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Guide data wrong yet again?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by n3ntj, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

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    It may be the station's fault, Tribune's fault, or DirecTV's fault. I'd complain to Tribune and DirecTV. I'd only complain to the station if there was no guide data at all for a particular station -- typically an OTA channel. And the complaint to the station would include a request to submit their program lineup to Tribune.
     
  2. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Now that I think of it, complaining to the station might not be such a bad idea. Let's theorize a bit.

    How many channels are we talking about? There are hundreds of national channels and how just many locals? The number of channels has to be pushing 800...or more since I'm just guessing the number of locals. How would Tribune or DirecTV verify that much data each week?

    I don't know for sure how it works but I suspect the stations report the data in a required format that Tribune then compiles and doles out to the service providers. They get what they get and send it back out.

    Maybe it is a good idea to send an email to the station providing the data. I wouldn't have done that before but it seems that the most likely source of error is with the source itself.

    It's still possible errors could come from within Tribune so they should get and email too. DirecTV also, just to put a little pressure on Tribune and who knows what DirecTV does to the data prior to putting it into their guide. I suspect it's just a matter of transferring it to whatever database format they use. As long as there are no errors in source data the translation should be routine. Heck, for all I know they may just use the data as provided or more likely, in my mind anyway, Tribune provides the data already formatted for use.

    Of course all that is hypothetical. In the end I kinda think complaints should go to the channel, Tribune, and DirecTV. At least that’s what I’m going to do. :)

    Mike
     
  3. delete2end

    delete2end Mentor

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    I have seen it on Pawn Stars as well... so annoying.
     
  4. delete2end

    delete2end Mentor

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    agreed... it is Direct TV's choice to include bad data. I expect the Direct TV Guide service to be accurate just as Direct TV expects me to pay my bill for programming and every other service for which I use. This is Direct TV's fault and using and accepting bad data. END OF STORY!
     
  5. delete2end

    delete2end Mentor

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    Well then Tribune should be getting it right or Direct TV as their customer should be doing some QA and when errors are found they should be submitted to Tribune for correction. Why in the world would D keep purchasing a service that inaccurate? That sounds like the dumbest business move I have ever heard of.
     
  6. delete2end

    delete2end Mentor

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    Your statement is unacceptable and is full of errors and misguided business sense... I want everything I pay for....which also includes correct guide data. If my provider refuses to ensure that I get what I expect and pay for then why is it acceptable that they want me to pay for everything I consume including the guide and programming. Ownership of this "bad data" lies squarely on D if they choose to accept bad or incorrect data on a on going basis. Did D not create the guide? Does D continue to accept and use bad data? Does D continue to upload bad data into their guide? The answer is yes to all of those... D is just passing these issues on to us.....
     
  7. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    It's not that simple .. Should DIRECTV hire a duplicate "Tribune" to do something that is already being done and handled with defined protocols? It certainly wouldn't be a cheap proposition. What are we talking about here anyway? There are some shows that are wrong .. Some that are glaringly wrong .. But for the most part, the guide data is relatively accurate. I haven't calculated, but just on personal experience I'd say that at least 80% of it is already correct. Worst case we're talking about 20% of the shows and more often than not, it's the same shows week after week.

    MicroBeta probably has it right .. Contact the stations themselves. Heck, some of them may be NOT putting data in no purpose just so your DVR picks up the show even when you don't really want it. The problem doesn't lie @ DIRECTV. Yeah, they can push down on Tribune who can push down on the stations, but in the end .. It's an imperfect system, but generally does a good job.
     
  8. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I would guess the percentage is much higher.

    How many entries are there in the Guide at any given time...I'd guess, conservatively 10,000? If 100 are wrong, and that would be a lot, then we’d have 99% correct and 1% incorrect.

    Doug has a really good point though. What is an acceptable error rate? Let’s be even more conservative and say it’s 97% correct and 3% wrong or 95% - 5%. What’s a reasonable level of accuracy? Is it reasonable to expect 100% accuracy? IMHO, no and 95%, considering the complexity involved, is a pretty good job. Further, how does DirecTV police the accuracy of 10,000+ Guide entries? I don’t think they can.

    Mike
     
  9. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    I don't think there is ever the possibility of getting 100% correct data. I truly believe that some stations either (1) don't care or (2) purposely mislead regarding the guide data thus making it incorrect. Even if DIRECTV had an army of minions to make sure the guide data is correct, they'd still miss in the situation where the originator of the data fails to do the right thing. Doesn't make it right, but that is the way it is. Last I checked, there isn't a law requiring stations to put correct guide data information into the system.
     
  10. DogLover

    DogLover Hall Of Fame

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    And think about it. How is DirecTV or even Tribune supposed to know what is bad guide data??

    Channel X tells tribune "We are going to air show "ABC" at 7:00 pm, Wednesday night. It will be episode "DEF", which is a new episode." Tribune puts that in their database and sends it to DirecTV, which sends it to our DVR's.

    How in the world would either Tribune or DirecTV know that is wrong until after the broadcast? Yes, it might have been wrong last week, and the week before that. However, how do they know it will be wrong this week? Afterall, they received the information from the company that is responsible for airing the broadcast. That has to be the most reliable source for the information. Where would you propose they get better information?

    If the channels aren't giving Tribune the correct information, the most effective strategy is to let the channel know that you aren't watching their shows because the bad guide data makes it unreliable to record. Eyes on their show = more money for them. Fewer eyes = more motivation for them to fix their guide data. (And, if either are Tribune or DirecTV are goofing up something, the channel has the leverage to effect changes with those companies.)
     
  11. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    That’s a really good point. Let’s say there’s a program at such-n-such a time on some channel as provided to Tribune. The data is formatted correctly and has all the correct info in it.

    How is DirecTV, or even Tribune, supposed to know whether or not it’s correct? The answer is that it’s not even remotely possible to know for sure without verifying each and every detail in each and every entry with each and every station/channel involved after the data has been sent by that station/channel; that in and of itself is impossible.

    The more this discussion goes on, the more it looks like the fault lies solely with the station/channel. They tell Tribune what’s on and they pass that on to all the service providers.

    Mike
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    Ding! Ding! Ding! to Doug's second observation. I also believe that some network marketeers are purposely tagging older shows as "first run", to make them more attractive to viewers and advertisers.

    I hate to keep dragging out this soapbox, but if DirecTV could simply use the "first aired date" to calculate a show's status, and only resort to looking at "first run" or "repeat" flags when no FAD is available, a lot of erroneous recordings could be avoided.

    And for the small % of "imports" that have older FAD's but may be new to the US viewing audience, folks who record them can set their SL's to episode type "both" in those cases.
     
  13. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    In this case, I think the FAD would only useful it the data being submitted is truthful in the first place. If there is something illicit going on they'll just omit the FAD and flag it "first run" just get around using FAD for determining "first run" status.

    Mike
     
  14. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    I could be wrong, but I think TMS, IMDB, TitanTV, et al already "know" the true FAD for the vast majority of episode ID's. That information has been documented by and is available from independent sources, including TMS's own internal database.

    So in order to hide the FAD, the network would have to alter the episode ID, which I don't think they'd want to do for a variety of reasons.
     
  15. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Sorry, I thought all the data was given to Tribune by the content providers. If Tribune gets some of the details from the episode ID's then they can't hide the FAD.

    In that case then First Air Date is the way to go. :grin:

    Mike
     
  16. Nicholsen

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    The program data being feed by D* to the Hr2x boxes has less useful information, and appears to have more errors, than the feed to the TiVO boxes, which appears to be scrubbed and/or enhanced by TiVo along the way.

    Accurate guide data is a key component of the DVR "system." Bad guide is almost as bad as bad software. 80% accuracy is an F. 97% accuracy is probably a B-. 99% with respect to the "top 50" shows, network and cable, should be achievable.

    Most of us learn about and correct for "bad" guide data on a weekly basis, or suffer the consequences. It would really make sense for the D* employees (who presumably watch TV as well), to look for and correct problems. The issues this week with the Deadwood and Oz on the 101 (both of which I think are great) are no-brainers.

    Maybe each person who reports an uncorrected guide error should get a $25 programming credit. That would get the guide data fixed quickly!
     
  17. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    I agree, but submit that's where we are right now. We only see posts of mistakes that folks find, not the thousands of shows each week that have the correct data.

    Regarding TiVo's "scrubbing", I remember reading somewhere that they use "original air date" to create first run/repeat flags for data that isn't already tagged, but if data has been falsely tagged "first run" by the networks, I believe they too opt to respect the incorrect flag. DirecTV could "one-up" them, IMHO, by only looking at those flags when no first-aired date is available.
     
  18. Beerstalker

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    The problem is sometimes the original air date info is wrong. That's what I have noticed on most of my recordings that were screwed up lately. They were either old episodes from January 2009 that were incorrectly labeled as originally airing in January 2010, or they were new episodes premeiring now, but mistakenly labeled as having aired in January 2009.
     
  19. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Perhaps Tribune should have sent a memo to all of the stations reminding them that it was now 2010 instead of 2009 .. :lol:
     
  20. bobcamp1

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    Tivo's not scrubbing or enhancing it. Tivo just does a better job with the same guide data. Maybe they send all the info to the boxes, and the boxes don't assume that it's all correct and have some kind of algorithm to determine that.

    There are still occasional errors with it, though. I wouldn't scrub the data myself -- I'd get Tribune to do a better job. That's what I'm paying them for.
     

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