UK - BBC2 EPG suddenly has several programs daily with 'No information' | Page 5

Discussion in 'Electronic Program Guide' started by Anthony Vaughan, February 3, 2019.

  1. Anthony Vaughan
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    Anthony Vaughan MP Donator

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    Hi CyberSimian

    I've really had a go at this and, surprise, surprise, there is a glitch in the EPG for a program tonight called Fleabag. It should be defined as being on BBC ONE from 22:35 - 23:00. It was displayed in my EPG as being from 22:45 - 23:00. However, when I do a complete rebuild, it appears between 22:35 - 23:00. So, a glitch did occur for whatever reason.

    As I see it, there are a few options:
    1. Use my app to clear the program table and let the MP system rebuild the EPG. To best achieve this, I will need to change the TVService to refresh the EPG every 60 mins with 'Always try to update' set OFF. My app should run every 15 mins to ensure the series information has been extracted and that phrases like 'New:' are removed. My app reseeds the program identity back to zero which is why I prefer this option to rebuilding the EPG and this option can be run during the night without manual interference.
    2. Manually perform a rebuild EPG. This has the disadvantage that I need to actually be at a terminal to instigate the process which probably means that we are well into the day and will need to ensure that all of the processes I have mentioned above have completed before any programs start to record.
    3. Activate 'Always try to update' to update the EPG entries and then switch it off again when it has been run. All a bit tricky as I would need to be watching to see when it runs and to turn it off before the next cycle. And then I would need to ensure that all program table settings are reverted to what they were before the EPG load.
    4. Develop a function that allows me to edit the EPG directly; i.e. the program table. This option has the advantage that I wouldn't have to worry about any of the above workarounds that involve resetting the state of program schedules and I could revert the frequency of EPG load back to the optimal value.
    I think I will go for the fourth option as I have already developed a windows application that I use to manage the MP database. All I would need to do would be to add a further function that allows me to make corrections to the EPG. I will also keep option 1 as a way to rebuild the EPG when the EPG goes haywire.



    Tony
     
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  3. CyberSimian
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    Very strange. I guess that this was using WebEPG? Possibly a temporary error on their part.

    I think that I would describe EPGs as an "inexact science". :( The broadcasters provide EPG info which is inconsistent or incomplete. :mad: As a result, I find that it is necessary to review over the morning cup of coffee the recordings that are scheduled for that day, and make corrections as necessary -- cancelling repeats of programmes recorded earlier (e.g. the second broadcast of "The Life Scientific" on Radio 4), or adding series-record reservations for programmes where there has been a change in the programme title (e.g. the recent Chris Tarrant Railway series, where an extra colon appeared in the title halfway through the series). :(

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     
  4. Anthony Vaughan
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    Anthony Vaughan MP Donator

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    Hi CyberSimian

    I agree about having to review the day's programs over coffee in the morning.

    Just a note that this sort of thing, with FleaBag, also happened to me when using the broadcast EPG, which is why I'm going to develop a corrections function.

    Tony
     
  5. Anthony Vaughan
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    Anthony Vaughan MP Donator

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    Hi CyberSimian

    Here's the screen I am developing to edit the EPG. Basically, you select the channel and date, together with the start time, and search on those criteria. Pressing Search returns 10 records whose start time is greater than or equal to an hour before the provided value; 19:18. You select the program you wish to change. This will populate the Program Data area below which can be edited to change the times and/or state. The processing will automatically edit surrounding records should your edit be outside of the boundaries of the existing recording times.

    upload_2019-3-4_19-23-27.png

    Do you think I've thought of everything? I would welcome any ideas you, or anyone else, may have to batten this down. For example, I am wondering whether I should remove the title from the program data area because this function is not proposing to allow all of the program fields to be edited. The trouble is that if I do that then you'll have to do a complete EPG load to correct the problem when you might not care, for this one event, whether the rest of the program data is pointing to the originally listed program.

    Any ideas welcome.

    Tony
     

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  6. CyberSimian
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    Does the tool allow the user to remove "New:" from the title, or is that better done by an automatic process?

    What about less predictable edits (e.g. removing the extra colon that appeared in the title of the recent Chris Tarrant Railway series)? My preference would always be to minimise the number of manual fix-ups that need to be performed, so in the Chris Tarrant case I created a second series reservation that contained the extra colon (then subsequent episodes would be recorded whether or not the title contained the extra colon). I would do that in preference to manually editing the EPG.

    One possible improvement might be to use one or more keywords to indicate the state, or have some helpful text on the panel that indicates what each numeric value means.

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     
  7. Anthony Vaughan
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    Anthony Vaughan MP Donator

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    Hi CyberSimian

    Thank you for your comments.

    My system is comprised of several components, one of which allows you to remove phrases from the program name defined by yourself. In other words, it is parameter driven. You may enter as many phrases as you wish to exclude.

    If you define a phrase to be removed as 'New:', that app searches for 'New:' in all programs and removes that phrase. If you then set up a schedule for any of the programs that used to contain 'New:', the Schedule name will be the name of the program without 'New:'. If you then rebuild the EPG the link between the schedules and the programs that had 'New:' removed will be lost. My app runs the processing to remove 'New:' every 15 minutes, so it quickly reinstates the status quo and the 'TVService' does indeed automatically setup the state of all programs that were previous set to record. The only issue is that we cannot predict accurately when the 'TVService' will do this. I have added the state field to the EditEPG facility to allow users to manually set the program to record when action is needed urgently to ensure a program will be recorded.

    I have another facility in my system that allows you to consolidate schedules where the EPG decides to do something unusual. For example; the episode name is sometimes included in the program title when it shouldn't normally be. My system allows you to define a consolidated schedule that sees the extra colon for a given schedule and removes it so that any other programs with the extra colon will be edited by my system to contain the normal name and, voila, those programs will record like any other program of that series.

    I developed all of this for my satisfaction to get around such issues. I started doing this with Windows Media Center and carried on when I switched to MP.

    The multifaceted nature of my system is why I don't include the phrase removal option in the EditEPG facility because it is handled elsewhere. The sole purpose of EditEPG is to correct EPG start and end time errors and to allow you to set a program to record (using state). However, I left the title field editable in this screen because I recognize that the EPG may be so wrong that it is displaying completely the wrong program and we need to replace that program with a program of another name. I don't really expect to ever use this screen to change the title but I've left it there so you can in an emergency.

    I'll let you see what the screen looks like when I have got it working.

    Tony
     
  8. Anthony Vaughan
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    Anthony Vaughan MP Donator

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    Hi CyberSimian

    Here's the latest version of the screen:

    upload_2019-3-5_11-9-54.png

    I've adopted fairly strict validation rules for this screen on the basis that the EPG needs to be rebuilt if there are extensive changes needed. To that end, I reject changes that would involve deleting more than on neighbouring record or a start time more than an hour before the schedule start time. For example, if you were wanting to edit the BBC News, that is starting at 13:00, to start at 12:30 and last for an hour, this screen would allow that. The processing would change the end time for bargain hunt to 12:30 and the start time for the news to 12:30, lasting for an hour.
    If I try to enter 11:30 as a start time for the news, the Save would fail for two reasons:
    1. The start time is more than an hour before the schedule start time;
    2. Because a start time of 11:30 for the news would mean that the process would have to go back to Wanted Down Under, which is three records away, thus breaking the one record rule. So, changing the start time for the news to 12:10 would work because it is less that an hour earlier, and the Bargain Hunt record would be deleted and the end time for the 'A1- Britain's...' would be updated to 12:10 .
    I think it reasonable to allow some flexibility, but when changes required become too complex, I think it is safe to rebuild the EPG.

    I welcome any ideas about quirks I haven't considered here.

    Tony
     

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  9. CyberSimian
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    That seems sensible. (y)

    I am not aware of any problems that might arise from performing these edits, but my knowledge of the behaviour of the EPG and "TV Server" is based only on observation and trial-and-error; I have never looked at the source code. :eek:

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     
  10. JJDoherty
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    Just an FYI on this, I use EPG Cleaner to clean up my EPG and ensure that things like "New" in a program title are moved to the description.
     
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  11. Anthony Vaughan
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    Anthony Vaughan MP Donator

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    Okay. I've finished the coding and will now try things out to see how they cope with the real world. Obviously, it will be a while before I know whether these solutions are adequate to the task.

    Tony
     
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