Syntax of channels.conf

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Parameters of VDR channel config file

In the example below there are three different channel definitions:

  • digital satellite TV channel
  • digital terrestrian TV channel
  • digital cable TV channel
  • analog TV channel
Name Frequenz Parameter Quelle SRate VPID APID TPID CA SID NID TID RID
RTL 12188 h S19.2E 27500 163 104 105 0 12003 0 0 0
Das Erste 522000 I0C23D0M16B8T8G8Y0 T 27500 1401 1402 1404 1 14 0 0 0
FS HH 402000 C0M64 C 6900 2401 2402 2404 0 28225 1 1073 16387
VHF K10 210250 C0D45B6 C 0 301 300 0 A0 28106 0 0 0

The VDR reads at startup all channel definitions from the config file $CONFIGDIR/vdr/channels.conf and writes any changing back to the file.


Changings on channels.conf are useless if VDR is running, VDR has to be stopped if you want to edit this file!


Name of that channel. If the name enthält includs a ":" it will be automatically replaced by "|". If you use VDR-1.2.x please do NOT include komma or semikolon. Starting at VDR version 1.3.12 this field also includes the service providers name(aka "bouquet"), separated by semikolon.


Transponder Frequency as Integer.

DVB-S:           Frequency in MHz. 
DVB-C: Frequency in MHz, kHz or Hz.
DVB-T: Frequency in MHz, kHz or Hz.
analogue TV: Frequency in MHz. (analogTV plugin)

The value here will be multiplied by 1000 until it's bigger than 1000000.


The Parameters in this field depends on the type of DVB you use: DVB-S, DVB-C ,DVB-T or analogue TV.
Each Parameter starts with an letter, followed by an Integer which represends the value of that parameter.
valid identifiers and their ranges:

Identifier  Value   	Meaning 
I        (0, 1)	        Inversion 
C	(0, 12, 23, 34, 45, 56, 67, 78, 89)	Data rate high priority 
for analogue TV is C the capture device: C0 = /dev/video0 C12 = /dev/video1 C23 = /dev/video2 C34 = /dev/video3 C45 = /dev/video4
D	(0, 12, 23, 34, 45, 56, 67, 78, 89)	Data rate low priority 
for analogue TV is D the video source used: D0 = Television D12 = Composite1 D23 = Composite2 D34 = S-Video D0 = S-Video ext. (Hauppauge PVR250/350-cards only) D45 = Tuner 0 (Hauppauge PVR250/350-cards only) D56 = Composite ext. (Hauppauge PVR250/350-cards only)

M	(0, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256)	Modulation 
B	(6, 7, 8)	Bandwidth in MHz 
for analogue TV is B the Video norm: B6 = PAL B7 = NTSC


T	(2, 8)	Transmission mode 
G	(4, 8, 16, 32)	Guard intervall 
Y	(0, 1, 2, 4)	Hierarchy 
H		Horizontal Polarization 
V		Vertical Polarization 

The Polarisation Parameter is *not* followed by an value for compatibility reasons.

The values "999" is used for automatic. If possible the driver will find the best settings.

Example for dvb-t:

Inversion off, Data Rate High=23, Data Rate High=0, QAM16, Bandwidth 8MHz,
Transmission Mode 8, Guard 1/8, Hierarchy 0


Signal source ot that channel, as defined in sources.conf. Sxxxx, C, T

For compatbility reasons numeric values are accepted here, but preferred are literals.

Symbol Rate

Symbol Rate of the channel. Valid only for DVB-S and DVB-C, as DVB-T uses another modulation COFDM (Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex).


Video PID (Program Identification).

0 for Radio channels 
1 for encryted channels (pay tv)

If that channel uses an separate PCR PID this PCR PID follows the Video PID, separated by "+"
(i.e. ...:164+17:...) Für analogue TV: mostly 301 or 160 (older versions)


Audio PID. Either one or more numbers separated by comma. Each value stands for an language oder two-channel audio. If that channel has AC3 ("Dolby Digital Sound"), the Dolby PIDs follows the analog audio PIDs, both lists are separated by semikolon.
For analogue TV: mostly 300 or 80 (older versions) The development VDR-1.3.x (but not VDR-1.2.x) accepts language markers like "APID=eng", "APID=deu", "APID=2ch".


Teletext PID.

CA - Conditional access

This Integer describes how to access the encrypted channel.

0	                Free To Air 
1..4 use DVB-Karte with that number.
5..100 use this method for decrypting.
32001 analogue TV (VDR-1.2.x)
A0 analogue TV (VDR-1.3.x)

The methods are described in ca.conf.


Service ID of channel. For analogue TV: see ChannelMap.h from Analogtv-Plugin source package.


Network ID. Placeholder for future development.
Currently 0. (VDR-1.2.x only)


Transport Stream ID. Placeholder for future development.
Currently 0. (VDR-1.2.x only)


Radio ID. Typical 0. Can be used for differntiate between channels having the same SID, NID and TID.


VDR-1.2.x: NID=0, TID=0, RID=0
VDR-1.2.x with AutoPID-Patch: NID<>0, TID<>0, RID<>0 valid
VDR-1.3.x: NID<>0, TID<>0, RID<>0 valid, starting from version 1.3.12 also service provider included in Name, in Audio-PID also language marker valid.


[1] Sorted Lists for VDR =>
[2] Channel Editor
[3] DVB-T