At the moment I use Me TV. Are there other good programs to watch and record TV in Ubuntu?


VLC Install vlc

I'm using VLC. It works pretty good for what I do. Pause/resume feature works out of the box.

You will have to scan for channels first. Use w_scan (install it if necessary) and launch the following command :

w_scan -c FR -X > channels.conf

Replace FR with your country (w_scan -c ? to get the list). Now, each time you want to watch the tv, just launch this command :

vlc channels.conf

You can start recording with Shift+R, again to stop it. Pause a live program with Space.

There is a good wiki about DVB in french : http://doc.ubuntu-fr.org/tnt (has a list of compatible hardware).


Other softwares are kaffeine Install kaffeine, totem Install totem, gxine Install gxine and mplayer Install mplayer but I don't use them.

I used to use Kaffeine but dropped it for vlc because I had some issues. Just retested it and it seems to work nicely. It is a good program for recording (instant or scheduled record as you want). Maybe should I reconsider my actual choice for watching DVB...

  • 1
    nice, already tried it. but didn't get it to work with a downloaded channels.conf. now it works. Performance is great as usual for VLC. Is there a chance to dock the playlist next to the tvwindow? when i switch activate dock-playlist in window menu you can just see the playlist or the tv window but not both at the same time? – NES Jan 5 '11 at 19:03
  • Glad it helped you. I also have two separate windows for the video and the playlist. Take a look at the VLC skins here : videolan.org/vlc/skins.php Some, like Mediaplayer, have only one window but I find skins use too much resources on my computer. – Maxime R. Jan 5 '11 at 20:35
  • Well, I was about to say that your description looks more like Kaffeine but it seems you already tested it. – Maxime R. Jan 5 '11 at 21:08
  • would using skins in vlc result in much higher ressource use? VLC is really great. the only disadvantages is, by using it you notice that the gui isn't designed for tv purpose and missing epg features. – NES Jan 5 '11 at 21:51
  • I don't think so much for a modern computer but I have a 5 year old laptop and the skin interface isn't responsive which is not acceptable. – Maxime R. Jan 5 '11 at 22:49

I've never heard of ME TV, so maybe you've already heard this, but:

If you want to record live TV, the best option you have is MythTV: http://www.mythtv.org/

If, on the other hand, you just want to have a media center that streams video from the internet and/or watches files already on disk, there is XBMC: http://xbmc.org/ boxee: http://www.boxee.tv/ hulu desktop: http://www.hulu.com/labs/hulu-desktop-linux and probably more.

If you really want to go all out and use your computer as a PVR, I would install Linux MCE, which is based off of Kubuntu: http://linuxmce.com/

Good luck.

  • ME TV looks very good and has nice features. But it also has a problem that prevents view looking fullscreen. Also it doesn't run very smoothly, as VLC does for it. Will check your other recommendations. – NES Jan 5 '11 at 19:05

Another recommendation, after testing several ones is also Kaffeine Install kaffeine

Works very smoothly in TV Mode (by far better than me-tv Install me-tv for my setup) and has lots of features. At the moment next to VLC Install vlc my favorite one.


Definitely Kaffeine if you wanna EPG and planned recording, its also very easy to use. Only downside may be KDE libraries and paused development.

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