TV Related Software

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Here, we aim to provide useful information about software applications that are directly related to or which are generally useful in some respect to the reception and manipulation of TV signals on Linux based computer systems.

In order to be most useful for the reader, this page is divided into three sections:

  • An Alphabetical Overview Listing
  • A Categorized section for software useful for DVB TV cards (for both full featured and budget cards, as this distinction doesn't make a difference for most of the software)
  • A Categorized section for software useful for analog TV cards (also see the information currently contained in the video4linux wiki).

Note: If you're new to this aspect of computing, rather than trying single programs one after another, you might be more interested in how to quickly get a fully working system as described in the "Example setups" page. Or perhaps instead you may simply want to perform some quick tests on your system, such as like those outlined in the "Testing your DVB device" article.

An Alphabetical Overview Listing

A Overview of Software Applications which are useful in regards to TV on a Linux based Computer System
Language Comments
alevt y y Program to use Teletext/Videotext on analog and digital TV
dvbd y C++ Traditional UNIX daemon for DVB
dvbsak n y
dvbshout n y Stream radio to Icecast/multicast
dvbsnoop n y C
dvbstream n y y n n a streaming utilitity. Part of the DVB tools project
dvbyell n y n n n A DVB streaming service.
DVBStreamer n y sqlite,
XMLTV format
C PSI/SI tracking and correctly streams all PIDs including PCR
getstream n y
GStreamer n y
Gv4l A GUI frontend for Transcode's V4L functions
Kaffeine n y y y n own text format C++ Desktop TV Solution
KaxTV obsoleted
Klear y
LinuxTV dvb-apps n y y ? ? {a,c,t,s} channels.conf formats C contains dvbscan, {a,c,t,s}zap ...
MEncoder y y y n y C encoding suite of tools
Me TV n y y n n SQLite C++ GNOME based DVB TV viewer
Mini DVB Linux y Distribution with live-CD
MPlayer y y y y n channels.conf C multi-functional media player
mumudvb n y n n n Stream multiples channels in multicast (each channel in different group)
MythTV y y y y y mysql C++ Media Center
RedButton MHEG-5 engine
scan-s2 n y n n n C frequency scanning utility which supports DVB APIv5 (for DVB-S2)
showtime C OpenGL-based media player
szap-s2 y y C tuning utility which supports DVB APIv5 (for DVB-S2)
tv_grab_dvb y XMLTV format C dumps DVB EPG info in XMLTV format
tvheadend C TV streaming server
VDR y * y y y y VDR format
C++ analogue with plugins only
DVB APIv5 since 1.7.2
VLC media player
w_scan n y n n n VDR channels.conf
tuning data for scan
C ATSC/DVB-C/S/S2/T frequency scanner
xawtv y y * y y n * only v4 supports DVB
XdTV y y y TV viewing app. Development stopped
xine y y y multi-functional media player

Categorized software for use with Digital (DVB) TV cards

DVB Utility Suites and Standalone Tools

  • Tools for signal strength
  • JustDvb-It [5] - a suite/set of tools useful for DVB stream creation and manipulation, especially for interactive digital television (i.e. DVB-MHP)

Standalone Software to Watch Digital TV

Media Center Software


Media Center Distributions

Complete operating systems tailored for easy installation of everything required to have a media centre.


Media Players

i.e. for offline playback of captured material:


Tools for Editing


Categorized software for use with Analogue TV cards

Analogue Utility Suites or Standalone Tools

Standalone Software to Watch Analogue TV

Analogue Streaming Utilities

Analogue Frame Grabbing Utilities