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Comment: Minor clarifications.

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DVB (Digital Video Broadcast) channels have the possibility to receive programme information embedded in the signal stream.  This system is called the EPG (Electronic Programme Guide).  The information that is received depends on the TV broadcaster.  Some channels include very detailed EPG information, some include only a very basic EPG, and some don't include any EPG information at all.  Besides receiving the EPG through the DVB streamdatastream, you can also download EPG information from various internet sources by using the WebEPG plugin.

DVB EPG settings

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On this panel you can adjust various settings that control the way that MediaPortal TV Server handles the DVB EPG.

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General

Always try to fill holes

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If this option is checked, MediaPortal will override the existing EPG with the new information from the broadcast datastream when an EPG grab occurs.  This is useful for those programmes where the broadcaster initially places a vague or generic programme description in the EPG, but replaces it with a more-specific programme description nearer the time of the broadcast.

If this option is not checked, MediaPortal will store the new information from the broadcast datastream only if the EPG for that time slot is empty.  This occurs when the broadcaster adds the EPG information for the day that is 7 or 14 days in the future.

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Some care is needed in selecting channels on the "TV EPG Grabber" and "Radio EPG Grabber" panels.  You might think that you need to select all of the TV and radio channels listed on those panels, but in some countries this is not an optimal choice due to the way that the broadcaster transmits the EPG.  If you select all channels, you may find that MediaPortal grabs the entire EPG every time that you change channel or a recording starts.

If you enable EPG grabbing while timeshifting/recording, but watch or record TV or radio only occasionally, the EPG will become progressively more out of date, and may not contain the required programme information when you want to schedule a recording.  If this is your situation, you may prefer to use the EPG grabbing while idle option instead.

Note: On the "Manual Control" panel you can select the Refresh DVB EPG button to initiate an immediate grab of the EPG. However, an EPG grab occurs only if:

  • You have enabled EPG grabbing while idle and you are not watching or recording a programme, or
  • You have enabled EPG grabbing while timeshifting/recording and you are currently watching or recording an appropriate channel.

If neither of these conditions is true, the Refresh DVB EPG button does nothing.

Timeout

This specifies the number of minutes that MediaPortal will spend grabbing the EPG when you start watching or recording a channel.  The time required to receive a full EPG depends on the size of the broadcast EPG, and this varies from country to country.  A value in the range of 2 minutes to 15 minutes is suggested. 

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  • Some broadcasters transmit the entire EPG in every MUX (that is, each MUX carries the EPG for itself, plus the EPG for all of the other MUXes).  In this case you need to select only one channel on the "TV EPG Grabber" panel, and no channels on the "Radio EPG Grabber" panel.  Choose a channel that has good signal strength, good signal quality, and which broadcasts 24 hours per day; don't choose a part-time channel.  You also need to use the following settings:
    • Deselect Grab EPG only for channels on the same transponder on the "DVB EPG" panel.
    • Deselect Store data only for selected channels on the "TV EPG Grabber" panel.
    • Deselect Store data only for selected channels on the "Radio EPG Grabber" panel.
  • Some broadcasters transmit in each MUX only the EPG for the channels in that MUX.  In this case you need to select one channel from each MUX on the "TV EPG Grabber" panel, and no channels on the "Radio EPG Grabber" panel.  You also need to use the additional settings listed in the previous bullet.
  • Don't make the mistake of selecting every channel that you want to watch.  Depending on how your broadcaster transmits the EPG, selecting every channel may cause MediaPortal to grab the entire EPG from the first channel, then grab the entire EPG from the second channel, and then again from the third channel, and so on.  MediaPortal needs to grab the EPG only once during each refresh cycle (see below).

Note: On the "Manual Control" panel you can select the Refresh DVB EPG button to initiate an immediate grab of the EPG. However, an EPG grab occurs only if:

  • You have enabled EPG grabbing while idle and you are not watching or recording a programme, or
  • You have enabled EPG grabbing while timeshifting/recording and you are currently watching or recording an appropriate channel.

If neither of these conditions is true, the Refresh DVB EPG button does nothing.

Timeout

This specifies the number of minutes that MediaPortal will spend grabbing the EPG when the tuners are idle.  The time required to receive a full EPG depends on the size of the broadcast EPG.  A value in the range 2 minutes to 15 minutes is suggested.  The Timeout value does not include the time that MediaPortal spends updating the database.

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Here you can define how MediaPortal will present display the information it gathered with from the DVB EPG.  On the right side you will see all of the values that might be included in the EPG datastream.  The availability of these values depends on the broadcaster that provides the EPG.  Possible values are:

%TITLE%

Title of the current programme.

%DESCRIPTION%

Description of the current programme.

%GENRE%

Genre of the current porgramme.

%STARRATING%

Numerical rating of the current programme (example: 3).  The rating is one of ten possible values.

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Textual representation of the rating (example: *** for a 3-star programme).  This rating is one of five possible values.

%CLASSIFICATION%

Classification of the current programme.

%PARENTALRATING%

Parental rating of the current programme.  The system used depends on the country and the TV broadcaster.

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Inserts a newline (this variable always has the same value).

These variables can be are used to populate the Title and the Description of the programming programme information that is shown in MediaPortal.  To test how the result will look, select Test and you will see an example in the text areas below the button.  Example: the string:

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