an irritation.

News broadcasts around 6.00 pm usually start and end on time. It is somewhere between then and 8.30 pm that the delay seems to be introduced.

I haven't analysed the fine details of these delays, but maybe someone could coin some suitable buzz phrase for it.

Offline prl

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Re: How accurate should the Ice EPG be??
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2010, 07:20:45 PM »
...
In my opinion commercial channels deliberately start late so that the live viewer, even switching on a little late, will still be exposed to a period of advertisements before the show starts. Or it could be that they are just sloppy...

The commercial channels now typically don't have ads between shows. They go straight from the end titles of one into the start of the next. This makes swapping to a show on another channel more difficult.

These games are definitely part of strategies to retain viewers on a channel. Have a look at the Wiki entry on Broadcast programming. You'll find the two techniques I mentioned under Bridging and Hot switching. I'm sure you'll recognise other programming techniques in the Wiki entry, too.

I'm sure all of that happens, but somewhere in the scheduling there appears to be a deliberate strategy of starting late in prime time. If you are not interested in the lead-in show, having to endure 10 minutes of the end of it would amount to an irritation.

News broadcasts around 6.00 pm usually start and end on time. It is somewhere between then and 8.30 pm that the delay seems to be introduced.

I haven't analysed the fine details of these delays, but maybe someone could coin some suitable buzz phrase for it.

It's named in the Wikipedia article I linked to, and I mentioned the name they give it in the article.

Offline raymondjpg

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Re: How accurate should the Ice EPG be??
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2010, 08:00:28 PM »
...
In my opinion commercial channels deliberately start late so that the live viewer, even switching on a little late, will still be exposed to a period of advertisements before the show starts. Or it could be that they are just sloppy...

The commercial channels now typically don't have ads between shows. They go straight from the end titles of one into the start of the next. This makes swapping to a show on another channel more difficult.

These games are definitely part of strategies to retain viewers on a channel. Have a look at the Wiki entry on Broadcast programming. You'll find the two techniques I mentioned under Bridging and Hot switching. I'm sure you'll recognise other programming techniques in the Wiki entry, too.

I'm sure all of that happens, but somewhere in the scheduling there appears to be a deliberate strategy of starting late in prime time. If you are not interested in the lead-in show, having to endure 10 minutes of the end of it would amount to an irritation.

News broadcasts around 6.00 pm usually start and end on time. It is somewhere between then and 8.30 pm that the delay seems to be introduced.

I haven't analysed the fine details of these delays, but maybe someone could coin some suitable buzz phrase for it.

It's named in the Wikipedia article I linked to, and I mentioned the name they give it in the article.

What I am referring to is how did we get to the point where "...running a program late so that people ‘hang around’ and miss the start of other programs, or advertising the next program during the credits of the previous...." got to be 5-10 minutes delayed in the first place!

Offline prl

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Re: How accurate should the Ice EPG be??
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2010, 11:48:37 PM »
...
What I am referring to is how did we get to the point where "...running a program late so that people ‘hang around’ and miss the start of other programs, or advertising the next program during the credits of the previous...." got to be 5-10 minutes delayed in the first place!
Whack in 5-10 min of extra ads in the program following the news? The program following the news is often current affairs, that can easily be filled out with a few minutes of extra story to get its end to run late. Might even get a cross-promotion in there to stretch it out a bit :)

Offline jcritch73

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Re: How accurate should the Ice EPG be??
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2010, 06:08:00 AM »
After just switching back to the FTA guide due to 7mate and GEM issues, I noticed that the times on teh FTA guide are not just 8.30 etc but 8.38 as start or finishing times. How is it that this can be the case. I don't understand the entrire workings on how it all works in the background but have just had to increase my time padding to 40min to stop missing the end of a program. Missed teh end of the last 2 Lie to Me with only 30 min time padding.

Offline prl

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Re: How accurate should the Ice EPG be??
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2010, 08:57:59 AM »
After just switching back to the FTA guide due to 7mate and GEM issues, I noticed that the times on teh FTA guide are not just 8.30 etc but 8.38 as start or finishing times. How is it that this can be the case. I don't understand the entrire workings on how it all works in the background but have just had to increase my time padding to 40min to stop missing the end of a program. Missed teh end of the last 2 Lie to Me with only 30 min time padding.
The FTA guide has been doing this for some time. The entire EPG for each broadcaster is resent on that broadcaster's channel every minute or so, so technically it's not difficult to change the EPG on the fly. Most PVRs don't update timers as the FTA changes are made, so the changes in the FTA guide doesn't generally affect how timers work much. The need for padding remains as long as timers aren't updated as the EPG changes, and the problem of recording clashes between programs that shouldn't (by the schedule) clash will remain even if timers are updated on the fly.

The times that are in the FTA schedule are now supposed to reflect the actual start/end time for the programs.

Offline raymondjpg

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Re: How accurate should the Ice EPG be??
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2010, 09:51:36 AM »
After just switching back to the FTA guide due to 7mate and GEM issues, I noticed that the times on teh FTA guide are not just 8.30 etc but 8.38 as start or finishing times. How is it that this can be the case. I don't understand the entrire workings on how it all works in the background but have just had to increase my time padding to 40min to stop missing the end of a program. Missed teh end of the last 2 Lie to Me with only 30 min time padding.

That is interesting.

The FTA EPG currently streaming in the ACT is showing (for example) "Packed to the Rafters" starting tonight on PRIME (7) at 8.38 pm, and the subsequent show "Parenthood" starting at 9.39 pm.

Ice Interactive has start times of 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm respectively.

The iprime guide for the ACT at http://canberra.iprime.com.au/index.php/tv/schedule is also showing scheduled start times of 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm respectively.

How often is this happening? I really couldn't fault the commercial channels for owning up to delayed start times, but can you always rely on the FTA EPG?

Offline cbm8880

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Re: How accurate should the Ice EPG be??
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2010, 12:04:50 PM »
Quote
The FTA EPG currently streaming in the ACT is showing (for example) "Packed to the Rafters" starting tonight on PRIME (7) at 8.38 pm, and the subsequent show "Parenthood" starting at 9.39 pm.

I wonder if perhaps IceTV could 'relay' the FTA EPG info in these cases. I suppose that the PVR would need to connect a little more regularly too to update both EPG and timers. It may take a little more bandwidth on their servers, but would make their product a lot more useful!

Tech guys?
« Last Edit: September 23, 2010, 12:06:30 PM by cbm8880 »

Offline prl

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Re: How accurate should the Ice EPG be??
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2010, 02:57:25 PM »
Quote
The FTA EPG currently streaming in the ACT is showing (for example) "Packed to the Rafters" starting tonight on PRIME (7) at 8.38 pm, and the subsequent show "Parenthood" starting at 9.39 pm.

I wonder if perhaps IceTV could 'relay' the FTA EPG info in these cases. I suppose that the PVR would need to connect a little more regularly too to update both EPG and timers. It may take a little more bandwidth on their servers, but would make their product a lot more useful!

Tech guys?
It's not a technical question, but one of copyright. See my post here.

Offline raven-au

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Re: How accurate should the Ice EPG be??
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2010, 10:04:29 PM »
Yes that's true. We suggest perhaps expanding your padding time and write to TV Channels. Although I believe this is done intentionally.

So you claim that TV stations publish incorrect times to IceTV then update the start times over the air, sometimes days before then airing, and you have no way to cope with that?

Offline prl

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Re: How accurate should the Ice EPG be??
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2010, 10:53:53 PM »
Yes that's true. We suggest perhaps expanding your padding time and write to TV Channels. Although I believe this is done intentionally.

So you claim that TV stations publish incorrect times to IceTV then update the start times over the air, sometimes days before then airing, and you have no way to cope with that?
IceTV doesn't get the main part of their programming information from the TV stations. The random variation in start times from the published schedules is likely deliberate on the part of the TV stations, and padding is one way to deal with it.


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