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The XMLTV Project is a set of (mostly Perl) utilities to manage your TV viewing. They work with TV listings stored in the XMLTVFormat, which is based on XML. The idea is to separate out the back-end (getting the listings) from the front-end (displaying them for the user), and to implement useful operations like picking out your favorite programmes as filters that read and write XML documents.

At present there are back-ends grabbing TV listings for the following countries

Belgium and Luxembourg
Britain and Ireland
Caribbean (Spanish)
Czech Republic
Hungary and Romania
North America
Puerto Rico
Reunion Island (France)
South Africa

See XmltvWorldDomination.

There are filters to sort the listings by date, to remove shows that have already been broadcast, and a couple of programmes to organize your viewing by storing preferences of what shows you watch. There are a couple of back ends to produce printed output.

This software is still being developed and most of the tools are command-line based, but at least many of them have manual pages. See the XmltvStatus page for information about which grabbers currently work correctly.

Source code

see XMLTVProjectDownload

Packaged versions

see XMLTVProjectDownload

Windows notes

Information on XMLTV (Windows Distribution ) XmltvWindowsExecutable

Information on running the source code XMLTV distribution using Strawberry Perl XMLTVWindowsBuild

Information on building XMLTV.EXE yourself (generally not needed) see XMLTVexeBuild

Mailing lists

Posting to these lists is restricted to list members. For quick response, be sure and sign up before posting using the email address you will post from. (you can disable emails if you read via Gmane)

List Purpose Subscribe SF Archive Gmane (dead. may come back)
xmltv-users General user questions about XMLTV (not third-party software) subscribe SF archive gmane.comp.tv.xmltv.general
xmltv-devel Development discussion and patches subscribe SF archive gmane.comp.tv.xmltv.devel

GitHub Issues

Being notified of new releases

If you do download a copy, please subscribe to the xmltv-announce mailing list so you can find out when new releases happen. Since websites change their format without warning, a new release might be needed at any time!

Information for Developers

Information is available on HowtoUseGrabbers, HowtoWriteAGrabber, HowtoSubmitAGrabber, and HowToMakeARelease.

Feature Requests

The XMLTVProject is a quintessential Open Source project. Most developers had an "itch to scratch", wrote some code satisfy the itch, and released it to others via this project. You can request a feature, but it's very likely the tool already does what the developer wanted, so it may take a while (if ever) for that feature to be added. Of course, this is OSS software, so feel free to add the feature yourself (or commission its addition if you can't code) and submit a patch. Most developers would gladly add a feature if someone else has already done most of the work.

Similar rules go for changes to the XMLTV DTD. You may have to push a bit for your changes and keep the discussion moving. Don't hesitate to push discussions forward that seem to have stagnated. If people aren't complaining about it, there may simply be no objections. Follow up with something like "There doesn't appear to be serious objections, so here's proposed patches to the DTD (and maybe XMLTV.PM)". If nothing happens after that, ping again.... the change is your "itch to scratch" :) I don't recommend non-core developers update the DTD or XMLTV.PM directly.

Other stuff

RFC 2838 suggests a way of storing channel names based on the existing DNS hierarchy (though the channel names are not Internet hostnames). XMLTV has adopted this idea as a way to store globally-unique channel names, though at present not all the listings-grabbers use it.

An interesting side effect of keeping a preferences file listing programme titles is that you can crunch through the file later to see what words in titles you like and don't like, and what words occur most frequently in TV show titles. See A totally unscientific analysis of words appearing in British TV programme titles.

On March 14th 2002 Ed gave a on XMLTV.

tv_check is an application distributed with XMLTV that generates a HTML report highlighting schedule changes and bonus episodes of your favorite shows.

tv_grab_eu_epgdata is a new grabber that covers many European countries for a nominal cost

XmltvGrabberChannels is some work in progress to organize which channels are best fetched by which grabbers. If you use one of the xmltv grabbers, feel free to update it.

tv_grab_uk_bbcbackstage is a prototype grabber which downloads BBC TV and radio listings from BBC Backstage. (NOTE: The BBC Backstage service closed down in December 2010.)

autoEpg is an application for easier configuration and automatic download of XMLTV data, also integrates other grabbers, TVxb, epgstream.net.. translation of the data from various languages, spain, french... to another language example, english, macedonian... and finally import to Windows Media Center (I've lost the source code so now I'm starting all over, you can track the progress hier.


XMLTVProject has moved from Sourceforge to GitHub.

Please look at our project page. You can file bug reports there, or just send questions to the xmltv-users mailing list.

Authors and copying

The maintainer of the xmltv project is currently Robert Eden. To get in contact use one of the mailing lists mentioned above. The project code (particularly the different grabbers) was written by many people. The manual page of each program should list its authors.

If you have a question about a grabber for a particular country, it is probably best to contact the grabber's author. And then you can write in your own language instead of English. But feel free to cc the xmltv-users mailing list anyway.

These programs are free software; you may distribute them under the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 2 or (at your option) any later version. (See the file COPYING.)

But I do not place any restrictions on files conforming to the DTD or on programs reading and writing the XMLTV format (even if the law gave me the power to do so). You are free to use the XMLTV file format (or variants of it) for any purpose. The DTD itself is copyrighted and GPLed (it's arguably a literary work), but that does not imply that I have any copyright interest in files you create by following its instructions. -- ?EdAvis

There is no warranty for this software, see the file COPYING.