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A perl QAM scanner - call for volunteers

 

 

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rkulagow at gmail

Nov 10, 2011, 5:22 PM

Post #1 of 12 (1903 views)
Permalink
A perl QAM scanner - call for volunteers

[Putting on my Schedules Direct hat]

I've created a perl scanner which leverages the information we can get
from a HDHR-cable card system to create an accurate call sign to QAM
mapping. It will help end the issue of not knowing which QAM
frequencies have which content on them (without watching each channel
to figure it out).

Tribune's systems (the source of the data for Schedules Direct) are
not programmed to support QAM because the cable companies don't want
to distribute QAM data, so Tribune isn't going to do the R&D to
support QAM if there's no "market" for it. Since the cable companies
are the ones that would need to request the requirement, (and they're
not), Tribune isnít going to implement something which wonít be used,
and which the cable companies wonít supply data for in the first
place. We've asked Tribune, and for whatever reason, the cable
companies seem to consider QAM tuning information as proprietary.

When the scan is complete the result will be a {headend}.qam.conf file
containing that information and .mpg files which you can watch with
mplayer or vlc if you'd like to confirm what the scanner found.

When the scan is done, please send it to qam-info [at] schedulesdirect

Schedules Direct will manage the collection of QAM files and make them
available to other users in the same headend, allowing users that
don't have a cable card HDHR to still have accurate maps.

So, if you're reasonably proficient, and have a HDHR-cc and a
HDHR-atsc on your system, please go to

https://github.com/rkulagowski/qamscanner

and download the qamscanner.pl

The source code should be pretty self-documenting. Please let me know
if you have any questions.
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brian at interlinx

Nov 17, 2011, 7:58 AM

Post #2 of 12 (1823 views)
Permalink
Re: A perl QAM scanner - call for volunteers [In reply to]

On 11-11-10 08:22 PM, Robert Kulagowski wrote:
>
> I've created a perl scanner which leverages the information we can get
> from a HDHR-cable card system to create an accurate call sign to QAM
> mapping. It will help end the issue of not knowing which QAM
> frequencies have which content on them (without watching each channel
> to figure it out).

I guess this is specific to HDHR and CableCard setups only? :-(

I was so excited thinking that this was a generic [clear]qam scanner
that one could use on a say, nightly, basis to find and/or document the
changes in [clear]qam channels from one day to the next.

> Tribune's systems (the source of the data for Schedules Direct) are
> not programmed to support QAM because the cable companies don't want
> to distribute QAM data, so Tribune isn't going to do the R&D to
> support QAM if there's no "market" for it. Since the cable companies
> are the ones that would need to request the requirement, (and they're
> not), Tribune isnít going to implement something which wonít be used,
> and which the cable companies wonít supply data for in the first
> place. We've asked Tribune, and for whatever reason, the cable
> companies seem to consider QAM tuning information as proprietary.

Right. But is there any reason this facility that you are building into
SD cannot be also used for clearqam users that want to share the
mappings they have developed?

Cheers,
b.
Attachments: signature.asc (0.26 KB)


rkulagow at gmail

Nov 17, 2011, 10:53 AM

Post #3 of 12 (1819 views)
Permalink
Re: A perl QAM scanner - call for volunteers [In reply to]

On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 9:58 AM, Brian J. Murrell <brian [at] interlinx> wrote:
> On 11-11-10 08:22 PM, Robert Kulagowski wrote:
>>
>> I've created a perl scanner which leverages the information we can get
>> from a HDHR-cable card system to create an accurate call sign to QAM
>> mapping. †It will help end the issue of not knowing which QAM
>> frequencies have which content on them (without watching each channel
>> to figure it out).
>
> I guess this is specific to HDHR and CableCard setups only? †:-(

For now, yes. The cable card allows the script to tune a virtual
channel "channel 346", and I know that 346 is WMAQ-DT from my
Schedules Direct lineup, so I know the QAM freq and program ID that
correlates to WMAQ-DT.

> I was so excited thinking that this was a generic [clear]qam scanner
> that one could use on a say, nightly, basis to find and/or document the
> changes in [clear]qam channels from one day to the next.
>
>> Tribune's systems (the source of the data for Schedules Direct) are
>> not programmed to support QAM because the cable companies don't want
>> to distribute QAM data, so Tribune isn't going to do the R&D to
>> support QAM if there's no "market" for it. Since the cable companies
>> are the ones that would need to request the requirement, (and they're
>> not), Tribune isnít going to implement something which wonít be used,
>> and which the cable companies wonít supply data for in the first
>> place. †We've asked Tribune, and for whatever reason, the cable
>> companies seem to consider QAM tuning information as proprietary.
>
> Right. †But is there any reason this facility that you are building into
> SD cannot be also used for clearqam users that want to share the
> mappings they have developed?

Not at all. The format of the resulting conf file is 99%
channels.conf, but I've repurposed the VID and AID fields (which
aren't used in QAM) to store the virtual channel number and the XMLID.
I don't have a MySQL dumper perl script that will do that, but I'm
sure that's just a Small Matter of Programming.
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rkulagow at gmail

Nov 17, 2011, 11:07 AM

Post #4 of 12 (1820 views)
Permalink
Re: A perl QAM scanner - call for volunteers [In reply to]

On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 12:53 PM, Robert Kulagowski <rkulagow [at] gmail> wrote:
> Not at all. †The format of the resulting conf file is 99%
> channels.conf, but I've repurposed the VID and AID fields (which
> aren't used in QAM) to store the virtual channel number and the XMLID.
> †I don't have a MySQL dumper perl script that will do that, but I'm
> sure that's just a Small Matter of Programming.

Here's what IL12488:X.qam.conf looks like:

WBBM:567000000:QAM_256:2:11299:1
WGBO:567000000:QAM_256:4:11461:10
WMAQ:573000000:QAM_256:5:11670:15
WLS:567000000:QAM_256:7:11653:4
WPWR:567000000:QAM_256:8:11795:8
WGN:573000000:QAM_256:9:11474:13
WCIU:567000000:QAM_256:10:11347:7
WTTW:567000000:QAM_256:11:11908:5
WFLD:573000000:QAM_256:12:11438:14
WCPX:567000000:QAM_256:13:18734:2
WSNS:567000000:QAM_256:14:11848:3
WXFT:567000000:QAM_256:15:12382:9
WJYS:573000000:QAM_256:17:12475:16
TVGN:111000000:QAM_256:18:16715:3
WWTO:111000000:QAM_256:19:11987:4
WYCC:567000000:QAM_256:20:12009:12
WYIN:567000000:QAM_256:21:12014:6
TWC:555000000:QAM_256:40:11187:42
TLNCHIC:117000000:QAM_256:67:11341:27
SHOPNBC:477000000:QAM_256:89:14948:2
(etc)
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grantmc at gmail

Nov 17, 2011, 11:21 AM

Post #5 of 12 (1813 views)
Permalink
Re: A perl QAM scanner - call for volunteers [In reply to]

On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 12:07 PM, Robert Kulagowski <rkulagow [at] gmail>wrote:

> On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 12:53 PM, Robert Kulagowski <rkulagow [at] gmail>
> wrote:
> > Not at all. The format of the resulting conf file is 99%
> > channels.conf, but I've repurposed the VID and AID fields (which
> > aren't used in QAM) to store the virtual channel number and the XMLID.
> > I don't have a MySQL dumper perl script that will do that, but I'm
> > sure that's just a Small Matter of Programming.
>
> Here's what IL12488:X.qam.conf looks like:
>
> WBBM:567000000:QAM_256:2:11299:1
> WGBO:567000000:QAM_256:4:11461:10
> WMAQ:573000000:QAM_256:5:11670:15
> WLS:567000000:QAM_256:7:11653:4
> WPWR:567000000:QAM_256:8:11795:8
> WGN:573000000:QAM_256:9:11474:13
> WCIU:567000000:QAM_256:10:11347:7
> WTTW:567000000:QAM_256:11:11908:5
> WFLD:573000000:QAM_256:12:11438:14
> WCPX:567000000:QAM_256:13:18734:2
> WSNS:567000000:QAM_256:14:11848:3
> WXFT:567000000:QAM_256:15:12382:9
> WJYS:573000000:QAM_256:17:12475:16
> TVGN:111000000:QAM_256:18:16715:3
> WWTO:111000000:QAM_256:19:11987:4
> WYCC:567000000:QAM_256:20:12009:12
> WYIN:567000000:QAM_256:21:12014:6
> TWC:555000000:QAM_256:40:11187:42
> TLNCHIC:117000000:QAM_256:67:11341:27
> SHOPNBC:477000000:QAM_256:89:14948:2
> (etc)
> _______________________________________________
>


Robert:

I'm having some issues with the script. I've ran it a few times now. It
scans through all the virtual channels, and creates my conf file
(UT43414\:X.qam.conf). The problem I'm having is the conf file is always
empty. Any ideas?

Grant


rkulagow at gmail

Nov 17, 2011, 11:26 AM

Post #6 of 12 (1808 views)
Permalink
Re: A perl QAM scanner - call for volunteers [In reply to]

On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 1:21 PM, Grant McChesney <grantmc [at] gmail> wrote:

> Robert:
> I'm having some issues with the script. †I've ran it a few times now. †It
> scans through all the virtual channels, and creates my conf file
> (UT43414\:X.qam.conf). †The problem I'm having is the conf file is always
> empty. †Any ideas?

If you change the $debug variable at the top of the script it will
generate a lot more output, and then I can see what I mis-programmed.

Have you downloaded the latest version? I received some feedback and
made adjustments a few days ago.

Thanks for running the script.
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grantmc at gmail

Nov 17, 2011, 11:58 AM

Post #7 of 12 (1819 views)
Permalink
Re: A perl QAM scanner - call for volunteers [In reply to]

On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 12:26 PM, Robert Kulagowski <rkulagow [at] gmail>wrote:

> On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 1:21 PM, Grant McChesney <grantmc [at] gmail>
> wrote:
>
> > Robert:
> > I'm having some issues with the script. I've ran it a few times now. It
> > scans through all the virtual channels, and creates my conf file
> > (UT43414\:X.qam.conf). The problem I'm having is the conf file is always
> > empty. Any ideas?
>
> If you change the $debug variable at the top of the script it will
> generate a lot more output, and then I can see what I mis-programmed.
>
> Have you downloaded the latest version? I received some feedback and
> made adjustments a few days ago.
>
>
I verified I have the latest version. I've enabled debug, and there is
more output now, but I don't see a smoking gun. He's a snippet of the
output.

Getting QAM data for channel 663
channel is 663 vcgvs is:
vch=663 name=DSCHDTV auth=subscribed cci=unrestricted cgms=n/a
Getting QAM data for channel 664
channel is 664 vcgvs is:
vch=664 name=Life HD auth=subscribed cci=unrestricted cgms=n/a
Getting QAM data for channel 665
channel is 665 vcgvs is:
vch=665 name=Palladia auth=subscribed cci=unrestricted cgms=n/a
Getting QAM data for channel 666
vcss is ERROR: invalid virtual channel


rkulagow at gmail

Nov 17, 2011, 12:08 PM

Post #8 of 12 (1809 views)
Permalink
Re: A perl QAM scanner - call for volunteers [In reply to]

On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 1:58 PM, Grant McChesney <grantmc [at] gmail> wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 12:26 PM, Robert Kulagowski <rkulagow [at] gmail>
> wrote:
>>
>> On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 1:21 PM, Grant McChesney <grantmc [at] gmail>
>> wrote:
>>
>> > Robert:
>> > I'm having some issues with the script. †I've ran it a few times now.
>> > †It
>> > scans through all the virtual channels, and creates my conf file
>> > (UT43414\:X.qam.conf). †The problem I'm having is the conf file is
>> > always
>> > empty. †Any ideas?
>>
>> If you change the $debug variable at the top of the script it will
>> generate a lot more output, and then I can see what I mis-programmed.
>>
>> Have you downloaded the latest version? †I received some feedback and
>> made adjustments a few days ago.
>>
>
> I verified I have the latest version. †I've enabled debug, and there is more
> output now, but I don't see a smoking gun. †He's a snippet of the output.
> Getting QAM data for channel 663
> channel is 663 vcgvs is:
> vch=663 name=DSCHDTV auth=subscribed cci=unrestricted cgms=n/a
> Getting QAM data for channel 664
> channel is 664 vcgvs is:
> vch=664 name=Life HD auth=subscribed cci=unrestricted cgms=n/a
> Getting QAM data for channel 665
> channel is 665 vcgvs is:
> vch=665 name=Palladia auth=subscribed cci=unrestricted cgms=n/a
> Getting QAM data for channel 666
> vcss is ERROR: invalid virtual channel

That shouldn't be a blocker - it just means that 666 doesn't exist in
your lineup.

If you run qamscanner.pl 2 20

Does it run all the way through and create a file on the channels up to 20?

If yes, then try running 2 665
so that we can see if there's something else happening.

Thanks.
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grantmc at gmail

Nov 17, 2011, 2:25 PM

Post #9 of 12 (1816 views)
Permalink
Re: A perl QAM scanner - call for volunteers [In reply to]

On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 1:08 PM, Robert Kulagowski <rkulagow [at] gmail>wrote:

> On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 1:58 PM, Grant McChesney <grantmc [at] gmail>
> wrote:
> > On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 12:26 PM, Robert Kulagowski <rkulagow [at] gmail>
> > wrote:
> >>
> >> On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 1:21 PM, Grant McChesney <grantmc [at] gmail>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> > Robert:
> >> > I'm having some issues with the script. I've ran it a few times now.
> >> > It
> >> > scans through all the virtual channels, and creates my conf file
> >> > (UT43414\:X.qam.conf). The problem I'm having is the conf file is
> >> > always
> >> > empty. Any ideas?
> >>
> >> If you change the $debug variable at the top of the script it will
> >> generate a lot more output, and then I can see what I mis-programmed.
> >>
> >> Have you downloaded the latest version? I received some feedback and
> >> made adjustments a few days ago.
> >>
> >
> > I verified I have the latest version. I've enabled debug, and there is
> more
> > output now, but I don't see a smoking gun. He's a snippet of the output.
> > Getting QAM data for channel 663
> > channel is 663 vcgvs is:
> > vch=663 name=DSCHDTV auth=subscribed cci=unrestricted cgms=n/a
> > Getting QAM data for channel 664
> > channel is 664 vcgvs is:
> > vch=664 name=Life HD auth=subscribed cci=unrestricted cgms=n/a
> > Getting QAM data for channel 665
> > channel is 665 vcgvs is:
> > vch=665 name=Palladia auth=subscribed cci=unrestricted cgms=n/a
> > Getting QAM data for channel 666
> > vcss is ERROR: invalid virtual channel
>
> That shouldn't be a blocker - it just means that 666 doesn't exist in
> your lineup.
>
> If you run qamscanner.pl 2 20
>
> Does it run all the way through and create a file on the channels up to 20?
>
> If yes, then try running 2 665
> so that we can see if there's something else happening.
>
> Thanks.
>
>
I've tried several different channel ranges and still get an empty conf
file.


rkulagow at gmail

Nov 17, 2011, 4:53 PM

Post #10 of 12 (1801 views)
Permalink
Re: A perl QAM scanner - call for volunteers [In reply to]

> I've tried several different channel ranges and still get an empty conf
> file.

OK, with debug enabled, can you please paste in the entire output of
what happens when you run the script?
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grantmc at gmail

Nov 17, 2011, 6:06 PM

Post #11 of 12 (1799 views)
Permalink
Re: A perl QAM scanner - call for volunteers [In reply to]

On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 5:53 PM, Robert Kulagowski <rkulagow [at] gmail>wrote:

> > I've tried several different channel ranges and still get an empty conf
> > file.
>
> OK, with debug enabled, can you please paste in the entire output of
> what happens when you run the script?
>
>
Sure. I'll email it directly to you as it is quite lengthy.


rkulagow at gmail

Nov 30, 2011, 10:00 AM

Post #12 of 12 (1732 views)
Permalink
Re: A perl QAM scanner - call for volunteers [In reply to]

On Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 7:22 PM, Robert Kulagowski <rkulagow [at] gmail> wrote:
> [Putting on my Schedules Direct hat]
>
> I've created a perl scanner which leverages the information we can get
> from a HDHR-cable card system to create an accurate call sign to QAM
> mapping. †It will help end the issue of not knowing which QAM
> frequencies have which content on them (without watching each channel
> to figure it out).
>
> Tribune's systems (the source of the data for Schedules Direct) are
> not programmed to support QAM because the cable companies don't want
> to distribute QAM data, so Tribune isn't going to do the R&D to
> support QAM if there's no "market" for it. Since the cable companies
> are the ones that would need to request the requirement, (and they're
> not), Tribune isnít going to implement something which wonít be used,
> and which the cable companies wonít supply data for in the first
> place. †We've asked Tribune, and for whatever reason, the cable
> companies seem to consider QAM tuning information as proprietary.
>
> When the scan is complete the result will be a {headend}.qam.conf file
> containing that information and .mpg files which you can watch with
> mplayer or vlc if you'd like to confirm what the scanner found.
>
> When the scan is done, please send it to qam-info [at] schedulesdirect
>
> Schedules Direct will manage the collection of QAM files and make them
> available to other users in the same headend, allowing users that
> don't have a cable card HDHR to still have accurate maps.
>
> So, if you're reasonably proficient, and have a HDHR-cc and a
> HDHR-atsc on your system, please go to
>
> https://github.com/rkulagowski/qamscanner
>
> and download the qamscanner.pl
>
> The source code should be pretty self-documenting. †Please let me know
> if you have any questions.

I've updated the program, and an ATSC HDHR connected to your cable
system is no longer required; running the script with just a Prime
will still create valid .conf files.

Please let me know if you run into any difficulty with the script.
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