4. Electronic Program Guide (EPG)
One of the first things you notice when you switch from the old analogue system to a digital tv service is the sheer number of new channels available.
You will also notice that tv channels come and go much more often than the traditional 'Big 5' that have been around for decades.
Both of these issues point to a need to have a system for viewing the current tv listings in a convenient electronic format rather than a paper magazine. This is why the 'electronic program guide' was developed.
The impact of the new EPG on viewers, broadcasters and TV companies:
|Can use remote control to view current listings.|
|So many channels that you need to scroll many pages to view them all.|
|Channels have to be 'themed' such as 'News', 'Documentaries' in order to cut down on the complete list.|
|Can be difficult to select the channel you want as you need to either remember its number or scroll through the long EPG list or use the 'favourite' function on many remote / EPG devices.|
|Listings are at least on a rolling 7 days unlike a fixed paper based listing.|
|For families, certain channels listings can be blocked by parents|
|Many EPGs offer 'series link' that allows you to mark a complete series for recording|
|Many offer timed reminders that send a message to the television if you are viewing another program|
|The broadcaster has to work with the hardware suppliers to ensure that the EPG is in a format they can read. e.g. A set top box supplier or a tv supplier that includes built in Freeview has to be able to display the EPG|
|In-house magazine is often created to promote specfic programmes coming along. This is another revenue opportunity for the broadcaster - advertising and promotions.|
|Design of the EPG is crucial in provding the viewer with a good experience - a good EPG is great, but a poorly designed one can be difficult and unpleasant to use|
|Some EPGs include advertising and so may be another revenue stream for the broadcaster|
|The EPG can be updated very quickly if a program changes or schedules shift|
|TV companies must send regular updates of their programmers to the broadcaster, who then collate and package them in the EPG|
|Making and distributing a dedicated magazine of their programmes is expensive and needs advertising to support it. EPG avoids that requirement should they decide not to do it.|
|An alternative to dedicated listing magazines was the newspaper. But with so many channels, newspapers cannnot list them all.|
Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you
Click on this link: Electronic Program Guide
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