|14-05-09, 12:38 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2006
Tutorial - What Is An EPG?
What Is An EPG?
An Electronic Program Guide (EPG) is an on-screen guide to scheduled broadcast television or radio programs, typically with functions allowing a viewer to navigate, select, and discover content by time, title, channel, genre, etc. by use of their remote control, a keyboard, or other input devices such as a phone keypad.
EPG technology is a primary feature of digital television and radio and is accessed via signals received by several methods including EIT (Event Information Table) which is embedded in the digital TV transmission, through cable TV, satellite TV, cable radio and satellite radio.
By navigating through an EPG on a receiving device, users can see detailed information about the current program and about future programs. When EPGs are connected to personal video recorders (PVRs) a viewer is then able to plan his or her viewing requirements, usually up to 7 days in advance, and schedule recordings to a hard disk for later viewing. If the device is capable, an EPG can also enable one-touch recording of programs currently being screened. An EPG also allows the viewer to browse program summaries, search by genre or channel, immediate access to the selected program, reminders, and parental control functions.
Typical elements of an EPG comprise a graphical user interface which enable the display of program titles, descriptive information such as a synopsis, actors, directors, year of production, and so on, the channel name and the programs on offer from subchannels such as pay-per-view and VOD or video-on-demand services, program start times, genres and other descriptive metadata.
EPG information is typically displayed on a grid (figure 1) with the option to select more information on each program. Radio EPGs offer more text-based displays of programme name, programme Description, genre, on-air or off air, Series. artist, album, and track title information.
EPG data is typically sent within the broadcast transport stream or alongside it in a special data channel. The standard for DTV uses tables sent in each station’s PSIP, for example. These tables are meant to contain the program start time and title, and additional program descriptive “metadata”.
Some EPG systems, however, rely upon third party “metadata aggregators” (companies such as IceTV in Australia, Tribune TV Data, Gemstar-TV Guide in the U.S. and Europe, and Broadcasting Dataservices in Europe), to provide a higher standard of data content. Newer media centres (PC based multi-channel TV recorders) and Digital Video Recorders may use the internet to populate the EPG. This enables two-way interactivity for the user so that media download can be requested via the EPG, or related link, and remote programming of the media centre can be achieved.
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