QAM lineups for non-HDHR users?

QAM lineups for non-HDHR users?

Postby glugglug » Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:35 pm

I tried many different zip codes and couldn't find any QAM lineups to choose from. This seems very strange to me, as ClearQAM tuners are not that uncommon. Is there a way to find them without posting a lineup.json to match against? Maybe by selecting the cable provider the lineup is believed to be scanned from?

What is the format of the lineup.json from the SiliconDust tuners anyway? It should be possible to build this for ANY ClearQAM tuner. When Windows Media Center does a channel scan on the ClearQAM tuner, it actually adds all channels found to the lineup named "Scanned (Digital Cable (ClearQAM))" in the guide DB, along with the callsign if it was able to determine it (otherwise it has a pseudo callsign like "66.407" for a subchannel 407 found on channel 66). This includes encrypted channels, but these can be distinguished by an encrypted flag that gets automatically set on them during the channel scan.

On a system that has both ClearQAM and CableCARD tuners, you could create a more complete lineup containing all unencrypted channels, even if there wasn't a callsign in the inband metadata, because the matching callsign can be determined from the CableCARD channel map.
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Re: QAM lineups for non-HDHR users?

Postby rkulagow » Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:32 am

USA-CA04872-QAM
USA-IA14438-QAM
USA-MA65213-QAM

Are all active QAM lineups right now.

No, it doesn't need to come from a HDHR; that's just one of the formats that I accept. If you can export the QAM information then I can build a parser for it and augment the existing lineups.

The wiki https://github.com/SchedulesDirect/JSON-Service/wiki/API-20141201#stationid--channel-mapping-for-a-lineup has a description of the various fields, and the QAM lineups above should also help.

If you can send a QAM dump to me (rkulagow@gmail.com) in human-readable format I can take a look.
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Re: QAM lineups for non-HDHR users?

Postby glugglug » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:09 pm

I don't have the QAM lineup in a readily parsable form yet (there is an .NET IEnumerable collection of channel objects which have a bunch of properties each, not XML or JSON or anything like that). I attached a screenshot of part of it shown in my guide editor. Got a section showing three different types of channels -- the 6.##### channels can be tuned with a ClearQAM tuner but don't have real callsigns because they are used by Verizon FIOS for targeted ad delivery. WABC-HD, WABC, WLNY-55, WWOR-HD, WPIX and Buzzr are all normal ClearQAM tunable channels. Channels with the Encrypted checkbox checked can't be tuned with a ClearQAM tuner.

I DO, however, have the XML version of the channel map from one of my InfiniTV tuners (attached), returned from http://<tuner IP>/view_channel_map.cgi?page=0&xml=1. The one non-intuitive thing in this XML is the channel callsigns/names ("name" field) are binhexed. I think this may actually be more useful to you than the list of channels found by the ClearQAM tuners themselves for several reasons:

  • QAM channel maps are more likely to change than the channel numbers normal customers are using on the set top boxes / CableCARD tuners, without notice (when the more user friendly channel numbers change, the cable companies send out letters to customers ahead of time).
  • The CableCARD channel map, while it includes more channels than I'm sure you are used to seeing from QAM tuners, includes only non-SDV channels. Sure, most of these are not tunable with a ClearQAM tuner because of encryption, but which subset works can be determined by scanning. The lineup you get from scanning on a QAM tuner will include whatever unencrypted SDV channels your nearby neighbors happen to be watching at the time, with dynamic physical channel assignments that will be different if you scan again only hours later. I don't know of a hard and fast way to distinguish SDV vs non-SDV from the QAM tuner alone, although I think 5 digit minor channel number => SDV is a good rule of thumb.
  • The callsigns in the CableCARD channel map are both consistently present unlike the ones sent in-band in the QAM stream, and are far more accurate (The ones the ClearQAM tuners pick up are often incorrect. How much so seems to depend on both the tuner and the cable provider; with FIOS they seem good to me, with TWC they were pretty bad).

Maybe it makes sense to include the QAM info in the channelMajor/channelMinor fields of other Cable lineups for non-SDV channels?

Other fields in the XML:
number = channel number entered in a normal set top box or for a CableCARD tuner.
modulation = self explanatory; you might see some QAM64 in the 120+ physical channel range where SNR starts to increase. Not sure it needs to be specified -- adding channels manually in WMC it defaults to QAM64 even though most cable channels are QAM256, and if you get it wrong the tuning works anyway, at least with my HVR-2250s (I'm guessing others will as well). ATSC is basically QAM16, and noone specifies which modulation to use on their QAM256 capable TVs..
frequency = also self explanatory, but not actually needed. The QAM tuner needs channel major number and minor number, not freq, and anyway frequency is a function of major number.
program = minor channel number.
EIA = major.minor. Note that this needs to be parsed as a '.' delimited string containing 2 ints, not a float.
sourceid = I have no idea. This value isn't actually displayed on the human readable table (non-XML) version of the channel map.
Attachments
channel_map.xml
CableCARD channel map as XML
(172.83 KiB) Downloaded 257 times
scanned_lineup.PNG
scanned_lineup.PNG (64.43 KiB) Viewed 11096 times
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Re: QAM lineups for non-HDHR users?

Postby rkulagow » Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:58 pm

Seems fairly straight forward.

How is 73.1029 translating "V0FCQy1EVA==" to WABC-HD?
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Re: QAM lineups for non-HDHR users?

Postby glugglug » Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:30 am

rkulagow wrote:How is 73.1029 translating "V0FCQy1EVA==" to WABC-HD?


When I plug it in the base64 decoder here: http://decode.urih.com/ I get "WABC-DT" which is also what is shown in the human readable table from the cablecard tuner.

I think Windows Media Center is doing some normalization to map one callsign to the other? It seems pretty common that the local broadcasts will have a DT suffix on the callsign for the HD version, no suffix for the cable SD encoding of it, and DT2, DT3 etc. for the -2 & -3 subchannels.

Attached html for the human readable table version of the channel map. The stations should match lineup USA-NY67791-X.
Attachments
view_channel_map.cgi.txt
(92.32 KiB) Downloaded 275 times
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Re: QAM lineups for non-HDHR users?

Postby rkulagow » Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:24 pm

OK, the importer is 95% done.

There are some channels in the scan that aren't in the lineup; "lcn" is the channel number from the set top box. Are all these channels actually tunable? If they are, then we need to get the lineup updated as well.

Station from dump file is WGN America lcn:8
Station from dump file is Weather Scan lcn:49
Station from dump file is ESPN Classic lcn:71
Station from dump file is DoD News lcn:124
Station from dump file is Soapnet lcn:143
Station from dump file is Cooking Channel lcn:166
Station from dump file is Rocks TV lcn:172
Station from dump file is FearNet lcn:197
Station from dump file is Fox Sports 2 lcn:198
Station from dump file is UP TV lcn:224
Station from dump file is TV Land (East) lcn:244
Station from dump file is Pivot lcn:287
Station from dump file is JUCE lcn:289
Station from dump file is Golf Channel lcn:304
Station from dump file is Sundance (East) lcn:392
Station from dump file is WLIW-DT lcn:470
Station from dump file is Univision tlNovelas lcn:475
Station from dump file is Outdoor Channel HD lcn:591
Station from dump file is Universal Sports HD lcn:596
Station from dump file is World Fishing Network HD lcn:597
Station from dump file is BeIN Sport HD lcn:598
Station from dump file is Sundance HD lcn:733
Station from dump file is ESPN 3D lcn:1002
Station from dump file is Willow Cricket HD lcn:1007
Station from dump file is ESPN PPV1 lcn:1010
Station from dump file is ESPN PPV2 lcn:1011
Station from dump file is ESPN PPV3 lcn:1012
Station from dump file is ESPN PPV4 lcn:1013
Station from dump file is ESPN PPV5 lcn:1014
Station from dump file is ESPN PPV6 lcn:1015
Station from dump file is La Familia Cosmo lcn:1701
Station from dump file is RAI (Italian) lcn:1772
Station from dump file is TVBe lcn:1798
Station from dump file is NYCTV Gov HD lcn:1960
Station from dump file is FIOS 1 Papal TV lcn:61
Station from dump file is FIOS 1 Papal TV lcn:601

As far as the rest of the scan; you can receive all of those channels without an M-Card?
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Re: QAM lineups for non-HDHR users?

Postby rkulagow » Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:40 pm

Here's what the QAM lineup looks like for USA-NY67791-QAM; it's on the server and you should be able to add it to your account.

Code: Select all
"map": [
        {
            "stationID": "80665",
            "channel": "001",
            "frequencyHz": "471000000",
            "modulationSystem": "QAM256",
            "providerChannel": "65.1002",
            "providerCallsign": "FiOS TV 1",
            "logicalChannelNumber": "1",
            "matchType": "pCallsign"
        },
        {
            "stationID": "11331",
            "channel": "002",
            "frequencyHz": "459000000",
            "modulationSystem": "QAM256",
            "providerChannel": "63.1001",
            "providerCallsign": "WCBS",
            "logicalChannelNumber": "2",
            "matchType": "pCallsign"
        },
        {
            "stationID": "11705",
            "channel": "003",
            "frequencyHz": "459000000",
            "modulationSystem": "QAM256",
            "providerChannel": "63.1003",
            "providerCallsign": "WNBC",
            "logicalChannelNumber": "4",
            "matchType": "pCallsign"
        },
        {
            "stationID": "11746",
            "channel": "004",
            "frequencyHz": "459000000",
            "modulationSystem": "QAM256",
            "providerChannel": "63.1004",
            "providerCallsign": "WNYW",
            "logicalChannelNumber": "5",
            "matchType": "pCallsign"
        },
        {
            "stationID": "35855",
            "channel": "005",
            "frequencyHz": "471000000",
            "modulationSystem": "QAM256",
            "providerChannel": "65.10006",
            "providerCallsign": "WRNN",
            "logicalChannelNumber": "6",
            "matchType": "pCallsign"
        },



There are multiple options for matching; that's up to you. The matchType is just a suggestion.
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Re: QAM lineups for non-HDHR users?

Postby rkulagow » Sat Oct 17, 2015 6:31 pm

I've added the "program" in your raw scan as the "serviceID" (which is how the triplet is referred to pretty much everywhere else)
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Re: QAM lineups for non-HDHR users?

Postby glugglug » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:04 pm

Most of the channels require a CableCARD, as they are encrypted. There are a bunch that are not and can be ClearQAM tuned though.

Pretty much anything that would be in the local OTA lineup is unencrypted and can be tuned with ClearQAM, as well as the equivalent SDs and FIOS1, all the local origination / public access stuff that usually has dead airtime (all the local_PEG* and qu_VHO5* stuff), the ads channels, the CSPANs, Accuweather, and I think a few others. A total of 205 channels are unencrypted, but a good portion of these aren't particularly useful like the targeted ads & local origination stuff. (I don't think people would actually want the 80 ads channels in the lineup -- while you can tune them with ClearQAM or with HDHR or InfiniTV tuners, I don't think there is such a thing as guide data for them, and you can't tune them [by choice] with a normal set top box).

WMC identifies only 25 QAM channels in its automatic scan based on callsigns in the inband metadata (which is conveniently mostly OTAs, especially the HD ones).
Last edited by glugglug on Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: QAM lineups for non-HDHR users?

Postby glugglug » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:20 pm

I'm looking at the QAM lineup, a few things:

The new "providerChannel" field is what is actually used for tuning. I like the "channelMajor" and "channelMinor" split in the QAM example in the docs better.

I see there is also a new "logicalChannel" field which has the #s used for set top boxes and CableCARD tuners. This is much more useful than what is in the "channel" field, I think you are just using channel number as an index, and incrementing it for each channel in the XML?

Are providerChannel and logicalChannel going to be the new fields for QAM lineups or are they just temporary for experimentation, with it ultimately using channelMajor/channelMinor like the API docs?
Last edited by glugglug on Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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