Electronic Program Guide

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The Electronic Program Guide (EPG) [ ɪˌlɛkˈtɹɑːnɪk ˈpɹoʊɡɹæm ˈɡaɪd ] (English for: electronic program guide ) describes electronically distributed information about current radio and television programs. Nowadays, the data is usually broadcast as an additional offer by the broadcasters and can be received free of charge. The electronic program guide offers a substitute for printed program guides, although these usually have a larger selection that is not limited to pure program information. The official notation in the ETSI standard (ETSI EN 300 707) is Electronic Program Guide .


With the help of the EPG, the current and upcoming television or radio program can be displayed. The program overview contains at least the title, the time and the duration of each program. In addition, brief descriptions of the content of the individual programs - with some EPG formats also with pictures - can be displayed. Due to the integration in the receiving device, the program can be switched from the EPG or the recording of a selected program can be programmed.

The page range 300-399 in teletext is a forerunner of the EPG. This area is used by most German broadcasters to list their own programs for the next few days. This format could also be used by some receiving devices for simple programming of video recordings. This function was later extended by ShowView .

Like teletext, the EPG is transmitted digitally in binary code . With teletext, however, the digital signal was modulated onto the analog carrier, whereas with EPG the data is part of the complete digital signal. Special software is required to display each EPG format . The advantage of the binary transmission is the possibility of the automatic evaluation of the data, which in addition to the possibilities already mentioned, also allows complex search queries.

In digital television , the EPG data is transmitted according to the DVB-SI-EIT standard, see Event Information Table . Based on the information provided within the EIT, it is possible to create an electronic program guide that contains the following information:

  • Name of the shipment with a short and detailed description
  • Description of the data streams in several languages
  • Whether and with what method a shipment is encrypted
  • Identifier of the so-called content_descriptor (that is the respective program type, category or classification). z. B. Feature film, sporting event, children's program, etc.
  • Age restriction for the corresponding program, from 12, 16, 18 years
  • Country code for the relevant shipment
  • Identification of an interactive broadcast
  • Bit rate of a broadcast

The data that can be sent within the EIT does not have to be sent and makes little sense for programs with long-term commercials or continuous news. As a result, it is up to each provider to decide what additional data is sent. Thus it is not possible to produce a consistent electronic program guide. So sends z. B. iesy does not have a "content_descriptor". This means that the recipients do not show any program type (category or classification).

Digital receivers usually have a built-in EPG that displays this data. External EPGs based on the MHP standard, for example, can display images and additional information and also program a digital video recorder or HTPC .

In analog TV there are several competing EPG standards. Between 1994 and 1996, an open standard was developed jointly by many European television manufacturers ( ETSI Standard ETS 300 707), which is marketed in televisions and video recorders under the NexTView brand . There are also other proprietary processes such as Guide + from Rovi.

Well-known EPG

Guide Plus +

The data for the Rovi Corporation program guide is transmitted in Europe on the following channels (host) via the vertical blanking interval :

The TV data is usually downloaded to the device automatically overnight (between 3:00 and 5:00). In addition - depending on the device - a download can take place at 10:00 and 14:00 and each takes two hours. During this time, updates of the supported receivers and other data are carried out. To do this, the respective device must be switched off (on standby) and the host channel must be programmed. Some devices allow you to specify a priority: either record or update the EPG. Most of the Guide-Plus-enabled DVD recorders (exception: Panasonic) contain an infrared transmitter (so-called G-Link ), which can be used to control certain supported satellite receivers , so that the satellite receiver is set to the desired one when recording Program is switched without the user having to do this manually.

Rovicorp's Guideplus has ceased broadcasting since January 2017. No more program data are transferred. Hard disk recorders can only record manually.

SiehFern INFO (SFI)

SiehFern INFO , or SFI for short , is the proprietary EPG of the entertainment electronics manufacturer Technisat (in cooperation with FUNKE Digital TV Guide GmbH and the TV Digital program guide ) and can be received across Germany via DVB-S , DVB-C and DVB-T . In addition to detailed program descriptions, it offers a seven-day program preview, genre recognition and filtering, full-text search and integrated timer programming.

Programming the video recorder

The broadcast program details (station identification, date, start and end time) of the films are recognized as such by the hard disk and DVD recorders, imported and can be used for programming. In contrast to the manual entry of the program data or the ShowView code, the data from the EPG can be transferred to the recorder control for recording with just a few push of a button. In addition to the recording, the background information such as author, actor, text and time of recording is often archived.

Even if the EPG information is broadcast for more than 14 days, some devices only provide the data for the next week for programming the recordings. There are devices that support the independent recording of series with fixed times and based on keywords or CRIDs .


If texts, images and other copyrighted content are displayed in EPG, a license from the respective author is required. For the use of material accompanying its program information in EPG, VG Media has set up corresponding tariffs for the broadcasters it represents.

Individual evidence

  1. https://www.technisat.com/de_DE/Presse/10-10/?pressID=985
  2. https://funke-guides.com/
  3. http://www.atemio.de/index.php/hdtv-receiver/satellit-dvb-s2/am-6000-hd-single device with a program preview of 14 days
  4. https://www.vg-media.de/de/elektronische-programmf%C3%BChrer-epg/tarif.html. Retrieved October 23, 2019 .


  • Markus Vorhauer: Integration of an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) in IPTV: Structure and evaluation of DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) and EPG, and integration in IPTV . Vdm Verlag Dr. Müller, 2008, ISBN 978-3-639-03239-0 .

Web links

Technical standards

Provider pages