Way to see free to air channels (or decrypted visible ones)?

  • I have almost 2000 channels in channels.conf mainly from satellite. 100 of them comes from DVB-T. Via free to air and decryption I currently have roughly 50 channels visible and rest do not show just black in my display. EPG data tells that clearly something is transmitted on those. Is there any automatic way to see which channels are visible to me? Some tag in channnels.conf? Some tick in some Web GUI etc.? Or is only method simply open them occasionally one by one - which is quite boring process :)

    Currently what I do is that I occasionally look the end of channels.conf and check those channels manually. That is the place where new channels appear and they are easiest to find but somewhere in the middle of channels.conf might be some visible transmissions that I am totally unaware.

  • Hi,

    not sure if I got your question right, but I try to answer. :)

    FTA channels don't have a CAID entry (CAID 0) in the channels.conf, encrypted ones have something, i.e.:


    Das Erste HD;ARD:11493:HC23M5O35P0S1:S19.2E:22000:5101=27:5102=deu@3,5103=mis@3;5106=deu@106:5104;5105=deu:0:10301:1:1019:0

    Encrypted, here CAIDs 9C4, 98C and 98D:

    Fox HD;SKY:12304:HC910M2O35P0S1:S19.2E:27500:2559=27:0;2563=deu@106,2564=eng@106:0:9C4,98C,98D:124:133:12:0
  • On the vdr OSD display selecting "channels" and edit, you see the detailed properties of each one - with "free" or "encrypted", based on the mentioned CAIDs.

    I have about 1000 fta channels from SAT and 400 from Cable.

  • This was the answer - so I read my Channels conf with suitable search logic and it should give me FTA channels. What I am not getting then what channels my paid encryption unlocks but this is a good step ahead. That is a then a next step.

    In nutshell automated search is a character count between last letter and end of the line.

    Brilliant - I will test this immediately,

    Thanks - Timo

  • This works - almost 700 FTA channnels- though most mainly radio and test channels ":0:0:" string in channels.conf returns that in Notepad++ and if I learn still a bit more I should be able to find really correct ones. Now focus is how to search pattern in certain location from the end of line. So this turned now to Notepad++ learning task.

    When that is done I will focus how to find just those channels that my decryption encrypts.

    VDR GUI is no option as it does not work in my setup just now :)

  • Now focus is how to search pattern in certain location from the end of line. So this turned now to Notepad++ learning task.

    You could use awk to isolate the channel names if the CAID is not 0:

    awk -F: '{if ($9!=0) { print "Name: " $1 "\tCAIDS: " $9}}' /var/lib/vdr/channels.conf

    And if you know the CAIDs you can decrypt, just grep for it (in this case for 1864 and 1834):

    awk -F: '{if ($9!=0) { print "Name: " $1 "\tCAIDS: " $9}}' /var/lib/vdr/channels.conf | grep '1854\|1834'

    yaVDR-Dokumentation (Ceterum censeo enchiridia esse lectitanda.)

  • Thanks - thought mainly Notepad++ to find right lines but indeed grep makes it too - and probably easier. In the beginning I just find the possible lines in channels.conf and tune system to those channels to see what they broadcast. I am pretty sure that I am not missing anything interesting but with few trials I will see what I miss currently.

    With quick test I saw bit of Hungarian Hercule Poirot so clearly some theoretically interesting channels might be there. Of course next challenge is that they might be dubbed to local language and no subtitles which makes it bit hard but we will see.

    Still troubles to find right search terms to find right lines as I still get plenty of encrypted channels but for that I need to study a bit of this:


    The goal is to avoid all radio channels and get out FTA channels with some sensible broadcast. Contents of broadcast is easily seen in VDR Live EPG dialog

    And of course sites like this will assist in process:

  • Hi,

    To get a channels.conf with FTA only channels:

    awk -F: '{if ($9==0 || $1 == "") print }' /var/lib/vdr/channels.conf  > channels_fta.conf

    ~ Markus

    Client1: ASUS P5QC, Dual Core 3G, Cine S2, Ext. Board von TBE, Xubuntu 20.04, VDR 2.6x

    Client2: RPI3

    Server: RPI4, Sundtek SkyTV Dual 2x

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