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dvbrecord is a utility that comes with the dvbsak library. It allows you to record a DVB channel from the command line, and combined with a scheduler like cron allows you to create a very lightweight digital video recorder.

You use it like this:

dvbrecord -z"ABC TV Brisbane" -r"ABC TV Brisbane" >> "some_show.ts"

This will tune (zap, -z) to the given channel first, then record (-r) the supplied channel and output it to the file "some_show.ts". dvbrecord can write to a file directly, but it has issues writing to files larger than 2GB. By redirecting its output with ">>" you can avoid that limitation.

dvbrecord's options are:

Usage: dvbrecord [OPTIONS]
Generic DVB options:
  --dvb-adapter, -A <arg>       DVB adapter number
  --ts-stream, -T <arg>         Read raw TS from <file>
  --use-filtered-ts, -F         Use filtered TS
  --use-full-ts, -f             Use full TS
  --record, -r <arg>            Records channel with supplied name
  --zap, -z [arg]               Tune to the channel before doing anything
  --read-epg, -e                Reads Electronic Program Guide
  --whats-on, -w <arg>          Shows what's running on supplied channel
  --record-lang, -L <arg>       Specify which language to record
  --output, -o <arg>            Output TS to <arg> [stdout]
  --verbose, -v                 Increase verbosity