Merging two cablecard tuners and lineups

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illuminated

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Merging two cablecard tuners and lineups

#1

Post by illuminated » Sat Feb 13, 2021 12:36 am

I have two HDHomeRun PRIME boxes. Each one is connected to a different provider.

When I do a "clean start", WMC finds all 6 tuners and allows me to configure them. The problem I am having is that I cannot (easily) set these channels up in a way that ensures the correct tuner is chosen when viewing or recording, unless I do the "edit sources" thing for each channel and remove the check marks for the tuner from the other provider. This is terribly tedious. There is also the issue of a large number of collisions where EPG123 has picked one provider's channel to live at that number.

I was hopeful when I found this thread:
viewtopic.php?t=11371
however I only have a single value (other than the "all scanned channels" default) in the scanned sources pull down at the top of the left panel "Scanned (Digital Cable (CableCARD))". I assume this is because that both of the tuners have the same label in WMC terms.

I have found some posts indicating that this can be worked around by choosing only one set of tuners in the TV signal setup in WMC, running through the process multiple times. I've not been able to figure out how to make that work.

I would be happy to shift one set of channels to a much higher number, say add 5000 if that would get me to the point of the tuners being matched correctly with the channels they can tune. That would also avoid all the collisions. I would also be happy to do any other crazy set of steps to avoid editing a large number of channel sources.

Is there any way to do this?

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#2

Post by garyan2 » Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:29 am

I believe so. As far as the client goes, yes the problem is due to the device group from both providers being Digital Cable (CableCARD) and that is what the client sorts on... not specific tuners.

1. Pick the lineup you want to set custom numbers to (if you want the providers separated in the guide).
2. Perform a [Client Setup] clean start, use only the tuners for that provider during TV Setup, and only that lineup in the configuration GUI with only 1 day to download. Make sure to exclude the other lineup(s). Ensure the automatically import and automatically match option are enabled in the Scheduled Task tab.
3. When complete, I suggest deleting a range of channels that you don't expect the provider to ever use (2000 - 9999), and you can give the channels custom numbers if you want.
4. Once you have everything set for that provider, click the [Backup] button. Note the resulting file name.
5. Perform a [Client Setup] clean start, use only the tuners for the other provider during TV Setup, and only that lineup in the configuration GUI and only 1 day to download. Make sure to exclude the first lineup.
6. When complete, feel free to delete a range of channels that you don't expect that provider to ever use (2000-9999).
7. Open the backup file from step 4 and extract the lineup.mxf file to somewhere.
8. Click the [Manual Import] button and select the lineup.mxf file for import. Wait for it to complete.
9. Close and Open the client again. There should be both providers there (hopefully).
10. Open WMC and verify the channels from both providers work.

11. Open the configuration GUI and -
11a. Set the number of days you want to download
11b. Disable the 'Automatically download new stations in lineups' option
11c. Disable the 'Automatically match stations to channels' option
12. Click [Save & Execute]

Once that is complete, I believe you will have both providers separated and the proper guide listings assigned to each channel.

If I think of anything else, I'll post here as quickly as I can.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#3

Post by garyan2 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:05 am

I'll work on this for the filter in the client, but if you perform TV Setup, when it gets to 'Examining TV Signals' click [Cancel] and then select 'Let me configure my TV signal manually'. Select the signal type for your tuners and on the next page only select the tuners from 1 of the CableCARD devices. Click [Next] and select 'Yes' to set up another TV signal. Then you will repeat the signal type and the remaining tuners from the other CableCARD device.

This will give 2 options in the filter pulldown. The devices are separated, but currently the client filter results, I think, will be the same as you have now. I should be able to find a way to do a proper filter so that they will be separated in the results, but I need some time.
- Gary
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#4

Post by garyan2 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:21 am

I'm not sure the above will work. I just tried it on my 2 OTA tuners and WMC ended up merging them even though I have 2 separate 'Scanned (Digital Antenna (ATSC))' lineups for the filter.
- Gary
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#5

Post by garyan2 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:49 am

It doesn't look like either of those options are going to work. I'm looking right now to see what it would take to split a merged channel in 2 based on the scanned lineup. Might be useful to a lot of folks. While I'm at it, might figure out how to merge as well.
- Gary
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#6

Post by garyan2 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:29 am

Okay, I have working code to split the merged channels. You will have to perform TV Setup like I described in post #3. I will have an option to split the channels, probably be a Ctrl-A select all and right-click with an option to split. It works great, but you need to make sure you have 2 scanned lineups for CableCARDs or it won't split them.

That is, if you are still around. Either way, this will be added to the client permanently.
- Gary
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#7

Post by garyan2 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:47 am

I feel like I'm talking to myself here, but next release will include the capability to merge and split channels. You will have the capability to do what you want by having 2 separate CableCard lineups. I'm just going to test it out a little more before releasing it.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#8

Post by Space » Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:57 am

garyan2 wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:47 am
I feel like I'm talking to myself here, but ...
We are here! We are here! We are here!

Anyway, even though I probably will never use this since I only have one tuning device and one signal source, it sounds like it would be helpful for those that want to be able to specify what device they want to record from for specific channels (if I understand right what this is doing).

I assume this could already be done if you had a cable provider and a OTA provider, but not if you had two cable providers, for instance.

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#9

Post by illuminated » Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:02 pm

garyan2 wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:47 am
I feel like I'm talking to myself here, but next release will include the capability to merge and split channels. You will have the capability to do what you want by having 2 separate CableCard lineups. I'm just going to test it out a little more before releasing it.
Sorry for being missing. I have limited time to work on this stuff during the week.

I was working on modifying the lineup file to move the channels around which is working and was about to try the original import method you suggested but at this point, it's probably safer to stand down and wait for the latest software. I would be happy to test it before you release it if that will help at all.

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#10

Post by garyan2 » Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:17 pm

This is how I think this will work for you. I think you might have been able to do it without the new software which I released yesterday, but in case it doesn't, the software will help.

Before you start, you will want to open the client and click the [Backup] button to save what you have done so far, just in case.

Perform TV Setup like I outlined on post #3. At the completion of TV Setup, you may have 19998 channels, or WMC will automatically merge the 2 tuners for 9999 channels. Open the client and delete the high channel numbers your providers don't use to make this a bit easier. If WMC merged the channels, use [Ctrl]-[A] to select all channels on the left side, right-click and select 'Split channels' to separate the tuners again.

At this point, in the scanned sources pulldown, you will see 2 CableCARD lineups. Select one of them and then rename channel 1 so we can find out which tuner it is. Open WMC, goto Edit Channels for channel 1, and look at the sources. You will see which tuner it is (and hopefully you know which tuner is on which provider). At this point, you can close WMC and go back to the client. Filter the scanned source to that tuner, select the provider lineup on the right side for that tuner, and click the Match by [# Number] button to populate the guide for that tuner/provider. Repeat for the other tuner/provider and everything should be good.

You will need to make sure the scheduled task is not configured to automatch, or any new channels may be assigned to the wrong tuner.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#11

Post by illuminated » Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:46 am

I ran through the steps and it is really close. There are two issues. I will skip the first one for now because it could have been something I did. The second issue is something I am almost certain is not anything I did.

When there is a channel in both lineups but the station on those channels is different, after I followed the steps, it looked correct in the client but when I started WMC, the guide showed the same info for both channels. When I tuned to each of those channels, WMC used the appropriate tuner and therefore showed the correct content but the guide is wrong for one of the channels. I closed WMC and went back into the client and it showed the two lines exactly as they were in the guide inside WMC: both lines had the same "subscribed lineup" value. That was not what the client showed.

Here is a real example:
In the client, it shows:
13 WTXF subscribed lineup is Provider A, scanned from Provider A cablecard/tuner
13 WPSG subscribed lineup is Provider B, scanned from Provider B cablecard/tuner

Exit the client, start WMC, go to guide
13 program info from Provider A lineup (WTXF). Selecting the channel uses A tuner and shows WTXF
13 program info from Provider A lineup (WTXF). Selecting the channel uses B tuner and shows WPSG

Exit WMC and go back into client, it shows:
13 WTXF subscribed lineup is Provider A, scanned from Provider A cablecard/tuner
13 WTXF subscribed lineup is Provider A, scanned from Provider B cablecard/tuner

In summary, it seems that the client is not saving what it is showing.

I can flip it around to work the opposite way (so that both of the guide lines show the guide data from the opposite provider) by changing the scanned sources pulldown and using the "# Number" button but I cannot find a way to make the client save exactly what it is showing. I have tried this without running WMC in between and it behaves the same: two subsequent runs of the client and the second time it is not showing what it was a few seconds before when I closed it.

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#12

Post by garyan2 » Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:13 am

That's strange. The client doesn't save anything, it is a real time reflection of the merged channels in WMC.

Try this:
In the client will 'All Scanned Sources' selected, select all channels on the left, right-click 'Unsubscribe' to clear out all guide listings.
Select the scanned lineup for Provider A on the left, and the lineup for Provider A on the right and click the Match by: [# Number] button.
Close and open the client a couple times to see if the Provider B tuners get assigned Provider A guide listings.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#13

Post by illuminated » Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:08 pm

I ran through that process just now and with a specific cable card source selected, the "# Number" button match hits all the channels, even those not shown. So when I change back to "All Scanned Sources" I see, from my example, both lines for 13 have been matched to WTXF.

If I close and then reopen the client, it looks exactly the same.

Just to repeat what I did last night, I then selected provider B cable card as the scanned source, change the lineup on the right to provider B lineup and then did "# Number" again. The client appears to match only the visible channels and in fact when I go back to all scanned sources, I see lines "WTXF 13" and "WPSG 13". Closing and reopening the client then shows two lines of "WPSG 13". Screen shots below show this.
before_restart.png
after match before restarting
after_restart.png
after restart

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#14

Post by garyan2 » Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:22 pm

WMC is doing this itself, but I don't know why. Could you click the [Backup] button in the client and send the resulting zip file to support@garyan2.net? I'll try to see if there is a way out of this.
- Gary
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#15

Post by garyan2 » Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:34 pm

One of the problems I see in the pictures is you have the 'Automatch' option enabled in your scheduled task. With 2 different lineups using the same channel numbers, it will cause problems when your scheduled task runs.
- Gary
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#16

Post by garyan2 » Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:53 pm

It looks like I may have a problem with my automatch routine that picks up channels from the non-viewable scanned lineup(s). If I manually subscribe to individual channels, it appears to stick. Give me a little time and I'll have this figured out. Hopefully I won't have to rewrite too much code.
- Gary
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#17

Post by illuminated » Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:58 pm

garyan2 wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:34 pm
One of the problems I see in the pictures is you have the 'Automatch' option enabled in your scheduled task. With 2 different lineups using the same channel numbers, it will cause problems when your scheduled task runs.
Yes, was planning to turn that off as you requested after I get both lineups set.
garyan2 wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:53 pm
It looks like I may have a problem with my automatch routine that picks up channels from the non-viewable scanned lineup(s). If I manually subscribe to individual channels, it appears to stick. Give me a little time and I'll have this figured out. Hopefully I won't have to rewrite too much code.
The effort is very much appreciated.
I sent the file as requested, but it is 14 mb. If you didn't get it and still need it, let me know and I can share a google drive link or something.

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#18

Post by garyan2 » Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:06 pm

Got it and the fix was easy. I just sent you a link to a new version. This was my bad in the automatch routine not respecting the applied filter. Let me know if the new version works and I'll officially release it.
- Gary
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#19

Post by illuminated » Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:29 pm

I have just run through the process (unsubscribe from all, number match each provider individually) with 1.6.2.6 and all indications are that it is working completely correctly! I am going to attempt a thorough check of all channels inside of WMC.

Gary, thank you for your attention and incredible response to this. I have been wrestling with this for weeks and this has made my day (week, month, probably).

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#20

Post by garyan2 » Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:58 pm

Awesome. Thank you!
- Gary
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