Freeview Finally Rolls Out Its EPG

Remember how Freeview has been promising a flashy electronic program guide for more than a year? The upgraded EPG is being officially rolled out this week.

Despite the lengthy development time, the EPG looks like pretty standard fare, with a seven-days-ahead guide across the available Freeview channels, and the ability to schedule recordings if your attached hardware supports it. The consensus amongst Lifehacker readers has long been that Freeview is largely a pointless branding exercise that confuses consumers, but at least the EPG represents a useful resource of sorts. In an ongoing demonstration of Freeview's take-it-slow approach, the EPG will be officially "launched" in September via a TV ad campaign.

If you've given the EPG a try (I'm out of the country for a few days so can't do it myself), tell us about it in the comments.

Freeview


Comments

    How is this different to what I currently see on my TV when I hit Guide? Or do I have to have a Freeview branded Digital TV to get this?

    (Freeview fail, I'm a geek and I don't understand what's going on with it).

      +1 This is absolutely no different that the EPG I have been receiving through my HTPC MediaPortal setup for the past 12 months.

      Perhaps they are actually putting the correct Rating, Season and Episode details in the EPG now. (I'm not going to hold my breath though)

      The only real difference you can hope for is that they will actually start & stop shows at the correct time. Somehow I doubt that will happen, the main reason they jerked it about in the first place was to stuff around people with add skipping boxes!!

    Anyone know if it will work with existing LCD TV's?

    So can those of us who are at the mercy of IceTV expect this to be an option with elgato devices, etc?

      Ice will be at the Mercy of FreeTv like everyone else. No doubt the FreeTV system will adjust the recording times dynamically so late running shows don't get missed. You will have to FF through the Adds instead of just skipping them that way you can't avoid the Adds that will be designed to be seen at FF speeds.

    "In an ongoing demonstration of Freeview’s take-it-slow approach, the EPG will be officially “launched” in September"
    hehe nice.

    So, hold on. . . I have to buy another box with another remote, just to use a TV guide?

    My TV already has a tv guide. The only frustrating thing about it is I have to select a channel before it will give me that particular stations schedule.

    You know if they actually made things work properly and make things backwards compatible they might get a bit more respect. Really how hard is it for them to actually broadcast the EPG for all channels in the standard format every TV can understand?

    Freeview is the free to air (but commercial and money making!) channels trying to stop people from skipping ads and transferring recordings off their non-freeview PVR's to a PC etc. Notice that some brands offer both Freeview and non-freeview boxes - like the Topfield and Beyonwiz personal video recorders (PVRs).

    The freeview TV guide is meant to be an incentive for people to buy a Freeview box, as they say the guide will be consistent across all Freeview boxes. However there is already a publicly broadcast guide that goes out over the air and which most TVs and set top boxes or PVR's can freely access.

    Some sceptics say, in order to push everyone towards Freeview boxes, that the commercial free to air channels may stop broadcasting the older international standards based TV guide that non-freeview boxes can access. I suspect if that happens, more people will move to IceTV to get their guides via non-freeview methods.

    All of this is merely monopoly behaviour. Down with freeview!

    Australian's don't need a new guide.

    We need program timeslots to be enforced so when something says it will start at 8:30, it starts at 8:30.

      Exactly, go to hell channel 7, with your retarded ten minute late shows!! I HATE YOU! BURN IN A HOLE!!

    Idiots Guide (not that you are idiots)
    * The new EPG will come out on devices up and coming. Few current devices support it. If your set top box doesn't, you will still be able to use your current EPG system (i.e. what you see when you hit the button right now).

    * The new EPG system is DYNAMIC. That means if a show runs 30 minutes overtime (for instance the soccer) your video recorder won't end at the expected finish, it will keep recording until it actually finishes.

    * It gives you a week's worth of EPG as opposed to the (commonly) 24 hour guide we currently have. This means you can set shows to record anywhere up to 7 days in advance.

    * You don't HAVE to buy a new box, you might just find the new guide worth the investment (that said, you might not).

    * If you don't see anything you really really want with regards to this service.. Don't stress.. YOU DO NOT NEED IT.

    Apparently no current Freeview devices can receive this flashy new EPG. It requires new "Freeview EPG" branded "phase 2" devices, which won't go on sale until next month sometime...

    Back in 2008 when Freeview first started talking about the EPG they said it would be backwards compatible with the first "phase 1" Freeview devices they've been selling for 18 months now, but they lied. Is anyone surprised?

      Just goes to show what a load of marketing crap Freeview is. It should be free and should not require any special new hardware just to have a fancy EPG etc. The whole reason behind Freeview as I understand things is to prevent users from skipping adverts etc. It bugs me that Freeview is being marketed as giving you new channels when in fact it isn't required at all to get those channels.

    I can't see why people are complaining. Don't you all watch channel BT now, and not FTA TV?

      Definitely. I don't recall the last time I wanted to sit down at a specified time and waste my valuable evenings after work watching rubbish on commercial Australian networks. Accidently caught a bit of A Current Affair the other week... big mistake. Felt my brain turning into porridge after just 10 minutes. In contrast, watching Game of Thrones in high definition on Channel BT is a godsend.

    I use Ps3 PlayTV. Perhaps an update to that software will provide dynamic EPG...

    so no update for those wanting to plug it into pc/phone line?

    How do you explain this to your grandma?

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