WMC channel data updates coming for Europe

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JonFincher

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WMC channel data updates coming for Europe

#1

Post by JonFincher » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:45 pm

Hi everyone:

Jon Fincher from the Windows Media Center servicing team here. I’ve got some news about channel data updates coming for some European countries of which I want to make you aware.

Beginning in later this month, we’ll be updating channel lineup data in the WMC EPG for the following countries:
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
What this means is that WMC users in these countries will see updates to their channel lineup data – we’re making data on new channels available, removing data on channels which are not available anymore, and making some other updates.

Because channel information may have changed, you should check your scheduled recordings to make sure they’re still valid after these changes are rolled out. This is true whether you record shows by show name, or by channel and time. Your already recorded shows are safe and won’t be impacted.

Now, we’ve done these type of data updates before, and we haven’t put out posts like this covering them. So why tell you about these changes now? Well, two reasons. First, we’re updating data in a lot of countries – so many in fact that we’ll be rolling these changes out in a controlled manner over several weeks to ensure we’re not having any negative impact on customers.

And second, we were all here for last year’s EPG data changes, and I want to assure you that these updates are not the same. We’re not making any changes to data sources, processing methods, or delivery mechanisms, just updating the data to match what the in-country providers have. To use email as an analogy, we’re not changing the email server or how you connect to it, just what’s in the message we send you.

I’m happy to answer questions you may have, as best I can. You’ll get the best response from me here in the forum.

--Jon, MSFT

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#2

Post by Scallica » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:58 pm

Hi Jon,

Welcome back and thanks for the notice for European users!

Are you at liberty to provide any insight on the guide data outages that continuously plague WMC users, but more specifically when DST begins and ends?

Our trust in Microsoft has diminished so much, that one of our very bright community members (garyan2) created a wonderful application called EPG123 which loads guide data from Schedules Direct (from Gracenote) into WMC. The information from Schedules Direct contains complete and accurate channel guide data with little to no service interruptions. That's the way it should be.

Thanks.
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JonFincher

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#3

Post by JonFincher » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:13 pm

Hi Scallica:

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of insight to offer. There is a separate team which manages EPG data - WMC is a consumer of that data, so when I hear of outages, I report it to them, and they tell me when they've fixed it.

As for EPG123, I understand the reasoning behind it, and it sounds like a great community effort to keep WMC useful for people.

--Jon

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STC

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#4

Post by STC » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:29 pm

Hi Jon,

Thank you for talking to us.

As well as the guide provider (now Rovi) there is Microsoft server-side. The system all WMC clients talk to run by MS. It's here that we assume things fail mostly. Guide data doesn't really 'stop' hitting your servers from time to time, does it?
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#5

Post by roswellgrey » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:40 pm

JonFincherMSFT wrote: ...
We’re not making any changes to data sources, processing methods, or delivery mechanisms ...
Sorry to say this Jon, but that is depressing considering the current situation of the EPG reliability

A small number of weeks ago we had another complete lack of EPG updates ... it subsequently counted down to no data and then took another 10 days (of no EPG data) to appear to resume normal service.
But it didn't.
The singular update was a one off, and we are again counting down (3 days left in my case) to no EPG data.

Please prioritise getting the EPG updates regular / reliable again - imho this is more important than lineup changes that we have lived without for years ....

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#6

Post by IT Troll » Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:43 pm

JonFincherMSFT wrote:And second, we were all here for last year’s EPG data changes, and I want to assure you that these updates are not the same.
Yes indeed we were. We were also here for all the UK/European outages since then; in January, March, May, July, August, September and October (currently ongoing). In fact, 2016 has been the worst year yet for service reliability, with extended outages leaving people without any guide data at all for up two weeks. Each time we get no acknowledgement, response or explanation from Microsoft.

I'm afraid I and many others have completely lost confidence in Microsoft's ability to provide a reliable service and have switched to third-party solutions like EPG123 and Schedules Direct. As it stands the MS EPG feed is just too fragile to be depended on and I doubt hacking about with the channel lineup data is going to help anything.

Apologies for sounding sceptical and negative but this ceased be funny quite some time ago.

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#7

Post by Arfer Daley » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:52 pm

Oh Well the end is nigh Guide End Date:28/10/2016 07:30 am no more EPG unless GOD intervenes here's hoping fingers crossed and all that
If It Aint Broke
Don't Fix It

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#8

Post by STC » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:52 pm

^ For this topic your sig should be:
If It is Broke
Don't Fix It
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#9

Post by Crash2009 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:27 am

CableLabs Near Future movie doesnt even have a Tv in it.

http://www.thenearfuture.network

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#10

Post by Arfer Daley » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:56 pm

yes STC I thought about it but thought I might upset people
If It Aint Broke
Don't Fix It

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#11

Post by IT Troll » Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:05 pm

STC wrote:^ For this topic your sig should be:
If It is Broke
Don't Fix It
Or perhaps:

If it is broke
May as well break it some more


;)

JonFincher

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#12

Post by JonFincher » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:20 pm

Quick update on the UK EPG situation - I don't have an ETA yet, but we do have the team engaged to resolve it. When I know more, I'll pass it on.

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#13

Post by njc » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:36 pm

JonFincherMSFT wrote:Quick update on the UK EPG situation - I don't have an ETA yet, but we do have the team engaged to resolve it. When I know more, I'll pass it on.
Thanks for the update, Jon. What would be really useful to me (us?) is to have a mechanism put in place where these outages are formally acknowledged by MS with an indication that it's being worked on to fix. The current method of updating via the feedback site doesn't seem to be a reliable way of this working.

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#14

Post by Arfer Daley » Tue Nov 01, 2016 4:21 pm

Ditto thanks for the info jon I will stop holding my breath now as it was kinda hurting
If It Aint Broke
Don't Fix It

JonFincher

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#15

Post by JonFincher » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:38 pm

njc wrote:
JonFincherMSFT wrote:Quick update on the UK EPG situation - I don't have an ETA yet, but we do have the team engaged to resolve it. When I know more, I'll pass it on.
The current method of updating via the feedback site doesn't seem to be a reliable way of this working.
I agree about usefulness of the Connect site. The best way to get info to me about EPG outages is via this forum, and the MS Answers forum. I've got email notifications setup for both if you PM me about specific issues. I know Barb, our MVP, keeps her ear to the ground as well - she's extremely good about funneling issues to me as well. And while I'm not the best at replying and responding (ask my mom how often I call her :o), know that these issues do get passed to the team maintaining the EPG data feeds and servers.

--Jon, MSFT

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#16

Post by Arfer Daley » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:46 am

jolly hockey sticks got my EPG back yesterday 01-11-2016 not sure when but it don't look like its its here to stay as end date 16-11-2016 I hope this not going too be turned into a drip feed service as and when
someone remembers Come On MS Fix it we stuck by you all these years I've even upgraded one of my machines surely that's worth a few brownie points in the scheme of things
If It Aint Broke
Don't Fix It

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#17

Post by JonFincher » Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:56 pm

Thanks all for the reports on the UK data - can you check again today and see if you have a full two weeks of data? We want to make sure the fixes that were done are addressing the issue.

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#18

Post by roswellgrey » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:03 am

jon
As of now (11th Nov), the epg is showing an expiry of the 20th Nov i.e. 9 days worth of epg.
epg 111116.PNG
Unlike some instances before (where the expiry date was well ahead of the end of the actual data displayed), the data present does seem to "go up to" the expiry date, so that is an improvement :)
But we are (obviously) still short of the 14 days that it should be ...

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#19

Post by fre_ » Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:03 pm

Dear Jon,

Concerning the EPG data for BELGIUM, is it normal that I didn't receive an update after 1 November 2016? At the moment, no data is available anymore in my EPG for all channels.
Do I have to change anything in my settings?
Glad to hear from you.
fre

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#20

Post by IT Troll » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:31 pm

fre_ wrote:Do I have to change anything in my settings?
Yeah you need to change to a third party Guide data provider. Microsoft are incapable of providing a reliable service.

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