Humax HDR-Fox T2 moved from UK to Australia

#1
Before I moved to Brisbane I checked for compatibility. The UK uses DVB-T2, while Australia uses the older DVB-T standard. I thought my humax would be backward compatible with the older standard. I decided to take it anyway because I had 800MB unwatched UK programs on the hard disk.

I was disappointed to discover that it didn't find any channels when I connected it to the TV aerial in my flat in Brisbane, so I borrowed a "cheapie" Australian standard definition set-top box from my daughter, which found strong signals from several multiplexes, so I knew the aerial was OK.

A few weeks later our personal posessions shipment arrived. I was so sure our UK Samsung HD TV was going to fail the same way that I didn't even turn it on for a couple of days. When I told it to search for TV channels, I was astonished when it found 34 channels. The HDTV, SDTV and radio channels all worked fine (even though it "thinks" it is still in the UK, on GMT, and can't find the EPG)!

I also have a Hauppauge PCTV DVB-T2 USB dongle, which I've never used "in anger" in the UK. After jumping through various configuration hoops, it also tuned into all the 34 channels. (The January 2014 /usr/share/dvb/dvb-t/au-Brisbane tuning data was wrong for two of the multiplexes, but I changed the file to make it work. My patch has just been released for Debian and Ubuntu).

My Samsung TV and Hauppauge dongle experiments strongly suggested that my humax has suitable hardware to tune into the Brisbane stations, and this was subsequently proved to be true.

My Fox-T2 is running FHTCP 1.02.32 (dated 15 Jan 2013) with custom firmware 2.17. I think this is the latest stable combination, but it seems quite old to me...

I found this post http://hummy.tv/forum/threads/humax-hd-hdr-fox-t2-in-new-zealand.3586/ helpful, and I was very hopeful when it led me to http://wiki.hummy.tv/wiki/Hidden_Settings_Menu. I changed "Get Network Time" to GMT+10, and "Country Settings" from UK to Australia. I looked at the choices for "Operator Setting", which is currently BBC, but none of the alternatives looked familiar - the operator in Australia seems to call itself "Freeview Plus".

I completely powered-off the humax, then started it again. The familiar "couldn't find any channels" panel appeared, so I did an automatic channel search... but it still found nothing!

My linux DVB scan program picked up 34 channels on 6 multiplexes. Here are a couple of typical station lines:

ABC News 24:226500000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_7_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_1_2:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:2314:0:576

SBS HD:184500000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_7_MHZ:FEC_2_3:FEC_1_2:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_8:HIERARCHY_NONE:102:103:821

... and here is my modified au-Brisbane multiplex tuning file:

# Australia / Brisbane (Mt Coot-Tha transmitters)
# T freq bw fec_hi fec_lo mod transmission-mode guard-interval hierarchy
# ABC
T 226500000 7MHz 3/4 NONE QAM64 8k 1/16 NONE
# Seven
T 177500000 7MHz 3/4 NONE QAM64 8k 1/16 NONE
# Nine
T 191625000 7MHz 3/4 NONE QAM64 8k 1/16 NONE
# Ten
T 219500000 7MHz 3/4 NONE QAM64 8k 1/16 NONE
# SBS
T 184500000 7MHz 2/3 NONE QAM64 8k 1/8 NONE
# 31 Digital
T 529500000 7MHz 2/3 NONE QAM64 8k 1/8 NONE

Frustratingly, the humax "Manual Tuning" feature was no better (with the country set to Australia), because it kept getting "invalid frequency" errors.

I watched the automatic scan display carefully and noticed it always started with a spacing of 8 MHz, BUT the Brisbane channels have a 7 MHz spacing. Another google search revealed someone trying to tune stations in Austria (n.b. not Australia), who discovered the country code of Germany worked successfully. When I changed my humax to think it was in Germany, I was delighted to see their TV system also uses 7 MHZ spacing. Not surprisingly, the next auto-scan (for German stations) picked up all the Brisbane channels.

I didn't just write this entry to help other UK Humax users who move to Brisbane. I have now moved to the Sunshine Coast and have uncovered a different (but related) problem, which I will write about next.

Thanks for being there!

Brian
 

Luke

Well-Knwοn Мember
#2
Another google search revealed someone trying to tune stations in Austria (n.b. not Australia), who discovered the country code of Germany worked successfully. When I changed my humax to think it was in Germany, I was delighted to see their TV system also uses 7 MHZ spacing.
You should have come to this forum first. I suspect I'm not the only one who knew that changing the country to Germany worke providing you don't change others parameters too much. :D

. I have now moved to the Sunshine Coast and have uncovered a different (but related) problem, which I will write about next.
I've seen a few threads about concerning moving the HDR-FOX T2 to Australia. I can't put my finger on the site/forum/thread that has a lot of detail on a UK to Australia move but if I recall correctly one of them mentioned that the HDR-FOX T2 does not always scan the full broadcast frequency range for all Australian regions. Is that your new issue?

Edit:
I still can't find the thread I was thinking of that has a lot of detail. But on this site there is the following post which adds to the detail for anyone else trying to do the same
http://hummy.tv/forum/threads/resetting-loader-to-version-a7-30.2325/#post-55532

 
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#3
Thanks for looking up that reference, Luke. Unfortunately, it leaves off at the same point as I did. I'm currently writing the next section of my post, which incidentally does not have a happy ending, but does have a lot more information.
 
#4
If you look at the transmitter data for Brisbane in my first post, you will see that all the multiplexes transmit in the FM frequency range, i.e. below about 250 MHz.

When I use the linux scan program with my Hauppauge DTV on the Sunshine Coast, it picks up a strong signal from the Nambour transmitter. However, ALL of its multiplexes are way up in the UHF band, i.e. over 600 MHz.

Here are the same two stations as before:

ABC News 24:620500000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_7_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_16:HIERARCHY_NONE:516:0:704

SBS HD:613500000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_7_MHZ:FEC_2_3:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64:TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_8:HIERARCHY_NONE:102:103:949

and here is my current tuning file for au-Nambour:

# Australia / Sunshine Coast / Nambour
# T freq bw fec_hi fec_lo mod transmission-mode guard-interval hierarchy
# SBS40 SBS ***
T 613500000 7MHz 2/3 NONE QAM64 8k 1/8 NONE
# TNQ44 10 ***
T 641500000 7MHz 3/4 NONE QAM64 8k 1/8 NONE
# ABC41 ABC ***
T 620500000 7MHz 3/4 NONE QAM64 8k 1/16 NONE
# STQ42 7 ***
T 627500000 7MHz 3/4 NONE QAM64 8k 1/16 NONE
# RTQ43 WIN ***
T 634500000 7MHz 3/4 NONE QAM64 8k 1/16 NONE

When I leave my humax thinking it is in Germany (i.e. Brisbane), it doesn't find any channels when auto-tuning. However, when I watch the screen carefully I notice that somewhere around the 250 MHz boundary it switches back to 8 MHz channel spacing for the rest of the higher frequencies. Obviously, it will never find the Nambour transmitter's multiplexes like that!

I've tried changing the humax to (many) other countries, but all of those that start with 7 MHz spacing flip to 8 MHz spacing around the 250 MHz boundary. I haven't yet found one that does what I need. (Incidentally, I noticed that the USA uses 6 MHz spacing throughout both the VHF and UHF frequency bands.)

At the moment, I have given up trying every hidden country code and taken a more low-level approach. I telnet into the humax and search for files that might possibly contain the initial auto-tuning parameters for each known country.

I became very hopeful when I looked in the /var/lib/humaxtv/ directory. I found several ".db" files which I transferred to my linux laptop. The "file" command shows me they are sqlite3 databases, which I can open successfully with a command line tool, and even with an sqlite browser.

The best candidates seemed to be channel.db and default_setup.db, but I haven't been able to find anything that looks like the channel search initialisation values for Germany (or anywhere else). (However, I should point out that I often can't find things in the cupboards at home when my wife tells me where they are!) The humax cli "find" command lists all the ".db" files, and I've checked them all.

I believe I need to find the Australia initial scan data and fix the error inside it... both the VHF and UHF scans need to use 7 MHz channel spacing, not 8MHz.

Any suggestions would be extremely welcome!

Happy New Year,

Brian
 

af123

Administrator
Staff member
#5
I think your best bet is to construct a channel.db file based on the output from the scan command and drop it on in maintenance mode. I can't yet see a way to make the auto scan work properly.
 
#6
Thanks very much, af123. I appreciate your suggestion, but my current channel.db has a fully defined schema, but is basically empty. That means I don't know which table should hold the scan command data, and in which format. Could you give me some clues? Stupidly, I didn't make a backup from when the humax was working in the UK and/or Brisbane, so mine is unhelpfully empty.

By the way, the table in setup.db called TBL_MENUCONFIG has an item called POWER_ON_CHANNEL with a value of 131094 , which doesn't correspond to any of the Brisbane multiplex frequencies. TER_SRCH_FREQUENCY is 47000, TER_SRCH_CHANNEL is 21, TER_SRCH_BANDWIDTH is zero, and COUNTRY is 10. Are any of these fields relevant?
 

af123

Administrator
Staff member
#7
TBL_TS holds details of each multiplex.

Code:
sqlite> select * from TBL_TS;
1|1|0|8217|9018|255|0|2|658000|||0||2|2|2||||3||1|0|2|4|2|0|0|60|100|0|255|0|0|0|0|0|0||||||||0|
2|1|0|4170|9018|255|0|2|682000|||0||2|2|2||||3||1|0|2|4|2|0|0|61|100|0|255|0|0|0|0|0|0||||||||0|
3|1|0|24640|9018|255|0|2|690000|||0||2|2|2||||3||1|0|3|4|2|0|0|60|100|0|255|0|0|0|0|0|0||||||||0|GBR
4|1|0|12294|9018|255|0|2|714000|||0||2|2|2||||3||1|0|3|4|2|0|0|58|100|0|255|0|0|0|0|0|0||||||||0|GBR
5|1|0|20544|9018|255|0|2|722000|||0||2|2|2||||3||1|0|3|4|2|0|0|60|100|0|255|0|0|0|0|0|0||||||||0|GBR
6|1|0|32772|9018|255|0|2|754000|||0||2|2|2||||1||1|0|3|4|2|0|0|35|100|0|255|0|0|0|0|0|0||||||||0|
7|1|0|40960|9018|255|0|2|562000|||0||2|2|2||||0||1|0|0|5|6|0|0|52|100|1|0|0|0|7|1|0|59||||||||0|
8|1|0|16521|9018|255|0|2|634000|||0||2|2|2||||0||1|0|0|5|6|0|0|60|100|1|0|0|0|7|1|0|59||||||||0|
and then TBL_SVC are the logical channels

Code:
sqlite> select * from TBL_SVC limit 5;
1|6|ITV2|8325|1|1|1|1|1|1800|1801|1802|1801|8192|1|1|0|2|0|0|255|0|65537|8192|0|0|0|8192|0|0|9018|8217|0|0|1|1|0|1|4294967295|16|1|2|0|www.itv.com|0|255|0||
2|4|Channel 4|8384|1|1|1|1|1|1100|1101|1102|1101|8192|1|1|0|2|0|0|255|0|65538|8192|0|0|0|8192|0|0|9018|8217|0|0|1|1|0|1|4294967295|16|1|2|0|www.channel4.com|0|255|0||
3|28|E4|8448|1|1|1|1|1|1300|1301|1302|1301|8192|1|1|0|2|0|0|255|0|65539|8192|0|0|0|8192|0|0|9018|8217|0|0|1|1|0|1|4294967295|16|1|2|0|www.channel4.com|0|255|0||
4|14|More 4|8442|1|1|1|1|1|1400|1401|1402|1401|8192|1|1|0|2|0|0|255|0|65540|8192|0|0|0|8192|0|0|9018|8217|0|0|1|1|0|1|4294967295|16|1|2|0|www.channel4.com|0|255|0||
5|13|Channel 4+1|8452|1|1|1|1|1|1200|1201|1202|1201|8192|1|1|0|2|0|0|255|0|65541|8192|0|0|0|8192|0|0|9018|8217|0|0|1|1|0|1|4294967295|16|1|2|0|www.channel4.com|0|255|0||
There's also TBL_NET:

Code:
sqlite> select * from TBL_NET;
1|12333|i7Yorkshire|0|2||0|GBR
all the others are empty here.

IIRC the service ID field is calculated from others - @prpr can you help?

If you upload the data you're getting from the Linux scan tool, I will have a crack at writing a script to create the file for you if you like. Might take a few days though.
 
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#8
That is very helpful af123, so thank you. It is 0045 January 1st here, so I'm just back from the fireworks and going to bed. I will try to find time to hack something similar to your samples tomorrow, probably for just one multiplex to begin with. I will let you know how I get on.

Once my humax is working here, a script that can eat the linux scan output and generate a humax db might be of use to people in other parts of Australia, and possibly the world. However, let's get the nuts and bolts right first...
 
#12
I had to go to Brisbane for a couple of days, so I took my humax with me. It still believes it is in Germany, so it successfully auto-tuned all the local stations. I have off-loaded copies of all the .db files, and channel.db is nicely populated. I have dumped TABLE_TS and TABLE_SVC, but haven't had time to analyse any differences with af123's post #7 above. I also want to compare these two tables with my linux scan files to see which fields match.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far, your comments have been very helpful, but they have also reassured me that I'll find a solution.

I will report again when I have more news.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#13
I suppose this could be useful in the UK: how about a tuning package which takes a user-defined data table of some sort and pokes it into the tuning database instead of initiating a retune? prpr has previously supplied database tweaks for when the are LCN shifts and the like, but this would be a "tweak-max". It would be particularly handy for me with five active HD/HDR-FOXes (even if only to tune one and then export the tuning to the others).
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
#14
For reasons I don't understand, you don't seem to be able to add channels and make them stick though. I posted about it previously.
 
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prpr

Well-Known Member
#18
I suppose this could be useful in the UK: how about a tuning package which takes a user-defined data table of some sort and pokes it into the tuning database instead of initiating a retune?
The trouble with this is that you don't know what the numbers are until you've done a retune. The second problem is that it has regional variations.
It would be particularly handy for me with five active HD/HDR-FOXes (even if only to tune one and then export the tuning to the others).
That is possible. I've haven't tried HDR to HDR but I assume it'll work. Might try it later...
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#19
The trouble with this is that you don't know what the numbers are until you've done a retune. The second problem is that it has regional variations.
Not a problem for me, the parameters will be the same for all five units once one is set up. I will want to delete the Welsh regional services on some of the machines - this can be quickly done after import, or can the file be hacked in a text editor? Even the out-stationed unit can be updated this way - that makes five clones from one master retune.

Fully documented instructions for exporting and importing the tuning database will be welcome.

I suppose the schedule will need restoring from backup, so that the entries can be appropriately tweaked. I'll wait until the bug currently under discussion has been fixed (the observations that the restore is unreliable is what has discouraged me from experimenting so far).
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
#20
Not a problem for me, the parameters will be the same for all five units once one is set up. I will want to delete the Welsh regional services on some of the machines - this can be quickly done after import, or can the file be hacked in a text editor?
It's easy to do with sqlite3 if you've looked at the channel database in the Webif.
You will want something like:
Code:
humax ~ # sqlite3 /var/lib/humaxtv/channel.db "delete from tbl_net where netidx=1;"
replacing the 1 with whichever region you identify you wish to delete.
Fully documented instructions for exporting and importing the tuning database will be welcome.
How you copy the database is up to you. I use scp but you need dropbear-ssh installed and setup on both boxes.
So, on the target machine:
Code:
humax ~ # /etc/init.d/S90settop shut
humax ~ # scp 192.168.xxx.yyy:/var/lib/humaxtv/channel.db /var/lib/humaxtv/
humax ~ # sync
humax ~ # reboot
where 192.168.xxx.yyy is replaced with the IP address of the source machine.
The sqlite3 stuff goes after the scp command if you need it.
I suppose the schedule will need restoring from backup, so that the entries can be appropriately tweaked.
Yes.
I'll wait until the bug currently under discussion has been fixed (the observations that the restore is unreliable is what has discouraged me from experimenting so far).
It hasn't troubled me and I've done it several times. I wouldn't give much weight to one person's troubles with that until he produces some more evidence.
 
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