[mythtv-users] UK: managing Freeview and Freesat

Nick Morrott knowledgejunkie at gmail.com
Wed Apr 6 13:42:04 UTC 2011

On 6 April 2011 13:56, Richard Lainchbury <freexe at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 1:37 PM, Simon Hobson <linux at thehobsons.co.uk> wrote:
>> Richard Lainchbury wrote:
>> >>How's that going to work then ?
>> >As I set about above:
>> >
>> >1. Scan for channels.
>> >2. Select auto channel arrange
>> >3. Select country
>> >4. Select region
>> >5. Channels ordered.
>> >
>> >If you don't select auto channel arrange, then it works as normal,
>> >nothing is done.
>> >
>> >As I see it in, in the UK at least, there are only a few ways you
>> >would want to set your channel numbers.
>> >
>> >The process within MythTV is somewhat lacking here, lots of people
>> >are using custom scripts or seeking out these scripts. If within
>> >MythTV a user could select one of these scripts it would reduce
>> >the complexity of setting up channels.
>> >
>> >I also think that a optional standard for channel arranging could
>> >help focus the effort that goes into maintaining these lists across
>> >many countries.
>> I really, really cannot see that working at all.
>> Firstly, even if we only had one set of channels, the order I want
>> them in is most likely different to what others want, and the ones I
>> want to exclude are most likely different to what others want.
>> Ignoring that, just sticking with the UK, how many permutations can
>> you come up with ? Well for starters there's all the different
>> regions for Freeview, and on Freesat you get even more since there
>> isn't just (for example) "BBC 2", there's all the regional variations
>> of BBC 2.
>> In some areas there are additional local channels (MEN in the
>> Manchester area for example).
>> And that's before we've even got to cabled areas.
> There are 4 regions for BBC 2, and 18 regions for the BBC in general.
> Freeview and Freesat can be combined, or we could have different options for
> these. Local and complex channels could be ignored.
> It could be as simple as selecting which services you are using (Freeview,
> Freesat, Sky, Cable, Analogue) and then using a few scripts and a best guess
> approach. It might not be possible to get all the channels but my guess
> would be that they could be fairly safely ignored. If the user wants them,
> then they can use the current process.
> It would be fairly simple to have a marker in the database for channels set
> using the script so any modifications to the channel order could be kept
> when one of these scripts is re-run.
>> And all the time they (the broadcasters) keep messing about with channels.
>> Go to other parts of the world and it gets even more complicated.
>> Lurking in here has been an eye-opener for the problems our US
>> cousins have to put up with. Multiple local transmitters, multiple
>> combinations of the same channel on different transmitters and/or
>> cable and/or satellite (sometimes with time shifts ), and some in
>> analogue and others in digital.
>> What I do think would be helpful would be to organise sample scripts
>> better, and make it easy for new users to know that this is an
>> option. Then they can pick the sample script that most closely meets
>> their meets and customise it.
>> You could go one step further, and automate things to the extent that
>> if a script matching a certain name/location convention exists then
>> it would be run automatically (or from a menu option) after a rescan.
>> PS - please don't cc me in replies - I read the list and am happy to
>> see it there.
> Sorry, I'm new to using the mailing list, and gmail does that by default.
>> --
>> Simon Hobson
>> Visit http://www.magpiesnestpublishing.co.uk/ for books by acclaimed
>> author Gladys Hobson. Novels - poetry - short stories - ideal as
>> Christmas stocking fillers. Some available as e-books.
>> _______________________________________________
>> mythtv-users mailing list
>> mythtv-users at mythtv.org
>> http://www.mythtv.org/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
> I'm fairly happy to do some of the work required for this. But I'm unsure as
> to how to a) inform the users my scripts exist. Take for example the
> combined Freeview and Freesat list I wrote. I had no idea anyone was even
> using it.

Below is what I posted to the xmltv-dev list in March - the lack of a
functioning bathroom at present has temporarily stopped my work on
this in the past few weeks, but I will pick it up again in the next
week. My current work would seem to do almost everything everyone in
the thread is after on a per-platform and per-postcode basis. It is
yet to renumber one platform lineups to that of another (to allow easy
mixing of multiple platforms on a single system), and leans toward
aiding XMLTV configurations (it is part of the XMLTV lineups work),
but it also allows matching of digital services by way of service ID.

The overall idea for the lineups work is to allow configuration of
XMLTV grabbers directly in MythTV via a series of simple
question/answers to determine location, TV services and packages
subscribed to.


Over the last couple of weeks I have finally
started quietly working on this, at least for the UK and Ireland. I am
using the UK EPG lists available on Wikipedia (FWIW) in order to get
current channel ordering, and have also updated the channel names used
in the uk_rt grabber so that matching is much simpler (although more
likely to break when channels rename etc).

I currently have support for the following platforms, allowing a user
to specify a postcode location, platforms and list of packages from
which to generate a list of channels automatically (lineup):

$ ./ukrt-lineups --list-platforms

Supported platforms are:

For skyhd in my regions, you currently get the following output
(apologies for the line lengths in the debug output). Note that it
supports the HD channel swaps but is not yet filtering out national

$ ./ukrt-lineups --generate --platform skyhd -packages
"Free-to-air,Free-to-view,Variety Pack" --postcode CV22
Postcode given was CV22

Merged data for channels on the skyhd platform:
 101  BBC One West Midlands           Free-to-air
 102  BBC Two England                 Free-to-air   bbc2.bbc.co.uk
 103  ITV1 Central                    Free-to-air
 104  Channel 4                       Free-to-air   channel4.com

 104  S4C                             Free-to-air   s4c.co.uk
 105  Channel 5                       Free-to-air   channel5.co.uk
 105  3e                              Variety Pack  3e.tv3.ie
 106  Sky1 HD                         Variety Pack
 107  Sky Living HD                   Variety Pack  hd.living.sky.com

 108  Sky Atlantic HD                 Variety Pack
 109  Watch                           Variety Pack  watch.uktv.co.uk
 110  GOLD                            Variety Pack  gold.uktv.co.uk
 111  Dave                            Variety Pack  dave.uktv.co.uk

 112  Comedy Central HD               Variety Pack
 113  Universal Channel HD            Variety Pack
 114  Syfy HD                         Variety Pack  hd.uk.syfy.com
 115  BBC Three                       Free-to-air
 116  BBC Four                        Free-to-air   bbcfour.bbc.co.uk

The DVB-based lineups (e.g. those derived from Freeview/Freesat) also
map XMLTV IDs against DVB serviceids, but in the case of DVB-T I only
have access to current Sutton Coldfield transmitter details so these
mappings may not work across the whole of the UK. I am nearly done
with the list creation for all platforms, needing really to only
complete the national variations in the various EPGs.

I plan to write scripts to take a lineup data structure and a) create
appropriate SQL to insert (non-DVB) and update (DVB) configured video
sources in the MythTV database directly; and b) generate an icon
update script to only update icons. I'll hook into the MythTV Perl
bindings where possible to do this in a sensible manner, but note that
it is intended for XMLTV lineup (and apiconfig) support to be added to
MythTV itself, making scripts like this unnecessary for MythTV users.
This should make it easier to get going with XMLTV which is the whole
purpose of the XMLTV lineups idea.

When things are in shape I will either upload separately to my github
account or add the extra support to the grabber itself (I already
added initial lineup support to XMLTV some time ago). There is a fair
bit of duplicated grabber code in the lineup code, and I'm not sure if
uk_rt deserves its own library!



Nick Morrott

MythTV Official wiki: http://mythtv.org/wiki/
MythTV users list archive: http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/users

"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

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