Originally Posted by bdfox18doe
Rant Mode On...
Have you actually configured and maintained a PSIP generator in a local station environment?.. If you had, you'd know how impractical keeping EPG current is, which is partly why the FCC has let off on the update requirement after significant lobbying by MSTV and others.
I have installed 7 and maintain 4 PSIP Generators (for 5 stations) and as a beta test for one mfg.
In our case, it works like this for EPG:
1) Programming enters local data into Decisionmark's MediaStar, which merges that with network and syndicated data. No one else here has access to the programming schedule outside that department.
2) Data for 7 days at a time is pushed to us once daily from MediaStar.
We used to have this push set for immediate, pushing 7 days..but..everytime a change was made to the schedule within the current 7days, the PSIP generator flushed all the tables, causing a large data burst, and many recievers to lock up as they could not handle frequent large PSIP bursts.
So we changed it to a full push once daily at 7am, so any changes will not show up for 24 hours. We only send 48 hours as few if any receivers have enough memory to hold 7 days epg for 9 local stations. And, neither cable nor satellite use our OTA EPG. AFAIK, they aren't instantly pushing changes either.
Riddle me this.. do you (either as a manger or viewer) want the sole master control operator on duty for the ballgame F'in around in the traffic-automation system keeping the EPG current, rather than paying attention to the game looking for the last break worth $100k (less or more) that airs in the final 40 seconds of OT play?
With all the changes and issues present in the broadcast industry with the digital/ HD transition, current and updated EPG for a few program runovers isn't high on my priority list.
Rant Mode Off
Believe me, I'm on your side. It's just that this is a solution that has all the information in place. It just doesn't know how to get it done.
I don't pretend for a minute that it is easy. Things are the way they are today because that's all that is available. There isn't anything more elegant available because people aren't asking for it. It's chicken and egg.
There wouldn't be anything
in the EPG if it wasn't required. (See the pattern developing?) Many stations I see still can't even get the current
program in their EPG.
In light of managers' relentless push to get all
operators out of the process, most duties that used to be done by the MCR operator have been automated. Changing the PSIP data has to be automated or it won't get done at all. "Dynamic" program guide info isn't high on anybody's list because no one sees any value to it. I'm just suggesting an application. The data exists. It's "just" that the solutions for moving the data in real time don't exist. (I also know how easy it is for me to say "just," which is why I quoted it for sarcasm.)
DTV in general isn't easy, yet somehow it gets done. Audio is also at the bottom of the heap when it comes to priorities, but somehow it manges to get done.
As a broadcast engineer who spent a lot of time in maintenance, I know I don't drive the bus. But if someone all of a sudden decided we needed to have dynamic EPG, some manufacturer would be convinced with a purchase order to build it and it would eventually get dumped in my lap as my #1 priority to make it work, just like most of the tasks that today's engineers are doing.
Plugging data into tables is the mindless sort of stuff that computers do best, and humans hate the most. It's not that you need to invent the wheel here. It's just that the higway needs to be built. It's up to the software writer to build the road and put the on and off ramps in the right place. Not easy, but doable. Right now you wait for the truck to pull up at 7AM to load it with two days worth of bananas. There are a lot of reasons why that is good enough.
I also don't think that cable and sat pass your guide data. They have their own way of doing it, and because of the way it gets done, it's no better Besides, their guide makes money for them. Maybe there's a business opportunity for delivering dynamic EPG? You have the info, cable and sat do not.
I keep going back to captions. It ain't easy, but they do
pass yours because they have
to, and there's no incentive now to do it themselves. If there was, they'd dump yours in a heartbeat.