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Topic # 128818 24-Aug-2013 14:57 Send private message

I've just received my new Freeview decoder under the Targeted Assistance Package. The device itself is a Hills HSMT-200A terrestrial receiver (DVB-T), connected to a Hills QPA18 high definition antenna. I live in suburban West Auckland. I have an external 500GB USB hard drive connected to the DVB-T so that I can record television programs as I used to on my analogue equipment.

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?

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  Reply # 883891 24-Aug-2013 15:16 Send private message

Do a search of this forum, this issue has been covered a number of times previously.

IIRC it is the Freeview EPG data that causes the problem.



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  Reply # 883906 24-Aug-2013 15:54 Send private message

I did a search in this forum and in the Freeview forum about this before I created this new thread. I couldn't find anything that addresses this issue specifically. Would you be able to link me to a specific thread that deals with this issue, please?

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  Reply # 883908 24-Aug-2013 16:01 Send private message


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  Reply # 883925 24-Aug-2013 16:21 Send private message

Interestingly mine always seems to randomly record either the TV3 broadcast, or the TV3+1 broadcast, but never both. I suspect that's because it only has a single tuner and can't record two consecutive programmes on different channels due to the overlap period, but I'm buggered if I can figure out how it determines whether to record from TV3 or TV3+1. It certainly doesn't seem to be associated with which which channel I select when recording from the EPG.



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  Reply # 883935 24-Aug-2013 16:43 Send private message

Thanks for that link, RunningMan. I must have been using the wrong search query. So there is a lot of discussion about the problem out there, and some of those discussions date back to 2010, or earlier. I wonder if/when there is likely to be a resolution to the problem. I also wonder why the rush to get us all onto digital television when it clearly is not ready yet?!

Is the Telecommunications Users Association of NZ (TUANZ) able to do anything about this mess? Maybe someone needs to "pull the plug" on this digital switchover until the bugs can be ironed out. I'm very concerned now, that my region will be switched over to digital transmission and I will not have the same or equal level of service I have enjoyed up until now, even though I have a digital receiver. Would the Consumer Guarantees Act cover something as wide-ranging as a claim against the NZ Government's whole "Going Digital" programme, or against Freeview and the broadcaster cabal in NZ? Something needs to be done to wake these people up! Don't replace a perfectly working system with one that's not functioning properly yet!

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  Reply # 883941 24-Aug-2013 16:57 Send private message

Frittmann:Is the Telecommunications Users Association of NZ (TUANZ) able to do anything about this mess? Maybe someone needs to "pull the plug" on this digital switchover until the bugs can be ironed out. I'm very concerned now, that my region will be switched over to digital transmission and I will not have the same or equal level of service I have enjoyed up until now, even though I have a digital receiver. Would the Consumer Guarantees Act cover something as wide-ranging as a claim against the NZ Government's whole "Going Digital" programme, or against Freeview and the broadcaster cabal in NZ? Something needs to be done to wake these people up! Don't replace a perfectly working system with one that's not functioning properly yet!


I wouldn't call this a mess - it's one (admittedly annoying) bug - pulling the plug on the analogue switch off is a pretty extreme solution!

You already have a better level of service - more channels, better picture, widescreen format, and almost working EPG. If you want to stay with the old system, you could always ignore the EPG data, and just program your record timer(s) as you always have.



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  Reply # 883952 24-Aug-2013 17:21 Send private message

RunningMan: If you want to stay with the old system, you could always ignore the EPG data, and just program your record timer(s) as you always have.
I'd love to be able to do that, to again have the ability to set start and stop times myself. Unfortunately that is not possible with Freeview, as they dictate that you can only set a recording time through the use of their (buggy) EPG software. At least with the old analogue DV-R device I could just tell it to record at the same time every day, or weekly, or whatever, and it would just do it. Sure, I need to be vigilant about schedule changes etc, but it is better than entrusting the "record series" feature on a Freeview DVB-T when they clearly haven't worked out how to implement it properly and I keep missing shows that I had set the DVB-T up to record for me. It just makes no sense updating to something that is no better, and in fact is worse, than what I already had. Sure the picture quality is better, etc, but if you don't get to see the shows you want to see, then what is the point of having a better picture quality?

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  Reply # 883954 24-Aug-2013 17:27 Send private message

Try a non Freeview box that doesn't enforce that restriction.



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  Reply # 883959 24-Aug-2013 17:37 Send private message

I can't just "try a different box", unfortunately, that's not a workable solution. As I mentioned in the OP, I received the Freeview DVB-T through the Targeted Assistance Package. They give you whatever they give you, and that's that. The problem isn't with the hardware, so I'm told, it is with Freeview's EPG. That's why I'm here in the EPG forum on GeekZone, trying to verify the claims of the Hills technician I spoke to today, that this is a known issue; that there is nothing that anyone can do about it other than wait for the broadcasters and Freeview themselves to get their collective butts into gear and solve this issue; and that that it is not likely to be resolved before my analogue TV equipment starts showing only snow.

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  Reply # 887556 31-Aug-2013 21:00 Send private message

Try deleting the +1 channel from the channel list so it cant record from it?




Richard rich.ms

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