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Big Screen EPG ‘pvrWatch’ – Real time TV ratings/rankings (with Silverlight 2)

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Since the Big Screen EPG Private Beta fired up in February this year – users have been (automatically/anonymously) submitting stats on their TV watching and Series recording habits to the website.  These stats are compiled each time user’s process a new XMLTV feed (an XML file containing custom Electronic Program Guide data) and import it into Windows 7 using Big Screen EPG. Then over on the website – every 30 mins or so – some background tasks have been processing, crunching and matching up the submitted data – to produce a real time TV Ratings system. (code named ‘pvrWatch’)…

In order to make these stats viewable by the public (via their browsers) – a web application has been created (powered with Microsoft Silverlight v2) – which allows users to browse / search this data – and provide a little eye candy along the way.  (Nb: a Media Center ‘Addin’ version of this application is also nearly ready and will be launched soon).

Since pictures tell a thousand words – here’s a quick run down on what this application is all about.

[pvrWatch Home Page]

When you launch the application (in your browser) – the following ‘start page’ is shown. This page gives you a quick overview of the ‘Top Recorded Series’ and ‘Most Watched TV’ – with tabs to nominate which country/region you wish to view.


NB: Currently only Australia, New Zealand and UK are provided (due to most of the users in the private beta being from Australia/NZ) – however the ‘global’ rankings (for series) are collated across all users (from all countries).  As the beta expands – and enough users from other countries are submitting stats – then these countries will also be added here.

You can then click through to view more details on Top Series and Most Watched TV (via the buttons at the bottom).

[pvrWatch Top 50 TV Series]

The Top 50 TV Series charts are compiled from the Series Recording Requests they have set up in Media Center.  On the home page – you can view the top 8 Series – and also view items for ‘Whats Hot/Whats Not’, Top Rated, New This week and more.



You can then drill down to an entire list of the Top 50 Series. For each entry – there’s some information such as a Star Rating, Relative Percentage Bar (compared to the most recorded series) – plus information on the ‘Previous Week/Months’ ranking. (so you can see if the Series is gaining or losing popularity – similar to a Billboard Music chart).


You can also modify the criteria for results (at present – you can nominate the country/region to view).


In (upcoming) future versions – user will also be able to drill down on a TV Series – and submit their own Star Ratings, Comments and Recommendations (which in turn will feed back into the EPG that gets imported to Media Center via Big Screen EPG).


[pvrWatch Most Watched Television]

The ‘Most Watched Television’ charts track users live tv viewing habits – and provide a ‘live’ Ratings system (similar in concept to the Neilson and OZTam ratings systems we have in Australia).  These stats are compiled by adding up the minutes each user spent watching a channel.  Currently the Most Watched ratings are available for Free To Air and Pay TV channels – in Australia, New Zealand and UK.


If you’re viewing Free To Air channels – there’s 2 views – one by ‘Channel’ and another by ‘Broadcaster’.  

Since there’s actually a lot more unique channels (or services) than what is displayed – these are grouped into parent ‘channels’ (which may have unique line up of programs).   For example – the entry ‘NINE’ covers results from the channels Nine Digital, Nine HD Digital, WIN SD + Win HD(Regional) and any other regional affiliates that essentially show the channel Nine schedule.

The ‘Broadcasters’ tab then groups results into the parent ‘Broadcast’ company – for example   TEN Network will include results from Ten Digital, ONE SD/HD (Network TEN’s sports channel)  + all the regional stations showing their content.  Similarly ‘ABC TV’ will cover all results from ABC 1, ABC 2, ABC HD, ABC Dig Radio, ABC Dig Jazz etc.

Australian Ratings by Broadcaster :


You can also use the inbuilt Search form to view historical results (by Month, Week, etc), nominate a different country and chose between Free To Air and Pay TV results.



Check It Out for Yourself….

If you want to check it out for yourself – you can either

a) sign up for the Big Screen EPG (and you’ll be provided with a direct link into this application from your account menu)


(for a limited time – so readers without Windows 7 or Big Screen EPG can have a look)

b) visit the page   and enter the password ‘tunedin’
(nb: if you are signed into already – you won’t be asked for the password).


Stay tuned for more….

More Interactive features (and some other interesting charts) will be added over time (so keep visiting to see what’s new).  As mentioned above – a Media Center Addin will also be made available (probably alongside the next BSE update) – so you can view pvrWatch from inside Media Center.



Written by mobilewares

May 13, 2009 at 4:23 am

Posted in Windows 7

One Response

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  1. Hey there! I’ve been following your web site for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent job!

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