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recording on VHS, which was often hit and miss! If you set
up a programme to record at 6pm you taped whatever
was showing at that time regardless of time changes and
overruns. With the advent of digital TV thankfully things
have moved on and it’s the EPG data that provides a
vital role in ensuring that the record and series linking
functionality works correctly.
Now to enable us to record, every programme has an event
ID logged within the EPG, so that fi ve minutes before the
programme starts and fi ve minutes after it has fi nished,
the set-top box will record against that specifi c event.
This means that if the programme is delayed or moved,
providing the EPG is modifi ed accordingly, the set-top box
will still make the recording ensuring that all those shows
that you recorded in the week are linked and ready to
watch when you are.
Taking that a step further, as well as recording and linking
programmes, the EPG has an important role to play when
it comes to conditional access and encryption. There’s a
whole variety of content delivered to our TV screens and
second-screen devices; some is free-to-air and some is
encrypted. Like the series link functionality, the set-top box,
which is decoding the broadcast stream, has to be told
when to start and stop the encryption. This has a number
of implications. Firstly there’s the fi nancial aspect because
the channel doesn’t want to lose revenue if material is
aired for free by mistake. But perhaps more important is
the regulatory implication: channels have to adhere to very
strict broadcasting guidelines.
The triggering of these actions on the set-top box is all
driven by the EPG data. It’s the responsibility of channels
to provide this information to platforms, which are heavily
reliant on the data being accurate to satisfy viewers and
to provide a competitive advantage. Quite simply without
the EPG there is no content discovery and without
content discovery there are no programmes.
THE LAST BATTERIES YOU WILL EVER NEED.
KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 95 NOVEMBER 2014 | 59