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Latest revision as of 19:34, 2 November 2010

Vdr-logo.jpg

The Video Disk Recorder (VDR) is a free, non-commercial project from Klaus Schmidinger to create a digital video recorder using standard PC components. It is possible to receive, record and playback digital TV broadcasts compatible with the DVB standard. The program runs under Linux, is available as source code and is distributed under the GNU General Public License.

Implementation

Typically, the VDR behaves like a normal digital receiver; the picture is sent to a television, and is controlled using a remote control by choosing items from a simple but functional On Screen Display (OSD). While switching channels, an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) provides information such as the title of the current and next show. The EPG can be configured to display the shows of only one station, or of all current broadcasts in "What's on now?/next?". Many other options are also available such as: sortable channel listings, a program schedule, timer programming, and a list of pre-recorded shows. Commercials can be removed from pre-recorded shows using the cutting functions.

Features

The VDR also masters time shifting, that is, a broadcast can be recorded to hard disk and played back at once or after some time, but still while recording. This way one can jump over commercial or halt the playback to go to the kitchen,...

If there is more than one DVB card in the system, it is possible to record more than one broadcast at a time. This is already possible with only one DVB card, but only those who are broadcasted from one transponder only.

Extensions

Besides the basic function of VDR, there exists, thanks to a large community, a barely manageable quantity of extension in form of patches, plugins and other programs or scipts.

There are extensions that change or add

  • OSD functionality
  • playback of other than the native media format (MP3/(S)VCD/DVD/DivX/...)
  • Webinterface
  • creation of DVDs
  • ...

The hardware fraction fiddles about HTPC and the buildup of the ideal living room compatible PC (case, fans, noise reduction,...). Other things are LC-Displays, infrared remote controls and receiver, extension boards for DVB cards. In general one can say, this area needs lots of manual work and some previous knowledge or at least the willingness to learn. The newbie we encourage to first familiarise himself with the basic function of VDR and Linux. There are some ready to use Linux distributions dedicated to VDR.

Alternative scenarios

There are other use cases than the above possible. The VDR computer could be used as a server in the cellar or the attic. The video signal would then be fed into the home cable net through a modulator, or directly be streamed over the computer network.

Aim of VDR Wiki

This wiki should centralise the knowledge of the german discussion forum http://www.vdr-portal.de and the mailinglists, so beginners could easily find the necessary information to start with VDR.

Links

[1] http://www.tvdr.de Klaus Schmidingers VDR homepage
[2] http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html GNU General Public License
[3] http://www.linuxtv.org/lists.php DVB/VDR mailing lists
[4] http://www.vdr-portal.de german Forum (also has an international section)
[5] http://www.dvb.org DVB Project
[6] http://www.haile.ch/vdr/praesentation Presentation in PDF/PPS (german)
[7] http://www.pvrweb.com Forum with how-to guides on VDR