Pete's Collection of Curios


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DVBGuide is a utility to capture the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) data as broadcast over a digital television DVB network. The original intended purpose for DVBGuide was to provide Guide data for Windows® Media Center (using a loader utility provided). However, since the EPG data is written in the widely supported XMLTV format, DVBGuide may find other uses that require the capture of EPG data on a Windows platform.

The key features of DVBGuide are:

  • Runs from the Windows command line;
  • Uses any DVB-C, DVB-S or DVB-T tuner that has a BDA driver;
  • Flexible tuner selection mechanism with avoidance of in-use tuners;
  • Generates EPG data in XMLTV format;
  • Generates a matching ChannelInfo.xml file which defines the channel name, XMLTV identifier and virtual channel number mapping;
  • Option to directly generate EPG data in the proprietary Windows Media Center file format (pre-Vista TV Pack 2008 only);
  • Separate command line Guide loader utility for Windows MCE 2005 and Vista Media Center;
  • Support for Windows Media Center category classifications;
  • Option to set the PC system time from broadcast timestamp;
  • Option to write NIT, BAT, PAT and SDT tables as comma separated value files;
  • Silent mode for incorporation into a batch process.

Windows Media Center has its own Guide service provided free by Microsoft and its partners. So, why would anyone want to use DVBGuide instead? There are three main reasons:

  • The Media Center PC is not connected to the Internet making the Guide service unavailable;
  • The Guide service is unavailable in the region of use (but broadcast EPG data is available);
  • Dissatisfaction with the normal Guide service because of inaccuracies, bad mapping of channels to names used by the broadcaster, and slow response to scheduling changes.

New in version 0.90

This release includes the following main additions (see the accompanying user guide for more details):

  • Support for DVB-S satellite tuners;
  • New tuner discovery and selection mechanism;
  • Direct generation of Media Center Guide data as an alternative to XMLTV format;
  • New Guide loader command line utility supporting Vista and MCE 2005;
  • Partial support for capturing Freesat EPG data (this is still a work in progress).

New in version 0.93 beta

This beta release includes the following main additions:

  • Revised signal lock/acquisiation mechanism;
  • Generation of Guide data in MXF format for direct loading into Windows 7;
  • Support for channel logo references in Windows 7 MXF data;
  • Updated decode tables (based on observed broadcasts to date) for the UK's Freesat EPG (this is still a work in progress);
  • Various minor improvements to the meta data accompanying programme descriptions in the generated Guide data.
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