|Virgin? Tribune? I find the quality of EPG |
metadata for my TiVo disturbing.
So far, these are just some of the issues I've encountered recently:
- I've had 2 episodes of The Dead Zone from The Horror Channel not recorded.
- Episodes 6 & 7 of The Kennedys from BBC HD not recorded.
- Duplicates galore of a Falling Skies episode from FX HD recorded.
- An alternative broadcast recording of Knight Rider from 5*? Wrong episode.
- A suggested episode of Smallville from Syfy? It was part of a film instead.
- Suggested episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Syfy? Wrong episodes.
- Suggested episodes of Angel on Syfy? Wrong episodes.
- The 'record New episodes only' Wishlist for Warehouse 13 on Syfy? It recorded 3 'new' episodes before the new season started last week.
Virgin opened up a feedback page where TiVo customers could report EPG Metadata errors. I've reported a few, but no longer. Why? Why should I? Or why should you for that matter? Why should customers who are already paying an additional £3 per month have to correct EPG metadata errors? Shouldn't that data be reasonably accurate to start with? Wouldn't - shouldn't - TiVo customers be enjoying the content recorded by TiVo, instead of having to report EPG metadata issues with it?
I don't know why the metadata is so inaccurate. I suspect part of the problem is due to TiVo's lack of a dynamic EPG, meaning that late changes to programme schedules aren't picked up as quickly as other platforms like Digital Terrestrial (Freeview) and Digital Satellite (Sky, Freesat).
But that leaves the remaining metadata for the programme schedule which hasn't been effected by late changes. What's going wrong with that metadata? How is it checked before its sent out to the 50,000+ TiVo's in Virgin Media land? Why is it so inaccurate? Why are we being asked to help check it? Is this just a Virgin Media issue or do other Tribune clients such as Microsoft, Google, Comcast and IMDb have the same issue with the metadata they receive?
Frankly, after sitting down to watch Episode 6 of The Kennedys, only to realise that I was actually watching Episode 8 because TiVo didn't record Episodes 6 and 7 of a show I'd series-linked, I'm past caring whose at fault, or why this issue is happening so often - I just want it fixed, and a quick look at Virgin's Help and Support Forums (here, here and here) reveals that I'm not alone.
Granted, the V+ HD isn't in the same league as TiVo, but as far as series links are concerned, I can't remember encountering so many EPG errors on that PVR which resulted in unrecorded content.
If Virgin are remotely serious about introducing TiVo as the future of watching TV, and bringing all of their 3.7 million TV customers onto the TiVo platform, then I urge them (and Tribune) to do whatever it takes to get this metadata issue fixed. Quickly. Recording content correctly is among the core functionality of any PVR, let alone TiVo, and Virgin's next-gen PVR simply isn't doing this often enough at the moment for Series Links - let alone for TiVo extras such as Wishlists and Suggestions.