Adding Digital Cable Channels (For ATSC/QAM Tuner Cards -- USA/Canada) Rev 1

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The original guide discusses how to use the built-in channel scanner. In my area, a lot of digital channels show-up in the scan but contain no content. In addition, some channels do not show-up at all. I've created some ways to automate a manual scanning method.


  1. Log-in to and set-up your line-ups as necessary.
  2. Stop mythfrontend and mythbackend
  3. Start mythtv-setup
  4. Add tuner card(s) if necessary.
  5. Add line-ups as necessary
  6. Associate line-ups with tuner cards
  7. Go to the channel scanner and scan digital line-ups
  8. Exit mythtv-setup
  9. Run dvbscan (or scan) from the command line to produce an output of all (encrypted and unencrypted channels)
   scan -a 0 us-Cable-Standard-center-frequencies-QAM256 > scan.log
  1. Run the script to rename the channels to something that is easier to read
   perl < scan.log > scan.conf
  1. Run the script to capture all unencrypted channels available from your provider
   perl -a 0 -f scan.conf
  1. Grab a pad of paper and a pencil and watch all the video you just grabbed to determine what it is:
   for f in *.ts ; do mplayer $f; done
  1. Now create a CSV file to describe the content you just saw:
18,WGNAMER,WGN America,17098,1,110,5

Note the column header names are critical, but the order is not important. I use the information from schedules direct to get all the required information except the freqid and serviceid.

  1. Start mythbackend
  2. Now run the script to modify the channels the mythtv scanner found.
  3. Now run mythfilldatabase to populate your new channels with guide data.
  4. Start mythfrontend to see your guide data