MCE 2005 Australian EPG Options

Why not make a series? Excellent idea, thanks, don’t mind if I do.

After the rather wordy but well-meaning intro to building the MCE, I figured I’d look at some of the EPG options that are available.

EPGRunner seems to have suddenly decided that tonight would be a No Data Available night, so it seems like a good time to comment on my experiences so far, and see what else is out there.

NB: I don’t have (or want) Foxtel (though movies on demand are *so* appealing), so I never bother looking for Foxtel options. This stuff is purely tested on the Free To Air (FTA) Digital TV (DTV).


Up until very recently – like, when BladeRunner Pro was released – EPGRunner has been the easiest guide I’ve tried to set up and run.

There have been a couple of occasions where the data has been out, or the channel names have changed, but by and large it’s a set-it-and-forget-it program.

I’ve been using the 3.0 stable release only, not the subsequent betas, so this may change.

– Easy to set up and run
– Set and forget operation for free-to-air digital in most states

– doesn’t seem to integrate with MCE 100% cleanly (prompted for guide download errors frequently, even with Guide downloads on manual) – MCE knows it’s unable to get the guide, and tells you so, roughly every day or two.
– channel names occasionally (say 3 times in 8 months) change without warning, which buggers up the Guide (suddenly, everything’s gone)
– updating guide data often results in programs not being “red dotted” when scheduled to record (though they tend to record anyway)
– no built-in task scheduling

BladeRunner Pro

BRP takes a client-centric approach, integrating TVHarvest and a couple of other utilities to provide a very slick one-stop update that integrates well with the MCE experience. It dumps its output into a folder on the hard drive, then convinces MCE that it wants to look at the hard drive for Guide updates, instead of the Internet. Cool idea. You can put compatible files in that folder if you want to do your own mix of channels.

The hard drive folder is manually (or by Scheduled Task) “topped up”, so MCE itself won’t trigger a fresh download by looking for the guide.

– Easy to set up
– integrates really well (not perfectly, but close) with MCE
– Relatively easy to tell when it’s going to screw up (because of the on-screen scraping output while BRPro runs).
– Task Scheduling

– client-driven scraping – vulnerable to “interference”
no built-in task scheduling (Thanks Sissy, moved to Pros)


I’m now suitably over the whole EPG client thing that I’m wondering if $3 per week is justifiable for IceTV. I’ll give the 14-day trial a try, and see if there’s any qualitative difference I can identify.

4 thoughts on “MCE 2005 Australian EPG Options

  1. Your comment about BladeRunner Pro and scheduled tasks is incorrect as the installer routine DOES add a scheduled task to automate the scraping proceedure.

    Just thought i would clarify you on that, otherwise good write up 🙂

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