Manage TV Channels

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Any time you need to edit some aspects of your television channels, you run Manage Channels tool.


The Manage Channels tool is accessed via MC's Television property page.

To start television property page, go to MC's Standard View and click Television on the left panel, and then click the "TV Options..." button near lower center of the main MC window. Alternatively you can also use Tools menu and select Options... to start MC's property pages and then click Television on the left panel. Once you opened Television property page, click "Manage Channels" in the "Channels" section.

Here is a screenshot of Manage TV Channels window:

Manage Channels.png

List of channels

The left side of the window is the list of channels. There are three columns in the list. The first column contains the channel names. The second column contains checkboxes for Favorite channels. The third column contains checkboxes for Hidden channels.

The channel list contains all of your channels, including hidden channels and grouped channels. Channels in a group are always displayed together. The top member of a group (also known as the anchor channel) is displayed first, in normal style. The other members (non-top members) are displayed below the top of the group, with a small indentation to the right.

Channels in the list can be selected by a mouse click. Multiple channels can be selected by holding down SHIFT key while clicking, or by holding down CTRL key while clicking, just as in any other normal list selection operations.

Channel info

Most of the right side of the window is for showing properties of the selected channel, or the first selected channel in case of multiple selection.


In the right lower portion of the window there are several buttons that can be used for performing certain operations on the selected channels. Depending on the number and type of channels selected, some buttons maybe disabled.

Right-click menu

You can display a context menu by right-clicking a selected channel, or a group of selected channels. The menu items that appear in the menu depend on the number of channels selected, or the type of channels selected.

Channel Details

The attributes and properties of a selected channel is shown on the right side of the window. Here are the descriptions of each item:

Channel Logo

If a channel logo has been added to the channel, it is displayed, to the left of "Name" and "Channel Number". If you have not assigned a logo to the channel, a default image is displayed.


The edit box shows the channel name. It can be edited. By default, MC puts channel's number in front of the name. For example "5-1 NBC5" as shown in the screenshot above.

Channel Number

The is the user-assignable channel number field. It should not be confused with the underlying channel number that is sent to the tuner each time you tune to the channel. Even though in most cases Channel Number field is the same as the actual channel number, but it does not have to be the same. For example, for ATSC channel, channel number is in "major channel - minor channel" format, whereas the "Channel Number" field should be a single numerical value. So you can, for example, assign "Channel Number" 5001 to ATSC channel 5-1. If your cable company's lineup puts a particular channel on a number that is not the same as the channel's traditional channel number, you can assign the traditional channel number in the "Channel Number" field. For example, you can assigned "Channel Number" 11 to cable channel 191 because channel 191 is the HD version of traditional channel 11.

When MC scans for channels, it assigns the "Channel Number" automatically if such data is available. For example, for cable channels in the USA, either CableCARD or STB type, we just use the actual cable channel number. For DVB-T, "Channel Number" is assigned if the number is found during the scan. For ATSC channel, they are not automatically assigned.

Channel Numbers are used to change channel with a remote control or the number pad on keyboard. This is important for channel types whose underlying channels are not a single number such as DVB channels, and to a lesser extent ATSC channels.

Note: In older versions of MC, assigning a channel number to an ATSC channel was important. With newer versions of MC, it is less important since you can enter the ATSC channel number directly using a remote control (e.g. pressing 5 * 1 for channel 5-1).

Preferred Tuner

For channels types that allow multiple tuners to share the same set of channels (such as ATSC, analog - both OTA and cable, DVB, CableCARD, etc.), you can select a preferred tuner for a given channel. This can be important when your tuners have different sensitivity to different channels. When a channel with a preferred tuner is selected for playback, MC first try loading the preferred tuner, falling back to other tuners if the preferred tuner is busy. By default, MC does not assign a preferred tuner to any channel.

For STB, Capture-only, and Camera types of channels, Preferred Tuner drop list box is disabled because these types of channels require a specific video capture device.


There are two edit boxes under Details.

The first one is "XMLTV Identifier". This identifier associates a channel with an XMLTV channel ID when you download EPG data from the Internet. The field is filled automatically when you setup EPG and therefore normally should not be changed. There are cases, however, in which you may need to erase the field for a certain channels.

"XMLTV Identifier" is needed for any channel for which programming info is downloaded from the Internet in the format of XMLTV or similar. It is not needed if you use Over-the-Air method for loading EPG data (ATSC channels only).

There is an option on Television property page, "In Over-the-air EPG scan (ATSC only), save programs for channels with empty XMLTV ID only". This option is useful if you want to use a combination of OTA and Internet methods for loading EPG data for your ATSC channels, due to data quality issues for example. In such case, you empty the XMLTV ID field for channels you want EPG data from OTA scan, and leave XMLTV ID in for channels you want EPG data from on-line source.

The large edit box under Details is a read only box that contains all other details of a channel.

Information included in the box are:

Channel type - ATSC, DVB-T, Analog Cable, STB, Clear QAM, etc.

Channel database key - unique identifier of a channel in MC's database.

Attributes - whether the channel is favorite, hidden, or grouped.

Other information specific to a channel type, such as major channel, minor channel for ATSC channels, frequency, bandwidth, transportation stream ID etc. for DVB channels.


The operations available depend on the channel selected. There are two ways most operations can be performed: by clicking a button, or by right-click menu.


Move Up or Move Down

Click these buttons to move a selected channel, or a group of selected channels, up or down the list, to perform manual ordering of the channel list.

Useful hint:

To move a single channel, or a small group of channels, over a large number of steps, try selecting the large number of channels just above or down the channels you intend the move, and move those in opposite direction. For example, if you want to move channel 100 and channel 101 to the top of the list, instead of selecting these two channels, and clicking "Move Up" 99 times, you can select all channels above these two channels, and click "Move Down" twice to achieve the same effect.

work in progress ---------
To be continued ----------