Trimming Freesat Channels In MythTV

There are loads and loads of free-to-air channels available on the Astra 28 constellation, the vast majority of which I do not watch.

So to make things a bit easier for me after a full re-scan, I’ve put together a list of the channels I don’t watch and with a tiny bit of SQL I can trim them from my channel list.

To make things a bit easier for you here is a SQL dump of my “unwatched channels” list:


And here is the SQL to trim these from your channel list:

update channel set visible=0,useonairguide=0 where name in (select name from unwatched_channels)

You’ll probably want to edit that list yourself to remove and add the channels as you prefer. Generally speaking, my list trims:

  • Regional variations
  • Specialist interest
  • Shopping
  • Games and other text based services

I’ll update this list occasionally, this page will always have my most up to date information.

  • UPDATE: 6 Sept 11.  Refreshed channel list
  • UPDATE: 8 Oct 11. Refreshed channel list
  • UPDATE: 14 Dec 2011.  Refreshed channel list
  • UPDATE: 4 Aug 2012.  Refreshed channel list
  • UPDATE: 29 Dec 2013.  New list of channel IDs available here: unwatched_by_chanid.  Add a new table and import that CSV file.  Then do a “update channel set visible=0 where chanid in (select chanid from <your new table>”

Hauppauge WinTV Nova-S Plus on Linux

The Nova-S Plus is a  good card.

But, it would appear there is a defect in these boards, or at least a strange design, which means that they won’t lock on to some frequencies which require the 22kHz tone sending to the LNB with new drivers because there’s no link between the flange and dolphin-points.  There’s plenty to read about here:

And there’s a patch which fixes the problem by controlling the tone generator directly but it’ll never get in to the main kernel.  For your convenience here is a link to a binary driver built for Ubuntu Lucid kernel version 2.6.32-23-generic:

Replace the current isl6421.ko from /lib/modules/2.6.32-23-generic/kernel/drivers/media/dvb/frontends/isl6421.ko with this one.  It might also work for newer kernel versions, or not.  Who knows?  Not me.

I’ve also got a Hauppauge S2 HD and this patched driver doesn’t seem to effect it.

Search hints:

Hauppauge Nova S plus linux won’t lock horizontal 22khz tone can’t pick up some channels. You can also check out my guide on Everything You Need to Set Up a Backyard Cinema.

Bandwagons roll


Alys’ Backgarden Supermarket (stop sniggering at the back) from BBC Birmingham.

I’ve nothing against Alys Fowler, Lord knows she’s more engaging than Carol ‘monotone’ Klein, but “Punk Rock” she ain’t.
This genre has been done before and it’s been done very very well. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver and more recently the brilliant Valentine Warner have all been seen ducking in and out of hedgerows like gastronomic Wombles and they’ve made good TV. I don’t think we really need another one, no matter how much backlit-late-summer-sun slow pans through the flowers and vegetables, pink wellys with flower prints on them, and orange chrysanthemums growing in galvanised watering cans they put in. (If we see all three of these in the first episode I claim some kind of prize).

The stylised gardening-cum-cookery show is perfectly well presented. What isn’t, and what should be, is a TV series of “Joe’s Allotment”. A proper vegetable programme with some human aspects to keep the commissioners happy. I’m sure there is room in the schedules for something like this, call it Alys’ Naughty Allotment if you think that’ll help.