Big Screen Blog

Media Center, Windows Phone7 + Silverlight Goodness..

Loading Custom EPG Data (and Channel Logos) in Windows 7

with 3 comments

I mentioned in my last post that I’d been trying to figure out how to load in custom EPG data into 7MC (Windows 7 Media Center). In Australia (since TVPack2008) – we’ve been unable to use anything except EIT EPG data (inband transmitted epg) – which even on a good day is pretty poor quality. Also – many Australians (and people in other parts of the globe) are missing epg data for various channels (in Australia theres no EIT epg data at all for pay tv) and want a way to load in the data.

Anyhow – I’ve now been able to successfully load in my own MXF epg data (via loadmxf.exe) – which was generated by an XMLTV to MXF converter I whipped up. The amount of metadata you can supply for the new format is really rich – and there’s all sorts of new fields to investigate and see if they are being brought through to the 7MC UI (some of the features such as providing an image for a show doesnt seem to be enabled on the 7mc beta).

I thought I’d post some screenshots to show what I’ve managed to achieve. Note that in the screens below – I’ve been loading in data against an unused DVB-T station (well – at least not by me) – ‘SBS Radio 2’ – and have supplied data for another channel ‘ABC1’. Most of the other epg data you see (on other channels) is from the EIT epg data (as your able to mix/match different sources). I did my testing this way as I was actually recording stuff on another channel at the time. (Heroes – on 7HD) – and didn’t want to screw anything up..

1. Example of a Program with supplied custom Title/Year/Star Rating/Description (and Channel Logo) :

ncapepg2

2. Similar example – but this time showing a Title/SubTitle/Description. (this is important for Australians as no Subtitle field is provided for EIT data – a real pain when recording a series).

ncapepg

 

3. Example of popup details screen (with star rating, year etc). The program is flagged as being a movie (something that doesnt work so well on EIT) – so the thumbnail displayed is different to normal shows (which normally has a tv screen). I tried to supply custom logo for the actual show (via similar technique to how the channel logo was displayed) – but this doesn’t seem to be used (yet?) by 7MC. Alternatively – an ID can be provided for the movie which i suspect can be used to retrieve the AMG metaservices (similar to how the DVD library works).

ncapepg3

 

4. Example of MiniGuide browse – again showing the Title/Subtitle/Channel Logo.

 ncapepg4

 

5. Example of sample Recorded TV Show (no thumbnail yet) – but the important bit is the Title + Episode Title are available now (unlike my other EIT based recordings).

 ncapepg5  

 

Being a ‘prototype’ solution – there’s still quite a bit of work to do to clean this import process up (and I want to see what other metadata goodies can be imported and brought through to the UI).

I’m not sure if or when I’ll release something to the public on how to get this going (whether it be the info on the MXF format – or some set of tools for getting the job done) – but thought I’d post this entry to show that at least it ‘can’ be done…

It also appears the MXF import tool also allows for lots of other things to be imported/manipulated on the system – such as configuration (potentially provides a way to add more than 4 tuners?), sports data, custom internet tv channels, tv series/season info and more… (lots and lots of things to investigate).. It appears that pretty much all the dynamic data in Media Center is stored in the same db and customizable via MXF files. (including a lot of the stuff that used to be in the VMC registry).

Stay tuned…

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Written by mobilewares

January 15, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Windows 7

3 Responses

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  1. Absolutely amazing work. I’m so glad there is someone here in Aus with your skills looking at this. Your findings make me feel confident we will finally have a usable epg again. While i’m sure Icetv are busy looking at this they haven’t released any information about windows 7 support yet.

    James

    January 16, 2009 at 12:17 am

  2. Nial you are the man. Power to the people my friend.

    Unknown

    January 19, 2009 at 6:02 am

  3. Awesome, I’m envious. Hand up for Alpha 🙂

    Anthony

    February 2, 2009 at 10:56 am


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