Is there any way to use a TV tuner card in the XBMC interface?

I don't care about things like recording, all I need to do is change between channels, and maybe use an EPG (Electronic Program Guide). Timeshifting would be a plus.

Since XBMC is based around mplayer, and mplayer supports TV tuners, it seems odd it's not supported by now. Obviously when it was Xbox-only, there was no point considering supporting TV tuners, but it's been on regular computers for years.

I'm aware of alternatives (MythTV and the likes), but I'm only curious about addons/forks of XBMC supporting TV tuners.

  • Timeshifting is recording. Oct 18, 2012 at 9:22
  • @AmigableClarkKant sure, technically, but it's presented and implemented in a very different way. There's more infrastructure involved in recording (like scheduling, transcoding, file storage, possibly multiple tuner support etc), whereas timeshifting could be implemented relatively easily (just an extended buffer).. So it's not implausible that a plugin for XBMC might implement timeshifting but not recording
    – dbr
    Oct 18, 2012 at 9:52

7 Answers 7


I'm using one port of XBMC that together with the TVServer from Media Portal, adds TV to XBMC.

It is a good solution and quite simple indeed. To XBMC fans (like me), I really recommend a try.

I am not affiliated with this project but I am really quite happy to have my XBMC with TV at home.

I am using XBMC on Windows.


August 2008: XBMC's Linux port lacks impressive features bottom line is,

XBMC media center is a capable media center application. Even the feature-incomplete Linux port is better and more comprehensive than a standalone media player, but it could still use some more features. I'd especially like to see OSD controls for the music player as well as the Web interface.

Today, XBMC is still best for people who own an Xbox. If you want a full-featured media center for your Linux desktop, consider an application like LinuxMCE that has TV tuner support and home automation controls.

You could look up MythTV and integration with XBMC on Linux
(but, maybe you've already done that).

  • This seems to be the only way to get live TV in XBMC, but if it requires setting up MythTV, I may as just use the MythTV front-end as well! Ah well
    – dbr
    Sep 15, 2009 at 20:21

The XBMC port that includes support for TV tuners is project Media Portal

  • 1
    Accepted because this is technically correct ("the best kind of correct" - MediaPortal is a fork of XBMC, and contains good TV tuner support), and there doesn't seem to be anything closer (aside from the MythTV integration)
    – dbr
    Sep 15, 2009 at 20:18

Live TV using internet access arround the world from lihattv.com, plugins available download here https://code.google.com/p/lihattv/downloads/list


Old question, but now enormously related: OpenELEC 2 now supports TV-tuners in XBMC.



You can watch live TV in XBMC with a SiliconDust HDHomerun. Here is my how-to blog entry.

  • 1
    This is a link-only answer. Even a replacement archived link to the blog contains a dead link to the product.
    – fixer1234
    Dec 5, 2017 at 8:34

I don't know about XBMC, but I have used GB-PVR with a capture card and that works extraordinarily well. It allows you to watch Live TV as well as record shows in MPEG-2 format.

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