VLC and DVB tuners

Intro

Written the 22/02/2010, translated the 03/05/2015.

I bought a little time ago a DVB-T tuner card.
I was forced to use Terratec Home Cinema to watch TV : heavy software, buggy, that crashed when overloaded (a 4-core processor is advised).

There were also a paid version. If I wanted HD channels I had to buy it.
Or watch through Windows Media Center (it's best for set-top boxes, not desktops, furthermore, it doesn't record in MPEG-TS and the guide is not EPG.

Recently, I saw in VLC a dropdown menu : File > Open a media > Open capture device.

DVB Norms :

ATSC is a norm used in the United States.

Frequencies

Click on Play. It will probably not work. You'll have to set a frequency.
I grabbed them from the Channel Editor software from Terratec.

If you want to grab the frequencies, I found this link for Linux. Frequencies are given in kHz, just add 000 at the end in VLC.
You might notice there's not 1 channel = 1 frequency.
Multiplexers are used to provide ~4 channels.

You can take a look at this document from TDF.

I can enter the MULTI4 frequency (498000 kHz).
When you right-click on the video, you'll be able to choose the TV channel.

If you want to launch directly / create a playlist, you'll have to get the program number.

Proceed by going to Tools > Messages or use Ctrl+M with a Verbose value set to 2 and start again the tuner card (you might have to press the Stop button.
And cut the capture before it gets too heavy (after you get the EPG title at the bottom of VLC is good).

Then, look for lines similar to :

ts debug: - type=1 provider=MULTI4 name=temp

main debug: EsOutProgramMeta: number=1030

ts debug: * service id=1031 eit schedule=0 present=1 running=4 free_ca=0

ts debug: - type=1 provider=Multi 4 name=ARTE HD

main debug: EsOutProgramMeta: number=1031

ts debug: * service id=1028 eit schedule=1 present=1 running=4 free_ca=0

ts debug: - type=1 provider=MULTI4 name=PARIS PREMIERE

main debug: EsOutProgramMeta: number=1028

ts debug: * service id=1025 eit schedule=1 present=1 running=4 free_ca=0

ts debug: - type=1 provider=MULTI4 name=M6

main debug: EsOutProgramMeta: number=1025

ts debug: * service id=1026 eit schedule=1 present=1 running=4 free_ca=0

ts debug: - type=1 provider=MULTI4 name=W9

main debug: EsOutProgramMeta: number=1026

ts debug: * service id=1027 eit schedule=1 present=1 running=4 free_ca=0

ts debug: - type=1 provider=MULTI4 name=NT1

We'll use the number of the channel.
Now, to launch a specific channel from, the DVB menu, in Display More Options, you'll have to enter

:program=PREVIOUSNUMBER