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Advice for Tuning Multiple Regions

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Let's suppose that (like me) you live in an area where you can pick up more than one TV region (in my case Wales from Mynydd Machen and West from Mendip - I could take Wales from Wenvoe but it is easier to combine Mendip and Mynydd Machen because of the channel groups and polarisation, there is less risk of the two aerials interfering with each other).

The headline advice is: don't. I have proven categorically that AR recording does not work if you are viewing a channel from the wrong region (or the wrong region was viewed last) when a pending recording is waiting for the AR flag. Consequently trying to tune multiple regions restricts one's options to using auto-padding not AR.

However, if you accept this limitation, multiple regions can be managed with precautions - as I have been successfully doing for the last several weeks, recording the daily local news bulletins on both regions without failure. The following applies to two regions. Whether it can be extended to three or more regions I don't know. It will also not apply to mixing reception from two different national authorities where service IDs etc conflict (eg England and Ireland) - the EPGs wipe each other out rather than complementing each other.

First thing is tuning, and manual tuning is recommended for complete control. The obvious thing is to choose one region as your primary for the full complement of services, and the other region as secondary for services carrying regional programmes only. In my case that means Mendip/West as primary with Mynydd Machen/Wales just for BBC1 Wales, BBC2 Wales, and ITV Wales (I have no interest in S4C - it's all in Welsh boyo!).

When tuning multiple regions, the tuning process asks which region you require - that selects the primary, and the duplicate channels from the secondary region get located at LCNs 800+. The problem with this is they get allocated replacement LCNs on a first come first served basis* so depending which multiplex you happen to tune first will decide which service gets 800. I want 800=BBC1Wales, 801=BBC2Wales, 802=ITVWales - and this can be achieved with the right procedure*.

The first thing is to ensure the tuning is cleared out (abort an automatic scan) and the Wales multiplexes are tuned first, only BBCA and D3&4 are necessary. This puts the Wales channels on their preferred LCNs with 1=BBC1Wales, 2=BBC2Wales, 3=ITVWales. Go into "edit channels" and delete all the others.

Now tune the full set of West multiplexes, but make sure BBCA then D3&4 are tuned first, and choose England when it asks which service you prefer. Now the West services will occupy their preferred LCNs, and the Wales services re-allocated at 800+ in the order they are displaced*. Thus we get 800=BBC1Wales, 801=BBC2Wales, 802=ITVWales. I then go through and delete all the subscription/shopping/children's/IPTV/text/adult/gay/sex/chat crap - taking care not to delete 200, 301, 302, 303 (which are required to support BBC Red Button).

(Note it would probably be possible to get the Wales services allocated to 801, 802, 803 by introducing a sacrificial service to be displaced to 800 and then deleting it, but I have not bothered to work the procedure out.)**

The precautions for recording from multiple regions are first (as noted above) ensure you have padding times set (to disable AR - I use -1+5). Secondly it is necessary to ensure EPGs from both regions are kept up-to-date - if a channel from both regions is not actually viewed (recording is not enough when not using AR) on a regular basis, the data will become stale, updated transmission times will not be picked up, and the data runs out completely after a week (see Things Every... section 4).

This means setting up a manual daily reminder timer for a 20 minute period on (say) BBC1 West and another one for BBC1 Wales, preferably in the early hours so as not to interfere with normal operations. My settings are BBC1 Wales 0400-0419 and BBC Red Button 0420-0440, Red Button being a data channel which will reduce the load on the hard drive, and spanning the OTA search time therefore eliminating OTA updates***.

Note that I also have my HD-FOXes tuned for West and Wales, but I don't use them to record so it is not an issue.

* Note that with custom firmware, the tunefix package can achieve the same thing by simply running an auto-tune and rebooting - see https://hummy.tv/forum/threads/tunefix-automatic-channel-organisation-and-maintenance.6639/page-10#post-103846. UPDATE: It turns out auto-tunes in these circumstances are impractical - see post 38 (click).

** See update post 33 (click).

*** Using reminder schedules in this way also prevents the EPG data becoming stale. See https://hummy.tv/forum/threads/accurate-recording-ar-padding-and-lost-series-links.858/.
 
Last edited:

af123

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for the interesting write-up. I wasn't aware that the first found services were displaced in favour of later ones!
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
It depends which region you select as your primary when it detects the second region.
 

Border

Member
I have been using my humax for 2 years to receive Freeview and Saorview. As in BHs post I use autopadding as AR doesnt work. I also manually tune the box starting with the Freeview Muxes first (In my case 49,50,59,54,58 and then when scanning 55 I set the DVB-T2 to get the HiDef channels). then I scan channel 45 for Saorview.

An auto scan would scan Saorview first putting RTE1 in channel 1 and BBC/Freeview Channels in the 800's.

When tuning multiple regions, the tuning process asks which region you require - that selects the primary, and the duplicate channels from the secondary region get located at LCNs 800+.
@BH. When you are recording 2 programs simultaneously from 2 different regions, do both programs pull the EIT data ? If only one has it is it the lower numbered channel?

When I record from 2 regions simultaneously the channels in the 800's have no EIT data. I know you mention service ID conflicts and realise that is not the same as different freeview regions.

(Edit) If 2 programs recorded simultaneously from 2 different regions both have EIT data then is that EIT data identical. A simple way to test that may be to see if the cf package arbookmarks works on both programs. I unfortunately can't test that.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
When you are recording 2 programs simultaneously from 2 different regions, do both programs pull the EIT data ? If only one has it is it the lower numbered channel?

When I record from 2 regions simultaneously the channels in the 800's have no EIT data. I know you mention service ID conflicts and realise that is not the same as different freeview regions.

(Edit) If 2 programs recorded simultaneously from 2 different regions both have EIT data then is that EIT data identical. A simple way to test that may be to see if the cf package arbookmarks works on both programs. I unfortunately can't test that.
I will have to set up a specific test (actually, I think suitable circumstances arise shortly), but arbookmarks currently only processes one of my regional news programmes because the other one loses its start due to padding conflict. Both recordings show relevant synopsis data on the i button.
 

Border

Member
Both recordings show relevant synopsis data on the i button.

I find synopsis a bit unpredictable and I am trying to figure out the best channel configuration for my situation.I appreciate your help. You are more technical in this than I would be. Appreciate any help or suggestions (apart form changing the Humax!)

I know most suggest avoiding multi-region (etc.).

Normally using AR pressing the (i) button on a recording (media>(i)) would be the same as pressing during play back but on multiregion (I know .... not recommended) there are differences.

I have noticed that the synopsis on the program can be different to the synopsis when you press <i>, when a recording is being played.

When the recording is scheduled the synopsis is stored on the box (both short event descriptors and long event descriptors). Check schedule press ‘i’ and I suspect for both regions it will be there whether or the cable is connected or not.

I know that when a recording is started the destination folder is already sorted. When a recording is started its synopsis already sorted? (i.e. whether or not the program synopsis is going to be the same as that that was on the schedule or is it dependent on live TS information)?

I wondered if the program synopsis on a recording was pulled from the short program descriptor (AND NOT the long program descriptors) stored when the program was scheduled. (I realise that my schedule synopsis contains both the short synopsis and the long synopsis.)
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I think you are confusing me with somebody who knows something about it. I can confirm my simultaneous recordings of regional news earlier this evening have both had auto-bookmarks applied. I suggest any deviation from these observations is the result of incompatibilities between Saorview and Freeview.

Is use a separate PVR for each region. Should be OK on the TV or an STB though.
It is OK on an HDR-FOX, just follow the guidelines in post 1. I am actually using one in this configuration (and have been since 12th March - see HERE).
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
First thing is tuning, and manual tuning is recommended for complete control. The obvious thing is to choose one region as your primary for the full complement of services, and the other region as secondary for services carrying regional programmes only.
Which version of the standard firmware is the Humax using?
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
For reference:

Screenshot_2013-04-28-08-44-59.png

Screenshot_2013-04-28-08-44-29.png

When I play the files, I get the "live" data on the i button - ie "national news" before the AR bookmark and the synopsis as shown in the screenshots after the bookmark.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Tsk! They show for me... I originally uploaded them into a PM, and transferred them to an open post so it looks like I have privilege to view and you don't. I will have to upload them again.

Better?
 

Border

Member
When the recording is scheduled the synopsis is stored on the box (both short event descriptors and long event descriptors). Check schedule press ‘i’ and I suspect for both regions it will be there whether or the cable is connected or not.
This is not the case. In when I press the 'i' button on a scheduled event the full synopsis will only appear if the service id of the scheduled program is the same as the service id of the channel being wiewed (i.e. the active EPG).


Also I noticed the information ‘i’ icon just after the program time on a schedule recently. I had not noticed it before and it doesn’t show up on freeview schedules.

I receive signals from two areas (Saor-view and Freeview) and I said in an earlier post that the schedule stores the EPG program information, simultaneously, from both. I now realise that is not correct. The hummy only accesses the program information from the area that is active.

There are also subtle differences that I have just noticed. For example the ‘i’ logo after the scheduled date/ time below the Freeview Logo. (see attached 2 photographs). (I call the little grey circle with the ‘i’ in it a logo others may have a proper technical term for it, if so let me know).

In one view (screen1) where the current channel is Saor-view there is an ‘i’ logo just after the
FRI 21 JUN 21:30 - 22:25
on the following screenshot.
I have not seen this ‘i’ logo on Freeview schedules. At the end of that line there is the Clock logo (scheduled recording) and ‘S’ logo for series link (just above the 9/2) just as there are on Freeview schedules.

(I am not talking about the line below i.e. the “ Press the Right Button for More Episodes” – This is also present on freeview channels.)

In the next view I have switched to a Freeview channel and the ‘i’ logo after the
FRI 21 JUN 21:30 - 22:25
date/time schedule for Saor-view scheduled program disappeared (as well as the Clock and ‘S’ logo on the right).
 

Attachments

OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I have had my first failure since starting recording of multiple regional news programmes, due to the Wombledon chaos this evening. The surprise however, is that it did not fail because of the rapidly changing EPG data.

In an attempt to avoid conflicts (doomed to failure), I record the national News at Six from BBC NEWS, then Wales Today and Points West from BBC ONE Wales and BBC ONE West respectively. I had Wimbledon on BBC ONE Wales which then switched to BBC TWO Wales for half an hour, the national news bulletin on ONE was truncated and a shortened local news appended to go back to the Murray match at 6.30.

West and Wales recordings both tracked the EPG changes, but the news on BBC NEWS was still the full length - so my Wales Today recording got aborted due to the conflict.

Had I not been viewing the Wales transmitter at the time, I very much doubt the EPG changes would have been tracked.

PS: I hear Wednesday was mucked about too, I'll check what happened as HDR3 will have turned on on timer at LCN 200 (West)...

The regional news programmes were actually moved to BBC TWO, and all HDR3 did was record half an hour of tennis (twice). I was out all day Wednesday, and couldn't be bothered to catch up with the news when I got back, so didn't spot it. If the EPG had been updated in time, at least the West recording should have aborted.
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
PS: I hear Wednesday was mucked about too, I'll check what happened as HDR3 will have turned on on timer at LCN 200 (West)...

The regional news programmes were actually moved to BBC TWO
Only in Wales and Scotland.
I was out all day Wednesday, and couldn't be bothered to catch up with the news when I got back, so didn't spot it. If the EPG had been updated in time, at least the West recording should have aborted.
I can supply a recording if you're desperate... :frantic:
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
? My recording on West was also of tennis.
The regional news on Wed. followed the tennis at 19:30 on BBC1 in England and Northern Ireland.
No idea what Scotland and Wales stuck in that hole as they had already done their regional news on BBC2 at 18:30.
 
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