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Preparing the Scan

You should see one or more tuners listed as type Atsc.
  Tip If you don't see any tuners listed this indicates TV Server has not yet successfully detected your tuners. Close TV Server configuration, wait 30 seconds, then reopen.

Note that you may see more tuners than you expect for three reasons:

  • Silicondust created a "wrapper" for their HDHomeRun PRIME CableCARD tuners that allows software like MediaPortal to use them for clear QAM only. Tuners named like HDHomeRun Prime Tuner are capable of receiving encrypted cable channels; tuners named like Silicondust HDHomeRun Tuner are physically the same tuners but are only capable of clear QAM. If you have a CableCARD, we recommend you disable (untick) the clear QAM wrapper tuners to avoid confusion.
  • On 32 bit versions of Windows 7 or newer you may see each CableCARD tuner listed twice. This is because MediaPortal supports two ways of controlling the tuner hardware. Tuners with device path starting "@device:sw..." use the Windows PBDA control interface. This is the interface used by Windows Media Center. Tuners with device path starting "uuid:" use the CableLabs native UPnP/DRI interface. This is the interface used by most other software. Only one interface should be used to control each tuner. The PBDA interface may be more reliable but will certainly be significantly slower than the native interface. We recommended that you disable (untick) the PBDA tuners unless troubleshooting.
  • If your tuner supports both digital and analog sources (a so-called hybrid tuner), expect to see one tuner of type Atsc for receiving from digital sources and one tuner of type Analog for receiving from analog sources. Such tuners should be configured as described here.

Tuner Configuration

CableCARD tuners require slightly different configuration than other tuners.

  1. Make sure you enable the "CAM" and set the decrypt limit to 1 as described here.
  2. Change the SDT/VCT timeout setting on the Scan Tab in the General section of TV Server Configuration to at least 120 seconds. This setting is the upper limit on the time that TV Server waits to receive channel information from the CableCARD. You may need to increase the value if you find channels are missing or are named like "Unknown...".


Tuning mode

Modern ATSC tuners often support receiving TV and radio signals from a variety of sources. This section of TV Server is used to scan digital sources; use the Scan Analog section for analog sources. Note most over-the-air analog TV (NTSC) broadcasts in the United States of America and Canada were turned off in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Low power transmitters/repeaters remain in more rural areas. Some cable providers also continue to broadcast analog channels.

To scan for digital channels broadcast over the air using a tuner connected to an aerial, select "ATSC Digital Terrestrial".

To scan for digital channels broadcast on a cable system using a tuner connected to a cable feed, select "Clear QAM Cable".

To scan for digital channels broadcast on a cable system using a CableCARD tuner connected to a cable feed, select "Digital Cable".

QAM tuning frequencies

When scanning with tuning mode Clear QAM Cable, you need to select the frequency plan used by your cable provider. If you're not sure what frequency plan your cable provider uses, we recommend you try QAM Standard first. If you find that channels are missing or have unexpectedly poor signal quality, try QAM HRC. QAM HRC + 3 and QAM IRC are only rarely used in practise so not recommended unless you are missing many channels. QAM Std Alternative_is almost identical to _QAM Standard; only use in extreme cases.

Scan for channels

Click Scan for channels to start searching for channels.

ATSC Digital Terrestrial and Clear QAM Cable scans will take approximately 20 minutes.

Digital Cable scans will take approximately 5 minutes.

In both cases timing is dependent on your SDT/VCT timeout setting.

Digital Cable Scanning

If scanning digital cable, you should expect to see a message "out-of-band service information" as soon as you start scanning. After that it may appear like nothing is happening for several minutes. This is absolutely normal. TV Server is gathering channel information from the CableCARD in the background, and just needs some time to pull it all in. Please be patient. Expect to wait up to 5 minutes.

Once the scan completes you should see a message telling you the number of new and updated channels that TV Server found.

If TV Server does not find any new or updated channels that means it is having problems getting information from the CableCARD. This is almost always due to firewall configuration. Ensure TV Server has full access to your network and rescan.

After the scan completes, check the TV Channels list. Some channels do not have names so will be named "Unknown...", however the vast majority (80%+) of your channels should have correct names and numbers. If this is not the case (ie. you have a lot of channels named "Unknown...") it might mean that the scan didn't have long enough to grab all the channel information from the CableCARD. Ensure you set the SDT/VCT timeout to at least 120 seconds as instructed above, and consider increasing the value (anything more than 300 seconds is excessive and will not help) and rescanning to get correct channel information. If you decide to rescan, make sure you delete all channels first because TV Server does not update channel names after the channels have been created.



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