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On the Box Frequently Asked Questions
Setup and TV Guide:
Browsing the Guide and Programs:
Searching and Bookmarks:
On the Box is a 7 day TV Guide for Australian free-to-air television that runs on your Apple iPhone or iPod touch. The On the Box TV Guide can be browsed by time-of-day or by channel, and can be searched to find out when your favourite program is on. By allowing searches to be saved as Bookmarks, On the Box becomes your own personalised TV Guide.
When you buy On the Box it does not come with any TV Guide data feed, but rather works on a "BYO data" basis: On the Box uses TV Guide data provided by IceTV, and requires that you have a paid IceTV subscription. Please note that On the Box does not work with free IceTV accounts (e.g., IceTV iPhone and IceTV widget accounts), but will work with an existing IceTV account used to manage your PVR or Home Theatre PC.
In summary, sign-up to IceTV first, then buy On the Box.
On the Box uses TV Guide data provided by IceTV, Australia's independent free-to-air Electronic Program Guide (EPG), and requires a paid IceTV subscription. However, On the Box was developed independently by Funky People Pty Ltd, and is not an IceTV product. Notwithstanding this, IceTV are certainly aware of On the Box, and have been supportive of us in getting to market.
On the Box downloads TV Guide data from IceTV and stores it locally on your iPhone or iPod touch.
As a result, the app is very responsive when browsing and searching the TV Guide because you are
not waiting on a remote server. This zippiness, coupled with a clean and intuitive user interface,
makes On the Box a compelling app. Local storage of the TV Guide is also good news for iPod touch
owners because the app works just fine without a network connection.
From version 1.2, On the Box includes a special-purpose Twitter client that displays a real-time
feed of what people are saying about the selected TV show.
On the flip side, On the Box does not support IceTV's Interactive functionality, and in particular
cannot be used to remotely manage recordings on your DVR or Home Theatre PC.
On the Box is very well suited to the iPod touch because it stores TV Guide data on the device, and so keeps working when there is no network connection (although you still need to be connected every day or so to download TV Guide data).
Setup and TV Guide
Before On the Box can display any TV Guide data, you first need to enter your paid IceTV account details
on the Setup tab. Assuming that you have a Wi-Fi or 3G network connection, your
TV Guide will start to download within about 10-20 seconds of your account details being entered.
There are a number of reasons why TV Guide data might not download from IceTV, ranging from no IceTV
account having been setup, the IceTV password being wrong, or the IceTV subscription having
expired. To diagnose such problems look for an error message on the About tab.
TV Guide region (e.g., ACT, Melbourne, Sydney) is actually a setting on your IceTV account, and
cannot be set using On the Box itself. To change your TV Guide region visit the
IceTV web site
, login and click on My Account
If you do change the TV Guide region for your IceTV account, then it is probably a good idea to
reset On the Box using the Reset button on the About tab.
On the Box uses the 24 hour clock when your iPhone or iPod touch has 24 hour time enabled, and uses the 12
hour clock (with am and pm) when your iPhone or iPod touch has 24 hour time disabled. To enable or disable
24 hour time use Settings -> General -> Date & Time.
On the Box provides built-in support for Twitter, but is not a general purpose Twitter client:
- On the Box is designed to show a real-time feed of search results for a hash tag generated
from the name of the TV show. Also, On the Box lets you compose a tweet, and reply to
somebody else's tweet
- On the Box does not display the logged-in user's timeline, and isn't intended for general
- On the Box copes well with moderately popular TV shows, but if you're watching a ratings
blockbuster it's likely that On the Box's Twitter client will be overwhelmed
- On the Box does not allow URL links to be followed, does not display author bios, and
does not support retweeting, image embedding, or URL shortening
To compose a Twitter message tap the compose button on the left of the Twitter scren. If this
button is disabled, it means that you have not setup your Twitter account (see the Setup tab).
To reply to a Twitter message, tap the message. If this doesn't work, it means that you have not
setup your Twitter account (see the Setup tab).
For each TV show On the Box generates a "best guess" hash tag from the name of the TV show.
However, quite often this hash tag just doesn't look right. To change the hash tag, click in the
search box on the Twitter screen (where the hash tag is), and edit the hash tag. The hash tag
edit screen is pre-populated with several alternative values generated by On the Box, but you can
enter your own tag.
On the Box remembers the last hash tag associated with each TV show.
Browsing the Guide and Programs
The background colour reflects the rating of the TV show: green for C and G, yellow for PG, orange for
M and red for MA. Everything else (including those programs with no rating information) has a
Searching and Bookmarks
The search algorithm used within both the Search tab and the Bookmarks tab
includes a number of subtleties:
- it is not case sensitive (e.g., an upper case "A" will match a lower case "a", and vice versa)
- symbols (e.g., &) are ignored
- double letters are collapsed (e.g., "ll" matches "l" and "l" matches "ll")
- the words "a", "an" and "and" are ignored, except where they are the last word (e.g., "Spicks Specks"
matches "Spicks and Specks")
- the @ symbol at the start of your search means "starts with", and at the end of your search
means "ends with"
The search algorithm checks the title, sub-title and credits of each program, but does not check
the program's description.
The @ symbol at the start of a search means "starts with", and at the end of a search means
"ends with". When you Bookmark a specific program, On the Box automatically appends an @ symbol
so that the Bookmark search is more likely to match only that program. For example, if you Bookmark
"ABC News" On the Box creates a Bookmark with the search pattern of "ABC News@": by appending the @
symbol the Bookmark avoids matching "ABC News Update", "ABC News Breakfast", "ABC News: Late Edition",