Guide Data Outage - 2017 Edition

Global guide related discussion. All Windows versions.
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GE01

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Re: Guide Data Outage - 2017 Edition

#1101

Post by GE01 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:33 am

All guide data is back through 7/25 (same as everyone else).

FIOS Queens, NY 11363

joeer77

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#1102

Post by joeer77 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:37 am

joeer77 wrote:
joeer77 wrote:Comcast Hillsboro OR guide fully functioning. Thanks to everyone on here for pushing this issue to Rovi/Microsoft.
I need to qualify my success statement. I have 3 WMC PCs. Only the living room PC that is on 24/7 was able to update the guide. I told it to update the listings via settings-->TV-->Guide-->Get Latest listings in WMC on Friday at 4pm. I checked again about 11pm Friday night and it was fully updated.

The other two PCs are not on 24/7 and have yet to update. When I attempt to update the same way, I receive a message in the system tray icon: "Errors during the last update. Will retry ~3 hours later". Maybe the server was working Friday night but then crashed from all the update traffic once word spread?
7-17-17 update: All 3 Windows 7 WMC PCs now have full guide listings for Comcast Hillsboro OR out to 7-26-17 at 6am. I ran manual update again in settings-->guide.

Space

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#1103

Post by Space » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:39 am

OK, so WMC downloads an encrypted compressed text file (*.enc) then saves that, then decrypts the file to get the compressed file, then uncompresses the file to get the text file and then re-encrypts the resulting text file file locally and saves it in the *.mxf file?

So it is essentially decrypting the file, then uncompressing it and then encrypting it again before it saves it to the *.mxf file?

gary94080

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#1104

Post by gary94080 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:53 am

I just go a full update 9:30 pdt

I did a manual update request.
end of guide date 7/26, end of actual data about 5pm 7/25
SD and HD channels, some new channels were added as well as some previously disabled channels.

San Francisco peninsula Comcast 94080
Windows 7 Home Premium Service Pack 1
Microsoft Security Essentials
Last edited by gary94080 on Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

n127

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#1105

Post by n127 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:54 am

Space wrote:OK, so WMC downloads an encrypted compressed text file (*.enc) then saves that, then decrypts the file to get the compressed file, then uncompresses the file to get the text file and then re-encrypts the resulting text file file locally and saves it in the *.mxf file?

So it is essentially decrypting the file, then uncompressing it and then encrypting it again before it saves it to the *.mxf file?
That's my theory, which may or may not how WMC does it.

foxwood

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#1106

Post by foxwood » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:05 am

JohnG wrote:I have been using WMC since XP as well and zap2it was a awesome guide data provider but I think the move to Rovi just goes to further hammer home that MS does not give a damn about WMC anymore and they are only even allowing it to exist now because they are contractually obligated to do so. It is a real shame because it is a wonderful product when it is actually supported.
There is a difference between WMC and the Guide Data that MS is currently providing for free. WMC exists, and will continue to exist and work even if MS stops providing guide data, as guide data from other sources can be used with WMC. MS is not contractually obligated to provide guide data - they do not do so in many markets outside North America.

Here's the "Windows Media Center electronic programming guide terms of service".

Apart from including the right to charge for guide data (with 30 days notice of such a change, and if they haven't don't that before now, they clearly aren't going to bother doing it now), the TOS also includes this line:
Furthermore, Microsoft may discontinue providing the EPG at any time
Here's a screenshot from the Terms as listed withing WMC itself:
Image

(the "go" link doesn't actually link you to the Terms of Service Agreement - surprise!)

nwsurfer

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#1107

Post by nwsurfer » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:18 am

Comcast 98004 (Bellevue WA) is all up to date now!
**After manual update**
Last edited by nwsurfer on Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

fritzilla

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#1108

Post by fritzilla » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:20 am

Comcast
Sacramento, CA

Never did the Sugarfree ZIp code fix

Today had no data until I did a manual (mcupdate -uf) update. After the update I have guide data through 7/25. The Guide details say through 7/26 6:00am but there are a lot of "no data" entries for the last 8 hours of that data.

So, are we still hosed, in that we should have data through 7/28 and now we are all part of the loop?

davidhp

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#1109

Post by davidhp » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:45 am

Cox Cable Las Vegas (89117) I have the EPG for all the channels I pay for (SD and HD) - I don't get any the pay channels like HBO etc. But the EPG hasn't updated with new data past 4 pm (Pacific Time) for Tuesday July 25th for about 3 or 4 days now. Based on recent history I am suspecting we are only getting new EPG data about twice a week now instead of every day, while I don't like this and wish ROVI and Microsoft would fix this too, they appear not to care.

n127

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#1110

Post by n127 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:49 am

SugarFree wrote:MAJOR UPDATE - PLEASE READ!

Long story short: Suzy was incorrect when she said that MS had fixed the problem. It's still ongoing. See below.

Long story long: Spoke to Rovi for an hour this morning, did some MAJOR troubleshooting together, connected a lot of dots, and now believe we've identified the problem/s - though we're going to need some help from a few members here to confirm our hypothesis about why only some of us received that updated file.

When I passed on my temporary 'fix' to Rovi last Monday, I suggested that the inability for most of us to *access* the data files probably meant a bad character somewhere in Rovi's compilation. Rovi spent a week looking for it and may still not have found it, if it exists. But in compiling data for a different customer, not MS, they DID find a few bad characters, in various channels, which were discovered and corrected Friday afternoon. They compiled a new guide for the other customer and pushed it out to them, but also all the other files for other customers including MS, at 5 p.m. PST. Four minutes later, at 5:04 p.m. MS pushed a correct guide to us - we think ALL of us, though that should be confirmed this afternoon - and a bunch of you got it. But... not everyone. And it would be amazingly weird co-incidence that it was only this 5:04 file that got through to some, though I can't explain it.

I believe there are character errors in the file, and they seem to affect different Providers differently. Some got (we believe temporarily) past it and got the guide, then dated until end of July 25. Some, like FIOS, are still in the 'loop' - downloading the same guide over and over, rather than the new guide. That's why our logs show the same file number over and over again. It's as if the character errors in it refuse to let the system move on to a new data file until this gets fixed. Which bizarrely - Rovi/MS may need to do before we can get the new files to process properly.

We believe the fix to some Comcast, Spectrum and Cox folks was temporary. That a continued error in the guide is now preventing *those* folks from getting the latest update, which goes until July 28.

Here's what we did, and here's what we're asking folks who did get the update Friday to check if you can, and post results here. I will pass the responses to Rovi this afternoon.

I remembered that someone here on Cox from Lorton, VA got the update. I asked my contact to boot into their guide and we reviewed what's there. All channels, yes - INCLUDING HBO LATIN - which many of you with the update said was the one exception to your full guide. And that guide goes to July 28, as it should.

Can those of you with Friday's update please check your guide's end date. Is it the 28th? Do you have HBOLHD data? If no to either of those, please check your logs. Look to see if in fact since Friday you've been downloading Friday's guide over and over again - as those of us on FIOS has been doing for the last three weeks. If so, please report back here with Provider, ZIp and OS (don't know if that would make a difference or not). For those folks who got Friday's update but have a limited package and channels 'disabled' - please go the main guide and look at your HD channels. They should all be listed there, even if you don't subscribe. Do you have ALL the premium channels? Do you have data in HBOHDL? Please let us know.

Thank you for anyone willing to help here, but please remember when you do reply, MY NAME IS SugarFree. No variants. :)
It looks like from this MS page about Guide format to feed to WMC that it needs to be encoded in UTF-8 file format. The MXF files used by WMC are encrypted, but the ones described in that page are meant to be used with a tool called LoadMXF by programs such as EPG123 that gets the guide from a third party source and upload them to WMC. UTF-8 files; when viewed in Notepad look like regular text files until you encounter characters in the range 128+(Non-English characters), which would appear as garbage, but it's completely normal. Each Unicode character can be represented by up to 4 bytes, all of which will look like garbage. Notepad has an option when browsing for text files to open them as UTF-8 files, which would show these characters correctly. So seeing garbage in a text editor that doesn't understand UTF-8 doesn't indicate a problem. WMC could see these just fine.

I noticed that in my guide, despite being full, that HBOLe/HBOLW have "No data available" for some shows. For example, on Friday July 21 at 10:00 PM to 11:05 PM ET, it shows "No data available". Checking TV Guide and online.tivo.com/start/guide reveals that the show's title is "El Jardín de Bronce". I am not sure if it's the title or description, but both TV Guide and Rovi don't show description for that show. I do see the letter "í" in "Jardín" in some shows in WMC Guide, so it's not that letter. So tech support personal need to use the proper software to view the raw files, or at least the proper option(Open as UTF-8). Software developer however are probably aware of how to view UTF-8 files correctly.

superdave6653

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#1111

Post by superdave6653 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:01 am

Comcast
84403 Salt Lake City

Have not received guide data beyond 7/26 4am (actual end is 7/25 at 6pm)
I think the guide data was last successfully downloaded on 7/15

Attempted manual update no luck same end date

I also have some HBOle and HBOlw programs with "no data available"

So I guess I am stuck in the loop too

Space

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#1112

Post by Space » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:36 am

n127 wrote:...
It looks like from this MS page about Guide format to feed to WMC that it needs to be encoded in UTF-8 file format. The MXF files used by WMC are encrypted, but the ones described in that page are meant to be used with a tool called LoadMXF by programs such as EPG123 that gets the guide from a third party source and upload them to WMC. UTF-8 files; when viewed in Notepad look like regular text files until you encounter characters in the range 128+(Non-English characters), which would appear as garbage, but it's completely normal. Each Unicode character can be represented by up to 4 bytes, all of which will look like garbage. Notepad has an option when browsing for text files to open them as UTF-8 files, which would show these characters correctly. So seeing garbage in a text editor that doesn't understand UTF-8 doesn't indicate a problem. WMC could see these just fine.

I noticed that in my guide, despite being full, that HBOLe/HBOLW have "No data available" for some shows. For example, on Friday July 21 at 10:00 PM to 11:05 PM ET, it shows "No data available". Checking TV Guide and online.tivo.com/start/guide reveals that the show's title is "El Jardín de Bronce". I am not sure if it's the title or description, but both TV Guide and Rovi don't show description for that show. I do see the letter "í" in "Jardín" in some shows in WMC Guide, so it's not that letter. So tech support personal need to use the proper software to view the raw files, or at least the proper option(Open as UTF-8). Software developer however are probably aware of how to view UTF-8 files correctly.
Yes, I would not be surprised if the problem was related to improper UTF-8 encoding coming from Rovi (which I believe has been mentioned here as them saying they saw "invalid characters"). It could also be a valid UTF-8 character that WMC, for some reason, does not like.

When it gets this error, it just stops processing the file.

I am betting on the improper UTF-8 character encoding, as if the input parser were to see that, it would not know what to do since the encoding tells it how many of the following bytes are part of the same character. If it is not an expected, valid format, it may not know where the next character starts, so it is unable to continue (it can't necessarily "skip over" the bad character although there are probably ways to handle it better than just aborting all together).

Mike88

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#1113

Post by Mike88 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:40 am

OTA Chicagoland -

I did a manual update & my upper channels got updated to match the lower ones. Both now go out to 7-25-2017 at 7:00 pm.

Insectoid

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#1114

Post by Insectoid » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:09 am

SugarFree wrote:We believe the fix to some Comcast, Spectrum and Cox folks was temporary. That a continued error in the guide is now preventing *those* folks from getting the latest update, which goes until July 28.

Here's what we did, and here's what we're asking folks who did get the update Friday to check if you can, and post results here. I will pass the responses to Rovi this afternoon.

I remembered that someone here on Cox from Lorton, VA got the update. I asked my contact to boot into their guide and we reviewed what's there. All channels, yes - INCLUDING HBO LATIN - which many of you with the update said was the one exception to your full guide. And that guide goes to July 28, as it should.

Can those of you with Friday's update please check your guide's end date. Is it the 28th? Do you have HBOLHD data?
Cox South San Diego (CA) here. I have following this thread, and have done manual updates (mcupdate.exe -uf -dbgc) nearly every day, since guide data ran out on July 4. It finally succeeded early this morning, not Friday (the biggest clue was the lack of a "Errors during the last update" message in the log), restoring data for all channels up to July 25. (8 days, including HBLWD, which I don't care about, but it's there and is complete.)

This is obviously Friday's update, though, so... are you saying that the problem is still there, and that it will run out again? We're nearly ready to take the plunge and switch to EPG123 if this keeps up...

Space

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#1115

Post by Space » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:53 am

Just speculation here, but I am guessing that Microsoft decided to limit the variables by stopping the updates coming from Rovi and just working to massage Fridays feed until they found and corrected (or probably just removed) all the malformed character encodings. Once they fixed that single feed by filtering out all the bad stuff, they let it out in wild as a test to see if everyone would report they are getting full data.

I think the reason there may still be some spotty areas (like missing data for some shows on the HBO Latino channel) is because they are just getting rid of the entries with bad data rather than correcting that data. This is just so they can confirm that these are the areas causing the problem. Once they identify all the problem areas, they can have Rovi correct the data at the source so that it is no longer necessary to filter out the bad encodings (because there would no longer be any).

Hopefully Microsoft can implement a system that can detect any malformed encodings in the future and notify someone so they can work with Rovi to get them fixed ASAP. But I don't have high confidence in this.

But like I said, this is just total speculation on my part.

Rickt1962

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#1116

Post by Rickt1962 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:07 am

SugarFree wrote:Rickt962 wrote:

> Everything is working !

Are you sure? Your guide should go to July 28th. I'm guessing yours does not, but stops 2 to 3 days before that. If you check, please let us know.
Yep the guide stops at July 25 7:30 pm

Better then having No Data Available which I did have on most of my channels. I am sure they will have the rest soon. Just got to be patient the sky is not falling :crazy:
HTPC W7 pro with HDhomerun with 6 tuners scanned by MCEbuddy uploaded to network to be watched by KODI

cjsacksteder

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#1117

Post by cjsacksteder » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:42 pm

I've tried to read all posts to understand things. FWIW, I had gained data for all but 10 channels through July 18 after the zip-code switch last week. Today I tried to switch to EPG123 which crashed in setup and after going back to MS/Rovi just to record tonight's shows, I got all channels to July 25 7pm.

Comcast Digital State College, Windows 7.

foxbat121

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#1118

Post by foxbat121 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:43 pm

Checked this morning. Both my FIOS and Cox in NoVA got guide update automatically to full listing. Both run out at 7/25. We will see what happens after that.

SugarFree

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#1119

Post by SugarFree » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:52 pm

Thanks to everyone who posted their info. I've passed it on to Rovi, and also hope to speak with them later. One odd thing that's cropped up: a few folks have mentioned missing HBOHDL data. I checked both those channels (FIOS), and have everything.

Perhaps MS tweaked the file we got last night, and if so it wasn't quite identical to the file everyone else got Friday. Just speculation....

SugarFree

HighVolTag3

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#1120

Post by HighVolTag3 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:03 pm

long time lurker checking in.


st louis area 62298 Charter guide updated this morning after failed attempts last night previously no HD guide info Listings end day

7/26/17
Last edited by HighVolTag3 on Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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