Just installed EPG123. Fantastic! (found bug in WMC scan)

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★ Download the latest EPG123 here: http://epg123.garyan2.net <> Setup guide here: http://epg123.garyan2.net/downloads/epg123_Guide.pdf
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DSperber

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Just installed EPG123. Fantastic! (found bug in WMC scan)

#1

Post by DSperber » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:16 pm

Just wanted to thank you for this terrific product. Excellent work. Pretty much everything happened automatically, and with very little that I had to do myself manually. I've made a donation.

But in the installation process I discovered what I guess has to be a WMC bug in its "channel scan" logic for my Hauppauge HVR-2250 dual-tuner ATSC OTA card. The symptom was that when reconfiguring WMC from scratch (and declining the Guide question), WMC did a channel scan but didn't find three channels which have been in my Guide for years (since I purchased the HVR-2250 and did a channel scan years ago).

With the old Rovi-based \Programdata\Microsoft\ehhome the three channels are there, and I can tune to those channels and watch/record them. But even with this Rovi-based setup a newly performed channel scan fails to find these three channels, same as the new EPG123-based setup also fails to find them.

So, what's changed from a few years ago when the channel scan obviously did work successfully? It appears that these three channels have moved to getting mapped to a digital channel number which is in the VHF-range, i.e. 2-13, rather than being mapped in the UHF-range as before. I guess here in LA the disappearance of analog opened up the VHF frequencies for use as digital channels, and KABCDT (7.1), KCALDT (9.1) and KTTVDT (11.1) all obviously took advantage of that option, now mapped to digital channels 7, 9 and 11 (which were there old analog channel numbers as well).

And now all three of these fail to get seen with a channel scan. I'm guessing WMC is like what TSReader does when you "scan" with the "UHF-only" box checked (i.e. looking at channels 14-69), thus causing WMC to no longer see any channels mapped to the VHF range of digital channel numbers.

Ok, the solution (which worked perfectly) is to manually use Settings -> TV -> Guide -> Add missing channels, simply creating three new entries for 7.1/7, 9.1/9, and 11.1/11. I created the channel names for these to match the Zap2it lineup for my zipcode so that EPG123's "auto-match" function would behave properly.

Presto! My three missed channels are now manually present.

Again, this is a terrific product. I currently grabbed 3 weeks of Guide data just because I wanted to see how the whole thing worked. I know I can increase that by another week if I want, but I'm thrilled just as things are to once again have the old reliable "new/repeat" and "original air date" Zap2it data back, along with newly available season/episode info!!

WONDERFUL! Many thanks again.

P.S. - I was amazed that MyChannelLogos worked fine, although I did have to manually assign each and every channel to the right logo. But this may have been due to my own failure to just try to let it auto-populate based on the newly restored Zap2it channel names. I guess now that I think about it, that probably should have worked. Anyway, it's all done now, albeit accomplished manually by me. One-time job, no matter.

And one more thing... presenting the GUIDE from EPG123 is much faster than from the Rovi-based data, even though there is another 8 days worth of information! This is true whether I'm using my HTPC, or using one of my three DMA2100 extenders. Probably because by eliminating all of the unwanted channels from the database the amount of Guide data actually shuttling in and out is MUCH SMALLER. Very impressive performance.

And I REALLY LIKE having SnnEnn info in the title and text info.

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garyan2

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#2

Post by garyan2 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:45 am

Yah, this has been discussed a couple times in the threads here and I've been promising to put that info on the website. WMC does not scan VHF channels for us ATSC users. The website will show how to add the channels manually as well as determining what should be added by referencing tvfool.com (looks like you gut lucky and all you logical channels match your physical channels).

I'm glad this is working out for! We are almost to the finish line and I expect the next release to be the final product without the bow. There will probably just be some cleanup work and minor changes after that to progress to epg123 v1.0!
- Gary
Stomping out the Rovi disease, one media center at a time. http://epg123.garyan2.net

DSperber

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#3

Post by DSperber » Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:27 pm

Actually, I got my "digital channel number" information from this index of LA stations.

But I double-confirmed the digital channel as actually the old analog channel number using TSReader to read the stream on each channel 7, 9 and 11.

DSperber

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#4

Post by DSperber » Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:46 pm

There was one more oddity I had to deal with manually to overcome. Again, this wasn't from EPG123 but just something unique to the LA TWC channel lineup.

TWC's channel lineup change last year included duplicating local channels down in the lower number range (e.g. 2-13, where they used to be on analog) and also in the 12xx range. I never understood this, but apparently they wanted to let local users who had become accustomed to certain low channel numbers continue to use TWC digital STB/DVR/TA equipment and intuitively know what channel to tune to to receive the new digital version.

And they must have also wanted "national" TWC users to always know they could find ABC on 1200, NBC on 1203, FOX on 1206, CBS on 1209, CW on 1212, and MyTV on 1215, with local PBS channels starting at 1221, etc.

Similarly, they duplicated some cable channels to be first in the below-100 range where they used to be in ClearQAM days, and then also appear a second time in a second "group" of high numbers where like-programming was clustered "by content". For example, MSNBC is 34 and also 203. CNN is 37 and also 201. HLN is 38 and also 204.

So when getting the Zap2it lineup for my zipcode, EPG123 saw two identical channel names. So when I checked only one of these channels, the auto-match function apparently then automatically checked both occurrences. So while I had no intention of retrieving Guide info for both channel number occurrences, I actually did get info for both occurrences.

I then simply un-checked the undesired channel in "Edit Channels" of WMC, and it was gone. And actually, for the locals, once I solved my 7, 9 and 11 mystery I completely unchecked ALL of the TWC locals (both low numbers and 12xx numbers) since I once again no longer needed them (having the HVR-2250 tuner OTA/ATSC alternatives preferred for locals).

I only use my 4-tuner Ceton card for cable channels. The 2-tuner Hauppauge card is for OTA/ATSC use. I've never had a need to record more than 2 simultaneous OTA channels at a time (which would then pick up a Ceton tuner to record the TWC-provided local channel for the 3rd or 4th simultaneous recording). But that's just my own TV viewing habits. I'm much more likely to see a scheduling conflict on simultaneous cable channel recordings on "modern TV" where the 4-tuners of Ceton comes into play to solve that problem, rather than for OTA channels whose program content I virtually never watch (or need more than 2 at a time).

I actually have a 6-tuner Ceton card I bought as a "spare" (just in case my 4-tuner card every failed and had to be replaced) but have still never installed it. Nor has the 4-tuner cable situation + 2-tuner OTA situation ever been too few for my viewing needs to satisfy all recording requirements.

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#5

Post by DSperber » Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:05 pm

garyan2 wrote:Yah, this has been discussed a couple times in the threads here and I've been promising to put that info on the website. WMC does not scan VHF channels for us ATSC users. The website will show how to add the channels manually as well as determining what should be added by referencing tvfool.com (looks like you gut lucky and all you logical channels match your physical channels).
An interesting note on this subject.

If I had successfully scanned using WMC and saw ABCDT 7.1 several years ago, then it must have been been in the UHF range at that time. Let's say it was carried on digital channel 46. And since then it was moved from digital 46 to digital 7, where it used to be in analog days when it was ABC 7.

But today, it's at digital 7. And yet my old Rovi-based WMC setup still tunes successfully to 7.1 although if I run a new WMC scan today using the old Rovi-Based WMC the new digital 7 location is not scanned (since WMC doesn't scan VHF range 2-13) and thus 7.1 will not be found. So the old channel scan which found it on 46 must still be in effect on my old Rovi-based WMC setup, and WMC must still be attempting to tune to 7.1 on channel 46, but obviously that must be getting SOMEHOW AUTOMATICALLY RE-MAPPED DOWN TO DIGITAL CHANNEL 7!!

When a broadcaster changes digital channel (in this case, from 46 to 7), is there a "forwarding address" established so that attempts to tune to 46 will automatically get sent to 7? Is this permanent, so that no new network can ever again be assigned digital channel 46 else the auto-forwarding to 7 would be lost? Or is this just a "temporary courtesy" provided by the FCC to ABC, until such possible future time when 46 is actually reassigned to a new network, at which time the auto-forwarding from 46 to 7 would now finally be disappeared?

Seems there must be the functional equivalent of this, in order for my old WMC Rovi-based setup to still be working successfully for its 7.1 tuning even though it is not being found by WMC today if I were to perform a channel scan. And I never manually added 7.1/7 in the past... never even thought about it until last night with my new EPG123 mystery on 7, 9 and 11. My old Rovi-based setup must have been tuning to 46, and being digitally re-routed to 7 where it really lives. I guess this is part of the magic of the new digital TV world.

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#6

Post by captain_video » Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:47 pm

Here's what I think is happening and why WMC isn't scanning for VHF HD channels. Back when local stations started broadcasting HD in digital, the mandate to switch to all digital broadcasts had not yet gone into effect. All of the HD channels were located in the UHF band while the current analog VHF SD channels remained in their current location. When the switch to all digital took place, many broadcast stations switched their HD channels from the UHF band back to the original VHF frequency when the analog signals were eliminated. I don't know the exact timeline when WMC was introduced vs. the switch to all digital broadcasts, but I suspect WMC was originally configured to look for ATSC channels just in the UHF band since that's where they all resided originally. Because Microsoft was supplying guide data to WMC, the channels were all being imported to WMC and a separate scan was never performed at the end. When you refuse the agreement to accept the guide data, WMC now performs a scan to see what channels are available. I have a feeling this is an area that was never updated in WMC since Microsoft probably assumed that everyone would be using their supplied guide data.

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#7

Post by garyan2 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:42 pm

You may not have noticed, but when doing a "Rovi" setup, there is no scanning performed. That is because a part of the TV setup download contains the tuner setups as well ... which includes the VHF frequencies. According to Rovi, I should be receiving way more channels than is possible ... I could only receive some of these signals if my antenna was a 3000 foot tower to see over the mountains.

If in the future one of your stations changes frequency, then you will have to run a scan for additional channels to program the new frequency. epg123 will pick it up from there.
- Gary
Stomping out the Rovi disease, one media center at a time. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#8

Post by garyan2 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:48 pm

epg123 doesn't really care about channel numbers, when you select a channel you are actually selecting the station. If the station on multiple channels, then they are all selected/deselected at the same time. If the user wishes to hide any of them, then they can be disabled in WMC.
- Gary
Stomping out the Rovi disease, one media center at a time. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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