In previous posts called "(IP)TV in OSMC" a simple solution for watching free IPTV channels in OSMC was introduced. Now you can watch TV - but how do you know what's on, and when it's on?
Enter EPG - the Electronic Program Guide you might be familiar with from different devices or even in print. And while it's not necessary to be able to watch TV, it makes selecting a channel so much more convenient.
Usually, one would have to collect all data from the channel providers to get detailed program information. Fortunately, there is a free provider of EPG data called koditvEPG. They have quite an elaborate collection of all the mayor channels ordered by country, which you can select on a neat map. For Germany, there are currently 542 channels listed. The dasa is provided as XML, both raw (.xml) and gzipped (.xml.gz).
In OSMC, the IPTV simple client already comes with a configuration section for EPG. In the field "XML TV URL", the enter URL of the EPG xml has to be entered. To save some bandwith, use the gzipped version. Now you need some patience for OSMC to download the latest EPG XML and you should be good to go.
For OSMC to display the EPG for a channel, the "tvg-id" tags in the IPTV m3u and the RPG XML need to match. Fortunately, this is already the case when using the kodinerds list of IPTV channels I used in the previous post.
Some of the channels don't match for letter case mismatches or other differences. Now, I didn't investigate this further as all the channels I needed were supported out of the box, but you can edit the M3U strem playlist to match the "tvg-id" tag. You just would have to switch to a local playlist with your matched tags and the EPG data should be displayed properly. The only disadvantage would be that the playlist won't be updated from the internet which might cause problems if the URLs change - chances are they get fixed quite quickly in an online list, while you'd have to update a local playlist on your own.