bad EPG data from Sky
I'm one of those Sony users affected by the broadcast of out-of-spec EPG data.
It's not and has never been about a firmware update from Sony. The BBC article is factually incorrect.
Some knowledgable people have tracked the error down as corrupt EPG data from Sky, or its EPG data supplier, being broadcast on COM5. It would appear to boil down to a missing "/" in the data.
Other makes of Freeview devices gracefully handled this error; the Sony HXD boxes made by Pioneer and some Pioneer boxes (and a few others) choked when presented with this data stream.
Retuning using France as the location was a temporary workaround. They must use a different EPG ident or structure or something so the UK EPG packets in the broadcast stream were discarded and hence no recorder crash. You could select either Guide++ or digital EPG (though the EPG was still empty) to affect which timer controls to use. Selecting Guide++ while using a UK location did not help.
By Sunday afternoon, Sony, DTT and other big nobs had got together, kicked bottom and the broadcast stream was fixed. Everything seems to be back to normal now.
You can follow the whole EPG Black Friday saga here:
As a developer I know it's the dull boring bit but, hey, to all involved: more testing guys!