Tutorial - Adding freEPG.tv XMLTV Feeds with Big Screen EPG

If you are registered user of mobilewares Big Screen EPG for Windows Media Center - you can start using freEPG.tv xmltv feeds right away (no need to register on here).  If you're planning on using Big Screen EPG - we suggest you go and sign up (30 day trial available) - rather than registering too.

Quick List of Topics (in this page)

tl;dr Guide (for experienced BSEPG users)
Prerequisites (Before you Begin)
Optional (Recommended Steps)
Step by Step tutorial
Additional Configuration (Before you import it to Media Center
Additional freePG.tv xmltv Feed (for non OzTivo Channels)
Next Steps - Importing/Mapping Channels
Troubleshooting - Common Issues/Solutions

tl;dr Guide (for experienced BSEPG users)

If you're an experienced Big Screen EPG user then here's some quick notes on how to get up and running. If not - please follow the detailed step by step tutorial below :

  • (Highly Recommended) Do a MCE EPG Database reset / retune your FTA channels + disable Inband EPG so you don't have any unwanted data messing things up.
  • Run the 'Add Provider Wizard', select 'Preset XMLTV Provider' + select the freepg.tv source (you might need to refresh the preset provider list if it's not coming up). There's two available feeds for each region - one for OzTivo sourced channels (the important ones) + then another for some of the extra channels (ie. Community, Shopping, DVBT Radio).
  • Use your full Big Screen EPG License Key as the UserName when prompted. (ie. 'BSEV1-xxxxxxxxxx etc).
  • In the scanned channel list fill out any missing Affiliate details + mark any unchecked HDTV channels.
  • Use the default Series/Programme matching settings - BSEPG will figure out the best ones for you.
  • Tweak your channel logos + do an import! Don't forget you'll need to Map any channels that didn't automagically get matched for you by Media Center.
  • Schedule your import to run twice a day (this is how often the feeds get updated).

Prerequisites (Before you Begin)

You'll need to have the following sorted out before you can complete the steps in this tutorial :

  • A Windows PC running Windows Media Center (this can be Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1). The hacked Media Center 8.1 for Windows 10 works too - use that at your own risk.
  • Sign up for a bigscreenglobal.com account + register your copy of Big Screen EPG (30 day trial + freemium versions available - no need to buy anything just yet).
  • Make sure you've installed Big Screen EPG and your tv tuner drivers.
  • Run through the 'First Run' wizard in Media Center where you nominate your tv tuners + scan for channels.


Optional (Recommended Steps)

If you've previously used Big Screen EPG + you've used another XMLTV Provider in the past - it's really highly recommended you reset your Media Center EPG Database (which will wipe out your previous EPG + take Media Center back to first run state). Failing to do this will likely result in redundant EPG data + Channels which can play havoc with your scheduled recording. You can reset your Media Center EPG via the Big Screen EPG Configuration tool (click the big red 'media center epg reset' button on the home tab).

Similarly, if you're running any other Media Center importers/EPG tools (like the IceTV ones) - make sure you completely uninstall these from your system (prior to doing your Media Center reset) - as they are likely cause problems with conflicting data/configuration.

Once you've reset your MC EPG database - you should run the 'first run wizard' (inside Media Center) so you can setup live tv + then disable all the inband EPG data (via Big Screen EPG Configuration Tool 'toggle inband data' button). This will ensure you have a fresh set of channels and no unwanted Inband (EIT) EPG data being loaded.


Step by Step tutorial


1) Run the Big Screen EPG Configuration Tool + click on the Add Provider Wizard button. NB: If you've already setup a provider - then you can find this in the providers tab.



2) When asked for the 'Provider Type' - select the 'Nominate a Preset XMLTV Provider' option. Click Next to continue.


3) To ensure you have the latest list of XMLTV providers. If you've run BSEPG previously you probably need to update this list (if freepg.tv feeds aren't appearing).  To do this - click on the refresh button (circled in Red as per picture below).


4) Once the feeds list has been updated - select the following options (as picture below)

Country :  select 'Australia'

Provider : select 'freepg.tv OzTivo XMLTV Feeds'


5) Once you've nominated Country/Provider - you then need to select and confirm your Region. Nominate the region applicable for you (these are the same list of regions listed on the Australian freeview site) - such as 'VIC - Melbourne'.

Once you've nominated the region - check the feed item (in the Feeds : ) section. to confirm and press Next.


6) Now you'll be asked to provide you login details. You'll need you full Big Screen EPG License Key at this point.

In the 'User Name / ID' field - paste your full License Key (this is the one that starts with 'BSEV1-' ).

Leave the 'password' field as is (this field will be read only).

Click Next to proceed.


7) Next you'll need to confirm your selections + the default parsing options.

Just leave everything as is here + click Next to proceed.


8) At this point the wizard will go off and download + parse the feed for available channels + metadata.

The default channels list will look something like this (will differ depending on what Region you select).

You'll need to edit some stuff here - so don't click Next just yet....


9) To make the most of your feed (and ensure scheduled recording works best) - you will need to edit in any missing Affiliate information + HD information. (See picture below).  Although Big Screen EPG will populate most of this for you - it will still need a little help to get everything right. 


Affiliates help Big Screen EPG determine what broadcaster the channel belongs to - this is very useful to detect shows which are simulcast (or repeated) accross channels. For example if a show is first aired on ABC1, and then later on in the week repeated again on ABC2 or ABC News 24- then putting in the same affiliate name for both these channels tells Big Screen EPG (and Media Center) that this is likely the same show.

Scroll up and down through the channels list to see what missing affiliate information needs to be filled in.

To complete the 'Affiliate' information : Fill out any missing fields in the Affiliate column with the appropriate information. For example NITV is broadcast by SBS Australia - so type 'SBSTV' in here. You'll want to keep this consistent with other affiliate names you've used (ie. don't put 'SBS Australia' as it's not the same as 'SBSTV' used for other SBS channels).  If you have other regional channels you might want to group them together with related channels (ie. '7Prime' or 'Southern Cross' might have affiliate of 'Seven Network' in order to match shows also airing on 7Two and 7Mate).


Additionally the 'HDTV' flag tells Big Screen EPG to apply 'HD' flags to programmes from that channel when it's being imported (which in turn can help Media Center decide which is the best channel to record from + allow it to show you the onscreen HD flags).

Although some channels will be detected as HD - you should go through and check any others it's missed (ie. 7Mate, GEM, OneHD, ABC News 24 etc should be checked for most regions).

Once you've finished filling out missing Affiliate and HDTV information in your channel listing - click 'Next' to proceed.


10) Now you're nearly ready to finalize the feed. When prompted with the following screen - just leave everything as is (It will have selected all the appropriate matching options via scanning the feed). Click 'Next' to proceed.



11) Now everything has been configured - you just need to give your feed a title (shown only in the Big Screen EPG configuration pages). Edit the appropriate title and click 'Done'.


Additional Configuration (Before you import it to Media Center)

Once your feed has been configured - you may want to perform some of the additional configuration options via the 'Channels' tab:

  • Assign channel logos to your channels so they'll show up in Media Center EPG.
  • Fix up any call signs / display names and channel numbers (current settings may not be 100% correct for some regions). This will help Media Center automatically match the imported xmltv channels to tuned channels.
  • Tweak the classifications/Genres as needed.


Additional freePG.tv xmltv Feed

A secondary Provider is also available which contains some additional Community, Shopping, DVBT Radio channel EPG data (not provided by OzTivo).  To include this - follow the same steps as above, however when you are chosing the select the 'freepg.tv Extra Channels XMLTV Feed'. 


Next Steps - Importing/Mapping Channels

You should refer to the Big Screen EPG help file for detailed step-by-step instructions on how to get the rest going (if you're not familiar with the process already). These steps include :

- Processing/Importing the XMLTV feed to Media Center

- Scheduling Big Screen EPG so it runs automatically every day (or more than once per day if desired).

- How to Map your imported XMLTV channels to Live Media Center tuned channels (if not automatically matched).


Troubleshooting - Common Issues/Solutions

Here are some common issues you might encounter when setting up your freepg.tv data with Big Screen EPG.

  • When browsing the EPG, some/all of my channels are showing 'No Program Data' (or I'm just seeing the crappy EIT/Inband EPG data).

    The most common cause of this is that Media Center may need to be told which imported EPG channel (from freepg.tv) belongs to the live TV channel that was scanned in by your tv tuner). In most cases the freepg.tv EPG channels  will be automatically mapped for you (via matching the channel number of Call Sign) - however in some cases if there isn't a perfect match it might not work (ie. the freepg.tv channel is called 'TEN Digital' and your scanned channel is called 'TEN Sydney').

    To fix this up you'll need to Manually Assign the imported EPG listing to your Media Center live tv channel. For a step by step tutorial on how to do this please have a look at the PDF document below (extracted from the Big Screen EPG Help file).

    View the 'Applying your Imported EPG Listings to Channels in Media Center' Help Topic (PDF)

  • After I import EPG data the inbuilt Media Center 'search' function doesn't seem to be finding anything.

    The search function in Media Center is powered by the 'Windows Search Indexing' service + sometimes this either hasn't been run yet accross your new EPG data /or/ it's potentially disabled.

    To fix this up you can manually force the Windows Search to  rebuild it's index after an EPG Import (ie. by including an additional action to be run in your Big Screen EPG Scheduled Task).

    View the 'FAQ: Why isn't the Media Center EPG search working correctly?' help page on bigscreenglobal.com for more details on how to  get this working.