10 Years Too Late: Freeview Launches An EPG

10 Years Too Late: Freeview Launches An EPG

 title=Wow, Freeview. You just launched your EPG? The same technology that was selling DVRs six years ago? What took you so long?

The EPG is a seven day program guide, supports series link recording and also supports video and text streaming while viewing the EPG.

Having the EPG is an important step forward fro digital TV here in Australia, but the fact that it’s only just launching here now in 2010 is shocking. But not too surprising, I guess, given their campaigning against non-Freeview compliant DVRs…


June 28, 2010 Freeview, Australia’s free digital television service, has announced that transmission of its new Electronic Program Guide (EPG) begins today, a key milestone in the development of free digital TV in Australia. With a raft of innovative, user-friendly features, the Freeview EPG is the result of close collaboration between all the free-to-view networks and will deliver a significantly enhanced viewing experience for consumers across the Freeview channels. Freeview CEO Robin Parkes said: “The new Freeview EPG will give viewers broad functionality that has been developed in response to consumer demand for more program information, easier navigation and improved recording capability. “The Freeview EPG will provide a consolidated platform for the consumer when navigating Freeview channels, and will also provide consistency of experience across multiple digital TVs in the home, so that the consumer only has to learn the navigation once,” Parkes said. Existing EPGs have been limited in their functionality because each manufacturer builds its own EPG capability into set top boxes (STBs), Personal Video Recorders (PVRs) and digital TVs, so there is no consistency across EPGs. In addition, networks sends their own program information to each EPG and often not all information is available on screen at the one time. The new Freeview EPG will collate program data from all networks for simultaneous transmission in a consistent format, while new MHEG 5 technology also means that the Freeview EPG will have video streaming and text capability, allowing consumers to continue to watch TV whilst navigating the EPG. From July, all STBs, PVRs and digital TVs that carry the new EPG will feature the new Freeview EPG logo. A list of the manufacturers that will offer Freeview EPG product can be found at: www.freeview.com.au/products

Other key features of the Freeview EPG are: Seven day program guide CRID system (Content Reference Indicator) – allowing intuitive recording of shows (with PVRs) Program reminder functionality Detailed program information Parental Lock system One touch recording (with PVRs) Watch and record different channels at the same time (with twin tuner PVRs) Pause and rewind live TV (with PVRs) Record a series using ‘series link’ functionality (with PVRs) Ethernet connection Common “buttons” for remote controls from each manufacturer.

Freeview has also developed a comprehensive microsite at www.freeview.com.au/epg that explains how the EPG works in simple language for consumers.

Importantly, viewers with existing STBs, PVRs or digital TVs will still be able to receive the manufacturer’s EPG and continue to enjoy Freeview channels. Freeview will officially launch the new Freeview EPG to consumers in September with a product showcase and television commercial.