Author Topic: Groupings and Categories....  (Read 4783 times)

Offline impact

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Groupings and Categories....
« on: July 11, 2006, 11:46:48 PM »
I was playing around in MCE tonight - just looking around to see what I may have missed to record this week, and I went into the search function (My TV / Search). Now I hardly ever go and look at the categories - but tonight I did... and I think that Icetv have done a good job in categorising shows (found a couple of strange things - but thats for another post on another day! - ie. News etc)

So I went into something like Childrens shows... and selected Sort By Name - and to my surprise, the result was not as expected...  ::)

Sure - most things were grouped together - ie.. I saw things like Bananas in Pyjamas with a 'More...' next to it that I could click and see the multiple shows across many days.... But not all shows were actually grouped. As an example Bob The Builder / Postman Pat / Play School - all appeared as individual entries (No 'More' - but indivual items for 12/07 13/07 etc.)


Now the detective work - I am guessing here - that in the category search function - if the tv show has no subtitle, they get correctly grouped, however if the tv show actually has a subtitle - MCE is getting confused and is treating each show as an individual program in the search facility - it should still group them together....

So - now to the nuts and bolts - it is my belief from what I have read - that the way the MCE guide data is to be produced is somewhat like the following (with huge thanks to Nial in explaining it in the most simplistic way);

- a unique ID should be assigned to each unique show (ie 'Postman Pat - Episode 23'). the concept of a 'tv show' is that it is not attached to any date/time or channel - and is an entity that exists by itself.

- a 2nd unique id (often referred to as the seriesID) should be assigned to a series (in this above example 'Postman Pat' would be the series). Again - this series entity is not tied to a channel or particular screening time.

- a optional 3rd unique id (EpisodeID) should be assigned to each unique episode from each series (and is left null for shows that dont have multiple episodes).. (ie 'Postman Pat - Episode 23').. This can 'almost' be the same as the first unique show ID as there is a 1:1 mapping (but should not be inditical - but derived).

When a guide is generated - the root of the programs structure is the programs (using the first Unique ID - which also has an attached SeriesID and EpisodeID if the show is marked as 'episodic') - and then under that is the 'schedule entries'. These programs should NOT be duplicated (ie if a show is screening on ABC, ABCHD and ABC2 - ie '4 Corners' - then all these entries and associated repeats should all contain the exact same set of id's) - and the underlying schedule entry list is where you say what channels and times they are being shown.


Its not a big thing - but some of you that know me, know I can be a perfectionist at times - so maybe at some point in the future (and no hurry from my point of view) - maybe the technical staff can investigate the processes involved in creating the MCE guide.bin file transferred to the MCE machine....

I strongly believe that because icetv properly generates guide data from a db system, this is the only way to properly ascertain a fully functional guide system - and things like BRP just cant cut it in even attempting to create this info correctly....

Offline Russell at IceTV

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Re: Groupings and Categories....
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2006, 12:37:15 AM »
Hi impact,

Yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about here with them not being grouped correctly, because I spent a long time trying to figure that out once. It's actually not anything to do with whether or not the program has an episode...  and it's not anything to do with the date it's scheduled...  or even the ID numbers, which are consistent, and used pretty much like you said, from our database so they always come out the same.  Actually, from what I can tell, it's a bug in MCE :-)  The reason I say this is because I finally saw an MCE in the USA, and even using the standard Microsoft guide feed, it does the exact same thing, and there doesn't seem to be any reason for it there either.  It does it even on a series that has 10 different episodes, each with its own name and ID -- it might group 8 of them into a "More" section and show the other two in the main list, and there seems to be no pattern as to which ones it displays differently.  And if you schedule a series recording for it, it'll get all of them correctly, which confirms that it sees them all as having the same ID.  On the machine in the USA, you primarily see this in the "recorded" list, but for some reason it seems to happen more often on the search page in Oz.  Maybe there's a simple solution somewhere, but so far I haven't found it, even after picking apart our guide and trying lots (and lots!) of tests to try to understand it, and apparently Microsoft hasn't found the solution either :-)

Russell

Offline poedgirl

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Re: Groupings and Categories....
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2006, 12:14:11 AM »
I just noticed this while browsing the Comedy category, "The Simpsons" has 3 entries - only one of which has a "More..." section and the other episodes are in there.

Offline impact

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Re: Groupings and Categories....
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2006, 11:10:30 AM »
Yep - its a strange activity alright... but your probably right in it being a MCE bug... If I had enough hours in the day Id check out Vista and report the bug....

Luckily - its not a real big problem - I hardly ever go and look through the catgories (except maybe scifi - lol) - so seeing a double up within here is no big deal.


I was critical in the past of the double ups caused by BRP showing in My Recordings - just annoying, as that certainly is an often used feature. Knowing that these double ups were caused by the internal id's getting screwed overtime led to my quick assumption that it may have been the internal id's causing it in the categories section....


I can live with it for sure! Thanks guys.

Offline nac6

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Re: Groupings and Categories....
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2006, 07:50:32 AM »
"IceQuide stores all its program category information under the subcategory of general."

http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au/community/help-software/12974-changing-tv-guide-view.html?highlight=icetv

Can this be changed as it seems that some functionality is being lost?

Offline aswigon

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Re: Groupings and Categories....
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2006, 02:54:54 PM »
"IceQuide stores all its program category information under the subcategory of general."

http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au/community/help-software/12974-changing-tv-guide-view.html?highlight=icetv

Can this be changed as it seems that some functionality is being lost?


Yes this would be handy if it actually used the MCE categories instead of being subcategories under General.


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