Scanning for new/updated channels results in a mess

Discussion in 'Improvement Suggestions' started by doveman, October 22, 2010.

  1. doveman

    doveman Portal Pro

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    No doubt someone else has already noticed this, unless I'm just doing something wrong, but when I scan for new channels, I end up with an EPG showing some new channels with no programme information.

    For instance, on the last scan I got a new channel named "Channel One" but even though it's ticked in the EPG grabber, the EPG says something like "No programme information available".

    Looking at the details in the TV Server channel list, I see this new channel is on the same freq as Virgin1 (562.00Mhz) but has an ID of 99, whilst Virgin1 is 22.

    Similary I've now got "Adult Babestn" on the same freq as "Babestation", but the former doesn't show anything in the EPG, likewise with "ADULT PARTY" and "PARTYLAND" and "ADULT TMTV" and "TMTV".

    I've also now got two "Big Deal", one on 538.00Mhz and the other on 578.00Mhz (IDs 68 and 95). These are grouped in TV Server config, where it only has one entry but says "Tuningdetails 2".

    So basically I've got a bit of a mess after re-scanning. Hopefully this can be improved because STBs don't seem to have this problem.

    I haven't attached any logs because I haven't got any pertaining to the scanning process. I'm happy to run it again and post logs if that would help though.


     
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  3. jameson_uk
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    jameson_uk Retired Team Member

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    Channel One is the new name for Virgin 1. When you did a rescan it would have found this new channel and added it to your list but would not have deleted the old Virgin 1 entry (this is because it gets very messy deleting channels as you have things like BBC 3/4 which are not broadcasting 24/7) and you can end up loosing your channels.

    Freeview STBs get round a lot of this by deleting their whole channel listing when doing a rescan; Sky actually communicate with your box to provide updates but this is propriety stuff and only relevant to Sky.

    There is discussion about offering the chance to delete channels that were not found after a scan but as above this possibly wont happen because you could do a scan one day in bad wearther at 5pm and loose half your channels. If you do that then you would have to go through the pain of allocating channels to card, linking to EPG grabbers, re-setting up schedules..... STBs do not have these issues.

    As for the EPG, it generally just takes a little while to update. If the channels are ticked to grab the EPG then this should work after a little while. You can always force the EPG update via config too.


    This seems a slight issue. Could you post some screen shots of what it looks like in config.

    Remember these changes are actually not that common (eg. the Big Deal moving frequency is only part of the move to Freeview HD / digital switchover so is very unlikely to happen again)
     
  4. doveman

    doveman Portal Pro

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    Thanks for the information about Channel One. Is there a Channel One+1 to replace Virgin 1+1 as well, or has that gone?

    As for the rescanning problems, Freeview STBs don't seem to have this problem of losing channels that aren't broadcasting when rescanning. Don't BBC3/4 broadcast a placeholder signal even when there's no actual programmes on?

    Couldn't the whole mapping channels to cards, etc be automated when doing a scan. I don't see why I need to manually map the channels as I want all channels mapped to both of my Freeview tuners and I want the EPG data grabbed for all channels. The only thing I think I should need to do manually is assign channels to a group, to exclude the ones I never want to see, and put them in the order I like.

    As it is, I generally find when these problems crop up I need to delete all channels and rescan anyway, as I don't know which channels are correct and which are redundant entries.

    I've posted two images showing the problem with Big Deal:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. jameson_uk
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    jameson_uk Retired Team Member

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    It has been gone a while
    Virgin 1 + 1 removed from Freeview | Radio and Telly UK Digital TV News

    This is more of a problem with DVB-S where IIRC BBC3/4 don't exist if you scan during the day. Remember that MP has to deal with a huge number of different broadcasters etc.

    Whilst it kind of makes sense for Freeview to be mapped to all cards it does not make sense for satellite etc and MP does not really know the difference. One satellite card might be pointing at one satellite with another pointing at a completely different satellite so auto matching would not make sense. Also some people want to have channels mapped to different cards for other reasons (eg. to make the best use of a CAM for decoding)

    I will have a look at this
     
  6. doveman

    doveman Portal Pro

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    I realise that MP has to cope with Freeview, Satellite, etc, but surely we could allow users to designate certain tuners as Freeview, which would then delete all channels on rescan and map all channels and set EPG grabbing automatically. I'm sure there must be quite a few users who only use Freeview, so this would make things much simpler for them.

    I appreciate that some users, such as with CAMs, will have more complicated needs but I imagine they'd be in the minority as most PCI/USB freeview adapters that I've seen don't even supports CAMs.

    I just think it makes sense to make MP as painless as possible for the majority, rather than leaving it complicated because it can't be made easy for everyone.
     
  7. jameson_uk
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    jameson_uk Retired Team Member

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    Short answer (on my phone...) is not really ;)

    Handling channel changes is far from ideal but the way you link things up in the database would mean that the only way to deal with setup schedules would be to delete then (after deleting channels they would all be assigned a new id)

    Also I use xmltv for freeview so again if ids change only real solution is to delete all the mappings and then start again.

    The other issue is linked channels. I have freeview and freesat so BBC One is linked across all three cards. If deleting freeview channels only real solution is to delete this linking which breaks how I want MP to work...

    So whilst I agree it would be much better the wider implications mean it is probably not possible. I will have a proper look tonight and see if there is something along these lines that won't break other things.
     
  8. doveman

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    Thanks for offering to look into it. Clearly I don't really know what goes on "under the hood", so I don't appreciate how complicated changing things can be.

    I'll still offer suggestions though, in case they help you to think of ways around the problems ;)

    Firstly I would say, put aside linked channels and xmltv for a moment, as a simple user like me who just uses Freeview doesn't use either of them. So if there could be a way to allow the user who uses simple Freeview to designate the tuners so that the mapping can be automated, that would make life easier for them, whilst for more complicated users like yourself you could just not tick that option and carry on using MP as you do now.

    Obviously the schedules problem will affect even simple Freeview users if channels get a new ID each scan and MP uses the IDs to know which channel it's meant to be recording. Perhaps if the channel name is stored as part of each scheduled recording as well as the ID, after doing a scan MP could try and find that channel name and it's new ID for each scheduled recording. If MP can't find the channel name (because names have been changed), perhaps it could alert the user with a list of scheduled recordings that couldn't be automatically fixed, so that they know to manually reprogram them.

    Another way to handle when channel names have been changed (like Virgin1 to Channel One), would be to store the channel frequency with the scheduled recording, as often when channel names change they often stay on the same frequency (I think!), and then have MP look for that frequency and it's associated ID after a rescan. This would probably require a lot more work than the other idea though, and as channel names don't change that often it might not be worth the effort, and users will just have to accept that when channel names change, any associated scheduled recordings will have to be reprogrammed manually.

    Perhaps even the linked channels issue can be automated. If MP stores a list of linked channels and their names, then when rescanning it could delete the links and once it's finished rescanning, find the appropriate channel names and the new IDs and automatically link them back up with the freesat channels. Again this wouldn't work when channel names change, but MP could alert the user with a list of links it couldn't automatically make, so that the user knows to link them manually.

    Perhaps we could even find or make a list of channel name changes that MP can download, so that it knows which channel names are changing to what and can then automatically link the correct channels up after rescanning (this could be used to deal with the scheduled recordings after channel name change problem as well).

    Hey, I'm full of ideas this morning. That coffee must gone straight to my brain :D
     
  9. jameson_uk
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    jameson_uk Retired Team Member

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    Channels only get a new ID when they are first added to the database. If you delete all the channels and rescan every channel will get a new ID. Unfortunately channel name is no good either... eg. on satellite there are several different versions of e4 (some encypted some not). I have the FTA and Freeview channels combined (one ID in the database) but the encrypted ones are still there with their own channel IDs. If the Freeview channels were deleted and rescanned I would now have several e4 channels, which one should MP choose for my e4 schedules?

    Then you have the problem with frequencies... some channels have multiple frequencies so you may have several different frequencies for one channel so it is not a case of choosing one but several and then how will MP know what to do? (remember that on Freeview one frequeny will contain several channels, MP knows there are x channels on that transponder but how can it know that Virgin1 is now called Channel One ?)

    I know you are talking about Freeview here but to make this sort of change just for Freeview could have a massive impact on everyone else. I am still thinking about this as I believe there are improvements to be made but we need to be very careful about doing so
     
  10. doveman

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    I think it would be best if we just stick to considering how we could make MP easier for simple Freeview users first and then see if there's anything that can be done to help users with more complicated setups.

    So using the channel names might be a possibility for Freeview, as I don't think it has several channels with the same name like Sat does. Don't Freeview channels have a preset associated number though. When you see adverts they say, "Channel One now on Freeview channel 49", so that's why I think they must have. Can't MP use these channel numbers instead of the IDs if the latter change every scan? I would imagine STB use these channel numbers, or else everytime the user rescanned any rearranging of channel order, etc in the EPG would be lost, which I don't think happens with most STB.

    Yeah, I forgot about the whole multiplex/frequency sharing issue (guess that coffee wasn't so good!). So frequency alone won't be any use, but maybe MP could see that most of the channels on that transponder still had the same names and then work out that the one that no longer had a match and which used to be Virgin1 must have changed to Channel One (of course this will only work if only one channel has changed on that transponder).

    I don't see why making the changes for Freeview would have any impact on everyone else. It could be a simple matter of an extra tickbox for each tuner to designate it as a Freeview tuner and thus to use the auto-mapping, etc and users with more complicated setups can just not tick that box.
     
  11. jameson_uk
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    jameson_uk Retired Team Member

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    Because all code would need to be changed to take this into account so all code would be changed by even this simple setting change. The other issue is that Freeview is UK only and I guess makes up a lot less than 10% of MP users. That and people already complain about how complicated setup is with the number of options.

    Anyway this is not a bug as it is working so if you want something post a new thread in the improvement section
     
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