tvtime - Man Page

a high quality television application


tvtime [ OPTION ] ...


tvtime is a high quality television application for use with video capture cards. tvtime processes the input from a capture card and displays it on a computer monitor or projector.

tvtime supports:


Here are the core set of key bindings you want to learn for using tvtime:

Escape or q


F1 or tab

Show menu


Change channels

0-9 and Enter

Change channels


Jump to previous channel


Change input



+/- or left/right

Volume control




Take a screenshot


Display info


Display debug statistics

Here are some advanced keys.  These features are all configurable via the menu, but some of these may be useful if you use the features often:


Toggle audio mode (stereo/mono/SAP)


Toggle always-on-top with supporting window managers


Picture settings


Restore default picture settings


Resize the window to match the content inside it (after applying a matte or switching to 16:9 mode)


Toggle closed caption decoding (NTSC only)


-a,  --widescreen

This option starts tvtime in 16:9 aspect ratio mode.

-A,  --nowidescreen

This option starts tvtime in 4:3 aspect ratio mode.

-h,  --help

Show usage information.

-k,  --slave

Disables keyboard input in tvtime for slave mode.  Slave mode was added for integration with PVR applications like freevo or mythtv, so that freevo can handle keyboard input while tvtime is running.  In slave mode, keystrokes are ignored but they are printed to standard output, and commands are read from standard input in the same syntax as tvtime-command.

-m,  --fullscreen

Start tvtime in fullscreen mode.

-M,  --window

Start tvtime in windowed mode.

-s,  --showdrops

Print frame skip information (for debugging).

-S,  --saveoptions

Save command line options to the config file.  This will save the V4L device, VBI device, input number, norm, frequency, startup fullscreen setting, aspect ratio, verbose mode, and output window height.

-v,  --verbose

The verbose setting indicates that we should print full informational and warning messages to standard error while running tvtime. Otherwise, only critical errors will be printed to the output.

-F,  --configfile=FILE

Additional config file to load settings from.

-g,  --geometry=GEOMETRY

Sets the geometry of the window, for example, 400x300 for a window 400 pixels wide and 300 pixels tall.  A width value of 0 signifies that the appropriate width for the given height will be used.  For 4:3 content on a square pixel display, this defaults to a 768×576 window.

-I,  --inputwidth=SAMPLING

V4L input scanline sampling (defaults to 720. This sets how many pixels per scanline to request from the capture card. A higher setting gives better quality, while a lower setting means we do less work, and so tvtime will run faster.  If you have a slower CPU (like, less than 500Mhz or so), maybe values of 480 or 400 might suit you best.  For best quality, choose a high value like 720 or 768. Many capture cards cannot sample higher than 768 pixels per scanline.

-d,  --device=NAME

video4linux device to use (defaults to /dev/video0).

-b,  --vbidevice=DEVICE

VBI device to use (defaults to /dev/vbi0).

-i,  --input=INPUTNUM

video4linux input number (defaults to 0). Cards commonly have a bunch of sources, for example, on my WinTV card, source 0 is my tuner and source 1 is the composite input.

-c,  --channel=CHANNEL

On startup, tvtime will tune to the given channel.  Otherwise, the channels from the config file will be used.

-n,  --norm=NORM

The mode to set the tuner to (defaults to NTSC). Valid modes are:

-f,  --frequencies=NAME

The channels you are receiving with the tuner (defaults to us-cable). Valid values are:

·custom (first run 'tvtime-scanner')
-t,  --xmltv=FILE

Reads XMLTV listings from the given file to display on the OSD.  Channels are looked up based on their name, and tvtime will display the show title, sub-title and show description on the OSD.

-l,  --xmltvlanguage=LANG

Use XMLTV data in given language, if available.  Languages are represented by their two-letter language code (for example, "de" for German).  The default language used in the file will be used if this is unset or set to "none"

-X,  --display=DISPLAY

Uses the given X display to connect to.

-x,  --mixer=DEVICE[:CH]

The mixer device and channel for the volume controls. (defaults to /dev/mixer:line). Valid channels are:





Billy Biggs, Doug Bell, Alexander S. Belov, Achim Schneider, David I. Lehn, Paul Jara, Robert Högberg, Craig Dooley, Bart Dorsey, Nicolas Boos, Simon Law, Mark Trolley, Joachim Koenig, Stewart Allen, Justin A, Brian Goines, Krister Lagerstrom.

See Also

tvtime-command(1), tvtime-configure(1), tvtime-scanner(1), tvtime.xml(5), stationlist.xml(5).

Referenced By

stationlist.xml(5), tvtime-command(1), tvtime-configure(1), tvtime-scanner(1), tvtime.xml(5).

April 2005 tvtime 1.0RC1