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Revision as of 01:44, 10 August 2009



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
Czech Republic
Hungary and Romania
North America
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 executable notes

see XmltvWindowsExecutable

Mailing lists

Posting to the lists are restricted to list members only. 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 Gmane
xmltv-announce Low-traffic announcement of new releases subscribe gmane.comp.tv.xmltv.announce
xmltv-users General user questions about xmltv (not third-party software) subscribe gmane.comp.tv.xmltv.general
xmltv-devel Development discussion and patches subscribe gmane.comp.tv.xmltv.devel
xmltv-commit CVS commit logs subscribe gmane.comp.tv.xmltv.cvs

Sourceforge trackers

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, and HowtoSubmitAGrabber.

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.

Notes on UK/ROI Radio Times listings

The tv_grab_uk_rt grabber gets machine-readable data from the radiotimes.com site. They would like me to point out that all data is the copyright of the Radio Times website and the use of this data is restricted to personal use only.

WillerZ: I get invalid UTF-8 data from tv_grab_uk_rt, which my EPG viewer refuses to parse. I have a small program to replace invalid UTF-8 character sequences with ? characters; see my homepage on this Wiki.

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. We have the channels.xml file (whose format is described by channels.dtd) to map between internal channel IDs and human-readable names.

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_bbc_backstage is a prototype grabber which downloads BBC TV and radio listings from BBC Backstage.


Please look at our Sourceforge 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.

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