Custom Channels Guide Second Line?

Using the Channels built-in EPG, it shows a second line with the subtitle. Like this:


I use IPTVBoss to create a custom .xml for my custom channels. It has a "Next_Line" feature, but it just puts a break in the xml and Channels shows both lines on one. What should appear in the xml to separate the title from the subtitle such that the latter appears below in the smaller font above?

Any thoughts? Appears like this in the xml:

That "second line" is the episode title, while the primary line is the program title.

In the XMLTV DTD, the program title is defined as the title element, and the episode title (or "second line") is the sub-title element of the parent programme element.

If you're not seeing that second line, then your guide data does not contain a sub-title element.

I have no idea what this means.

I figured out what was wrong with my software. It was deliberately consolidating the subtitle into the title field because most players won't actually display the subtitle. I changed that setting and now it's all working as expected. Thanks for the clue to get me there.

To add to what @racameron said.
For Sporting Events the second line would be the Event Title.

No. This is about XMLTV guide data, and there is no "Event Title" in the spec.

(As a note, because your post isn't formatted properly, your XML code sample is not displaying. You need to put ``` (3 back-ticks, usually the key to the left of 1 on the keyboard) on the lines both before and after your code snippet.)

Thank you. Let's see if this works. Here's how it was before:

  <programme start="20230915073700 +0000" stop="20230915083700 +0000" channel="">
    <category lang="en">Talk</category>
    <category lang="en">Series</category>
    <desc lang="en">Actor Ansel Elgort; actress Jane Levy.</desc>
    <title lang="en">The Late Late Show With James Corden
    Ansel Elgort: Jane Levy</title>

You can see how, with IPTVBoss the NEXT_LINE functionality was just putting a line break after Corden and before Ansel. Talking to the developer, it was setup like that to specifically exclude the subtitle element. Evidently, many IPTV players won't recognize/show subtitles, but some IPTV players will observe a break like that to split the title into separate lines (and the rest will just default back to showing it all on one line). Of course, Channels recognizes and shows the subtitle element, and it does not recognize an ordinary line break in the xml instead consolidating both lines into a single line in the guide.

And here's how it is now, after I removed the exclusion of the subtitle element (and removed the injection of the subtitle element in the title element) and it is now working properly:

<programme start="20230915073700 +0000" stop="20230915083700 +0000" channel="">
    <category lang="en">Talk</category>
    <category lang="en">Series</category>
    <desc lang="en">Actor Ansel Elgort; actress Jane Levy.</desc>
    <sub-title lang="en">Ansel Elgort: Jane Levy</sub-title>
    <title lang="en">The Late Late Show With James Corden</title>

Thanks again for the help. Is the "three tick" convention a common thing for setting off code snippets in forums?

If they do this, then they are not adhering to XML guidelines.

Yes. Many forums use Markdown, and additionally they tend to use GitHub-Flavored Markdown (GFM).

Your contributions here are extremely useful. Thank you, again.

@curtiss I'm also giving IPTVBoss a try in order to build a solid XMLTV guide for my Custom Channels.

@racameron and @tmm1 were exceedingly helpful in another thread in pointing me in the right direction with regard to unique episode identifiers being missing and that being the root cause of my "Passes" not behaving properly.

So far, IPTVBoss is the only playlist editing tool I've run into that allows me to have this data inserted. Their UI is a bit awkward, but it works.

Above you described adding the <subtitle> element back in (it's removed by default in IPTV Boss). Do you have any other tips that you've found helpful?

The alternative is to just not use XMLTV guide data at all and to map each channel using the Channels DVR guide data, which is very rich, excellent data. My concern is that the built in mapping tool is somewhat "blunt", without the ability to timeshift or make other occasionally important tweaks. Still, it may be the best option.

I have a couple channels that ChannelsDVR does not. I'm using the IPTVBoss EPGs and have been satisfied with them. I use the (very simple) config below with all of my playlists. Under the "Remove Components" column, I right click (or remove) SUBTITLE and ICON (so I get the show/episode images).


It auto-inserts subtitle and description, as shown by the xml code below.

  <programme start="20230928020000 +0000" stop="20230928023000 +0000" channel="">
    <category lang="en">Series</category>
    <desc lang="en">The Emmy-winning quiz show features a unique answer-and-question format.</desc>
    <icon src=""></icon>
    <sub-title lang="en">Second Chance</sub-title>
    <title lang="en">Jeopardy! ᴺᵉʷ</title>
    <new />

If you have any suggested improvements, I'm all ears. I've been able to make my Advanced Passes work well with the right search parameters.

Icon does that?! So good to know. That was definitely one of the things I was wondering about.

The one thing I'm about to test is episode_number. The data is there from the EPG source and if Channels uses that for uniqueness, I think it will solve my problem. Without it, Channels was recording one episode of the daily news shows I was recording and then believing (understandably) that every other episode that followed was just a duplicate and therefore not needing to be recorded.

I'd be curious how you setup your advanced passes to avoid this.

The only daily I'm presently recording is the 6:00 news and I'm recording that off my cable card/HDHomeRun which is using the Channels EPG (which, as you note, is excellent). I'm sure you're right that would present an issue with my custom channels. Let me know how adding the episode number goes. I think you'd just right-click (remove) EPISODE_NUMBER in the right-hand column, which would have the effect of adding it back in to the xml.

Just confirming that, yes, that does the trick. Good tip. Thank you.

  <programme start="20230927133000 +0000" stop="20230927140000 +0000" channel="">
    <category lang="en">News</category>
    <category lang="en">Series</category>
    <episode-num system="dd_progid">SH04182656.0000</episode-num>
    <icon src=""></icon>
    <title lang="en">CO Daily News at 6:30am ᴺᵉʷ</title>
    <new />

Adding the <episode_number> field in worked well. I'm still not sure that's the way to go, though. I'd prefer to manage my channels and EPG all in one place. If I could find a decent playlist editor that allowed the addition of a custom field, I think I'd just do that and add the gracenote channel id via the tvc-guide-stationid that ChannelsDVR supports.

I guess the good news is that a few days ago I was worried that ChannelsDVR might not be a workable solution for my needs and now I have two different routes to get to where I want to be and both "work". It's just a matter of figuring out which one requires less day-to-day maintenance.

An M3U playlist is just a plain text file. You can open and edit it in any text editor.

Yeah, I wish they'd let you use two EPG sources for the same custom channels source. I'd use Channels DVR's epg for just about everything, and then just use my external source for a couple channels. But the way they have it setup, it's all or nothing.

Also, I'm not sure I understand what you're saying, but I definitely manage my channels through IPTVBoss too. I have a custom playlist that organizes my channel list, and each is mated to the IPTVBoss EPG for that channel (which, as noted, is customized).

You could add it twice and hide channels on the second one

Yes, that would work, though it would throw off the tuner count. Probably the best solution for now given that it's only a couple stations. That said, I've been pretty happy with IPTVBoss. And I principally use my cable card and the Channels EPG, which is great.