From LinuxTVWiki
Revision as of 19:10, 20 June 2016 by Mauro Carvalho Chehab (talk | contribs) (Files)
Jump to: navigation, search


Kaffeine is a media player. What makes it different from the others is its excellent support of digital TV (DVB). Kaffeine has user-friendly interface, so that even first time users can start immediately playing their movies: from DVD (including DVD menus, titles, chapters, etc.), VCD, or a file.

Kaffeine version 2.0 GUI is based on KDE Frameworks 5 and Qt5. For video/audio playback, it uses libVLC as video/audio play backend, and it interfaces with TV devices via libdvbv5.

It has a simple but intuitive interface (example live TV screenshot) and is easy to setup. Amongst its list of supported formats are CDDA, VCD, DVD, .... and, since versions >0.5, it also provides full DVB support.

There's a blog page about Watching Digital TV Via Kaffeine written by the developer that made the Kaffeine port to KF5.

The latest version is 2.0.3.

Supported features:

  • Digital TV and Radio via Digital TV
  • Time Shifting
  • Recording -- including unattended recording
  • EPG, EPG-driven recording timers, OSD EPG now and next.
  • AC3
  • DVB subtitles
  • HDTV
  • Multi standards are supported:
    • Cable standards: DVB-C
    • Terrestrial standards: ATSC, ISDB-T, DVB-T, DVB-T2;
    • Satellital Standards: DVB-S, DVB-S2
  • Kaffeine can simultaneously play and record different channels within the same transponder.
  • Nicely handles mutiple frontends on a single device (for example a multi-standard card supporting DVB-C and DVB-T/T2 on the same frontend).
  • Channel scanning on multiple devices/frontends, and multiple satellites.
  • Channel favourites lists.
  • DiSEqC 1.x switches, DiSEqC 1.2 rotors and USALS.
  • Supports both Low and High level CI.
  • KDE application style, rather than set top box (like MythTV or VDR)

Command line options

The files/URLs opened by the application will be deleted after use
-f --fullscreen
Start in full screen mode
Play Audio CD
Play Video CD
Play DVD
Dump dvb data (debug option)
--channel name / number
Play TV channel
--tv channel
(deprecated option)
Play last tuned TV channel
Files or URLs to play

Setting up Kaffeine for live view (e. g. "over the air broadcasts")

(assumes you have correctly installed your DVB device)

A) Simply open up Kaffeine

Kaffeine initial screen

B) choose "Digital TV" in the Start Menu

Digital TV screen

PS.: if it is the first time you're using, the channel tab will be empty and the main screen will be black.

C) hit "Configure Television" option icon


D) Click on the appropriate "Device" tab ... if you only have one DVB device installed, it should be "Device 1"


E) Choose "Source" or whatever is appropriate for your usage (e.g. "us-ATSC-center-frequencies-8VSB" for over-air broadcasts in the U.S.; ....)

F) Close window, go back to Kaffeine TV window and click "Channels" option icon

G) In "Channels" window, make sure the "Source" is set correctly (i.e. to "ATSC" in this example), then hit "Start Scan" button -- the scan will take a couple of minutes or so

H) Once the scan is complete, highlight all channels found in the right-hand box "Scan Results" (or all that you would like to save) then click "Add Selected" and those channels will then appear in the left-hand box called "Channels"

I) Hit "OKAY" to get out of "Channels" window and you will return to Kaffeine "Digital TV" window with your selected channels appearing in the left margin column.

j) Double click on a channel to select -- and now hopefully you are watching !


Kaffeine uses the file scanfile.dvb with a list of known channels per locality and per Satellite (for DVB-S/S2).

The scanfile.dvb file is weekly updated when new patches are added to the Digital TV scan tables git tree.

When either new channels are added on some City, or when new Satellite beams are added, which are not available in Kaffeine, either use [Dvbv5-scan dvbv5-scan] or [W_scan w_scan] to generate a new file (in the latter case, converted to the proper format using [Dvb-format-convert dvb-format-convert]), and submit it to linux-media@vger.kernel.org, with the subject:

 “[PATCH] dtv-scan-tables: some description”. 

The new patch will be added to scanfile.dvb and the updated file will be available to be updated from the Internet in the Kaffeine application.

External Links

Kaffeine old versions

 NOTE: This part of the wiki has outdated information with may not be true anymore. Kept here just for historical reasons.

KDE3 Version

To make use of the latest features (e.g. HDTV and S2API support) you might need to compile bleeding-edge versions of ffmpeg,xine-lib and kaffeine.

Remove old versions of ffmpeg,xine-lib and kaffeine first (but type 'ffmpeg' first to check what compilation options were used).

Get SVN ffmpeg, check what compilation options your old version used, compile and install

ffmpeg [shows old compilation options]
svn checkout svn://svn.mplayerhq.hu/ffmpeg/trunk ffmpeg
cd ffmpeg
./configure  [plus old options]
sudo make install

Get latest xine-lib, compile with --with-external-ffmpeg option, install

hg clone http://hg.debian.org/hg/xine-lib/xine-lib
cd xine-lib
./configure --prefix=/usr --with-external-ffmpeg
sudo make install

Get SVN kaffeine. Remove all projects (subdirs) you don't want to build. At least you need admin and kaffeine of course. Configure, making sure your current kernel includes are found (it needs linux/dvb/frontend.h) using --with-extra-includes if necessary. Compile and install.

svn co svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/branches/extragear/kde3/multimedia
cd multimedia
rm -fr doc k3b kdetv klicker kmplayer kplayer
make -f Makefile.cvs
./configure --with-extra-includes=/lib/modules/`uname -r`/source/include  [for example]
cd kaffeine
sudo make install

KDE4 Version

The latest Kaffeine release is a KDE3 application although it can be made to run under KDE4. A KDE4 version (kaffeine4) is under development here http://websvn.kde.org/trunk/extragear/multimedia/kaffeine/ . As of May 2009 it is unfortunately only pre-alpha. It plays DVDs, videos and finds some (not all) DVB channels but with a host of missing features and options. When you consider that KDE is already at version 4.2 and extremely good, it's a mystery why Kaffeine 4 development has lagged behind. Those interested in the DVB features of Kaffeine may be alarmed to hear that the the mature core DVB (i.e. not just GUI) code from Kaffeine 3 has been almost entirely dropped and is being rewritten by the new maintainer. Why? Just expect pain. Please do try it out and give feedback, give help and report bugs (http://bugs.kde.org). Get KDE4.2 (e.g. from http://kubuntu.org) and do the following:

svn co svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/trunk/extragear/multimedia/kaffeine
mkdir kaffeine-build
cd kaffeine-build
cmake ../kaffeine

The authors claimed a while ago that they required new features in Phonon, although this was disputed by Aaron Seigo. See http://dot.kde.org/1166377123/1166385374/1166438293/ and http://hftom.free.fr/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=18.

April 26 2009: Maintainership changed hands and a 1.0-pre1 preview version was announced. See http://kaffeine.kde.org.

KDE4 Version with OpenGL OSD

Some work has been done on a better on-screen display (OSD) using OpenGL. It is under development here http://websvn.kde.org/trunk/extragear/multimedia/kaffeinegl/. It looks like this repo is for testing the interface rather than a full Kaffeine program. Hopefully the result will be an improved OSD in Kaffeine4. Try it out and contribute: get KDE4 (e.g. http://kubuntu.org) and do the following:

svn co svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/trunk/extragear/multimedia/kaffeinegl
mkdir kaffeinegl-build
cd kaffeinegl-build
cmake ../kaffeinegl