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Videotext / Teletext is an information retrieval service provided by television broadcast companies mostly in Europe.

For more general information on Videotext see

alevt is a program to use Videotext for analog and digital TV. It is available for many distributions.

alevt is available on most Linux distributions, so please use the package manager of your distribution to install alevt. If you want to compile alevt yourself, see the notes on the end of this page.

Using alevt

Since on DVB-T there are multiple TV stations broadcasted on one frequency, alevt can not just show the videotext program of the current channel, but the user has to tell alevt which channel is to be shown. It is recommended to use the script described in the next section to select one of the available teletext providers.

Script for easy using of alevt

There is a script that shows a graphical dialog with the available TV stations. The user can select the desired TV station by name and the teletext is shown automatically.

The script uses alevt and kdialog, so make sure both is installed!

The script can be downloaded here: [[1]]

To use the script, just run

sh findTxt

on the commandline.

You can put the script on your Desktop and start it directly from there, if you set the executable bit for the script. Also, you can set a shortcut in KDE or Gnome to start the script, e.g. while watching TV. (For help on this, see linux forums :-))

Have Fun!

Using alevt by hand

You can use alevt only while watching TV over another program. alevt will show teletext for the currently running TV station.

For use with DVB, alevt must be started like this:

alevt -vbi /dev/dvb/adapter0/demux0

Now the problem is that on one frequency there are many channels, so alevt is just takig the first one.

Normally you want to see teletext for the currently running TV station. That can be done like follows:

To select a program, you must use the alevt output:

Service ID 0x000e Type 0x01 Provider Name "ARD" Name "Das Erste"
 PMT PID 0x0578 TXT: PID 0x057c lang ger type 0x01 magazine 1 page   0 
Service ID 0x000c Type 0x01 Provider Name "ARD" Name "rbb Berlin"
 PMT PID 0x04b0 TXT: PID 0x04b4 lang ger type 0x01 magazine 1 page   0

You just have to get the TXT PID for the tv station, e.g. "0x57c" for "Das Erste".

Now run

alevt -vbi /dev/dvb/adapter0/demux0 -pid 0x578 100

Now the Videotext start page should be shown.

The "100" at the end of the line leads to the start page, otherwise the start page would have to be selected by hand.

Downloading and Compiling

If you don't have alevt available on your system, you can download the source [2], but don't forget to apply the DVB patch [3] before you compile it.

Note: On Gentoo the patch comes with the ebuild for alevt-1.6.1, so emerging alevt is sufficient.