My analogue TV equipment included a Panasonic DMR-EH68 DVD recorder (DV-R), which has been running quite fine for about the last 5 years or so. Until I received the Freeview DVB-T, I have not had access to, nor need for, an EPG, as the DV-R required me to manually program (or G-Code) the list of shows I wanted to record. This hasn't been a problem for me up until now.
With the arrival of the Freeview DVB-T, I have struck a small snag. In fact, it is a mighty big problem really. When I choose to record a series on TVNZ1 or TV3, the EPG looks for, and finds, all occurrences of that show, not only on the channel I told it to look for them on, but also on the associated Plus1 channel. For example, if I want to record both 3News (6pm-7pm) and Campbell Live (7pm-8pm) on TV3, I select TV3 and select to record the series for 3News. Then I ask it to record the series for Campbell Live. That should be that. No problems, right? Yeah right! Instead the DVB-T schedules recording of 3News on TV3 for 6pm-7pm, and straight afterwards begins recording 3News again, from 7pm-8pm from TV3Plus1. After that it records Campbell Live on TV3Plus1 (having missed the earlier edition of the same show on TV3) from 8pm-9pm. WTF?!
When I rang the 0508-support number for the Targeted Assistance Package, they passed me on to a Hills technician, who informed me that this is a known issue with Freeview's EPG and it has nothing to do with the DVB-T equipment I have been sent. When I asked if the same situation would occur with another brand of DVB-T, the technician assured me that it would, because the problem is with Freeview themselves.
When I pushed further for more details, the Hills technician explained to me that the broadcasters provide their program schedule information to Freeview for inclusion in the Freeview EPG with a specific filename for each show. Apparently this filename is the same for any show that appears on both TV3 and TV3Plus1, as it is for any show that appears on both TVNZ1 and TVNZ1Plus1. The upshot is that the Freeview EPG determines that shows on both the main channel and the associated Plus1 are both of the same series, so recording the series will record from both the main and the Plus1 channel!
When I asked the Hills technician if there is a date when this could be expected to be resolved, I was told that it is pending an agreement on a file naming format, between the various broadcasters and Freeview. Pushing further again, the technician admitted that this was not likely to occur before my region's analogue television transmission is turned off.
Can anybody independently confirm all this for me? And if so, what can be done to give the broadcasters and Freeview themselves the “hurry up” to get this mess resolved before we are forced to have to use a system which is this buggy?