w scan

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Revision as of 19:04, 4 May 2009 by Wirbel (talk | contribs) (update to current w_scan syntax.)
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"w_scan" is a small command line utility used to perform frequency scans for DVB and ATSC transmissions. It is capable of directly creating channels.conf files as well as initial tuning data for scan which is contained in the LinuxTV dvb-apps.

Obtaining w_scan

You can get w_scan here.


w_scan doesn't have a man page. However, if you run it with the -h parameter, the output provides a summary of its command line options.

w_scan [options...] >> channels.conf

If you try to use w_scan you should at least specify three parameters: frontend type, country/satellite and output format.
If the output format is not specified, w_scan defaults to create VDR-1.6 channels.conf.

Parameter Description
-f Type

Frontend Type
a = ATSC (North America, cable and terrestrial)
c = DVB-C (Europe, cable)
s = DVB-S/S2 (Satellite)
t = DVB-T (Europe, terrestrial = default)
NOTE: ATSC support needs w_scan >= 20080815 NOTE: Satellite support needs w_scan >= 20090504

-A Type

ATSC Type (ignored for DVB-C and DVB-T)
1 = VSB ("Over-the-Air)"
2 = QAM annex B ("cable TV")
3 = both of them

-c ID

Country (mandatory for ATSC, DVB-C, DVB-T)
uppercase two character identifier as defined in ISO 3166-1,
see -c? for list of contries.

-s ID

Satellite (mandatory for DVB-S/S2)
uppercase character constant with E (east) or W (west)as separator,
see -s? for list of satellites.


czap/tzap/xine channels.conf


"initial tuning data" for Scan


channels.dvb for Kaffeine


basic help


extended help for expert functionality

Experts or experienced users may use some of the other options, but this is not recommended.

Note: w_scan searches /dev/dvb/adapterX/frontendY for DVB/ATSC cards matching to option "-f", therefore specifying the adapter "-a XX" is not recommended.


NOTE: ATSC support needs w_scan >= 20080815 NOTE: DVB-S/S2 support needs w_scan >= 20090504

Scanning ATSC VSB (United States, Over-the-Air)

$ w_scan -fa -A1 -c US -X

Scanning ATSC QAM annex B (United States, digital cable TV)

$ w_scan -fa -A2 -c US -X

Scanning DVB-T (Germany, Over-the-Air, VDR output)

$ w_scan -ft -c DE

Scanning DVB-C (Germany, digital cable TV, kaffeine channels.dvb)

$ w_scan -fc -c DE -k

Scanning DVB-S/S2 (Astra 19.2east, vdr-1.7.x)

$ w_scan -fs -s S19E2 -o 7

Scanning DVB-S (Thor 0.8west, vdr-1.3.x .. vdr-1.6.x)

$ w_scan -fs -s S0W8

Generating dvbscan tuning data

Exactly as above, just specify output format dvbscan with "-x":

$ w_scan -f <FRONTEND_TYPE> {-c <COUNTRY>,-s <SATELLITE>} -x >cc-Ttttt

If you choose to create an initial scan file (and you know the name of your local transmitter or cable provider), you can send the resulting file to the dvb mailing list after checking that it hasn't already been posted or added to the scan directory in the dvb-apps repository.

Also See

External Links