EPG123 install

An evolving, supported alternative to Rovi
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EPG123 install

Post#1 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:57 am

I tried to install EPG123 this evening. It was a total fail. I get no data for any channel. Some local channels are missing. I need help installing. I have an undergraduate degree in data processing and am 1/2 way through a master's in information technology at Arizona State University. While this is not an area I have expertise in, I know how to follow directions and read a manual. I need help.
middlfam
 
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Post#2 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:13 am

There is a trace.log file located in the epg123 folder that contains a log of the attempted updates. Please post the past 1 or 2 attempts at an update to look at.

Couple things to check off.

Local Channels:
When WMC does a tuner scan it does not scan the VHF channels (physical channels 2 - 13). They will have be added manually as described in the manual, page 12.

Guide Listings:
1) Ensure the green button is indicated on the lineup you are subscribed to in the EPG123 GUI as shown on page 5 of the manual.
2) Ensure there are stations selected for download in the GUI, page 5.
3) Ensure 'Automatically import guide data into WMC' is selected in the Scheduled Task panel, page 7.
4) Optional, ensure 'Automatically match stations to channels' is selected in the Scheduled Task panel, page 7.
5) Save & Execute, wait for completion, page 7.
6) If you did not opt for step 4, open epg123Client and click the automatch [# Number] button to subscribe the lineup service to the guide channel, page 9.

If it still doesn't work, I'll definitely need to see the contents of your trace.log file to diagnose further.
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Post#3 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:06 pm

Thanks for getting back to me. I did enough damage to something in WMC that I had to do a clean install of Win 7, uninstall and reinstall of WMC did not fix it. So it will take some time today to get back to where I can try these things. With a clean install of Win 7, now the ROVI guide is only working for stations up to my local channel 12. So I have to get this fixed. Hopefully, with EPG123. Thanks again for getting back so quickly.
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Post#4 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:16 pm

At what point do I add the missing local channels? Seems to me they need to be present for the programming guide to "know" to load the data for that channel. I have 5 tuners, so I have to use Tuner Salad. At what point do I run Tuner Salad? Tuner Salad works its magic only before WMC runs and looks for tuners. Normally, I run Tuner Salad and then run WMC and let it configure the 5 tuners. With EPG123 I run the CLEAN option, EPG123 launches WMC. That is too late for me to run Tuner Salad. The installation instructions say I might have to run the CLEAN option more than once. However, as soon as it completes one CLEAN process, EPG123 launches WMC. So do I close WMC and run ELG123_CLIENT again and select another CLEAN?
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Post#5 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:55 pm

I would think TunerSalad should be run prior to setting up WMC (between steps 1 and 2) if that is possible. There may need to be some reboots involved, but I've never used TunerSalad so don't know. Maybe someone can chime in and help out in answering that.

When you perform Step 1, you don't have to immediately continue with the setup. I just have that option in there to help. You can say 'NO' and do what you have to do to get TunerSalad applied.

The missing channels should be added any time after the WMC tuner scan is complete. The presence or absence of any channels in WMC has no impact on how epg123 functions. You could download and import anything at any time and match to any channel or not ... pretty flexible. If a channel is added later, it will initially have no guide information and will need to be "matched" to a listing in the database. This is true for all channels.

For the multiple runs of the CLEAN option, what was meant was is if the results of clicking the Step 1 button results in a prompt that says it FAILED, then you can try again and keep trying if you want. A failure prompt will suggest maybe booting into SAFE mode to perform the operation which will always succeed. If instead it is trying to open WMC to continue installation, then the "cleaning" was a success and no need to run again.

Step 1: Clean Start ... success
Answer NO to continue setup
Apply TunerSalad
Step 2: Open WMC and perform TV Setup
Add missing channels
Close WMC
Step 3: Follow the guide, keep in mind what was covered in my first response (those are the typical gotchas)

In your case (ATSC), automatch is your friend so use it if you can.
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Post#6 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:20 pm

Thanks again for getting back to me. Makes the frustration a little more tolerable. And the process this morning is showing better results. I know it is because of WMC. The programming data in EPG123 includes my missing channels. Local Fox and local NBC, which are 10.1 and 12.1. It is something in WMC that because I do not do a program guide download the generic look for tuners process does not find those, oddly it finds 10.2 though. So I need to manually add the missing stations before I let EPG123 load the programming guide data?
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Post#7 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:24 pm

I have tried running Tuner Salad at several different points in the process, same result, not an active tuner in WMC. WMC finds the 5th tunner, just does not let me select it. I think Tuner Salad updates something in eHome.

I do have data now, at least for the found stations. If I have to get rid of the 5th tuner, but end up with reliable useable programming data, oh well, that is not a bad deal.
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Post#8 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:28 pm

If Tuner Salad is updating something in eHome, wiping eHome out is an issue. And, even before EPG123, if I ran Tuner Salad once WMC was already running, the update to 32 tuners does not work. Like some file is locked by WMC once it is running.
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Post#9 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:44 pm

middlfam wrote:Thanks again for getting back to me. Makes the frustration a little more tolerable. And the process this morning is showing better results. I know it is because of WMC. The programming data in EPG123 includes my missing channels. Local Fox and local NBC, which are 10.1 and 12.1. It is something in WMC that because I do not do a program guide download the generic look for tuners process does not find those, oddly it finds 10.2 though. So I need to manually add the missing stations before I let EPG123 load the programming guide data?

With a normal setup with MS/Rovi, a package is downloaded that adds channels to your tuner configuration which will include 8.X, 10.X, and 12.X for your area. Since we decline the ToS for the guide, that information is not downloaded and we are left with scanning the tuners and adding channels that way. The problem is, WMC does not scan the VHF channels 2-13 and have to be manually added. You can see the process on the epg123 website ... on the Install page there is a video where I manually add my channel 9 stations.

For the 10.2 that was found, you will probably find that it is actually on a UHF channel, but has the same virtual 10.2 channel number. We have 3 sets of stations like that down in Tucson. For my tuner scan, I get 9.1, 9.2, and 9.3 on UHF physical channel 16, but I have to manually add 9.1, 9.2, and 9.3 on VHF physical channel 9 for good reception. Basically, the same station is being broadcast on multiple channels; the UHF channels will scan in, the VHF channels will need to be manually added.

It is probably best practice to manually add the stations before epg123 imports the data, but it really doesn't matter. If the channels already exist when epg123 imports the guide data with automatch on, then you are done at that point. If you add the channel later, then you will have to run 'epg123client.exe -match', manually match them in the epg123client GUI, or simply wait until next update. The only thing you have to be sure NOT to do, is try to do an import before WMC TV Setup has been performed... it corrupts the database and will have to be deleted.
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Post#10 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:51 pm

middlfam wrote:If Tuner Salad is updating something in eHome, wiping eHome out is an issue. And, even before EPG123, if I ran Tuner Salad once WMC was already running, the update to 32 tuners does not work. Like some file is locked by WMC once it is running.

And that's typically the problem, especially after a Step 1 Clean Start. After a clean start, when you open WMC it starts downloading updates using mcupdate.exe. This can take quite a while and will block some files in the ehome directory. You could, after you do Step 2, boot into safe mode and apply TunerSalad at that point. There is nothing running to block the files. Once you boot back into normal mode, would you have to run TV Setup again to add the 5th tuner? I don't know.
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Post#11 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:25 pm

I ran into the same problem this afternoon that I did last night, the problem that led me to do a clean install of Win 7. I really did not want to do that again. Grasping at straws, I got lucky. WMC finds all 5 tuners, first 4 are internal cards and the 5th is a USB tuner. When I ran into the same wall, scanning for tuners eventually fails with a severe failure at the very end of the process, I ran the scan again, but this time unchecked one of the first 4 selected tuners, which allowed me to select the 5th tuner, the USB one. Update completed with no failure message. Man I wish I tried that last night. However, that means I only had 4 tuners. I know, I need to get a life if I really need 5 tuners, but I do. Mostly because I record shows like Any Griffith and The weener Van Dyke show even though I do not watch all of them. Knowing that the 5 tuners found, but only 4 selected, was creating this error, I went back to the old way to see if I could get a successful outcome with all 5 tuners selected.. Ran Tuner Salad, let WMC scan for tuners and download the ROVI EPG. Low an behold, that worked. Guide is complete and all 5 tuners are in operation. I do not like being dependent on ROVI. I want to get EPG123 working. I also take care of 5 other HTPC set ups for family and friends. They too have enjoyed the substantial added benefits of multiple tuners and watching TV shows via a home theater PC. I am responsible, gladly so, for those setups as well I want us all to have a better approach than ROVI. EPC123, if I can get it to work, is clearly better. I know these are WMC issues. I know these are timing issues. It would be easy to unplug the USB tuner and start over from scratch with EPG123. Since timing of Tuner Salad and a non-selectable tuner seem to be problematic, I can try it all over again with only the 4 tuner internal cards. What do you recommend? I really do appreciate all of your time and help.
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Post#12 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:42 am

I could possibly suggest some things to try ...

You could disconnect the USB tuner, perform Step 1 and Step 2, get TunerSalad working, reconnect the USB tuner and perform Step 2 again, then continue to step 3.

You could perform Step 2 normally, agreeing to the ToS, but use zip code 00000 instead of your actual zip code. You could probably do that right now in your current configuration since you have it working with 5 tuners now. This should prevent MS/Rovi from intruding on the system later down the road.

There may be another possible solution in uninstalling tuner drivers and reinstalling sometime after Step 1... don't know what that would look like.

I think I'm going to have to invest in TunerSalad myself just to see how it works. Performing Step 1 tends to make TunerSalad and HD HomeRun Prime tuners a bit challenging for some reason.
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Post#13 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:02 am

Okay, I've taken a look at what TunerSalad does and how they do it. There is a registry setting modified and an mxf file imported into the database that increases the count. With that in mind ... when things go terribly wrong is when it imports the mxf file into a database that doesn't have any tuners set up in the first place.

1. Perform Step 1 - Clean Start.
2. Perform Step 2 with only 4 tuners.
3. Close WMC and run TunerSalad to increase limit to 32.
4. Perform Step 2 again will all tuners by going to [settings]->[TV]->[TV Signal]->[Set Up TV Signal]. You should be able to use all 5 tuners ... if not, Cancel, Reboot, and try Step 2 again.
5. Step 3.
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Post#14 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:52 pm

Will do. I wonder if the Tuner Salad developer would let you incorporate their zap into your code?
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Post#15 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:19 pm

middlfam wrote:Will do. I wonder if the Tuner Salad developer would let you incorporate their zap into your code?

That is something I try to stay away from doing. MCL/TunerSalad is still being supported and I feel they deserve the recognition and support for their efforts, so I don't plan on giving away their work ... just bad form.

GuideTool, on the other hand, appears to have disappeared... :think:
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Post#16 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:39 am

Again, thank you for your support and suggestions.

I ran EPG123client and cleaned out eHome.
I ran WMC through the tuner set up, selecting only 4 of the 5 tuners, had to deselect the 4th one so I could select the 5th one. (The 5th one not selected seems to trigger some bug in WMC.)
Exited WMC.
Ran Tuner Salad
Back into WMC and ran the tuner scan again.
Found and selected all 5.
Out of WMC
Ran EPG123, stand alone, not the client version.
Successfully merged data into the EPG in WMC. (I need to use a few more acronyms)
Launched WMC
Guide was complete, but channels were missing.
Added missing channels. Exited WMC. Ran EPG123 and reloaded the EPG.
(I am still confused about, even though it worked, manually adding channels. WMC asks for 3 pieces of data. Broadcast ID. Broadcast frequency. and call letters. For example. local Fox station is 10.1, call letters of KSAZDT and then the broadcast frequency. What I can find online says the broadcast frequency for 10.1 is 198. That does not work, WMC only allows for a 2 digit frequency. So I entered "10" and it seemed to work. I had to enter something. Local PBS is 8.1 (KAETDTV), 8.2(KAETDTV2) , 8.3(KAETDTV3), 8.4(KAETDTV4). I entered "8" for all of them as the frequency. That does not seem right, but it did work.

All of this to say, WMC with EPG123 is working. There are a few differences. Like local COZI network was 5.3. 5.3 is not in the data from Zap2It. However, I found that COZI is on 39.2 in the Zap2It listing. That channel works. But I wonder what happened to 5.3? Even if I add it manually in WMC, there is not program data for 5.3 in the file from Zap2It.

The really good news is it is all working. For the other HTPC setups I take care of, they do not have 5 tuners. The added channels manually is a bit of a pain.

Let me get everything stable and then I need to Paypal you some money.

Thanks again.
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Post#17 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:52 am

I am wrong about 5.3. It is no longer broadcast. COZI is 39.2 here in the Phoenix area now.
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Post#18 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:05 am

Awesome. Glad to hear everything is working out. If you want to look at the actual physical (Real) and logical (Virtual) channels you have in your area, take a look at tvfool.com. You will see that all your 8.X digital stations are on physical channel 8... the .X values are subchannels. Channel 10.X is physical 10 and channel 12.X is physical 12.

Anything in the VHF Lo and VHF Hi bands will need to be added manually since WMC won't do it.
Radar-Digital (1).png
Phoenix Radar Map
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Post#19 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:06 pm

I will look at this data as well. I found similar information at other sites. The data that I still am unsure of is broadcast frequency. The WMC entry does not say "physical channel," it asks for "Broadcast Frequency." I had to put in something. I am glad it worked filling in that 2 digit field with the physical channel.

What is different in WMC about scanning channels without first downloading their programming guide data? If the tuner scan is somehow driven by that data, how does it work at all with no programming guide? What happens if I re-do the tuner scan now that is has the EPG124 data in it? WMC is able to find those channels, just not unless the EPG data is there to guide the search?

Is there a way to modify the update schedule task? I thought I set the EPG123 update task to execute at midnight with the command to wake up the PC. I never turn off my HTPC, unless I am working on it, so it can record late night shows, like Fallon and Cobert, so I can watch them in the morning.

What do I do to keep the ROVI EPG update from running in the future? The tuner scan process displays a message that since I declined to download the programming guide I will be given a chance to download it again later.

I used to have McBackup. I cannot find in online anymore, not can I find any of the WMC back up utilities that used to be available. I should have copied McBackup off my hard drive before I reloaded WIn 7. What do you use for backing up WMC?

I looked at the channel logo additional data, the developers of MyChannelLogo no longer provide it for free. Cannot blame them, they deserve to be paid for their work, as do you. I am just not sure I need to spend money for that.


This was an interesting and frustrating couple of days. Thanks for walking me through all of this.
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Post#20 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:54 pm

middlfam wrote:I will look at this data as well. I found similar information at other sites. The data that I still am unsure of is broadcast frequency. The WMC entry does not say "physical channel," it asks for "Broadcast Frequency." I had to put in something. I am glad it worked filling in that 2 digit field with the physical channel.

They all mean the same thing, though WMC calling it a "frequency" irks me. Physical channel == Real channel == Broadcast frequency.

middlfam wrote:What is different in WMC about scanning channels without first downloading their programming guide data? If the tuner scan is somehow driven by that data, how does it work at all with no programming guide? What happens if I re-do the tuner scan now that is has the EPG124 data in it? WMC is able to find those channels, just not unless the EPG data is there to guide the search?

When you set up WMC normally with MS/Rovi, all the tuner information is downloaded (to include VHF channels) and there is no scan performed. I think an important thing to realize is the tuner setup and the guide data are 2 completely different things. Neither one drives the other and they are completely independent of each other. Running another tuner scan will still result in only the UHF channels being detected, it will not magically find the VHF channels.

middlfam wrote:Is there a way to modify the update schedule task? I thought I set the EPG123 update task to execute at midnight with the command to wake up the PC. I never turn off my HTPC, unless I am working on it, so it can record late night shows, like Fallon and Cobert, so I can watch them in the morning.

You can manually modify it Scheduled Tasks, or you can simply delete the existing and create a new task using the epg123 GUI.

middlfam wrote:What do I do to keep the ROVI EPG update from running in the future? The tuner scan process displays a message that since I declined to download the programming guide I will be given a chance to download it again later.

You are already protected. Since the ToS was declined, there will be no EPG updates from MS/Rovi ... they wouldn't even know what lineup type you are using (cable/satellite/OTA) let alone which provider.

middlfam wrote:I used to have McBackup. I cannot find in online anymore, not can I find any of the WMC back up utilities that used to be available. I should have copied McBackup off my hard drive before I reloaded WIn 7. What do you use for backing up WMC?

I actually don't use any, other than my nightly system backups. All you need is the latest files in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\ehome\mcepgX-Y\backup. There are 3 folders there; "lineup" for your tuner settings, "recordings" for you scheduled recordings, and "subscriptions" for stuff like internet TV, sports, stuff that really isn't active anymore in WMC. A "restore" of these file would involve importing the backup file into the database by "C:\Windows\ehome\loadmxf.exe -i [path and filename of backup file]".

middlfam wrote:I looked at the channel logo additional data, the developers of MyChannelLogo no longer provide it for free. Cannot blame them, they deserve to be paid for their work, as do you. I am just not sure I need to spend money for that.

Certainly understandable. EPG123 has the ability to include logos for your stations as well... the big, I think, selling point of MCLXL, other than providing a lot of WMC ready logos, is the ability to increase the number of rows in the guide and mini-guide. It can also display more than 2 hours of guide data on the screen but I find that gets a little crowded.

middlfam wrote:This was an interesting and frustrating couple of days. Thanks for walking me through all of this.

You are quite welcome.
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