w_scan >>> Deutsche Version


This English version of w_scan page is not actively maintained, therefore please refer to the >>>German w_scan page using online translation.
The German page is updated frequently, and new features or corrections may appear late/never on this English version.

I suggest to use this translation ->: w_scan on google translator(external link)

If you just look for basic usage, this (outdated) version below may be sufficient.


w_scan is a small command line utility used to perform frequency scans for DVB and ATSC transmissions.
It is capable of creating channels.conf files (in different output formats !) as well as initial tuning data for scan.
It's based on the utility scan from linuxtv-dvb-apps, but meanwhile it was heavily changed and has different features:
  1. no need for "initial transponders", and such no need for a config file
  2. w_scan finds automatically the best matching dvb card
  3. complete different command line options
  4. a different default output format as well as bunch of output formats. (if you feel, that some format is missing - contact me)


Compiling w_scan:

NOTE: Compiling needs latest(!) DVB headers with S2API support: /usr/include/linux/dvb.
If compiling doesn't work: pls check in any case wether /usr/include/linux/dvb/frontend.h is up-to-date.

tar xfj w_scan-<VERSION>.tar.bz2 && cd $SOURCEDIR
optional, install with:
make install

w_scan's command line options:

-f Frontend Type
       a = ATSC, see also option A
       c = DVB-C
       s = DVB-S/S2
       t = DVB-T (default)

-c Country
       Specify your country, mandatory for ATSC and DVB-C/T
       NOTE: since w_scan-200905xx, use -c? for a list of identifiers

-s Satellit
       Specify your satellite, mandatory for DVB-S/S2
       NOTE: since w_scan-200905xx, use -s? for a list of identifiers
-A N ATSC Type (Cable/Aerial)
       1 = Terrestrial/Aerial (VSB) [default]
       2 = Cable
       3 = both of them, Aerial and Cable
-o N optional: explicitly specify VDR version
       6 = VDR-1.6 (default)
       7 = VDR-1.7
-X czap/tzap/xine output format
       alternative channels.conf output format, matching for
       tzap, czap, xine etc.

-x create initial tuning data for (dvb-)scan

-k create channels.dvb for kaffeine-0.8.5

-I import of (dvb)scan initial-tuning-data (since 200905xx)

-h basic help
-H extended help for expert functionality 

How to use, some working examples:

  1. DVB-T with VDR-1.6.x (country = Germany):
    w_scan -ft -c DE >> /etc/vdr/channels.conf
  2. DVB-T with VDR-1.6.x (country = United Kingdom):
    w_scan -ft -c GB >> /etc/vdr/channels.conf
  3. DVB-C with VDR-1.6.x (country = Finland):
    w_scan -fc -c FI >> /etc/vdr/channels.conf
  4. DVB-T and DVB-C with VDR-1.4.x:
    w_scan -ft -c DE >> /etc/vdr/channels.conf && w_scan -fc -c DE >> /etc/vdr/channels.conf
  5. DVB-S, HDTV for vdr-1.7, Astra S19.2E:
    w_scan -fs -sS19E2 -o7 >> /etc/vdr/channels.conf
  6. DVB-S, SDTV up to vdr-1.6, Hotbird S13.0E:
    w_scan -fs -sS13E0 >> /etc/vdr/channels.conf
  7. DVB-S, HDTV vdr-1.7, Hotbird S13.0E on DiSeqC 4-port switch port 3 (ports 0..3):
    w_scan -fs -sS13E0 -o7 -D2c >> /etc/vdr/channels.conf
  8. Show basic help:
    w_scan -h
  9. Show extended help:
    w_scan -H
  10. create DVB-T initial-tuning-data:
    w_scan -ft -c DE -x > initial-tuning-data.txt
  11. create DVB-C initial-tuning-data:
    w_scan -fc -c DE -x > initial-tuning-data.txt
  12. create DVB-S initial-tuning-data:
    w_scan -fs -s S19E2 -x > initial-tuning-data.txt
  13. DVB-T kaffeine channels.dvb:
    w_scan -k > channels.dvb
  14. DVB-C kaffeine channels.dvb:
    w_scan -fc -k > channels.dvb
  15. north-american ATSC Aerial (VSB):
    w_scan -fa > channels.conf
  16. north-american ATSC Cable TV (US QAM Annex-B):
    w_scan -A2 > channels.conf
  17. north-american ATSC Aerial (VSB) and Cable (US QAM-B):
    w_scan -A3 > channels.conf

Reporting problems:

A log file can be created with

./w_scan  -v -v 2>&1 | tee w_scan.log
usually one can understand from that file what goes wrong.

w_scan start script:

Start with:



for Changelog and latest Download please look at the German w_scan page, i will not update this page often.