Rangecast FAQ
[FAQ-1143] Bulk entry of hub-specific metadata associations to channels programmed for reception



When scanners under control of a hub receive channels, the description of those channels comes primarily from the nationwide RCDB. A hub administrator can supplement the description, as applied to the reception from those scanners. Such information can be entered through the user interface, for one or more channels selected via checkbox. Alternatively, such information may be entered in bulk from a text file prepared outside the programming website. This document describes the bulk method.


Fields that may be entered via the bulk method include:

1) Button name (what is shown on the player when channels are arranged in a column/row grid layout)

2) "Alternate text tags" - system/group/channel names that:

a) can be fully defined on a per-channel basis (unlike the RCDB 64-character tags, which are structured in a system/group/channel hierarchy that supports user actions on entire systems or groups)

b) are each limited to 16 characters in length

c) are used by the older Java Rangecast media player (where the RCDB names cannot be fully shown due to their length)

d) are used by the HTML5 player, under certain conditions, in place of the standard RCDB names

3) Channel code (only used for reception in the older Java Rangecast media player)

Note: these are the specific channel information fields that don't exist in the nationwide RCDB channel database. In the absence of supplementary information from the hub administrator, the RCHAN file fills these fields with dynamically created information derived from other RCDB fields -- frequency for button name; truncated (to 16 character) system/group/channel tags for the Java-style alternate text tags; and a reference channel code constructed from jurisdiction and agency type information drawn from other fields.


1) Obtain an RCHAN file including the channels that you want to associate with supplemental information. A RCHAN file is the type of file used to automatically program scanners. The file is originally produced by the HTML5 programmer when saving changes, but can usually be obtained most easily from the status page (where the active RCHAN governing current scanner programming is located.)

Note: An RCHAN file describes on a single line each channel included in the scanner programming. Each channel is on one line.

2) Identify the RCHAN lines describing the channel(s) you want to affect, and trim out (delete) the lines for all other channels.

Note: Line types in the file other than RCHAN (e.g. lines beginning RSITE) are ignored, and it makes no difference whether these are deleted or left in the file.

Note: This process requires that the RCHAN lines include the Rangecast channel ID (CID) in a specific format in the 6th column, as is automatically written into RCHAN files written by the HTML5 programmer. If your RCHAN file includes channels with programming information authored in any other way, the information associated with these channels cannot be affected using this method.

3) On the lines for channels you want to affect, fill in the information that you want to associate. In the RCHAN format, the button name is in the 10th column; channel code in the 9th column; and alternate text tags in the 11th/12th/13th columns [img-rchan_example_lines]

Note: If the desired button name exceeds 8 characters, type what you want, columns do not need to line up.

4) Aside from what you have intentionally entered, ensure that any pre-filled text in the interpreted columns is erased (made clear, replaced with blank spaces). These are the columns listed in step 3 (9th through 13th), and also always clear the 2nd column (receive site number).

Note: This step is important, even if the information in these fields is correct. Re-applying dynamically created information will change the record to static, which will suppress automatic application of changes that may be made to RCDB.

5) In the HTML5 programmer, when logged in as hub administrator, navigate to the Save Options tab, and select "Edit Java Fields".

6) Copy the text file contents into the text box that appears on this page, and press Apply Changes.

7) Press SAVE to save the changes to the HTML5 Rangecast system.


Only a hub administrator can perform these actions, as they affect the description of received channels as provided to any user receiving content from the hub's scanners.


The information entered by the hub administrator affects the description of the channels received from the hub's scanners, even if the user receives the content received by this hub via permissions granted by the License issued by another hub.

Therefore, if content received by the hub's scanners are used/distributed by any other hub, the administrator should be aware that channel description information entered in this way will also affect users licensed by the other hub, and choose description information accordingly. For example, button names and alternate text tags should not be narrowly tailored to the hub's own users in such a case.



Images blocked - [show]