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Important.png Note: The correct title of this article is dvbscan. It appears incorrectly here due to technical restrictions.

dvbscan is a basic command-line utility to produce a set of channel configuration. It emits this information to stdout.


dvbscan does not do a full-spectrum frequency scan. To get information on the available multiplexers, it reads this information from an existing transport. So you have to feed it this information; happily, the source distribution comes with a handy selection of transport settings for most of the available transmitters. If your transmitter is not in the list, you may be able to generate a suitable setting file using w_scan (the package is named w-scan in Debian and perhaps elsewhere).

To find a transport setting file, run dvbscan without parameters. It will list all transport setting files and its run options. You should find your transport setting in a directory with a name like /usr/local/share/dvb/scan/dvb-c/ for cable, /usr/local/share/dvb/scan/dvb-s/ for satellite, or /usr/local/share/dvb/scan/dvb-t/ for terrestial TV. The name gives the country and location; for example, au-Adelaide refers to Adelaide, South Australia. To be sure, look at the beginning of the file, which should look something like this:

# Australia / Adelaide / Mt Lofty
# T freq bw fec_hi fec_lo mod transmission-mode guard-interval hierarchy
T 226500000 7MHz 3/4 NONE QAM64 8k 1/16 NONE

In this example, the first line gives country, town and transmitter location.

Tzap and friend require a file channels.conf to operate. Normally this would be in the programs configuration directory, e.g. ~/.tzap/channels.conf for Tzap. The simplest use is (for example, running from the source directory):

dvbscan dvb-t/uk-Winter Hill > channels.conf


scan dvb-t/uk-Winter Hill > channels.conf

or use Legacy files
scan /usr/share/dvb/dvb-legacy/dvb-t/au-canberra  > channels.conf

Please note that 'dvbscan' is called 'scan' in openSUSE 10.3, 11.0, Ubuntu 8.10 and probably more newer distros.

dvbscan has many additional options for extra DVB devices, VDR, filtering radio stations and encrypted channels. Run dvbscan without options to see the only documentation supplied, including the options and the available transport settings files.

External links

  • The linuxtv.org DVB Wiki documentation for dvbscan