[mythtv-users] mythfilldatabase

Stephen Worthington stephen_agent at jsw.gen.nz
Sun Mar 4 14:18:31 UTC 2018

On Sun, 4 Mar 2018 11:39:19 +0000, you wrote:

>On 04/03/18 11:13, Klaus Becker wrote:
>> Le samedi 3 mars 2018, 10:27:28 CET Barry Martin a écrit :
>>> Re: [mythtv-users] mythfilldatabase
>>> From:	Barry Martin <barry3martin at gmail.com>
>>> To:	mythtv-users at mythtv.org
>>> Date:	Hier 17:27
>>> Hi Klaus!
>>> Your "the error seems to be 'No channels are configured to use grabber'"
>>> is probably correct.  Of course the thing is figuring out where.  I
>>> think your "the grabber" is going to be the German equivalent of here in
>>> the U.S. SchedulesDirect. I'll admit to being a little more confused as
>>> it appears your e-mail in French-based and the error messages are
>>> partially in French.
>>>> I got a digital antenna and I want to watch german televison. I have a
>>>> dreambox that works, but it does not work with MythTV.
>>>> Channel scan works, but I cannot regard televison. There is a problem with
>>>> mythfilldatabase. I telles me:
>>> I think you're confusing two different things,   and don't get worried:
>>> we all were newbies and had to learn.  I'm an amateur and answering to
>>> try to be able to bridge some of the more complex and detailed answers
>>> the others will respond with.   "Channel scan" is for watching Live TV
>>> and I don't think has anything to do your mythfilldatabase problem.
>>> ...Well, maybe.
>>> Mythfilldatabase can obtain its information two ways.  One is from
>>> "EIT", which is the programming information provided by the TV stations
>>> in their live over-the-air signal.  Here in the U.S. sometimes data for
>>> only the next three or four hours, sometimes for a period of time up to
>>> the next day or two (24 to 48 hours).  The other way to obtain
>>> programming data is via SchedulesDirect, though that's U.S.-only, no
>>> idea what the European version is.
>>> One quirk (oddity) I noticed when I was playing here with EIT is there
>>> is a setting (configuration) which will have the tuner do nothing but
>>> detect the EIT data; it won't be able to be used as a tuner.  Elsewhere
>>> in MythTV that tuner will always appear as 'busy'.  (This paragraph does
>>> and does not have anything to do with your current problem; I'm just
>>> trying to point out a potential problem.)
>>>> $ mythfilldatabase
>>>> 2018-03-03 12:40:42.466101 C  mythfilldatabase version: fixes/0.28
>>>> [8238e839c9]www.mythtv.org
>>>> 2018-03-03 12:40:42.466118 C  Qt version: compile: 5.7.1, runtime: 5.7.1
>>>> 2018-03-03 12:40:42.466123 N  Enabled verbose msgs:  general
>>> Somewhat how to read these things:  year - month - date
>>> time_to_ididy-bitty_seconds.  Next column is more helpful when looking
>>> for errors:  "C" I think is 'comment', 'N' for 'notification', "I" for
>>> "information'.  'W; for 'warning', "E" for 'error'.
>>>> 2018-03-03 12:40:42.478733 I  Assumed character encoding: fr_FR.utf8
>>>> 2018-03-03 12:40:42.478751 W  This application expects to be running a
>>>> locale that specifies a UTF-8 codeset, and many features may behave
>>>> improperly with your current language settings. Please set the LC_ALL or
>>>> LC_CTYPE, and LANG variable(s) in the environment in which this program
>>>> is executed to include a UTF-8 codeset (such as 'en_US.UTF-8').

This message actually means exactly what it says.  Your Linux version
has not been set up properly so that programs are provided with the
LC_ALL and LANG environment variables to tell them about the language
and locale environment they are running in.  My variables look like


I do not know the correct variables for a French (France) language
setup, but my guess would be something like this:


What Linux distribution are you using?  Most will have a GUI setup
page somewhere to set the language and locale settings, and you may
have to reboot after changing them before the new settings will work.
In my Ubuntu 16.04 system, the file /etc/locale.gen has a list of
valid locale values.  The LC_ALL value seems to be set in
/etc/environment, but I am not sure where the other two come from.

>>> Umm, the 'warning' line doesn't like something - I have no idea what.
>>>> 2018-03-03 12:40:42.479415 N  Empty LocalHostName.
>>>> 2018-03-03 12:40:42.479434 I  Using localhost value of 2stein
>>> Again a mistake someplace but the system is correcting itself.
>>>> 2018-03-03 12:40:42.505768 I  Updating source #1 (Astra) with grabber
>>>> tv_grab_eu_egon
>>>> 2018-03-03 12:40:42.505918 I  No channels are configured to use grabber.
>>> I think  this is the start of the mythfilldatabase error you are
>>> having.  My guess is "tv_grab_eu_egon" is the equivalent of my
>>> "SchedulesDirect" and it (*egon) has to be configured to which TV
>>> stations you want.  You will need to go to the *egon website, login,
>>> select where you are, and then select/deselect the available TV channels.
>>>> The error seems to be "No channels are configured to use grabber."
>>>> So what can I do ? I searched a lot on the web without finding a solution.
>>> That is my guess also.
>> Hi Barry,
>> Thanks for your answer.
>> My native language is german, but I live in France since a long time.
>> So if I understand you well, regarding live tv should be possible even if
>> there is a problem with mythfilldatabase ?
>> In this case I will first try to get live tv working, and than recording.
>> http://www.epgdata.com/ is commercial and this should not be necessary. I also
>> have a dreambox and it works without any commercial service. (I want to
>> replace the dreambox by mythtv because the box is buggy).
>> I tried a channel scan with a free grabber for Europe, but the result is the
>> same: the scan works, I get a liste of hundreds of channels, but I cannot
>> regard any.
>> I do not really understand if a grabber is necessary to watch tv. The french
>> mythtv site recommands to choose no grabber in setup.
>> My channel list is at
>> http://supplement.xmltv.org/tv_grab_eu_epgdata/channel_ids
>> When I choose "watch tv", nothing happens. When I try to record tv, I see the
>> channel list, but impossible to watch or record any.
>> I started mythfrontend in a shell and I have the error message
>> "It appears that your backend may be misconfigured.  Check your backend logs
>> to determine whether your inputs, lineups, channels, or storage configuration
>> are reporting errors.  This issue is commonly caused by failing to complete
>> all setup steps properly.  You may wish to review the documentation for
>> mythtv-setup."
>> I rebegan mythtv-setup step for step, I cannot see what is wrong.
>> I shall review the documentation, but perhaps you have an idea about the
>> mistake ?
>> Cheers
>> Klaus
>I have no experience of German tv but I would expect you to be able to 
>get schedule information by EIT - which might be what the French Mythtv 
>site is calling 'no grabber'    EIT works well for me in the UK; it just 
>doesn't give as much detail as the commercial services.

It is worth trying EIT grabbing in case that is sufficient for your
needs.  EIT data normally comes in two forms - either now/next (the
current program and the next program) or full EIT data for some
extended period, typically 7 days.  Some multiplexes transmit both
now/next and full EIT data.  Now/next EIT data is not normally very
useful as it does not allow you to schedule recordings ahead of time.
So if that is all that is available, then you will need to use another
source.  Now/next EIT data can be helpful if the channels get their
EIT data updated for last minute changes such as a program running
late.  Few channels seem to do that, and I think MythTV will only
start supporting last minute updates as of the upcoming version 30.

There does not seem to be much information on the MythTV Wiki about
German EPG data:


but there is a German language MythTV forum where there may be more
help available:


>There's a comment above about an EIT setting that doesn't allow 
>recording.  I don't think that's true.  Perhaps it doesn't allow *other* 
>software to use that tuner.

Correct - if you are using a tuner for grabbing EIT data, it remains
busy all the time being used by MythTV.  This prevents other software
from using that tuner.  It does not prevent MythTV from using it, as
it is possible to get EIT data from the EIT stream(s) of a multiplex
at the same time as getting the streams for one or more channels in
order to record them.  It is a bad idea anyway to use a tuner that is
configured for use in MythTV for other purposes - at any time MythTV
may want to use it to start a recording.  So using a tuner full time
for EIT grabbing is not really a problem.

>John P

When you use an XMLTV EPG grabber, the grabber can be able to populate
the channels in your database for you.  Here in New Zealand, our
grabber can not do that, but if you use the epgData pay service, it
may be able to.  If the grabber does not populate the channels, then
you have to use the channel scanner option in mythtv-setup to create
the channels.  Once that has been done, you should be able to use live
TV to watch the channels.  You can see all the channels that have been
scanned in mythtv-setup under the Channel Editor menu.  For an XMLTV
EPG grabber to work, when you go into the Channel Editor, select a
channel and hit Enter to edit it, you should be able to use the right
arrow on "Channel options - commnon", and then scroll down to see the
XMLTV ID setting.  That setting has to match what the XMLTV EPG
grabber uses to identify the channel.  If the grabber does not set
that up, then you need to get the list of those values and enter them
into the XMLTV ID field for each channel.

To scan for channels using a tuner, in mythtv-setup, go to Input
Connections, select a tuner and hit Enter, right arrow to get the
options for that tuner, and select "Scan for channels".  There will
then be more options about what sort of scanning to do.  This will use
the hardware tuner to look at a range of frequencies determined by
your country settings to see if it can find any channels on those
frequencies.  It can also find "service" channels that are used for
other things (eg updating set top boxes).  If it creates such channels
in your database that can not be played, you can just go to the
channel list in mythtv-setup and hit the D key or delete button on
your remote to delete them.

To fetch the channel list from the XMLTV grabber (if it supports
that), instead of selecting "Scan for channels", select "Fetch
channels from listings source".  As my New Zealand EPG does not
support that, I can not help with how it works.  But if it is
configured properly it should give you a list of channels that are
avilable in your location all set up ready to go.  So this is the best
option to use, if it is available.

Once mythtv-setup has a channel list, even if you have not got any EPG
data, you can use live TV.  There is a problem where the starting
channel may not be set to a valid value so if you go to mythfrontend's
Watch TV menu, it may not start playing anything as it tries to tune
to an invalid channel.  To fix that, in mythfrontend go instead to
Manage Recordings > Schedule Recordings > Program Guide.  You should
see all your channels, but possibly without any EPG data.  Select a
channel you want to watch, then use the remote Menu key or M on the
keyboard to bring up the Menu, select Watch This Channel and hit
Enter.  If the channel you have select works, it will then become the
starting channel for next time you use the Watch TV menu.  Once you
are watching a channel, you can just key in a new channel number and
Enter to change to a new channel.  The last channel you were able to
play successfully will be the starting channel the next time you use
Watch TV.

Good EPG is the key to making MythTV work well for you - some of its
nicest features rely on good EPG data.  For example, if the EPG data
does not identify series and episode information or give a unique ID
to each episode, then MythTV will not be able to prevent re-recording
of repeats of old programs that you have already recorded.  So if
there is a commercial source of EPG data, that is likely the best
option to get the most out of MythTV.  Here in New Zealand, we have
EPG data grabbed from EIT or MHEG5 originally, and it is annoyingly
bad at times.  I often find that from my satellite pay channels, I
record the same episode of a series twice because they are normally
transmitted at least three times and on several channels the EPG data
on the first of those is marked as "New" in the subtitle or
description, with later repeats dropping the word "New" out of the EPG
data.  Without the proper ID data in other fields, MythTV has to rely
on the title, subtitle and description data to work out what to
record, and if that data is different, it will think it is a new
episode and record it again.  And when programs are repeated again at
a later date, our providers have often deleted their copy of their old
EPG data and they re-create it, and it will be different in some way,
causing further re-recordings.  Sometimes they even do different
misspellings of words between transmissions of the same episode on the
same day!  Commercial EPG data normally has these sorts of problems
fixed, so it can be well worth the (usually reasonable) cost of paying
for it.

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