Watch DVB-T Transmissions with VLC

To watch DVB-T transmissions, you must have a DVB-T tuner with its drivers installed.

You also need a list of all the transmission frequencies for your local area. People in Sydney can refer to this article. Otherwise, Google for your local transmitters, scan for them with another program or try standard frequencies manually.

Loading DVB-T Transmissions in VLC

  1. Open VLC
  2. Click on the Media menu and then Open Capture Device or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + C
  3. Click on the dropdown menu of Capture mode and select TV - digital
  4. Change your Delivery System if your country does not use DVB-T
  5. Enter the transmission frequency of the channel you wish to watch into Transponder/multiplex frequency, ensuring you convert to kHz (e.g. A transmission at 177.500 MHz = 177500 kHz).
  6. The Bandwidth option can be left on Automatic, however if the stream fails to load, try select an option (Google for the bandwidth or try each of them until one works).
  7. Click Play or Enqueue to watch.

Determine the SID (Service/Programme ID) of a Channel

If your DVB-T transmission is by a TV Network which broadcasts multiple channels, you will need to determine the SID of each channel if you want to create a shortcut or playlist to each specific channel. People in Sydney can refer to this article

If you just want to switch between channels manually through VLC, you can load up a transmission, click on the Playback menu, select Program and then select the channel you want to switch to.

To determine the SIDs of all the channels of a specific network:

  1. Load up a transmission
  2. Click on the Tools menu and select Media Information
  3. Click on the Codec tab
  4. Ignore and scroll past all the items labelled Stream #
  5. Look for nodes that begin with a channel name followed by a number in square brackets. The number in the brackets is the SIDs

Creating a Playlist of Channels

You can create a playlist of channels by enqueuing channels to the playlist and then saving the playlist to a file.

It may be easier to manually create the playlist file, an XML file with an .xspf extension. Attached below is a sample VLC playlist file for Sydney.

  • Create playlist entries by creating <track> tags inside the <trackList> tag.
  • Convert your transmission frequency into Hz and substitute into the <location> tag after frequency=
  • Ensure each <vlc:id> tag contains a unique integer, counting up.
  • You can specify a specific channel with the <vlc:option> tag by placing the SID after program=
  • Playlist entries can also be grouped with <vlc:node> tags inside the <extension> tag. The tid property for each <vlc:item> tag refers to the <vlc:id> of the tracks. Refer to the sample playlist file attached at the bottom of the page.

Streaming Channels over the Network with VLC

If you want to stream channels over the network, VLC can be used to create an HTTP server.

  • You can simultaneously stream any combination of channels from the same network (e.g. ABC and ABC News simultaneously).
  • If you want to stream channels from different television networks simultaneously (e.g. ABC News and 7mate), you will need to have more than one tuner.
  • VLC, for some reason, does not support virtual services. As such, you must use the SID of a non-virtual service. A virtual service is simply a duplicate channel entry with the sole purpose of allowing users to access the same channel with multiple channel numbers on the remote (e.g. in Sydney, Channel numbers 9 and 91 are the same channels).

Using VLC conf files

Save each TV network to an individual conf file.

VLC conf files must be opened with the parameter --vlm-conf. So it is recommended you create a shortcut to vlc for each conf file. e.g. "C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" --vlm-conf conf_file.conf

You can only open one conf file at a time, unless you have more than one tuner (and have adjusted the dvb-adapter parameter accordingly.

You may wish to adjust the following parameters:

  • dvb-adapter - the index of the tuner to use
  • dvb-frequency - The frequency (in Hz) of the network/channel to tune
  • dvb-bandwidth - The bandwidth of the transmission
  • programs - The SIDs of channels which should be demuxed from the transmission
  • access - The streaming protocol to use
  • dst - The port and endpoint of the stream

To play the stream, start vlc with the correct conf file. Then on the client, ensure you enter the IP, port and endpoint of the stream. e.g. http://<server_ip>:8080/24 to watch ABC News 24

Sample VLC conf files for Sydney

ABC Network

new NETWORK_ABC broadcast enabled
setup NETWORK_ABC input dvb-t://
setup NETWORK_ABC option dvb-adapter=0
setup NETWORK_ABC option dvb-frequency=226500000
setup NETWORK_ABC option dvb-bandwidth=7
setup NETWORK_ABC option programs=545,546,548,544

setup NETWORK_ABC output #duplicate{dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/2},select="program=545",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/22},select="program=546",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/23},select="program=548",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/24},select="program=544"}

control NETWORK_ABC play

Nine Network

new NETWORK_NINE broadcast enabled
setup NETWORK_NINE input dvb-t://
setup NETWORK_NINE option dvb-adapter=0
setup NETWORK_NINE option dvb-frequency=191625000
setup NETWORK_NINE option dvb-bandwidth=7
setup NETWORK_NINE option programs=1058,1060,1062,1063,1064

setup NETWORK_NINE output #duplicate{dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/90},select="program=1058",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/91},select="program=1062",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/92},select="program=1063",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/93},select="program=1064",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/94},select="program=1060"}

control NETWORK_NINE play

SBS Network

new NETWORK_SBS broadcast enabled
setup NETWORK_SBS input dvb-t://
setup NETWORK_SBS option dvb-adapter=0
setup NETWORK_SBS option dvb-frequency=184500000
setup NETWORK_SBS option dvb-bandwidth=7
setup NETWORK_SBS option programs=769,774,770,772,773

setup NETWORK_SBS output #duplicate{dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/3},select="program=769",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/30},select="program=774",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/32},select="program=770",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/33},select="program=772",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/34},select="program=773"}

control NETWORK_SBS play

Seven Network

new NETWORK_SEVEN broadcast enabled
setup NETWORK_SEVEN input dvb-t://
setup NETWORK_SEVEN option dvb-adapter=0
setup NETWORK_SEVEN option dvb-frequency=177500000
setup NETWORK_SEVEN option dvb-bandwidth=7
setup NETWORK_SEVEN option programs=1312,1314,1315,1317,1319,1320

setup NETWORK_SEVEN output #duplicate{dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/7},select="program=1312",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/72},select="program=1314",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/73},select="program=1315",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/74},select="program=1319",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/76},select="program=1317",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/78},select="program=1320"}

control NETWORK_SEVEN play

Ten Network

new NETWORK_TEN broadcast enabled
setup NETWORK_TEN input dvb-t://
setup NETWORK_TEN option dvb-adapter=0
setup NETWORK_TEN option dvb-frequency=219500000
setup NETWORK_TEN option dvb-bandwidth=7
setup NETWORK_TEN option programs=1572,1573,1574,1575,1576,1577

setup NETWORK_TEN output #duplicate{dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/10},select="program=1573",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/11},select="program=1576",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/12},select="program=1575",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/13},select="program=1572",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/14},select="program=1574",dst=std{access=http,mux=ts,dst=:8080/15},select="program=1577"}

control NETWORK_TEN play

Sample VLC playlist for Sydney

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<playlist xmlns="http://xspf.org/ns/0/" xmlns:vlc="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/ns/0/" version="1">
    <title>Sydney DVB-T</title>
    <trackList>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=177500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>7 Digital</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>0</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1312</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=177500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>7TWO</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>1</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1314</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=177500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>7mate</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>2</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1315</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=177500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>TV4ME</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>3</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1319</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=177500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>7flix</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>4</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1317</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=177500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>RACING.COM</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>5</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1317</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=184500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>SBS ONE</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>6</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=769</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=184500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>SBS HD</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>7</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=774</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=184500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>SBS TWO</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>8</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=770</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=184500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>Food Network</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>9</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=772</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=184500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>NITV</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>10</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=773</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=191625000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>Nine</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>11</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1062</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=191625000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>9HD</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>12</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1058</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=191625000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>9Gem</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>13</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1063</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=191625000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>9Go!</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>14</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1064</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=191625000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>9Life</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>15</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1060</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=191625000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>Extra</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>16</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1061</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=219500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>TEN</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>17</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1573</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=219500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>ELEVEN</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>18</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1576</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=219500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>ONE</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>19</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1575</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=219500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>TEN HD</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>20</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1572</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=219500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>TVSN</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>21</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1574</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=219500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>SpreeTV</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>22</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=1577</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=226500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>ABC</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>23</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=545</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=226500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>ABC2/KIDS</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>24</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=546</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=226500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>ABC3</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>25</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=548</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
        <track>
            <location>dvb-t://frequency=226500000:bandwidth=7</location>
            <title>ABC News 24</title>
            <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
                <vlc:id>26</vlc:id>
                <vlc:option>program=544</vlc:option>
            </extension>
        </track>
    </trackList>
    <extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
        <vlc:node title="Seven Network">
            <vlc:item tid="0"/>
            <vlc:item tid="1"/>
            <vlc:item tid="2"/>
            <vlc:item tid="3"/>
            <vlc:item tid="4"/>
            <vlc:item tid="5"/>
        </vlc:node>
        <vlc:node title="SBS Network">
            <vlc:item tid="6"/>
            <vlc:item tid="7"/>
            <vlc:item tid="8"/>
            <vlc:item tid="9"/>
            <vlc:item tid="10"/>
        </vlc:node>
        <vlc:node title="Nine Network">
            <vlc:item tid="11"/>
            <vlc:item tid="12"/>
            <vlc:item tid="13"/>
            <vlc:item tid="14"/>
            <vlc:item tid="15"/>
            <vlc:item tid="16"/>
        </vlc:node>
        <vlc:node title="Ten Network">
            <vlc:item tid="17"/>
            <vlc:item tid="18"/>
            <vlc:item tid="19"/>
            <vlc:item tid="20"/>
            <vlc:item tid="21"/>
            <vlc:item tid="22"/>
        </vlc:node>
        <vlc:node title="ABC Network">
            <vlc:item tid="23"/>
            <vlc:item tid="24"/>
            <vlc:item tid="25"/>
            <vlc:item tid="26"/>
            <vlc:item tid="27"/>
            <vlc:item tid="28"/>
        </vlc:node>
    </extension>
</playlist>