DVBS Volunteers

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garyan2

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DVBS Volunteers

#1

Post by garyan2 » Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:49 pm

I'm looking for some DVB-S volunteers to try out a method to setup satellite channels in WMC with more up-to-date information. The data I am using is sourced from KingOfSat and will include all transponders and all services listed with them to include FTA, encrypted channels, and radio stations even if you are not within the footprint of the transponder. There are no present channel numbers either, so WMC will automatically assign them starting at 1000 I believe. This is a first-stage, proof-of-concept to see if this method will work.

I would recommend using a non-production WMC to try this out since it requires a clean start setup. If you are willing to do it on a production unit, then I would suggest making a backup of your database first so you can restore everything afterwards.

What you need to do:
1) Use the client to perform [Client Setup]
2) Once 'Step 1: Clean Start' is complete, extract the attached file DefaultSatellites.mxf and copy to 'C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\ehome\Packages\DVBSTuning'. I've seen some conflicting info on the web on the location, but it might be 'C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\ehome\Packages\DVBSTuning\DVBSTuning' folder instead.
DefaultSatellites.zip
(301.85 KiB) Downloaded 11 times
3) Proceed to Step 2 once the file is in place and complete TV Setup. Do not scan the satellite transponders.
4) Complete Step 3 if desired.

When selecting your satellites, a good sign that the DefaultSatellites.mxf file is being used is if the name of the satellites for 19.2 and 28.2 are "Astra 1KR/1L/1M/1N (19.2E)" and "Astra 2E/2F/2G (28.2E)" respectively rather than "ASTRA 1E,1F,1G,1H,1KR,2C (19.2E)" and "ASTRA 2A-B-D (28.2E)".

Thank you to anyone willing to help out, and let me know of any success/failure.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. https://garyan2.github.io

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#2

Post by garyan2 » Sat Oct 23, 2021 7:55 pm

Looking in to WMC code a bit, I'm not sure the above will work but still hoping it will. As plan B, I just purchased a TBS8922 off ebay just so I can have a tuner with drivers for WMC and I should be able to determine the best way to handle DVB-S setup.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. https://garyan2.github.io

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#3

Post by garyan2 » Sun Oct 31, 2021 11:09 pm

Okay, I have a path forward on this. With the release of version 1.7.0.9, all satellites and transponders will be updated upon a [Client Setup] as well as using a new button [Transponders] in the client. When setting up a DVB satellite and performing a TV Setup, the updated satellites will be available for selection. There will be no channels created so the user will have to do a full satellite scan after TV Setup is complete. This is Stage 1 of this development and hopefully I can explain well enough how customisable it will be.

There will be a new .\satellites folder created that will initially be empty. If you want to modify the transponders for any satellite, you can download a satellites.xml file from http://satellites-xml.org (use UTF-8 encoding) and place it in the .\satellites folder, then edit it appropriately if you want to add/remove transponders. When the client performs a client setup, or you click the [Transponders] button, it will read that xml file and create the satellite/transponder listings to be available during TV Setup. If the file does not exist, then it will use the embedded satellites.xml file which I created recently and contains all satellites and transponders.

Stage 2 of this development will be to add a GUI that you can create your own DefaultSatellites.mxf file. I am planning on having it snapshot your current tuner configurations to include channel numbers and call signs. If a DefaultSatellites.mxf file exists in the .\satellites folder, then the client will import it rather than using any satellites.xml file. During TV Setup, there will then only be the satellite(s) you had configured, and the channels will automatically be added at the end of TV Setup so there will be no need to perform any transponder scans.

So the process to make any TV Setup of DVB satellites go very quickly is to:
1) Perform a client setup using satellites.xml file (embedded or custom).
2) Perform a full satellite scan.
3) Renumber/Rename/Delete channels however you like.
4) Create the DefaultSatellites.mxf file.

After the DefaultSatellites.mxf file has been created, any future TV Setup performed will be complete and to your customisations. This will take the normal hours/days of scanning and sorting down to mere minutes.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. https://garyan2.github.io

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#4

Post by technodevotee » Sat Nov 20, 2021 3:48 pm

This looks very interesting and I'll try it out as soon as I can.

It just so happens that I was going to have to reinstall because one of my tuner developed a problem and I temporarily disabled it in sources on the channels that were due to record.

I'll let you know how I get on.

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#5

Post by garyan2 » Sat Nov 20, 2021 4:18 pm

That would be great. Keep in mind I am only in Stage 1 and you will only have the updated satellite transponders. If you want to tailor the transponders some you will need to download an xml file from satellites-xml.org and edit it to your liking. Place the xml file in the .\satellites folder before performing the [Client Setup], or before clicking the [Transponders] button and then running TV Setup.

If you use the DefaultSatellites.mxf file from the first post, it will contain all the channels from KingOfSat from when I created it to include all the transponders you may not be able to see as well as all the encrypted channels, but you won't need to scan the satellite. Also, there are no assigned channel numbers so WMC will automatically assign them start at '1'. Place the mxf file in the .\satellites folder before performing the [Client Setup], or before clicking the [Transponders] button and then running TV Setup.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. https://garyan2.github.io

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#6

Post by technodevotee » Sun Nov 21, 2021 8:32 am

As you may remember, I get signals from three satellites using a dish with multiple LNBs and DiSEqC switches so I have to set up WMC to receive using multiple tuners and multiple satellites.

Because of that, I don't know whether your additional features will help me.

Since MS stopped providing setup data the Packages folder on my systems has been empty and I've had an even bigger task getting all the transponders tuned in.

Can I restore the Packages folder from a backup and put the updated defaultsatellite.mxf you provided in there to replace the one from 2012?

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#7

Post by garyan2 » Sun Nov 21, 2021 2:40 pm

It will work for multiple satellites and tuners just like WMC did before. I am just updating the satellite info WMC uses to do what it does.

I tried putting the DefaultSatellites.mxf file in the packages folder and it had no effect. WMC will always use the embedded file in the ehres.dll when setting up satellites... I checked, it is hardcoded.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. https://garyan2.github.io

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#8

Post by technodevotee » Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:20 pm

So you configure the tuners and satellites in the normal way but don't do a scan, then populate the services (channels) using the transponder button in the EPG123 client?

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#9

Post by garyan2 » Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:48 pm

No, sorry. It depends on the method you are going to use to run TV Setup again.

WMC TV Setup
Prior to running WMC TV Setup, open the client and click the [Transponder] button. This will import the updated satellite transponder lists.
Proceed with TV Setup in the normal way.
Perform a Full Satellite Scan.

Client Setup
Same, except you don't need to click the [Transponder] button.

Advanced
If you use the DefaultSatellites.mxf file above, just place it in the .\satellites folder prior to the doing the above and the channels will be created based on the file contents at the end of TV Setup. No need to click the [Transponder] button or perform a Full Satellite Scan.

Future
Have the ability to create your own DefaultSatellites.mxf file to contain only the channels you want with channel numbers and callsigns.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. https://garyan2.github.io

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#10

Post by technodevotee » Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:48 am

I made a backup of my system, shutdown and removed the tuner with the problem.

I booted up and ran the client setup in the EPG123 Client, configuring the tuners and satellites but not scanning for services. When I exited WMC, client setup continued but failed to populate the guide because I'd forgotten to plug the LAN cable in.

Plugged the LAN cable in and ran client setup again (configuring the tuners and satellites but not scanning for services) - this time it populated the guide but there were no services.

Went into WMC and did a full scan for services on the first satellite but it hung at 1% with a handful of services found. I waited to see what happened but it stayed stuck so I cancelled the scan and restarted it. This time it completed and appeared to have found all available channels.

I ran a full scan on the other two satellites, which also completed successfully.

I'm going through mapping EPG listings and disabling unrequired channels now.

Looking good so far. :->

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#11

Post by RichardH » Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:56 pm

I have a personalized mxf file (with custom channel numbeers and call signs that match SD listings), and I was able to import it successfully using this new feature.
Briefly, the steps I performed were:
Copied the file into .\satellites, renaming it DefaultSatellites.mxf;
Pressed the Transponders button in the client, and waited for the tray icon to go from blue back to green;
Ran through WMC TV Setup, declining all the obsolete stuff;
Closed WMC;
Made the registry change to reenable the guide display;
Ran EPG123 Configuration to populate the guide;
Used EPG123 Client to hide unused channels and automatically subscribe to listings;
Restored channel logos (not using EPG123);
Restored recording schedule from backup.
Opened WMC and it worked.

All relatively quick and painless. Looking good.

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#12

Post by technodevotee » Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:23 pm

Living Room PC seems to be working well since using the new Client Setup function.

All the satellite channels I expect to be there are present - the ones I actually use that is - I can't say much about the 2500 or so channels that I don't use.

The only anomaly I have is that some of the channels have the same numbers. Given that they are all in the first 15 or so, could this be a result of restarting the search when it hung?

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#13

Post by garyan2 » Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:56 pm

technodevotee wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:23 pm
The only anomaly I have is that some of the channels have the same numbers. Given that they are all in the first 15 or so, could this be a result of restarting the search when it hung?
Possibly. Since WMC is scanning all the transponders without any info from epg123 for channel numbers, it is automatically assigning them. For Stage 2 of this development, and using a generated DefaultSatellites.mxf file, channel numbers will be assigned to your specification which will help. It may be possible to that it will automatically assign a channel number to a channel that is not in the mxf file which duplicates one of yours. We'll see when we get there.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. https://garyan2.github.io

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#14

Post by garyan2 » Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:12 pm

@technodevotee: Could you do me a favor and make a backup of your WMC database (using the [Backup] button) and send it to support@garyan2.net? I want to see if after scanning the satellite it updates some Dvbs info. If it does, it will make taking a snapshot to create the DefaultSatellites.mxf file much simpler.

Thank you.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. https://garyan2.github.io

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#15

Post by RichardH » Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:32 pm

Gary - here are some thoughts for the future Stage 2 GUI.

As well as a configurable list of satellites (orbital positions), I would request (/suggest/wish) to have checkboxes to have the option to filter the output for TV Only and for FTA Only. This would help reduce clutter and ease initial setup.

Also, something you might not be aware of, and may not apply to all orbital positions (but does to Astra at 28.2E, for example), is that some Service IDs are now >32767. These large IDs can cause an out of range error on loading without a bit of a hack. (At any rate, the error occurs when using loadmxf.exe - don't know what happens if you use mcstore.dll directly). The _serviceId attribute at /MXF/DvbsHeadend/_channels/DvbsChannel/_service gets parsed as signed 16-bit, although it is actually unsigned, so you have to map the large values into the negative range.

For instance, Sky News is 6404, which is OK. The uid ends with "...!DvbsService[6404]" and _serviceId="6404".
On the other hand, France 24 is 55310. The uid ends with "...!DvbsService[55310]", but _serviceId="-10226" to get the bit pattern right.

(This is handled at line 232 in Program.cs in my source BTW)

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#16

Post by garyan2 » Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:24 pm

RichardH wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:32 pm
Gary - here are some thoughts for the future Stage 2 GUI.

As well as a configurable list of satellites (orbital positions), I would request (/suggest/wish) to have checkboxes to have the option to filter the output for TV Only and for FTA Only. This would help reduce clutter and ease initial setup.

Also, something you might not be aware of, and may not apply to all orbital positions (but does to Astra at 28.2E, for example), is that some Service IDs are now >32767. These large IDs can cause an out of range error on loading without a bit of a hack. (At any rate, the error occurs when using loadmxf.exe - don't know what happens if you use mcstore.dll directly). The _serviceId attribute at /MXF/DvbsHeadend/_channels/DvbsChannel/_service gets parsed as signed 16-bit, although it is actually unsigned, so you have to map the large values into the negative range.

For instance, Sky News is 6404, which is OK. The uid ends with "...!DvbsService[6404]" and _serviceId="6404".
On the other hand, France 24 is 55310. The uid ends with "...!DvbsService[55310]", but _serviceId="-10226" to get the bit pattern right.

(This is handled at line 232 in Program.cs in my source BTW)
I am planning on a few options when creating the mxf file... include/exclude Radio, Encrypted, only use "enabled" channels maybe. I'm not sure yet if I will still include all the transponders on the satellite (even the ones not used) or not. I'm studying technodevotee's backup to see what I can do. There are some interesting things in there I need to understand what it means. A brief look shows possibly after WMC does a backup, the DvbsDataSet and unused satellite and transponders are cleaned out. That would mean any time doing a TV Setup after a backup it may be necessary to import the mxf file again.

I became aware of the 16-bit IDs when I was scraping KingOfSat and creating the mxf file. It is not just the SID that is a short, but others as well (ONID and TSID). I just mask the int value with 0xFFFF and cast as short for those and everything is good.

Code: Select all

        [XmlAttribute("_serviceId")]
        public int ServiceId
        {
            get => (short)(_serviceId & 0xFFFF);
            set => _serviceId = value;
        }
- Gary
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#17

Post by RichardH » Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:19 am

garyan2 wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:24 pm
...A brief look shows possibly after WMC does a backup, the DvbsDataSet and unused satellite and transponders are cleaned out. That would mean any time doing a TV Setup after a backup it may be necessary to import the mxf file again.
Not sure if I understood that correctly. After importing mxf then doing TV Setup, what I find in the db are the satellites and transponders from the mxf only, as expected. Attempting a subsequent TV Setup without importing mxf indeed leads to a crash at the tuner selection stage. I think this is regardless of whether a backup occurred in the meantime. Hope that makes sense.

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#18

Post by garyan2 » Sat Nov 27, 2021 3:36 pm

My bad. It isn't a backup that will clear the dataset, but a garbage cleanup. I have run multiple TV Setups without issue so far, but haven't tried after the garbage cleanup. I would have expected it to fallback to the old embedded defaultsatellites file in the ehres.dll file. I'll run some more experiments today to see if I can duplicate that behavior.
- Gary
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#19

Post by garyan2 » Sat Nov 27, 2021 6:18 pm

Okay, not sure when the dataset is removed from the database. I've been trying to force something with backups and garbage cleanups but it has been persistent. I finally forced the issue by doing a database rebuild since the dataset is not included in the backup files. I was then able to duplicate what you saw with crashing as soon as selecting the satellite tuner type if the dataset is no longer in the database. Importing the mxf file brings it back to life. Right now, it looks like something to be aware of if planning on doing a TV Setup... you should import the transponders/mxf file prior to starting it.
Last edited by garyan2 on Sat Nov 27, 2021 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#20

Post by RichardH » Sat Nov 27, 2021 7:02 pm

That all makes perfect sense. No problem to remember the import. Still looking good.

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