Windows Media Center users in the UK experiencing EPG outage

If you live in the UK and use Windows Media Center, you may have noticed that the electronic programming guide (EPG) has not been update since 12/31/2012. There are quite a few users reporting the issue on the Microsoft Connect support forums and the problem appears to be widespread.

The outage looks to be affecting all iterations of Media Center as users on various Windows Platforms are reporting the issue. One user, Frank, states that he was receiving a warning that the EPG was running short on information at the end of December:

Have been getting error messages from Win7 MCE stating that there are less than three days of EPG left. Manual download of EPG reports as completing successfully, but the original error message soon appears.

Now 01-Jan-2013 (happy new year !) and the EPG is now empty. Not good ! Please assist.

Thanks

Frank

The list of complaints is quite extensive with one thread having over 150 users saying that they have the issue.

An individual with the username of Philipfd stated that he has talked to RedBee who is claiming that the fault is on Microsoft and that there is nothing (RedBee) can do.

Another individual stated that he was able to get Microsoft to confirm that there is a widespread issue with the EPG data in the UK and that the issue is being passed up the food chain to make sure it receives proper attention.

I just spent an hour via answerdesk.support.microsoft.com with "Jardine F". He has recognized this as a "large scale" issue that "covers a [whole] region of support" and he will pass to "a higher level technician".

He noted that "the EPG is not working in most parts of the UK" and he is sure "this is not the first issue they will get about this one".

We have reached out to Microsoft for comment on the issue and will make the appropriate update when receive more insight into the outage.

Thanks for the tip Andy!

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The reason it appears to working for some is that media center is able to download 7 days of guide data through the freeview signal on SD channels. For 14 days of guide data and HD channels where guide data is encrypted the guide data is meant to download over the internet from MS.

The 7 day EPG is being pulled from the Freeview transmission, known as in-band and is a fallback when the main guide fails. The guide service provided by Microsoft normally gives a 14 day guide. If you are a freesat user, you will have no guide info except for Now & Next and all users have no access to the 14 day guide dataset from Microsoft.

At the moment the EPG on still has data for SD channels, however the HD channels have had no data since yesterday morning for me. Hopefully it will soon be sorted, i feel like i'm using a video setting channels to record at specific times again!

Same here, it's fallen back to the standard over the air Freeview EPG but sadly WMC can't decode the HD EPG and then we could largely ignore this outage (imo)