I got my DVB-S Card recently to work on Linux, so I thought I might share my experiences and compose a little tutorial.

This tutorial assumes that your Card is properly installed. Mine worked out of the box on Ubuntu Edgy.

To watch TV, you need a Xine-based video-player like Xine, gXine or Mplayer. If you want to use Totem (like me), install the package "totem-xine". It won't work with totem-gstreamer!

First we have to create a file named channels.conf, which contains all the channels, your DVB-Card is able to receive. For this, check your repositories for the tool "dvb-utils". After the installation, go to the directory


and browse for the region or satellite you want to scan. In my case it is the file dvb-s/Astra-19.2E because I have a DVB-S Card and I live in Germany. After you found the file you need use the scan tool like this:

$ scan [region/satellite-file] > ~/.xine/channels.conf

In my case it would look like this:

$ scan Astra-19.2E > ~/.xine/channels.conf

The output file must be in the folder .xine (or .mplayer if you use Mplayer) so that your video-player can find the TV channels.

After that you can watch TV by opening a stream like this:

dvb://[channel name]

The channel name must match a channel name in channels.conf.

For more convenience, I recommend to create a playlist, with all channel-streams containing. You can do this, by adding every channel manually to the list, or simply use the tiny tool I programmed. It analyses the channel.conf and creates a playlist. It is written in Java. To use it type following command:

$ java -jar playlistgenerator.jar [your channels.conf] [your playlist]

For example:

$ java -jar playlistgenerator.jar ~/.xine/channels.conf ~/TV.pls

The playlist should end with .pls. Now you can open it with your favorite video-player. After cleaning up it should look like this:


Download Playlist Generator:

Java Binary | Source