Updated Freeview HD – Windows Media Center Guide Data Tool

Updated Freeview HD – Windows Media Center Guide Data Tool

Last year I released a tool to bring in missing guide data for BBC HD into Windows Media Center when your using Freeview HD. Since the first version a number of users have noticed there are issues with the timings where the guide data for BBC HD gets out of sync over a period of time.

Thanks to the community help (via comments on the blog) they diagnosed the problem and @Pixelz worked out the how to fix it with a bit of XLS magic and so I have incorporated the fix into the new build of the application.   You can download the application from MadeforMediaCenter.com and get the xmltv from here, or get the setup file

Many thanks to everybody that helped diagnose and fix the issues, please keep the feedback coming!


There is a problem with the program moving some files around. So copy msxls.exe, removedups.cmd and removeduplicates.xsl from the program directory to the folder containing the xmltv files and that will fix it. I will update the program to include the fix next week


I have uploaded a new build that should fix the above problem


I have uploaded a new build that has a checkbox whether to use the duplicate checking, so for now leave it un-ticked while we work on the xsl



38 thoughts on “Updated Freeview HD – Windows Media Center Guide Data Tool

  1. @Ian That was quick! Thanks for releasing the update (and thanks for the credit).
    If you’re planning to continue adding functionality to this tool, I noticed the Radio Times grabber (tv_grab_uk_rt) doesn’t have the duplicates problem and also provides more comprehensive listings info — but its output seems to break XMLTV2MXF for some reason.

    If you’re in contact with the developer in NZ it maybe worth asking if he’s seen this before. Otherwise I’ll try to find the time to take a look at his code for myself (day job permitting).

  2. @Ian
    I’ve installed your new version and with a bit more tweaking my bbc-hd listings are now perfect. Thanks!

    I found I had to copy the command files into my XMLTV directory to avoid a ‘Missing File’ error
    and I noticed the msxsl command in RemDups.cmd had two spaces between each token instead of one space, (not sure if it’s significant), but I changed it like so —
    msxsl hd.xml removeduplicates.xsl -o hd.xml

    Finally, I noticed the top line of the xsl file had the url partly replaced with … (probably by the forum software). It should read —

  3. Hi Ian, thanks for the update however I can’t get it working, I had the original working fine but after the update I get ‘Unable to download EPG data, please check setup of XMLTV: system could not file specified file’. The XMLTV widget runs ok in your app but this massage get displayed after.

    Help please.

  4. There is a problem with the program moving some files. So copy msxls.exe, removedups.cmd and removeduplicates.xsl from the program directory to the folder containing the xmltv files and that will fix it.

  5. sorry to be thick, I have gone round and round in circles with is, can you publish the exact file structure required as I have these files eveywhere and still not joy?

  6. @Jonhill copy msxls.exe, removedups.cmd and removeduplicates.xsl from the folder the program is installed in eg c:\program files\the digital lifestyle.com\TDL Freeview HD Guide Tool
    To the folder you put the xmltv files in eg c:\xmltv

    Then run the program as normal

  7. Thanks, Got that bit going now but even with the edits above ‘no data available’ in listing. even tried BBC_HD in channel name.
    the hd.xml is very small with not a lot in it?

  8. I have rolled back to the previous version and run scheduled task more frequently to try and not come up with the duplicates and it works looks ok. Does that make scene?

  9. Thanks for this great software!
    The new build fixes the problem with the program moving some files around. However, just like @jonhill, this version is not working for me i.e. I get “no data available” for BBC HD.
    I have rolled back to the previous version before these two builds and gives me the correct epg for one day. Hope this makes sense!?.

  10. I believe the issue is with the format of the test for duplicatesin the .xsl file being applied – the logic used now deletes ALL the entries in HD.XML not just the duplicates – resulting in a 1KB HD.XML ( starts out at 46KB when downloaded) and a 5KB .xmf file – both with no entries in them.

  11. I have uploaded a new build that has a checkbox whether to use the duplicate checking, so for now leave it un-ticked while we work on the xsl

  12. Love the idea of this though am having some problems. I’ve downloaded the current version of the app but there’s no tick box for stopping duplicate checking, so end up with an HD.xml file with nothing in it other than the contents of the duplicates .xsl file.

  13. New build imports the data and that’s great, thanks. I’ve noticed that the guide data is only correct for the day that the update runs, is that working as designed? I’ve changed the scheduled time of the update to 8am in an attempt to fix this, though no joy so far.

  14. @njc you are seeing the bug in the xmltv data and the last update was trying to fix this with an XLS file but it didn’t seem to fix it

  15. i installed this and the xmltv, gave the program the correct loaction for the xmltv files but i get can’t find hd.xml error, i looked there is no hd.xml in the folder where do i get the hd.xml from?

  16. Got the latest version running but with duplicate checking un-ticked the three copies of HD preview on BBC HD push next day schedules out of line. With deplicate checking ticked the BBC HD channel has no entires at all. Fingers crossed the fix isn’t too tricky to track down!

  17. What’s the format of the TZ variable? Guide data today is all an hour out after summer time change. I’ve tried TZ=GMT0, but although it reads it when the script runs, the programmes are all still an hour out.

  18. I have listing times offset by +1 hour since DST too. I noticed the XMLTV grabber xml file is correctly allowing for DST, but it seems that XMLTV2MXF is generating the wrong initial start time for programme 1 and all the following programmes are wrong because their start times are specified relative to programme 1. I.thought XMLTV2MXF used UTC to avoid this, so it needs some more diagnosis.

  19. Well the xmltv output file correctly includes +0100 for BST on each start and stop attribute. And the MXF file now has http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd776338.aspx says it uses UTC. So the question is why are the 7MC guide listings all incorrectly offset by +1 hour ?

  20. Hi Ian,
    Mine’s ok today as well. I wonder if there’s a ‘window’ where I’m downloading listings after BST, but the listings still have some entries that start before BST — so after a day or so when there are no more pre-BST listings then loadmxf is happy again ?

    BTW if you’re still having trouble with the xsl, check the URL didn’t get partly replaced with “…” (See my 1st Post above) and that the msxsl command line only has a single space between tokens.

  21. I tried this out today (Anglia region switchover, so I can finally get HD channels) and got the same issue about duplicated BBC HD Preview entry. The removal xsl didn’t work, and running the command line showed that the xsl declaration was wrong. It should read:

    <q cite="

    ” />

    (Im wrapping the above in a quote, as I am not sure if the comment box will filter out something it thinks is html?)

    For me, that makes the difference between working and not working, though when run from the application I didnt see the error message…


  22. Ok, how about just *imagining* that there are lessThan, gtrThan symbols around this:

    xsl:stylesheet version=”1.0″ xmlns:xsl=”http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform”


  23. Just downloaded and got the app working. I didn’t have some of the problems above because I had already fixed the permissions problems with XMLTV on Windows7-64 where it is picky about where files can be located – XMLTV works best in a data directory and not the programs folders.
    However UK BLEB does not have listings for the other 3 HD channels, he has copyright problems with ITV who want to charge him for the free listings (they do not seem to want people to know when the programs are on).
    I use FreeGuide/XMLTV and the listings from RT look OK. Has anyone been able to get RT working as a source? I noticed a problem note above.

  24. Just tried running with the corrected xsl file but it was not fully successful. Something is still wrong – it inserted a ‘HD Preview’ programme in the middle of this evening’s schedule which is not correct. It DID appear to remove some entries from the hd file though, leaving a blank line in their place.

  25. I was wondering if anyone knows how to get over the error message:

    ” Unable to download EPG data, please check the setup of XML TV: The requested operation cannot be performed on a file with a user-mapped section open. ”

    The program runs the first time after a reboot but after that (including when run under Task Scheduler) this error occurs.

    Thanks in advance.

  26. I’ve got this installed and now have listings (having previously checked the duplicates button on a whim and had no bbc HD). Can I check the state of the bug where future guide is out of date, it isn’t working correctly for me despite a comment at the top of the page that this should be fixed … although I note a comment in here about that fix not working but not as much chat on the topic as I would expect. If it isn’t fixed will the guide always work for “today”? Its a bit unnerving trying to switch my scheduling over to the hd channels when I’m not seeing the right time & day for the recordings. I really _don’t_ think Russell Howard is going to be on at 2.30pm this Saturday despite what my EPG is currently telling me ! 🙂

  27. Hi,

    I downloaded this to fix the missing BBC HD EPG but have encountered the same issue reported by Duncan – the listings after the current day are no longer correct. The current days listings are correct then I have repeated previews scheduled for approx 24 hours, until around 2pm in the morning, when the 4pm listings for the previous day appear. I haven’t checked but I suspect that the further the listing you are viewing is from the current day the greater the timing errors.

    This is a real shame as the reason for using this was so that I could schedule recordings of HD versions of programs that are otherwise only shown on BBC3 or 4.

    Otherwise I found the whole thing easy to setup and a doddle to use.

    If I can provide you with any additional info to help you track this problem down please let me know.

  28. I think I’ve sorted out my own problem. It’s AVG Free that seems to lock a few of the files. Changed over to Avira instead and everything is now running okay.

  29. As of 5th May 2011 – it seems that Microsoft have started to provide Guide Listings for BBC HD.

    I am in an area served by the Sandy Heath transmitter – but I would imagine the updated guide data covers the entire UK (Please comment in follow-up posts for the benefit of other readers).

    Happy (HD) Viewing Folks!

  30. I’ve got Win 7 Media Center and cannot get Freeview HD channel (and other) listings. (Despite reports that this is fixed by Microsoft.)
    Running your software gets BBC HD (thanks) but no other HD channel listings.
    Can I check that your software should include that.
    Also, does it just look to fill in just the missing channels or all of them?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *