Information for Australian users

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VDR is perfect for Australian setups as it is specifically targeted at the DVB digital TV standard. Also, it is far "lighter" than MythTV so integration of its UI with LMCE's UI is much more complete than MythTV. This integration is getting better all the time as it is an active project for CHT.

Also, VDR automatically receives Electronic Program Guide information from the TV stations over-the-air. This requires no setup whatsoever and is, of course, free!

MythTV has more features and capabilities, but for simplicity and consistency of interface VDR is the better option.


MythTV works fine with Australian Free-To-Air digital television. There are 3 main sources for Electronic Program Guide information, iceTV, The Australian Community TV Guide(ozTiVo), and Shepherd which grabs info from multiple sources and collates it.

iceTV is a comercial offering, and costs about AU$3 per week. ozTiVo is free, however both sites require registration.

Shepherd can use your OzTivo registration. It is currently the recommended grabber for Australian users, as it is comprehensive and reliable, easy to set up, and keeps itself up to date.

Setup for OzTivo

  • Visit one (or both) of the above sites to register and set up your profile (be sure to select xmltv for the data format).
  • Get this script and install it in /usr/local/bin
    • Make sure it is executable: sudo chmod +x tv_grab_au_reg
    • Symlink /usr/local/bin/tv_grab_au to tv_grab_au_reg with sudo ln -s /usr/local/bin/tv_grab_au_reg /usr/local/bin/tv_grab_au.
  • Run MythTV-setup and add a new video source to use 'tv_grab_au' (call it something like FTA).
    • Set 'TimeOffset' to 'Auto'
    • Configure a capture card to use the video source (FTA)
    • Scan the channels, delete the ones you don't want, then add xmltv info (from your iceTV or ozTiVo profile) to the ones that are left.
    • Exit Setup, don't run mythfilldatabase.
  • Edit /root/.mythtv/<input source name>.xmltv (FTA in above example) to include your username and password. Remove the information for any sites you are not using. (It may be wise to set this file as read-only, every time you enter the input sources page in mythTV-setup it reconfigures the tv_grab_au script, which overwrites the configuration file with defaults).
  • Run mythfilldatabase( start MythTV-setup and then exit, hit yes when prompted.
  • Enjoy your new EPG

You can use the same process to import foxtel channels, call it foxtel instead of FTA. (see this page for info on setting up foxtel to work with mythTV).

Setup for Shepherd

There are some issues with the normal mythfilldatabase job triggered from inside Mythtv and Shepherd (and Oz tv listing grabber). This is due to permissions etc. This can be resolved by running the myhtfilldatabase job automatically from cron and is the recommended way of running shepherd. Shepherd will set this up for you automatically as it installs.

  • sudo passwd mythtv
  • sudo su - mythtv
  • mkdir .shepherd && cd .shepherd
  • wget
  • sh /home/mythtv/.shepherd/shepherd
  • Run through the setup process, and allow shepherd to set up mythtv and a cron entry to run mythtfilldatabase (as mythtv user). Note that one step fails: where it tries to to create a symbolic link from /usr/bin/tv_grab_au to /home/mythtv/.shepherd/shepherd
  • create symbolic link manually:
    • sudo mv /usr/bin/tv_grab_au /usr/bin/tv_grab_au.old
    • sudo ln -s /home/mythtv/.shepherd/shepherd /usr/bin/tv_grab_au
    • Use mythtv-setup from a terminal window to disable the mythfilldatabase job ('cos cron will do it instead)

Note that log files for mythfilldatabase will now go to /home/mythtv/.shepherd/log dir.


  • Check that your frequency tuning tables are OK for Mythtv. If you have problems with some channels breaking up or horrible screeching audio bursts, it may be that the automatic tuning has not worked properly for a tuner. My SBS transport was tuning to 536500000 instead of 536625000. A transport is what we used to know as a channel in the analogue world, but as the station's allocated frequency band carries multiple channels they renamed the station frequency to a transport.
    • From a terminal window mythtv-setup --geometry 800x600
    • Go to Transport Editor and edit any that are wrong.
    • Check the frequencies are OK using the pretty useless Australian Communications and Media Authority website.
      • You need to enter your postcode, click on the callsign (e.g. SBS) and then it will show you the channel (purple is digital- scroll down).
      • Then look up the channel frequency in this table not on the govt website(why would a govt website have the info in one easy to find place?)
      • SBS Note that SBS is not broadcasting on the "traditional" centre of the channel 536500000, but 125 KHz higher at 536625000.
      • ABC