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I am using Vlc 2.0.1 to watch tv (DVB-T) through my pci tv tuner

Is it possible to record a tv programm as .avi or .mp4 file ? Can i record it with vlc or another app ?

I am ubuntu 12.04 user

Thanks in advance!

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I think Kaffeine can do so, but I'm not 100% sure. – jPlatte May 10 '12 at 10:09

This may be a bit of an overkill, but MythTV is an absolutely incredibly awesome thing:

  • you can tell it once you want to record a certain show and it will find it and record it automatically. Or to record all documentaries. Or to record a first episode of all soap operas.
  • recorded episodes are neatly categorized in a nice UI
  • you can tell it to keep only 10 latest episodes of a show
  • you can tell it to find ad blocks so you can skip them (or maybe skip the movie and watch ads instead)
  • it has a separate backend which runs in the background, so you don't have to manually start anything to record a program
  • you can even set up your computer to wake up at night, record a show and shut down. Or you can have backend running on one machine which never shuts down and access it with multiple frontends installed on all your home PCs.
  • you can set up access to your MythTV via a web browser so you can manage recordings over Internet


There's a separate distribution of Ubuntu called Mythbuntu installing which would make sense if you're building a dedicated media center, but you can also install MythTV in "normal" Ubuntu

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I think , mythtv is for online tv (?) I want to use my pci tv tuner to watch tv .. is this possible with mythtv ? – ALdaperan May 10 '12 at 11:02
MythTV is very much for recording programs with a TV tuner. It may have some online TV functionality (and also it can be used to manage other videos not recorded from TV), but definitely recording from TV is its main feature – Sergey May 10 '12 at 11:05
And does it store streams in .avi or .mp4? – Jakob May 10 '12 at 11:06
It stores streams in .mpg and .nuv formats. You can configure it to transcode the recordings into other formats. Or just use ffmpeg to transcode manually or via a script. However, I'm finding that I rarely need it – Sergey May 10 '12 at 11:16
Sergey can i use MythTV to record a programm from vlc ? Because i watch tv with my pci card from vlc – ALdaperan May 10 '12 at 13:46

The easiest way to record immediately is by pressing the record button:

enter image description here

To enable it click ViewAdvanced Controls.

Records become stored as .ts files which you can watch with VLC. You find them in ~/Downloads, which you can change.

To cut .ts files I recommend DVBcut Install dvbcut: DVBcut is a Qt application that allows you to select certain parts of an MPEG transport stream (as received via Digital Video Broadcasting, DVB) and save these parts into a single MPEG output file. It follows a 'keyhole surgery' approach where the input video and audio data is mostly kept unchanged, and only very few frames at the beginning and/or end of the selected range are re-encoded in order to obtain a valid MPEG file.

By that tool you can export the files to .mpeg without worrying about any audio lag. Information about how to use it you find on it's homepage (see wiki question).

To record an mpeg-stream use this command in a terminal:

cvlc dvb-t:// :dvb-frequency=$FREQUENCY :dvb-bandwidth=$BANDWIDTH :program=$PROGRAM :sout=~/Videos/record.mpg --no-sout-display

Take the parameters from your channels.conf, whereat $PROGRAM in each case is the last number of the line. If you want to watch your record at the same time replace the last parameter with --sout-display. To stop the record kill the process with Ctrl+C or close the terminal.

I tested to replace .mpg with .avi and .mp4 without success: One then has a shift of sound and the other doesn't record sound. But using .mpg seems to be an acceptable alternative to .ts.

You can schedule records as .mpeg-streams as described in this post.

Another good alternative to watch TV on PC was Me TV Install me-tv, but since a while it seems to be buggy and doesn't work as it should - which led me to use VLC, too.

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jacob thank you for the respond I knew it this method but it stores the records on .ts witch is not compatible with all players.. This is why i asked an app to save them to .avi or .mp4 :( – ALdaperan May 10 '12 at 13:44
btw i also tried to convert .ts files to other formats with openshot but it had audio lag :( I also tried MeTV to watch tv but i cant find channels. Vlc was the best solution for me :) – ALdaperan May 10 '12 at 14:08
Just installed DVBcut but i am not sure i understand how it works. I have a .ts file saved from vlc I must open this file with DVBcut and then what..? – ALdaperan May 10 '12 at 15:22
no problem ;) If i will find more infos ill post them Thank you – ALdaperan May 10 '12 at 15:32
I added a link to since it is explained there. If you should have serious problems, though, I would add a step-by-step guide to the wiki mentioned above. Just leave a comment. – Jakob May 10 '12 at 20:17

tools -> preferences -> input & codecs look at files section for record directory. i created a folder, but you need to at least your home directory.

when you are ready to record, you have to do a "shift+r". i mourn the loss of the red button (and the deletion of my previous post), but you can look at the hotkeys section of preferences and see the record sequence.

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