EPG Setup for DVB-T2 for Freeview UK

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tarmacalastair
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:05 am

EPG Setup for DVB-T2 for Freeview UK

Post by tarmacalastair » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:47 am

Wow, the article at viewtopic.php?f=7&t=20 says "We're developing the VBox with the intention of simplifying home TV setup"....

The setup is anything but simple. It doesn't help that the user guide is 2 years out of date and the model numbers have completely changed. My model is 3442 on the box but all the manuals refer to 3342. The picture of the front of the box is completely different too!

I have years of experience in IT and I'm still struggling to get this working a day after receiving it. There is no way on this earth I could expect my wife or family to get it to work!

Anyway, help please:

1. My model 3442 has a rocker power switch on the back and what looks like a press button power switch on the front. What does the front button do? Do I need to press it once or press and hold it or do nothing with it?

2. EPG for Freeview channels. According to the article above: "EPG: Guide for freeview is captured over the air from the freeview transmission"

I've tried all sorts of things to get the programme information. I've run a complete Autotune but no EPG for most channels. As I only really want BBC HD, ITV HD and channels 4 & 5 in HD, to try to make things simple, I've reset the box to factory settings and then scanned a single transponder to give me a nice small list of 7 channels and for every one I get "String format is not supported". What does this mean? I've tried Live Signal and Live Signal with Pairing and then hit the Update EPG button but still the same information is displayed. We have 2 TVs in the house and a MythTV backend with Freeview and all of these fetch the EPG without problem over the air.

How do I get the EPG for Freeview channels please? I do not expect to have to run any XMLTV programs as this is supposed to be simple!

3. Buried away under Streaming->IPTV, there is a box labelled Enable EIT. What does this do? There is no explanation. When I tick the box there is no option to Save and when I return to this screen the box is no longer ticked!

Thanks in advance.

Here's my EPG at the moment:
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lgnch
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:56 pm

Re: EPG Setup for DVB-T2 for Freeview UK

Post by lgnch » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:08 pm

Hi tarmacalastair, the reason your EPG is out of date is because of the EPG details being sent by your broadcaster. We have the same problem in NZ in rural regions as the live signal EPG is just rubbish. This is nothing to do with the VBox and you will need to find a better xml file to get the EPG data from.

Can you tell me your area and I will see if I can find you one?

I will try and help with your other questions below:

1. This button is a reset switch. Hold to power the unit off for a soft reset. The switch on the back is a hard reset as it turns the power off. I find once setup there has been no reason to reset but its handy to have a soft shutdown if needed.

2. As above.

3. Buried away under Streaming->IPTV, there is a box labelled Enable EIT. What does this do? There is no explanation. When I tick the box there is no option to Save and when I return to this screen the box is no longer ticked!

You are right it is not very clear. As I understand it it is the Event Information Table and more details can be found here http://kodi.wiki/view/Add-on:VBox_TV_Gateway_PVR_Client

It is best for servicing KODI, but honestly I have found no use for it.

Hope this helps.

emaherx
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:46 pm

Re: EPG Setup for DVB-T2 for Freeview UK

Post by emaherx » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:36 am

lgnch this is not the case for UK Freeview, a full and reliable EPG is provided over the air in a standard format. I have no issue with the Freeview EPG on my VBox device and it worked straight away out of the box. The UK Freesat EPG is a different story altogether and requires an XMLTV file to populate the EPG. However if you have Freeview and Freesat on the one device you currently have to use an XMLTV file for both as the software won't allow 2 EPG sources.

Perhaps tarmacalastair needs to update his firmware as the Freeview EPG should work with no additional setup.

tarmacalastair
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:05 am

Re: EPG Setup for DVB-T2 for Freeview UK

Post by tarmacalastair » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:20 am

Hi again.

Ignch, thanks for the info on the power switch and the offer to help. However as emaherx says (and my experience with my TVs, MythTV, TVheadend, etc shows), the guide data for all Freeview channels should just work.

What I have noticed is that for my transmitter (Ridge Hill), most of the SD channels receive EPG data, while none of the HD channels work. When I scan C22 (482.2MHz. mode DTG-6) which carries 6xHD and 1xSD channels, no EPG is received for any channels (HD or SD). However when I scan most of the other multiplexes, EPG is received for all (I think) SD channels but no HD channels. My transmitter details are here - https://ukfree.tv/transmitters/tv/Ridge_Hill
I don't know what Modes DTG-3 and DTG-6 mean but could they have anything to do with the EPG not working?

Emaherx, thanks too for your info. In my case I have only 2xDVB-T/T2 tuners and no satellite tuners so, as you say it should work. My firmware (says it's up to date) is:

Code: Select all

Board Information
Hardware Revision 		A0
Manufacture ID 			0828
Product Number 			3442
Product Name 			3442-21
Software Versions
Software Version 		XTI_VJ.2.57   (Up to date)
Linux 				3.4.100_stm24_0309.3-rc1-B2064_h205-STSDK
Kernel Image 			VJ04
Boot Loader Image 		3.1.3
Disk Image 			IVB-2.0-25
Other things I'm trying:
  • Webgrabplus. It's great but it's been running over 2 hours now and still hasn't finished getting 7 days of info for 20 channels and it needs a PC to run on! (The over the air guide when it works is almost instant).
  • I've tried pairing the HD channels with the EPG for the SD channels. This does work for some but it's a fiddle to set up and not always correct for all programmes. Pairing the HD channels with the SD guide data also means that I can't delete the SD channels (I bought the box to get HD channels and do not want to see any SD channels in the listings)

Thanks, any further info much appreciated.

lgnch
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:56 pm

Re: EPG Setup for DVB-T2 for Freeview UK

Post by lgnch » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:30 pm

Hi tamacalastair,

It sounds like the EPG data is being corrupted, or is a format that the VBox does not like - this is not a fault of VBox but may be a weird channel interference or EPG modification at the source. We have the same as some information is in a non standard M3U format and causes string issues in some areas. Try using http://www.xmltv.co.uk/xmltv.co.uk.xml and setting the VBox to external XMLTV with this in the manual URL no username or password needed. If this solves your problem then the VBox is struggling to interpret the signal and you need to send your logs to the VBox team.

I must say that everywhere I look around the world, different freeview transmitters provide the EPG slightly differently, even if it is a transmitter on the same hill just facing a different way - you would think it would be standardized but NO. The lack of standardization may change at the end of this year to a lost court case in AUS between ICETV and NINE Network that set the need for standardized EPG even from freeview. Freeview have announced changes for NOV 2017, that will affect all EPG services worldwide. I know the VBox team will be onto this and I recommend trying the XML and see if that assists as it will help to highlight the cause to see if it is a VBox issue or EPG transmission issue that VBox can then diagnose for you.

tarmacalastair
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:05 am

Re: EPG Setup for DVB-T2 for Freeview UK

Post by tarmacalastair » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:30 pm

Thanks. I tried the XML but the Vbox ground to a complete halt for more than an hour. It would not stream anything or respond vie a the web GUI so I ended up power cycling it.

It's supposed to be "simplifying home TV setup", not making it impossible to use. I love the concept but come on please, Vbox Team, at least have the courtesy to respond on your own forum!

lgnch
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:56 pm

Re: EPG Setup for DVB-T2 for Freeview UK

Post by lgnch » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:58 pm

Hi Tarmacalatair,

First, please be aware that while I am not a VBox developer I am associated with the NZ and AUS office for VBox, so we are responding to you.

Second, your situation seems unusual. The issue you are facing is rare as I have not encountered it on any other unit and I am unable to duplicate the exact problem, but can confirm similar issues in rural areas where the EPG is poorly encoded on the freeview signal (again not a VBox issue but a freeview one). Try loading the xml directly in your web browser and let me know what you see?

It should have a format similar to this:

<tv generator-info-name="TVHeadend-4.1-2278~g398cf2c" source-info-name="tvh-Tvheadend"><channel id="3446d500aff81fefab5fa205087683d1"><display-name>xxxPublicPikUp</display-name></channel>

Then further down:

<programme start="20170326123000 +0100" stop="20170326133000 +0100" channel="cea9d980c5d22144453514fa88f4a1cb"><title lang="eng">Uganda Vision</title></programme>

If it does then, as this is the full channel list for the entire UK, it may take a very long time to process, so as long as the green bar is still moving/cycling then it is working and you will need to wait it out. It is not unusual for the web browser to stop, or look like it has stopped, as it takes a large amount of the CPU time to process the XML.

Once we have proved it works then we can look into a more specific one for your area.

If nothing happens after say, two to three hours, (I say this due to the size of this xml and the channel matching that is needed), then we will need to see if there is another issue. I will try and post a smaller one for you to just test the issue. Watch this post for the smaller xml. Once the issue is confirmed then we can look to a smaller file that is better designed for your area.
Last edited by lgnch on Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:48 am, edited 5 times in total.

lgnch
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:56 pm

Re: EPG Setup for DVB-T2 for Freeview UK

Post by lgnch » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:24 pm

Try this one, as it is only 5MB - will still take a while but less than the full 17MB one above, for now we just need to prove where the issue is, antenna signal, or VBox.
http://www.xmltv.co.uk/asset_xmltv.xml

Also, can you try mapping the SD data to the HD channels? The UK has a non standard string on the HD channels that maybe causing the problem and mapping the SD channels seems to work for others. Let me know if this works for you as it maybe a better and faster option than the XML file. This can be done in program guide under edit matching table. Remember use the live signal with channel pairing to make the edit matching table appear.

tarmacalastair
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:05 am

Re: EPG Setup for DVB-T2 for Freeview UK

Post by tarmacalastair » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:22 pm

Hi, thanks again. I tried the smaller xml and left the box while we went out for the entire afternoon (5 hours).
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Came home and checked browser to find it still hadn't even returned to the Match Channels option so I can't select channels to match. Vbox completely unresponsive via browser so I had to power cycle it and change back to Live Signal with Channel Pairing.
As I said in my second post, I've done the channel mapping of SD guide to the HD channels (for live signal) but I really only consider this a temporary workaround because:
  • the programme details for the SD and HD channels are not always the same
  • I want to remove or hide the SD channels altogether so only the HD channels are available but if I do this then the channel matching doesn't work
  • It's a bodge - the EPG is available for the HD channels. It works fine on other equipment so should work on the Vbox.
I have now scanned every multiplex available on my local transmitter, one at a time, and can confirm that the channels affected are both SD and HD channels but only on the multiplexes which carry HD channels. The lives signal EPG seems to work fine for those multiplexes which only carry SD channels. In my case (see my earlier link), C22 and C32 which carry HD channels don't work with Vbox EPG but all others do.

Hope this can help the developers to fix the Vbox.

User avatar
myface.book
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:40 am

Re: EPG Setup for DVB-T2 for Freeview UK

Post by myface.book » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:36 pm

This is really not a VBox issue, it was discussed on the Kodi forum in detail - http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=231378
I'm from the UK as well and for me channel pairing is the simplest solution, it simply works and I can live with the local/news programs not being the same
I suggest that you will download the XMLTV file locally to your network and try running the sync locally - just to check that the file structure is OK.

Another option is EPG collector - https://sourceforge.net/projects/epgcollector/
you can download a beta with vbox support https://sourceforge.net/p/epgcollector/ ... nstall.msi

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