--->Tutorial 6(a): Software Blindscan

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--->Tutorial 6(a): Software Blindscan

Post by The Professor » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:21 pm

Tutorial 6(a): Software Blindscan
This tutorial may be distributed freely if you acknowledge tvrosat.com as the source. :grin:

Note: Click on the images below for enlarged view.


6(a).0: Introduction

6(a).1: Download and Write

[list]6(a).1.1: Master Channel Listings[/list]
[list]6(a).1.2: Dream Set Editor[/list]
6(a).2: Blindscan Background
[list]6(a).2.1: Hardware vs. Software Blindscan[/list]
[list]6(a).2.2: Fast Blindscan vs. Accurate Blindscan[/list]
[list]6(a).2.3: Tuner Configuration[/list]
6(a).3: Performing Blindscan
[list]6(a).3.1: Fast Blindscan[/list]
[list]6(a).3.2: Accurate Blindscan[/list]
[list]6(a).3.3: Multi Blindscan[/list]

6(a).0: Introduction

This tutorial explains how to perform a software blindscan on your ZGemma 4K satellite receiver. This feature is useful for finding wild feeds (e.g. unscrambled PPVs, events or breaking news) and new programming services that may have been added to a satellite and aren't yet published by the active satellite forums.

6(a).1: Download and Write

For best results, please download the latest Master Channel Listings. If you recently purchased your receiver, it is likely already flashed with the latest listings and you can skip this section.
  • 6(a).1.1: Master Channel Listings
Download and unzip:

Master Channel Listings (last updated Mar. 14, 2018 - Now with Software Blindscan)

  • 6(a).1.2: DreamSet Editor
To learn how to write the Master Channel List to your receiver, please read

Tutorial 6: Satellite and Terrestrial Channel Editing

6(a).2: Blindscan Background

The purpose of blindscan is to quickly find any new satellite transmissions without resorting to a spectrum analyzer or other expensive equipment. This is usually done by programming the receiver tuner to run through all possible frequency and symbol rate permutations and recording all programming services found. It can be done by using a combination of hardware and software or by software alone.

6(a).2.1: Hardware vs. Software Blindscan

Hardware blindscan relies on the tuner performing a preliminary spectral power scan of every transponder. If the transponder is determined to be active, a subsequent scan will be performed to determine the transmission symbol rate. This method tends to be faster because inactive transponders are not retested again for symbol rates. However, if the initial scan is inaccurate, some programming services will be missed.

Software blindscan performs a single scan using all possible frequency and symbol rate permutations on every transponder. This method is more accurate but takes much longer. To reduce the scanning time, it is possible to reduce the frequency and symbol space being searched without compromising accuracy.

In recent times, American tuner chip manufacturers have been turning off hardware blindscan or not providing support for this function. The most likely reason for this is to prevent FTA satellite enthusiasts from finding unscrambled wild feeds that are being resold by American Cable and Satellite companies. :frown Fortunately, with the much faster linux decoders available today and intelligent programming, we can rely solely on software blindscan instead!

6(a).2.2: Fast Blindscan vs. Accurate Blindscan

FAST BLINDSCAN is a compromise on Accurate Blindscan. Whereas Accurate Blindscan searches the entire frequency/symbol space and is 99.9% accurate, FAST BLINDSCAN only searches the most likely frequency/symbol permutations and does this very quickly.

FAST BLINDSCAN should be used when searching for wide-bandwidth transponders (e.g. symbol rate ~ 30,000). Most wild feeds and new fronthauls/backhauls tend to have symbol rates like 30000, 31250, 28800, 27500, 26666, 22500, 15000, 10000, etc., and will be found quickly with 99.9% accuracy. FAST BLINDSCAN will likely not find narrow-bandwidth transmissions with odd symbol rates (e.g. 1433). To find such odd transmissions, you would use Accurate Blindscan.

6(a).2.3: Tuner Configuration

Before using software blindscan, you must configure the stb tuner for each blindscan tool. The procedure is the same as configuring the tuner for each satellite.

Press Menu -> Setup -> Service Searching -> Tuner Configuration and select your tuner.


Under the Satellite setting, scroll through the satellites until you find the blindscan tools. You will find the blindscan tools west of 139.0W C-Band Linear (AMC 8).


140.0W: FAST BLINDSCAN for C-Band Satellite
150.0W: FAST BLINDSCAN for Ku-Band Satellite
160.0W: Accurate Blindscan for C-Band Satellite
170.0W: Accurate Blindscan for Ku-Band Satellite

Go through all of these and configure your tuner.


6(a).3: Performing Blindscan

Go to: Menu -> Setup -> Service Searching -> Manual Scan


6(a).3.1: Fast Blindscan

Let's perform a FAST BLINDSCAN on 101W C-Band. Drive your big dish to this satellite and make sure it is peaked. From within the Service Scan menu, select:

Type of scan = Single Satellite
Satellite = FAST BLINDSCAN (DVB-S2/C-Band)(30 minutes)
Clear before scan = yes

You also have the option of searching for unscrambled programming only (Only free scan).

Press OK or the Green Button on the remote and FAST BLINDSCAN will begin.


FAST BLINDSCAN will begin immediately and programming will start scanning. The average time it takes to perform this scan is indicated in brackets at the top of the screen. In this case, it will take 30 minutes.

When blindscan is over, press OK. You can then go and view the scanned channels by exiting all the menus and pressing:

Up Arrow -> Reception Lists -> FAST BLINDSCAN (DVB-S2/C-Band)(30 minutes)

You can cancel blindscan at any time by pressing the Red Button.

Keep in mind that depending on your stb image, performing a DVB-S2 scan will find both DVB-S2 and DVB-S programs (e.g. OpenATV6.0 images). However, some other stb images will only strictly perform a DVB-S2 scan, which means you would have to perform a DVB-S scan to find any remaining programs, which takes twice as long. To find out what your image supports, go to Signal Finder and toggle the System between DVB-S2 and DVB-S. If both lock your signal, then your image will find both signal types when you do a scan. If only one System locks, then your image is enforcing standards and will only scan one system at a time. To get around this, you may need to change images.


You can also do a FAST BLINDSCAN on Ku-band satellite signals. You have the following options:

Upper Band Linear Ku Satellite (11.7 GHz - 12.2 GHz)
Lower Band Linear Ku Satellite (10.7 GHz - 11.699 GHz)
DBS Circular Ku Satellite (Dish, Bell, Claro)
DBS Linear Ku Satellite (Sky Mexico, etc)


6(a).3.2: Accurate Blindscan

For 99.9% accuracy, you can perform an Accurate Blindscan. To speed things up, Accurate Blindscan for C-Band is broken up over several symbol rate ranges:

32000 - 35999
27000 - 31999
23000 - 26999
18000 - 22999
13000 - 17999
8000 - 12999
5000 - 7999
1000 - 4999

The symbol rate ranges for Ku-Band Accurate Blindscan are:

40000 - 45999
34000 - 39999
28000 - 33999
22000 - 27999
16000 - 21999
10000 - 15999
4000 - 9999
1000 - 3999

The procedure for performing an Accurate Blindscan is the same as before:

Go to: Menu -> Setup -> Service Searching -> Manual Scan

Let's perform an Accurate Blindscan on 103W C-Band for wide-bandwidth muxes (e.g. 27000 - 31999). Drive your big dish to this satellite and make sure it is peaked.

From within the Service Scan menu, select:

Type of scan = Single Satellite
Satellite = Accurate Blindscan (DVB-S2/C-Band/SR=27000-31999)(60 minutes)
Clear before scan = yes

You also have the option of searching for unscrambled programming only (Only free scan).

Press OK or the Green Button on the remote and Accurate Blindscan will begin.


Accurate Blindscan is in progress. It will take an average of 60 minutes as indicated in the brackets and will be 99.9% accurate.


6(a).3.3: Multi Blindscan

If you want to perform several blindscans simultaneously, you can do so by selecting the MultiSat type of scan.

Go to: Menu -> Setup -> Service Searching -> Manual Scan

Under Type of Scan, scroll to Multisat.


Scroll through the list and "enable" the scans you wish to conduct. For example, let's do an Accurate Blindscan for low symbol rate programs usually found on ethnic and religious channels. Enable the SR=1000 - 4999 and SR=5000 - 7999 as shown below.

Press OK or the Green Button and your scan will begin.


You can also use Automatic Scan to perform the same thing:

Go to: Menu -> Setup -> Service Searching -> Automatic Scan


It is worth noting that since doing multiple Accurate Blindscans takes a long time, you may wish to schedule them overnight when you are not using your receiver. In the morning, your blindscans will be complete and 99.9% accurate!

PhD in TVROSat

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Re: --->Tutorial 6(a): Software Blindscan

Post by The Professor » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:14 pm

PhD in TVROSat

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