A Linux program to dump DVB EPG info in xmltv format.

I.E: Extract the TV Guide from the digital TV broadcasts.

This project isn’t maintained anymore, but is here for your reference.

Copyright (C) 2004-2010 Mark Bryars

Contact Me

You may email me at: dvb at darkskiez d0t co d0t uk

You may have more success posting to the mailing list

Mailing List

Subscription and Archives available at –

Development News

20/04/2007 – Mailing List
Support requests, bug reports and small patches should be directed at the new mailing list –

17/04/2007 – Ver 0.10 Beta
Yet another thank you goes to Philipp Hahn whom has contributed a huge set of outstanding patches, improving many aspects of this project:

1. Handle character code selection in texts with iconv() and proper xml-ification. As an alternative contains the translation tables in dvb_text.c.
2. Fix long descriptions: Didn’t handle both item data and non-item data correctly.
3. Add option to specify output file: -f
4. Add option to specify source -i: either from file or from demuxer Useful for debugging captures data, eg from “dvbsnoop -s sec -b 18”
6. Fixed some segfaults.
7. Many Optimisations

If you would like to test the latest patches a new svn repository has been set up:

   svn co tv_grab_dvb

Feedback will be particularly appreciated from non IA32 architectures.

07/09/2004 – Ver 0.9 Released
Thanks to Jon Dye and John Pullan for their patches and providing support on the MythTv mailing lists –
. Fixed a stupid typo that resulted in a few bogus chars getting through
. Updated chanids with a load more.
There is also two different subtitle patches for extracting the UK subtitle information from the descriptions in the patches directory.

06/09/2004 – Website Back
I’ve got my website back, woo yay, sorry for the downtime folks. I’ve noticed some patches floating about the mythtv lists, I’m going to have a look at them and maybe apply them to the release; Unfortunately, I dont have a TV antenna in my new flat yet, so I can’t test the software till I get the landlord to sort this out :[

15/07/2004 – Ver 0.8 Released
. Added -m -n -p options for various now next selections
. Added -s for no status output
. XML patch for more symbols by Nick Craig-Wood

23/05/2004 – Ver 0.6 Released
This consists mostly of a patch from Nick Craig-Wood to make output more compliant with XML and the XMLTV dtd, with the correct tag ordering, etc. Cheers!

08/05/2004 – Ver 0.5 Released
First fairly usable release, with correct time information! I’ve only had UK testers report back so far with this release. Thanks to Steve Davies and Mark Kendall for their helpful suggestions and testing with the London 8 day EPG broadcast test.

If you are getting any Unknown ID:?? in your output, let me know if you know what this should be.

Change Log

Download Source

svn co tv_grab_dvb

Program Requirements

DVB Card Working in linux already, and tuned to a multiplex

Program Usage

It reads a channels.conf file tzap format in the current directory to decode the channel names (at the moment). May not always need this.

Tested with:
UK Freeview Now/Next
UK London 8 Day EPG test
Germany/Berlin DVB-T Now/Next
Sweden DVB-S
Let Me Know!

Tune into a multiplex with whatever you like, dvbtune, mplayer, mythtv and run:

 tv_grab_dvb [-t timeout] > whatson.xml



  tv_grab_dvb|mythfilldatabase --no-delete --file 1 0 -

Works well for me to stop it messing about all the channels.

Todo List

  • Use iconv to correctly output descriptions
  • Allow specifying path to channels.conf
  • Allow specifying the DVB card
  • Decode Subtitle info in XMLTV Style – 0.6 DTD?
  • Decode Channel names from broadcast
  • Decode Long/Detailed Descriptions (not broadcast in UK)

Software License

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, inc., 59 Temple Place – Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA. Or, point your browser to

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