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What is EPG and how to create one?

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Remember the days when you will have to check the newspaper or other printed medium to check what was on air for the day. 

Today, the program guide has evolved from a printed document to an interactive feature, which keeps users glued to their devices to find out more about what's available to watch. And the best part is, technology allows them to watch it at their convenience.

With an electronic programming guide (EPG), you are able to schedule programs in a way that allows your users to browse and select content by different criteria, such as channel, title, or date.

Broadcasting is moving toward digital methods such as OTT, IPTV, and FAST channels. However, many people have never heard of an EPG.

You could actually be using one without being aware of it!

So what does an EPG look like?

📺video program (content) metadata, and
📺scheduling data.

The former answers the question “what is on?” while the latter answers “when can I watch it?"

What is EPG?

An electronic programming guide (EPG) displays broadcast schedule information for current and upcoming broadcast programming through a menu system that is continually updated.

Simply put, EPG is made up of information about shows, such as the title, channel, air-time, genre, and episode information. 

To sum it up, EPG is a service that allows your viewers to search for show schedules and discover which channels are broadcasting them live.

Today’sprogramming guide has the following elements

👉Interactive graphical user interface or GUI usually in grids

👉 List of different channels and their corresponding programs with airing schedules


Understand what is IPTV and how it works

Types of EPG

Not all EPGs appear the same. Some only list programs that are currently playing on screen while others provide schedules of upcoming programs as well.

Single Channel EPG

Single channel EPG

As the name says, this type of EPG displays the schedule of only one channel on the Electronic Program Guide.

This type of guide is typically used by OTT services that have one live channel.

Multi-Channel EPG

Multichannel EPG

In this type of EPG, the user can see the schedules of multiple channels, simultaneously on the program guide.

The user can switch between the channels by clicking on the channel name.

Non-interactive EPG

Non interaactive EPG

As the name implies, this type of EPG is not interactive. In other words, it does not require or allow user actions from viewers.

The purpose of this type of EPG is to only provide information about each program and its duration so that viewers can plan their viewing schedule ahead of time.

Since it is not interactive, the viewer cannot simply click on it to link to the program or search for specific programs.

Interactive EPG

The Interactive (Electronic) Programming Guide, is also known as IPG. It is a more modern version of the EPG that allows users to browse, select, watch and switch between multiple channels and video-on-demand services.

How to create an EPG with Ventuno

1. From the Video Playout section of the left menu select Manage EPG (VOD to Live) and then select EPG and Create EPG

2. Type in a Name for your EPG and select the Channel and Timezone

Create EPG step 1 and 2

3. Click on the Submit button

4. Now click on the Add Program button under the Action column

Create EPG step 3

You will see the Add Program Page

5. Select the Program type as Media or Advertisement or Promo from the drop-down list.

6. Select Content type as Show or Playlist

7. Then, select a Show/ Playlist from the dropdown

You will see that the duration of all the content in that Show/Playlist is displayed in the Content Duration field.

Create EPG Steps 4-6

7. Set the looping count. Example: Looping Count 4 means the playlist or show will be repeated 4 times consecutively.

Once you fill in the loop count you will see the duration it will be aired (Start time and End time). Program Start Time is customizable, provided you choose any time 4 hours from the time of creating the EPG.

8. You can hit the Submit button after you verify the filled-in information.

You can repeat the process to schedule more programs

Why should your channel have an EPG

EPGs are the backbone of a well-organized and viewer-friendly streaming channel. They help you manage content, engage viewers, retain their interest, and generate revenue through advertising.

1. Viewer Navigation

EPGs provide viewers with a structured and organized way to navigate through your channel's content. They can see what's currently playing, what's up next, and what's scheduled for later. This helps viewers discover content easily.

2. Advertising

For a FAST channel, ad placements are vital for revenue. An EPG helps you manage ad slots efficiently. You can schedule ad breaks, ensuring that advertisements are inserted at appropriate times without disrupting the viewer's experience.

3. Viewer Engagement

Viewers can use them to browse through your channel's content, view program descriptions, and select what they want to watch. This engagement can lead to longer watch times and improved user satisfaction.


Wrap Up

By now you would have probably understood what EPG can offer to viewers. An EPG showcases broadcast information and schedule so the viewers can easily navigate and plan to watch their favorite content.

Ready to start your own channel and setup an EPG?

Looking to launch your streaming app?

Anjana Devi

Anjana Devi