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Big Screen EPG gets a Windows 7 update

Ben Drawbaugh

Here in the US we take for granted the free guide data that Microsoft provides for Windows 7 Media Center users, but it isn't like that in every country of the world. Nope, in many regions of the world there is no EPG data at all and any DVR without guide data is basically a VCR. Luckily 3rd parties have filled the void and the most renown has finally starting distributing Windows 7 compatible binaries. But unlike some other great 3rd party plug-ins, Big Screen EPG comes with a price, which seems pretty reasonable if it means actually being able to use Media Center. Especially when it includes so many other features like channel logos and enhanced series matching and meta-data imports. If you still aren't sold, you can try out a none expiring trial that simply has a subset of the features before dropping the full $20 for a 2 year family license.

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mobilewares launches Big Screen EPG for Windows® 7 Media Center
Big Screen EPG brings the full Windows 7 Media Center EPG Experience to global users.
Melbourne, Australia. June 22nd, 2010. P/L officially launched the final version of Big Screen EPG for Microsoft Windows® 7® Media Center earlier today – allowing Media Center users from around the world to unlock and customize the complete set of Electronic Program Guide (EPG) and PVR Scheduling features in Windows® 7®.
The beta version of Big Screen EPG (launched in 2009) has already been a huge success with thousands of global Media Center enthusiasts - who were previously either unable to utilize the full set of rich EPG services offered by Microsoft to US Media Center users – or wanted the ability to include and customize additional TV Services that had not been catered for. In January of 2010, Big Screen EPG was voted "Best Commercial Application for Windows Media Center" in 2009 awards.
For the Big Screen EPG final release – consumers are offered a number of licensing options – ranging from a non-expiring 'free' version - through to a subscription version which offers the full set of features the product provides as well as ongoing product updates. As part of the launch – consumers can purchase the subscription version for USD$19.95 for a 2 Year „Family License‟ (which allows it to be used on up to 5 machines in a single household) – bringing them the product for as low as USD$2.00 per machine/per year. Other commercial and OEM licensing options are also available on request to companies and institutions wishing to offer employees and customers the product.
Some of the core features Big Screen EPG brings users include :-
- Ability to import rich EPG data from any combination of XMLTV based data sources – and assign them to any Free-to-Air and PayTV Services available inside Media Center – including Terrestrial/Satellite/Cable based Digital TV (such as ATSC, DVB-T/T2, DVB-S/S2, DVB-C), Analog/CCTV Channels (PAL/NTSC/Secam) as well as IPTV Services.
- Allows use of custom Channel Logos which are displayed within the Media Center EPG. - Intelligent and Sophisticated Unique Program and TV Series detection features – allowing for
more reliable and powerful scheduled recording in Media Center. - Automatic Series Matching and Metadata import (with inbuilt database of over 20,000+ 'known'
TV Series) – which injects TV Series Artwork, Star-Ratings and other rich programme
information. - Works with Multi-Lingual EPG metadata – including support for non-latin and DBCS character
sets such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, Greek, Russian, Arabic, Thai and others. - Enables Media Center's inbuilt Parental Controls and Classifications, and allows customization of
Genres and other enhanced metadata.
Big Screen EPG also provides a multitude of other features allowing users full control over their EPG metadata in Media Center – which can be configured and managed via the included configuration tools. "Big Screen EPG" Press Release - contact
"We are really proud to be reaching the final release milestone for Big Screen EPG – which has been in beta since the pre-release versions of Windows 7 in 2009." states Niall Ginsbourg – CEO of "The feedback and excitement from thousands of beta participants around the world has been truly remarkable – and has helped shape this product into something which reflects the needs and desires of global Media Center users. We look forward to bringing the full Windows Media Center EPG experience to many more users – and will continue to roll out new features for subscribers over the coming months."
Big Screen EPG is the fifth commercial product to be launched to consumers as part of the 'Big Screen' product range for Windows Media Center – which currently includes 'Big Screen Weather', 'Big Screen Headlines', 'Big Screen Contacts' and 'Big Screen Photos' – which operate as 10 foot addin's to Media Center. An additional product 'Big Screen by Remote' was also launched to beta users earlier this year - and allows users to remotely access and interact with their Media Center EPG's via Desktop (Silverlight) and Mobile web browsers.

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