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Author Topic: EPG Setup  (Read 4484 times)

Yaobing

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EPG Setup
« on: August 27, 2020, 08:47:01 am »

The EPG wiki was last updated for Media Center 21.  It is still mostly accurate and provides correct information about EPG setup, with the exception that the mc2xml option no longer works.  This thread is intended to give users some more updated information.

The EPG (Electronic Program Guide) is set up when you initially set up television tuners, and is run periodically to update your EPG data.

When you run Television Setup wizard, you will reach a page where you need to choose an EPG option.  Your choices are:

1. mc2xml.

This has been the default option since MC21.  However, at the start of 2020, Microsoft stopped providing EPG data for Windows Media Center (with the cease of support for Windows 7).  This option is no longer useful except for people who use it to get data from their subscribed data source, such as Schedules Direct.  Please read discussions in this thread.

2. Over the air signal

This option is currently (MC22 or higher) available for ATSC and DVB users.  It uses your ATSC or DVB tuner to get the EPG data from on-air signals.  Please do not confuse the concept of the OTA EPG with the OTA TV signal itself.  If you only watch over-the-air ATSC TV channels, you may or may not use the OTA EPG method.  You can use the XMLTV method for EPG even if you only watch OTA TV channels.

The OTA EPG loading method for ATSC is not 100% reliable (but has become much better since MC22).  The EPG data contained in the TV signals are not always complete, and you will get spotty results, especially if the TV signal strength/quality is not high.  It is therefore recommended that you use other methods of EPG loading unless you have specific reasons to use OTA EPG.  By using OTA scan, usually you can get EPG data for the next 12 hours for ATSC, but up to a week for DVB.

This is a great option for people who only use OTA TV and do not want to spend extra money to subscribe to an EPG service.

3. XMLTV.

This option is a generic option for getting EPG data using a third-party application and importing the data into MC.  Examples of such third-party applications are EPG123, zap2xml, EPGCollector, etc.


There are two ways to run a third-party EPG application.

  • Inside MC.

    To use this option, check the "Run an executable to retrieve XMLTV data" checkbox, and fill in the next three boxes.  MC will execute the third-party application at a scheduled time, and wait for it to complete and then load the data from the result file.

  • Outside of MC.

    To use this option, uncheck the above checkbox, and fill in only the last box ("Load XMLTV results from this file:").  You will need to setup your third-party application to be run periodically to download EPG data into an xmltv file.  For example you can run it using Windows Scheduler.  MC will simply import the data in the result file.

CountryBumkin provided some detailed discussion on using XMLTV option.

4. PercData.

MC can download EPG from PercData.com if you have an account with them.  You can open an account at PercData, and pay for it, and then enter your user name and password in MC.

5. No Electronic Program Guide.

This option is provided so that you can skip EPG setup.  While skipping EPG setup is generally not recommended, there are situations in which this makes sense.  This is particularly true if you are setting up "Capture-only" channels.  For example you can setup a video capture device to capture video from your camcorder.  In this case EPG simply is irrelevant.
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