Difference between revisions of "Record multiple channels from one multiplex"

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Revision as of 20:27, 20 March 2008

This is a feature, referred to commonly as MultiRec and included with MythTV 0.21, which enables more than one channel to be recorded per tuner as long as the channels being recorded are being transmitted on the same DVB digital multiplex. It does not apply to analog tuners, and whether it applies to QAM digital cable depends somewhat on your carrier and your hardware.

The HDHomeRun external tuner is capable of supporting multirec, but the current version of the MythTV patch does not yet support it with that hardware.


MythTV 0.21 contains a fully working implementation of recording several concurrent shows from one transport stream.


DVB digital television transmissions are multiplexed Transport Streams containing several data streams (video, audio, epg, eit, ...) identified by PIDs. When you select a TV/Radio program or data service (like EPG, Teletext, IPv4, ...) the necessary PIDs are remuxed into a new data stream which can be handled by your application. In case of a media player one video PID and one or several audio PIDs are muxed into a TS- or PES-container (there can also be timing information like PCR).

The DVB-standard specifies the MPEG2 codec for video and audio. Alternatively AC3 can be used for audio.

Because of the high bandwidth of DVB multiplexes (up to 90 MBit/s) there is usually more than one TV- or radio-program in a multiplex. In contrast to the Windows BDA driver, the LinuxDVB kernel driver can also deliver the complete Transport Stream of a multiplex.

By remuxing the TS into more than one new stream other TV applications like VDR can record several TV programs in a DVB multiplex at the same time using only one tuner for the multiplex.

Multiplex recording also allows overlapping of sequential recordings of the same program. That avoids the annoying problem with the end of a broadcast being in the next recording or the beginning of a broadcast being at the end of a previous recording, as is lately popular with syndicated reruns of programs like Scrubs and ER.


Open Source Partners in Finland collected sponsorships for this development, with developers involved.

Use cases

This section originally existed to define some common things you might want to use MultiRec to do, and should be rewritten by someone familiar with the code to describe how closely these targets were hit.

Simple cases

  • User schedules recording of two programmes on different channels that share a multiplex (e.g., BBC1 and BBC2). Only one tuner should be used to record.
  • User has MythTV set up to always start recording five minutes before and after the scheduled time. User schedules recording of two back-to-back programmes on the same channel, or on different channels carried on the same transport. Only one tuner should be used to record both, despite the overlap.

Complex cases

A lot of the complexity in this change comes not from the recording code but from the scheduling. Define some edge cases to provoke discussion.

  • User has three recordings defined that will all be transmitted on one multiplex at the same time, each programme given a priority of "5". Another recording at the same time has a priority of "10" on another multiplex. With only one tuner, which programmes get recorded?
  • User has two tuners, one high priority, one low. Two programs at priority 0 are transmitted on the same transport, while one on a different transport has priority 10. Which gets the high priority tuner, and which the low priority one?
  • User has two tuners, one high priority DVB tuner, one low priority analog tuner. Two programs at priority 0 are transmitted on the same transport, while one on a different transport has priority 10. Do we give the high priority DVB tuner to the two low priority shows and put up with analog reception for the high priority show, or do we use the DVB tuner for the high priority show, and miss recording one of the lower priority shows?
  • User has two tuners, one low priority DVB tuner, one high priority analog tuner. One programs at priority 0 is on simultaneously with two priority 10 programs transmitted on the same transport. Do we give the low priority DVB tuner to the two high priority shows, or put one on the high priority analog tuner and miss the lower priority show? This may be a bit artificial, since a DVB tuner will usually have higher priority than an analog one.
  • All these same issues arise for back-to-back recordings on the same transport that are made to overlap due to start early/end late.

Setup Tuners / Capture Cards

If you want to use the multirec feature, you need to delete your multirec-compatible capture cards in mythtv-setup, recreate them as before, and then (key step) choose the desired number of 'virtual' tuners for each card using the Record options (Max Tuners default=2).

Setting the number of virtual tuner >1 for a capture card enables multirec and governs how many parallel recordings can be made from a capture card, assuming the channels to be recorded from are broadcast on the same multiplex.

You may need to rescan your DVB channels to allow this function to work

Countries with multiplexed DVB/ATSC transmissions





New Zealand

The freeview service transmits via the Optus D1 satellite and via UHF.

DTH Satellite Service

At present New Zealand has two Freeview (FTA) DVB-S transponders on Optus D1. Sky (pay tv provider) also broadcasts TV One and TV 2 unencrypted on one of their transponders. The DVB-S Transponders have enough room for upto 9 TV Channels each.

DVB-S 12483H DVB-S 12456H
TV One TV3
TV 2 C4
Maori TV Stratos
TVNZ 6 Parliament TV
TVNZ 7 Cue
TVNZ Sport Extra Reserved
Reserved Reserved
Reserved Radio NZ National
Reserved Radio NZ Concert

DTT Terrestrial Service

From April 2008 we a terrestrial DVB-T based service will start with 3 H.264 multiplexes with a mix of HD and SD content.

TVNZ Mux MediaWorks Mux Kordia Mux
TV One HD TV3 HD Maori TV
TV 2 HD C4 Parliament TV
TVNZ 6 Central TV
TVNZ Sport Extra
Radio NZ National
Radio NZ Concert


  • ABC and ABC2, with ABC2 repeating much of the ABC content later in the week (great if you run out of tuners)
  • SBS with SBS world News
  • Digital 44 (Sydney only) - datacasting of news/tab/expo/christian tv/parliament
  • Seven and Ten now show additional programming on the HD channel in their multiplex
  • Seven, Nine and Ten also show, at other times, both SD and HD versions on different channels in their multiplex


  • Astra 19.2° and EutelSat 13.0° DVB-S (up to 20 radio or 8 TV programs per transponder/multiplex)

Czech republic

3 Multiplexes (on terrestrial).

  • Multiplex A (CT1, CT2, CT24, CT4 Sport, TV Nova) + some radios
  • Multiplex B (Prima TV, TOP TV, Ocko, 24cz, TV NOE) + some radios
  • Multiplex C (some tests)


1 Multiplex, - more will come.

Current multiplex has: DR1, DR2, Tegnsprog and TV2. As of February not all of the country are covered. Se http://www.digi-tv.dk


  • All TV stations on DVB-C/-T (up to 6 TV channels per multiplex)

4 Multiplexes (on terrestrial). Muxes A and B cover 99,9 % of country. Mux C covers 78 % - 85,4 %. Mux E is reserved for pay-TV is also operational but not covering whole country.

Multiple multiplexes on cable, depending on providing company.

TTV[1] is Finland's 2nd biggest cable tv provider with 12 multiplexes[2]. 6-10 channels per multiplex and most of the users use only 2 of them -> More than 10 free channels. Even getting 2 channels with one tuners would be HUGE improvement.

Analog TV has been switched off since 31th of August 2007 in Finland...


  • All TV stations on DVB-C/-T (4 TV programs per VHF/UHF multiplex)


DVB-T ("Freeview")

The UK is made up of 6 multiplexes. As you can see below, with only 6 tuners you could have quite an incredible MythTV recording platform.

Mux 1 Mux 2 Mux A Mux B Mux C Mux D
BBC ONE ITV1 or (STV or UTV) Nuts TV 301 E4+1 Film4
BBC TWO ITV2 bid tv 302 / Community Sky News Ideal World
BBC THREE / CBBC ITV3 Five 305 Sky Sports News ITV2+1
BBC NEWS 24 CITV Five Life BBC FOUR / CBeebies Sky Three The HITS
Channel 4 Five US BBC News Multiscreen Dave / smileTV TMF
E4 price-drop tv BBC Parliment UKTV History / Virgin1
More 4 QVC
Quiz Call Teachers' TV

In addition, there are a large number of radio stations.

The full list can be found here: [3]

As the UK is currently in transition to all DVB-T (completed in 2012) an up to date status of Mux's and Channels can be found here: [4].


A selection of channels is also available for UK_Television via Sky Digital satellite. These channels are likewise multiplexed.

The 'interesting' Free TV channels that can be received with a DVB-S card (ie no Sky box required) and are thus available for multiplex recording:

Note especially the BBC HD

Astra 2D at 28.2°E

tp 41 ITV 2+1 ITV 1
tp 42 FILM4 FILM4+1
tp 44 ITV 1 ITV 2 CITV ITV 4 Men & Motors
tp 45 BBC One BBC Two BBC News24 BBC Four CBBC CBeebies BBC Three
tp 47 BBC One BBC Two BBC Radio
tp 50 BBC One BBC HD
tp 54 Channel TV STV ITV 3

Astra 2B at 28.2°E

tp 14 Zee Music UK
tp 26 Sky News UK Sky News Ireland


  • TV stations on the Digitenne network are in DVB-T (multiple TV programs per multiplex, all FTA public channels on one multiplex)

E.g.: # scandvb -c
using '/dev/dvb/adapter0/frontend0' and '/dev/dvb/adapter0/demux0'
0x0000 0x044d: pmt_pid 0x1b62 Digitenne -- Nederland 1 (running)
0x0000 0x044e: pmt_pid 0x1b6c Digitenne -- Nederland 2 (running)
0x0000 0x044f: pmt_pid 0x1b76 Digitenne -- Nederland 3 (running)
0x0000 0x0450: pmt_pid 0x1b80 Digitenne -- TV Rijnmond (running)
0x0000 0x0457: pmt_pid 0x1bc6 Digitenne -- Radio Rijnmond (running)
0x0000 0x0458: pmt_pid 0x1bd0 Digitenne -- Radio 1 (running)
0x0000 0x0459: pmt_pid 0x1bda Digitenne -- Radio 2 (running)
0x0000 0x045a: pmt_pid 0x1be4 Digitenne -- 3FM (running)
0x0000 0x045b: pmt_pid 0x1bee Digitenne -- Radio 4 (running)
0x0000 0x045c: pmt_pid 0x1bf8 Digitenne -- Radio 5 (running)
0x0000 0x045d: pmt_pid 0x1c02 Digitenne -- Radio 6 (running)
0x0000 0x045e: pmt_pid 0x1c0c Digitenne -- Concertzender Classic (running)
0x0000 0x045f: pmt_pid 0x1c16 Digitenne -- FunX (running)
dumping lists (13 services)
Nederland 1 (0x044d) 01: PCR == V V 0x1b63 A 0x1b64 TT 0x1b65
Nederland 2 (0x044e) 01: PCR == V V 0x1b6d A 0x1b6e TT 0x1b6f
Nederland 3 (0x044f) 01: PCR == V V 0x1b77 A 0x1b78 TT 0x1b79
TV Rijnmond (0x0450) 01: PCR == V V 0x1b81 A 0x1b82 TT 0x1b83
Radio Rijnmond (0x0457) 02: PCR == A A 0x1bc8
Radio 1 (0x0458) 02: PCR == A A 0x1bd2
Radio 2 (0x0459) 02: PCR == A A 0x1bdc
3FM (0x045a) 02: PCR == A A 0x1be6
Radio 4 (0x045b) 02: PCR == A A 0x1bf0
Radio 5 (0x045c) 02: PCR == A A 0x1bfa
Radio 6 (0x045d) 02: PCR == A A 0x1c04
Concertzender Classic (0x045e) 02: PCR == A A 0x1c0e
FunX (0x045f) 02: PCR == A A 0x1c18

All of Dutch national public TV and radio in one multiplex!
See http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digitenne for details and information (in Dutch)


Mux R1 France 2 France 3 France 4 France 5 ARTE La Chaîne Parlementaire
Mux R2 Direct 8 Gulli Europe 2 TV i>TELE BFM TV TMC
Mux R3 Canal + Canal J Planète Canal + Sport Canal + Cinéma
Mux R4 M6 W9 NT1 Paris Première TF6 AB1
Mux R5 unused unused unused unused unused unused
Mux R6 TF1 NRJ 12 TPS Star Eurosport LCI


DVB-T and DVB-C.

There are 6 public DVB-T multiplexes. 1 - 5 covers 98% of the population, Multiplex 6 covers Stockholm at the moment. This is about 30 channels, both encrypted and unencrypted. There are also ongoing work to ensure that the Swedish population in Finland will continue to receive digital transmissions after the analog transmissions have stopped. Channels are transmitted in mpeg2 but as new channels start to broadcast mpeg4 will be used for those (2008). In 5 - 15 years, all channels should broadcast in mpeg4. Both SDTV and HDTV.

Read more at Teracom.

Some of the DVB-T channels:

Mux 1 Mux 2 Mux 3 Mux 4 Mux 5 Mux 6
SVT2 TV4 Fakta TV8 VH1 TCM TV Finland
Barnkanalen TV4 Film Kanal 5 MTV Nordic SILVER SVT HD (mpeg4)
SVT1 TV6 Canal 7 Kanal 9 BBC World
SVT24 CNN Canal+ First Star! TV7
ABC TV4 Stockholm Canal+ Hits Eurosport BBC Prime
SVT Extra TV4 Plus Disney Channel The Voice Discovery T&L
Kunskapskanalen TV400 TV3 Animal Planet Axess 25
SVT2 Tal txt Canal+ Sport1 Discovery
SVT1 Tal txt ztv.se
SVT2 Nickelodeon

This is the channels that one of the big transmitters in Stockholm/Nacka broadcast.



1 Multiplex ( HTV 1, HTV 2, Nova TV & RTLTelevizija)


  • All TV stations on DVB-T (Maximum of 4 TV programs per VHF/UHF multiplex. Radio stations do not count for the maximum).


No official DVB-T broadcasts, but there is a trial signal which is made up of 4 MUXes and is available to approx. 30% of the population in the East and North-East of the country. MUX 1 is FTA, while MUX2,3 and 4 are scrambled. Permanent services are due to start in 2008

Mux 1 RTE 1 RTE 2 TV 3 TG 4

North America

Digital cable transmissions are multiplexed. The standard encoding appears to be QAM-256 for unencrypted channels. Usually there are also lots of audio only channels multiplexed into the stream, so each frequency can have a number of streams. Maximum for one frequency with Rogers cable in the Toronto area appears to be 14 streams on one frequency...a mixture of unencrypted video+audio, audio and encrypted HD.

Rogers has a total of 424 streams!

An example dvbscan output:

Unique name:frequency:modulation: video id: audio id: serviceid (pid)

#dumping lists (424 services)

South America