Is there not a potential significant delay in getting the updates into our Guides from the time DIRECTV® receives it from the Trib? Or are changes to specific shows (as opposed to regular extending of Guide data) sent almost immediately?
There is most definitely a lag. And it might depend on how it is delivered as well. Having worked in industries where client provide updates to web and/or other systems, I would imagine that the uploading of TV scheduled is largely automated, where a company like Tribune would deliver guide data in a pre-determined and agreed upon format, and it will automatically be queued up to DirecTV's systems, with a "format checker" that can deny or approve automatically based upon certain criteria.
Provided that the data passes this inspection, it will be queued for sending to receivers. When this actually happens, I do not know....
First, internet connected receivers: There are probably a few million of those, and if you were to blast each update out when the update happens, you might create some congestion at DirecTV's internet backbone. Instead, it is likely that the receivers themselves check at a certain random interval for an update, and then download them.
Second, non-internet connected receivers: They will probably receive their guide data updates at a set time each day. Guide data is blasted throughout the day to the entire CONUS (and maybe to Spot beams), and it just depends on when your station is scheduled to be beamed down to receivers.
(Also, I believe that internet updates take priority, that is, if your internet fails it will still get updates from the sats, but it will check internet first - In essence, if you want to make sure you have the latest guide info, connecting your receivers to the internet might be the way to go)
I could see it happen that a company like Tribune makes a change in the afternoon, sends it to DirecTV at around 3 PM, but the change isn't scheduled for its next update till after midnight at 1 AM as that is perhaps the standard schedule for that particular channel, causing wrong guide info for the changes that night.
This happens sometimes with sports weather delays/cancellations, when the next day guide data has not been updated yet, and regular programming will be preempted for the game. If you want to record the game, you will have to set a manual time recording. Sometimes they also do not update the guide when a play-off game is won in 5 games and game 6 is no longer needed.