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Discussion Starter #1
I have an AverMedia Hybrid Volar USB digital tuner. I am trying to have Windows Media Center provide a usable, readable guide and DVR capabilities for the boxless digital cable I receive from Time Warner. My Samsung TV has an internal tuner from which I receive all digital channels I purchase. The channels are, for example, 32-1 CBS affiliate, 11-1 ABC Affiliate, 35-28 Oxygen and so on.

When I unplug the coax from the TV's internal tuner and connect to the PC and then run WMC setup I only get 5 of the nearly 75 channels I get on the TV. I have successfully used WMC's "Edit Channels" to add about 10 more. When you use edit channels you see in the fist leftmost column the virtual channel numbers that one would see on Time Warner digital cable TV listing. The second column is alphanumeric , for example C98.3.

How do I add a QAM channel that I currently receive with no issue when the coax is plugged into the TV's tuner? How can I find out what Cxx.xxx number I need to specify for, say, the Discovery channel? Surely someone maintains a list. I have called Time Warner and spent 2 hours and they say this is the biggest mystery in the known universe. That the Cxx.xxx refers to the channel frequency which always changes.

I do not believe the Cxx.xx designation one sees when editing channels in WMC is a frequency. I think it is a hard coded designation that for some reason must be mapped to the virtual channel number that shows up on the TV guides.

When Googling this issue I see many references to a SiliconDust channel server or list but when I hit that link, and I have from several websites now, that page no longer exists. Apparently it at one time had a mapping from the Cxx.xx to the network for each local digital cable company in the US.

Can anyone help? I would love to use the WMC channel listing guide and DVR capabilities, the guide more so as there is no easy way to see what is on when with boxless digital cable.

And no, LinuxBob has no interest in using Myth TV with its front ends and back ends. WMC is a great product.
 

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WMC uses a database and rely on cable provider to provide correct channel IDs to identify channels. But often, the clear QAM channels are never correctly IDs by cable providers. Sometimes, it is even wrongly labeled. What you have to do is add QAM channels manually. Don't worry about the virtual channel numbers your local cable provider uses. Those means absolutely nothing to QAM tuners. Since you already have the TV's tuner tune to those channels. Write down the channel numbers they show. For example 13-2 means channel 13 subchannel 2. When you add a QAM channel in WMC, you simply add 13.2 as QAM channel number and give it some name you can identify. Then you have to manually associate those channels with correct listing source when you edit those channels. You have to do it one by one manually which is quite tedious to say the least.
 

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There is a program called Guidetool that makes this process a little easier. I used to use it when I still had clear QAM. If your provider hasn't fazed it out yet I would be willing to bet they will soon, you'be be better off just getting a cablecard tuner.
 

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There is a program called Guidetool that makes this process a little easier. I used to use it when I still had clear QAM. If your provider hasn't fazed it out yet I would be willing to bet they will soon, you'be be better off just getting a cablecard tuner.
I have 3 cable card tuners with the SiliconDust HDHR Prime being served off another PC. This PC is connected to my boxless digital cable only to hopefully provide a readable and usable WMC guide for those channels.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
WMC uses a database and rely on cable provider to provide correct channel IDs to identify channels. But often, the clear QAM channels are never correctly IDs by cable providers. Sometimes, it is even wrongly labeled. What you have to do is add QAM channels manually. Don't worry about the virtual channel numbers your local cable provider uses. Those means absolutely nothing to QAM tuners. Since you already have the TV's tuner tune to those channels. Write down the channel numbers they show. For example 13-2 means channel 13 subchannel 2. When you add a QAM channel in WMC, you simply add 13.2 as QAM channel number and give it some name you can identify. Then you have to manually associate those channels with correct listing source when you edit those channels. You have to do it one by one manually which is quite tedious to say the least.
In your example 13-2 IS the cable company's virtual number, the one my TV displays and the one for which I have a channel listing provided by TWC. I know all those channel numbers. It is the "correct listing source" I need to associate those channel numbers with that I am missing and cannot get from Time Warner.
 

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No, you got it back wards. Virtual channel numbers are a different thing. It is the channel number shows up on cable box. Nothing to do with QAM. When you use a CableCard tuner, you will get a map that maps virtual channel number to actual physical channel number. For example, in my area, my local CBS is channel 32.3 (or C32.3 listed by WMC) but virtual channel number is 1009, my local CBS HD station. WMC will not necessary show all the QAM channels unless it can recognize via channel data.


Source listing is to associate a channel you entered with a station/channel guide. For example, for my CBS HD station, I will type in WJLA-DT (WJLA is station call letter, DT denotes its digital transmission, e.g. HD programming). You type a few letters and WMC will search for the listings that match.


As mentioned, it is a tedious work to find out all your channels via physical channel numbers. Using a cablecard and cable card tuner is million times easier. And it is true that your local cable provider can shift those physical channels at any time to make room for new channels. When that happens, you will have to do it all over again on a QAM tuner. But you don't need do anything on a cablecard tuner because the virtual channel numbers usually don't change. The mapping to physical channel changes automatically.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No, you got it back wards. Virtual channel numbers are a different thing. It is the channel number shows up on cable box. Nothing to do with QAM. When you use a CableCard tuner, you will get a map that maps virtual channel number to actual physical channel number. For example, in my area, my local CBS is channel 32.3 (or C32.3 listed by WMC) but virtual channel number is 1009, my local CBS HD station. WMC will not necessary show all the QAM channels unless it can recognize via channel data.


Source listing is to associate a channel you entered with a station/channel guide. For example, for my CBS HD station, I will type in WJLA-DT (WJLA is station call letter, DT denotes its digital transmission, e.g. HD programming). You type a few letters and WMC will search for the listings that match.


As mentioned, it is a tedious work to find out all your channels via physical channel numbers. Using a cablecard and cable card tuner is million times easier. And it is true that your local cable provider can shift those physical channels at any time to make room for new channels. When that happens, you will have to do it all over again on a QAM tuner. But you don't need do anything on a cablecard tuner because the virtual channel numbers usually don't change. The mapping to physical channel changes automatically.
The Cxx.xx numbers that WMC provides even for those channels which WMC did find, or which WMC let me add through the "Edit Channels" feature, are not the same as the digital channel number for boxelss digital cable. For example, my CBS affiliate boxelss digital cable channel number is 32-1. WMC has 32-1 mapping to (and this is not correct just illustrative) C98.77.

Perhaps I am not describing virtual channels correctly but how can I know if C101.788 or whatever is the Discovery Chanel?

I will try using Edit Channels and do as you suggest, i.e., use the 38-35 channel number and edit the listing for the guide and see if that works. I think I already did that and it did not but I will try again.
 

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Like I said above, WMC often get this association wrong when you let it auto search for channels. The reason is your cable provider often provide wrong channel ID in the channel data.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Like I said above, WMC often get this association wrong when you let it auto search for channels. The reason is your cable provider often provide wrong channel ID in the channel data.
It worked as you said. I added QAM channel using the channel guide numbers provided by Time Warner digital, 32-1 for example being CBS affiliate. Named it CBS then edited channel using local call letters.

I can add all 5 local channels but of these 5 HD channels only 2 work others say "no signal." All 5 non-HD channels work fine.
 

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I have 3 cable card tuners with the SiliconDust HDHR Prime being served off another PC. This PC is connected to my boxless digital cable only to hopefully provide a readable and usable WMC guide for those channels.
It won't work that way but you can use the HDHR Prime tuner log to see what frequency each channel is on. You can then use the frequency to figure out the Cxx.xxxx channel number so you can manually set up the other tuner device in WMC.

1. Write down the channel numbers that you want to manually add in WMC. These are the channel numbers that WMC uses with the HDHR Prime, not the channel numbers that you use with your TV's internal tuner.

2. Reboot the HDHR Prime tuner to clear the log.

3. Open WMC and tune in each of those channels that you wrote down, one at a time. Make sure one of the HDHR Prime tuner lights comes on when you tune each of those channels.

4. Open the HDHR Prime tuner log in a web browser. The URL of the log will be the tuner's IP address /log.html. My HDHR Prime's IP is 192.168.1.8 so I enter (without quotes) "http://192.168.1.8/log.html" in the browser to open the log. Your tuner IP address is probably different so change the IP address accordingly. Copy/paste the log info into a text document and print it out for future reference.
You should see a bunch of entries in the log that look similar to this:
Code:
20150210-01:58:19 Tuner: tuning 513 WTXF-HD (auto:219MHz-1145) 
20150210-01:58:20 CableCARD: 513 WTXF-HD (auto:219MHz-1145) access = subscribed
That log entry is for my local FOX channel WTFX-HD on channel 513. To find out the Cxx.xxxx channel number for that station I would need to look up the frequency to see what cable channel that frequency is on. There's a handy chart at http://www.csgnetwork.com/tvfreqtable.html. If you scroll down to the CATV channels section, you can see channel 23 includes 217.2500MHz to 221.7500MHz. 219MHz falls in that range so the Cxx part of the number is C23. Look at the HDHR Prime log again and find the number listed after the dash and that gives you the rest of the C23.xxxx number. My FOX channel on 219MHz -1145 is C23.1145.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It won't work that way but you can use the HDHR Prime tuner log to see what frequency each channel is on. You can then use the frequency to figure out the Cxx.xxxx channel number so you can manually set up the other tuner device in WMC.

1. Write down the channel numbers that you want to manually add in WMC. These are the channel numbers that WMC uses with the HDHR Prime, not the channel numbers that you use with your TV's internal tuner.

2. Reboot the HDHR Prime tuner to clear the log.

3. Open WMC and tune in each of those channels that you wrote down, one at a time. Make sure one of the HDHR Prime tuner lights comes on when you tune each of those channels.

4. Open the HDHR Prime tuner log in a web browser. The URL of the log will be the tuner's IP address /log.html. My HDHR Prime's IP is 192.168.1.8 so I enter (without quotes) "http://192.168.1.8/log.html" in the browser to open the log. Your tuner IP address is probably different so change the IP address accordingly. Copy/paste the log info into a text document and print it out for future reference.
You should see a bunch of entries in the log that look similar to this:
Code:
20150210-01:58:19 Tuner: tuning 513 WTXF-HD (auto:219MHz-1145) 
20150210-01:58:20 CableCARD: 513 WTXF-HD (auto:219MHz-1145) access = subscribed
That log entry is for my local FOX channel WTFX-HD on channel 513. To find out the Cxx.xxxx channel number for that station I would need to look up the frequency to see what cable channel that frequency is on. There's a handy chart at http://www.csgnetwork.com/tvfreqtable.html. If you scroll down to the CATV channels section, you can see channel 23 includes 217.2500MHz to 221.7500MHz. 219MHz falls in that range so the Cxx part of the number is C23. Look at the HDHR Prime log again and find the number listed after the dash and that gives you the rest of the C23.xxxx number. My FOX channel on 219MHz -1145 is C23.1145.
KenF excellent information. For present purposes Foxbat has set me straight and I am adding a few channels every night before turning in. However, when Cableco changes the frequency or cc.ccc number your information will be invaluable!

Any ideas on why several, but not all, of the local HD network affiliate stations display a "no signal found" message in WMC? I will try to find these stations using your HDHR log method when I have more time.
 

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Any ideas on why several, but not all, of the local HD network affiliate stations display a "no signal found" message in WMC? I will try to find these stations using your HDHR log method when I have more time.

That means you put in the wrong QAM channel numbers.
 

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qam mappings

I've found that while raw QAM channels are usually the same on lower channels, different devices show higher channels in different locations. I've tried tuning several devices raw from the coax on Long Island cablevision. Not only do they show different mappings for many channels, sometimes retuning the same device will change the numbering for some channels! I suspect some older devices have first generation tuners (from 2007 or earlier) and may be less accurate than tvs manufactured in the last couple of years. I've looked for a long time for QAM mappings for local providers, you can't get them for the public. Optimum in NY won't support anything that's not going through a set top box rented from them, and their techs have no answers for any question, except that they're "improving service" when a bunch of channels go out.
 
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