Schedual Layout: IceTV vs TiVo

Started by bundy23, October 30, 2010, 08:22:17 PM

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I've just set my parents TiVo up and I gotta admit I'm pretty jealous of the online schedule layout. IMO it blows IceTV's away.

Is there any way we can get a channel by channel view here?


I'll second that. I really hate the list view that IceTV presents. I grid view has been asked for many times in these forums. I don't know why IceTV doesn't have it as an option.


Pretty sure grid view EPG has a patent which is why Ice uses list view


Quote from: melmac on November 02, 2010, 02:35:19 PM
Pretty sure grid view EPG has a patent which is why Ice uses list view

Do you have any sources for this? I don't understand how you could patent (or copyright) a table view of data. That's like saying someone has a patent on pie charts, and anyone displaying any data as a pie chart is infringing on that patent. I understand that the data could be under copyright. But the way it is displayed on a web site - I don't know how this could be enforced. Gridded views of data exist in many applications - most project management tools, for a start. This isn't patented. So what's different about a TV guide?


EPGs themselves were patented, though the way that online EPGs and digital FTA EPGs are distributed may be different enough from the patent for it not to be an issue. That patent doesn't show how the EPG would be laid out (though it might describe it, I didn't read it in full).

The Macrovision EPG patents (earlier owned by Gemstar) are discussed in this article. The article has extracts from the patents, and the patent numbers for anyone who wants to look at the whole thing. This is how patent EP1377049 as cited in the article describes the grid view:
QuoteScreen (10) for a user interface of a television schedule system and process consists of an array (24) of irregular cells (26), which vary in length, corresponding to different program lengths of one half to one-and-one half hours or more. Because of the widely varying length of the cells (26), if a conventional cursor used to select a cell location were to simply step from one cell to another, the result would be abrupt changed in the screen (10). By restricting cursor movements to the regular cells, abrupt screen changes will be avoided.
The numbers in parentheses are most likely references to diagrams, not sizes.

The article also indicates that the European patent has at least enough standing in the UK for Macrovision to pursue violations of it quite vigourously :)
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I agree.  I find the TV Guide on the icetv web site to be extremely difficult to work with, if not unusable.  There are several websites and apps which show programs in this format, such as and the ON AIR Android app, and indeed, the EPGs built into my Sony TV and into my Humax PVR.

With the channel by channel format, one can readily peruse specific channels at a glance (including when jumping forward in time), see which programs overlap (across two or more channels), and see which programs follow which (on the same channel).

In my view, this format is absolutely essential, and a glaring omission.