Man Linux: Main Page and Category List


       vdr_files - the Video Disk Recorder Files


       This  page describes the formats of the various files vdr uses to store
       configuration data and recordings.


       The file channels.conf contains the channel configuration.   Each  line
       defines either a group delimiter or a channel.

       A  group  delimiter  is  a  line  starting with a ':' as the very first
       character, followed by arbitrary text. Example:

       :First group

       Group delimiters may also be used to specify the  number  of  the  next
       channel.   To  do this, the character '@' and a number must immediately
       follow the ':', as in

       :@201 First group

       The given number must be larger than the number of any previous channel
       (otherwise it is silently ignored).

       A  group  delimiter  can  also  be  used to just set the next channel's
       number, without an explicit delimiter text, as in


       Such a delimiter will not appear in the Channels menu.

       A channel definition is a line with channel data, where the fields  are
       separated by ':' characters. Example:

       RTL Television,RTL:12188:h:S19.2E:27500:163:104:105:0:12003:1:1089:0

       The line number of a channel definition (not counting group separators,
       and  based  on  a  possible  previous  '@...'  parameter)  defines  the
       channel's number in OSD menus and the timers.conf file.

       The  fields  in  a  channel definition have the following meaning (from
       left to right):

       Name   The channel's name  (if  the  name  originally  contains  a  ':'
              character  it  has  to  be  replaced  by '|').  Some TV stations
              provide a way of deriving a "short name" from the channel  name,
              which  can  be  used in situations where there is not much space
              for displaying a long name. If a short  name  is  available  for
              this  channel,  it  follows  the full name and is delimited by a
              comma, as in

              RTL Television,RTL:...

              If present, the name of the service  provider  or  "bouquet"  is
              appended to the channel name, separated by a semicolon, as in

              RTL Television,RTL;RTL World:...

              The  transponder frequency (as an integer). For DVB-S this value
              is in MHz. For DVB-C and DVB-T it can be given  either  in  MHz,
              kHz  or  Hz  (the  actual value given will be multiplied by 1000
              until it is larger than 1000000).

              Various parameters, depending on whether this is a DVB-S,  DVB-C
              or  DVB-T  channel.   Each parameter consist of a key character,
              followed by an integer number that represents the actual setting
              of  that parameter. The valid key characters, their meaning (and
              allowed values) are

              B   Bandwidth (6, 7, 8)
              C   Code rate high priority (0, 12, 23, 34, 45, 56, 67, 78, 89)
              D   Code rate low priority (0, 12, 23, 34, 45, 56, 67, 78, 89)
              G   Guard interval (4, 8, 16, 32)
              H   Horizontal polarization
              I   Inversion (0, 1)
              L   Left circular polarization
              M   Modulation (0, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256)
              R   Right circular polarization
              T   Transmission mode (2, 8)
              V   Vertical polarization
              Y   Hierarchy (0, 1, 2, 4)
              The polarization parameters have no  integer  numbers  following
              them.  This  is for compatibility with files from older versions
              and also to keep the DVB-S entries as simple as possible.

              The special value 999 is used for "automatic", which  means  the
              driver   will  automatically  determine  the  proper  value  (if

              An example of a parameter field for a DVB-T channel  might  look
              like this:


       Source The  signal  source  of  this  channel,  as  defined in the file
              sources.conf.  For compatibility with files from older  versions
              numeric values will be accepted and also written back correctly,
              but they will have no  meaning  for  the  DiSEqC  settings.  You
              should  replace  the  numerical  values  with  the proper source
              identifiers defined in sources.conf.

       Srate  The symbol rate of this channel (DVB-S and DVB-C only).

       VPID   The video PID (set to '0' for radio channels).  If this  channel
              uses  a  separate  PCR  PID, it follows the VPID, separated by a
              plus sign, as in ...:164+17:...

       APID   The audio PID (either  one  number,  or  several,  separated  by
              commas).   If this channel also carries Dolby Digital sound, the
              Dolby PIDs follow the audio PIDs, separated by a  semicolon,  as


              If  certain  audio  PIDs  broadcast  in  specific languages, the
              language codes for these can be appended to the individual audio
              or Dolby PID, separated by an '=' sign, as in


              Some  channels  broadcast  two  different  languages  in the two
              stereo channels, which can  be  indicated  by  adding  a  second
              language code, delimited by a '+' sign, as in


       TPID   The teletext PID.

       Conditional access
              A hexadecimal integer defining how this channel can be accessed:

              0000          Free To Air
              0001...000F   explicitly requires the device with the given number
              0010...00FF   reserved for user defined assignments
              0100...FFFF   specific decryption methods as broadcast in the data stream
              Values in the range 0001...00FF will  not  be  overwritten,  all
              other  values  will  be  automatically replaced by the actual CA
              system identifiers received from the data stream.  If  there  is
              more  than one CA system id broadcast, they will be separated by
              commas, as in


              The values are in hex because that's the way they are defined in
              the "ETR 162" document. Leading zeros may be omitted.

       SID    The Service ID of this channel.

       NID    The Network ID of this channel.

       TID    The Transport stream ID of this channel.

       RID    The  Radio  ID  of  this  channel  (typically  0, may be used to
              distinguish channels where NID, TID and SID are all equal).

       A particular channel can be  uniquely  identified  by  its  channel ID,
       which is a string that looks like this:


       The  components  of  this  string are the Source (S19.2E), NID (1), TID
       (1089), SID (12003) and RID (0) as defined above.  The last part can be
       omitted  if  it  is  0,  so  the above example could also be written as
       The channel ID is  used  in  the  timers.conf  and  files  to
       properly identify the channels.

       If a channel has both NID and TID set to 0, the channel ID will use the
       Frequency instead of the TID.  For  satellite  channels  an  additional
       offset  of  100000,  200000,  300000 or 400000 is added to that number,
       depending on the Polarization (H, V, L or  R,  respectively).  This  is
       necessary because on some satellites the same frequency is used for two
       different transponders, with opposite polarization.

       The file timers.conf contains the timer setup.  Each line contains  one
       timer  definition,  with individual fields separated by ':' characters.

       1:10:-T-----:2058:2150:50:5:Quarks & Co:

       The fields in a timer definition have the following meaning (from  left
       to right):

       Flags  The individual bits in this field have the following meaning:

              1   the timer is active (and will record if it hits)
              2   this is an instant recording timer
              4   this timer uses VPS
              8   this timer is currently recording (may only be up-to-date with SVDRP)

              All other bits are reserved for future use.

              The channel to record from. This is either the channel number as
              shown in the on-screen menus, or a  complete  channel  ID.  When
              reading  timers.conf  any  channel numbers will be mapped to the
              respective channel ids and when the file is written again, there
              will  only be channel ids. Channel numbers are accepted as input
              in order to  allow  easier  creation  of  timers  when  manually
              editing  timers.conf.  Also,  when  timers  are listed via SVDRP
              commands, the channels are given as numbers.

       Day    The day when this timer shall record.

              If this is a `single-shot' timer, this is the date on which this
              timer shall record, given in ISO notation (YYYY-MM-DD), as in:


              For  compatibility with earlier versions of VDR this may also be
              just the day of month on which this timer shall record (must  be
              in the range 1...31).

              In  case  of  a `repeating' timer this is a string consisting of
              exactly  seven  characters,  where   each   character   position
              corresponds  to one day of the week (with Monday being the first
              day). The character '-' at a certain  position  means  that  the
              timer  shall  not  record  on that day. Any other character will
              cause the timer to record on that day. Example:

              will define a timer that records on Monday  through  Friday  and
              does not record on weekends.  Note that only letters may be used
              here, no digits.  For compatibility  with  timers  created  with
              earlier  versions of VDR, the same result could be achieved with
              ABCDE-- (which was used to allow setting the days with  language
              specific  characters).   Since  version  1.5.3 VDR can use UTF-8
              characters to present data to the user, but the weekday encoding
              in the timers.conf file always uses single byte characters.

              The day definition of a `repeating' timer may be followed by the
              date when that timer shall hit for the first  time.  The  format
              for  this  is  @YYYY-MM-DD,  so a complete definition could look
              like this:


              which would  implement  a  timer  that  records  Monday  through
              Friday, and will hit for the first time on or after February 18,
              2002.  This first day feature can be used to disable a repeating
              timer  for  a  couple  of  days, or for instance to define a new
              Mon...Fri timer on Wednesday, which actually starts "Monday next
              week".  The  first day date given need not be that of a day when
              the timer would actually hit.

       Start  A four digit  integer  defining  when  this  timer  shall  start
              recording.   The  format  is hhmm, so 1430 would mean "half past
              two" in the afternoon.

       Stop   A four  digit  integer  defining  when  this  timer  shall  stop
              recording.  The format is the same as for the start time.

              An  integer  in  the range 0...99, defining the priority of this
              timer and of recordings created by this timer.  0 represents the
              lowest  value,  99  the highest.  The priority is used to decide
              which timer shall be started in  case  there  are  two  or  more
              timers  with  the  exact same start time. The first timer in the
              list with the highest priority will be used.

              This value is also stored with the recording and is  later  used
              to  decide  which recording to remove from disk in order to free
              space for a new recording. If the  disk  runs  full  and  a  new
              recording  needs  more  space,  an  existing  recording with the
              lowest priority (and which has exceeded its guaranteed lifetime)
              will be removed.

              If  all available DVB cards are currently occupied, a timer with
              a higher priority will  interrupt  the  timer  with  the  lowest
              priority in order to start recording.

              The guaranteed lifetime (in days) of a recording created by this
              timer.  0 means that this recording may be automatically deleted
              at  any  time  by a new recording with higher priority. 99 means
              that this recording will never  be  automatically  deleted.  Any
              number  in the range 1...98 means that this recording may not be
              automatically deleted in favour of a new  recording,  until  the
              given  number  of days since the start time of the recording has
              passed by.

       File   The file name this timer will give to a recording.  If the  name
              contains  any  ':' characters, these have to be replaced by '|'.
              If the name shall  contain  subdirectories,  these  have  to  be
              delimited  by  '~'  (since  the  '/'  character may be part of a
              regular programme name).

              The special keywords TITLE and  EPISODE,  if  present,  will  be
              replaced  by the title and episode information from the EPG data
              at the time of recording (if that data is available). If at  the
              time  of  recording  either of these cannot be determined, TITLE
              will default to the channel name, and EPISODE will default to  a

       Auxiliary data
              An arbitrary string that can be used by external applications to
              store any kind of data related to this timer.  The  string  must
              not  contain any newline characters. If this field is not empty,
              its contents will be written  into  the  info.vdr  file  of  the
              recording with the '@' tag.

       The  file sources.conf defines the codes to be used in the Source field
       of channels in channels.conf and assigns  descriptive  texts  to  them.

       S19.2E  Astra 1

       Anything after (and including) a '#' character is comment.

       The first character of the code must be one of

       S   Satellite
       C   Cable
       T   Terrestrial
       and  is  followed by further data pertaining to that particular source.
       In case of Satellite this is the orbital position in degrees,  followed
       by E for east or W for west.

       The file diseqc.conf defines the DiSEqC control sequences to be sent to
       the DVB-S card in order to access a  given  satellite  position  and/or
       band.  Example:

       S19.2E  11700 V  9750  t v W15 [E0 10 38 F0] W15 A W15 t

       Anything after (and including) a '#' character is comment.

       The  first word in a parameter line must be one of the codes defined in
       the file sources.conf and tells which satellite this line applies to.

       Following is the "switch frequency" of the LNB  (slof),  which  is  the
       transponder  frequency  up to which this entry shall be used; the first
       entry with an slof greater than the actual transponder  frequency  will
       be  used.  Typically  there  is  only  one slof per LNB, but the syntax
       allows any number of frequency ranges to be defined.  Note  that  there
       should  be  a last entry with the value 99999 for each satellite, which
       covers the upper frequency range.

       The third parameter  defines  the  polarization  to  which  this  entry
       applies. It can be either H for horizontal or V for vertical.

       The  fourth  parameter specifies the "local oscillator frequency" (lof)
       of the LNB to use for the given frequency range. This  number  will  be
       subtracted  from  the  actual  transponder frequency when tuning to the

       The rest of the line holds the actual sequence of DiSEqC actions to  be
       taken.  The code letters used here are

       t          22kHz tone off
       T          22kHz tone on
       v          voltage low (13V)
       V          voltage high (18V)
       A          mini A
       B          mini B
       Wnn        wait nn milliseconds (nn may be any positive integer number)
       [xx ...]   hex code sequence (max. 6)
       There  can  be any number of actions in a line, including none at all -
       in which case the entry would be used only to set the LOF  to  use  for
       the given frequency range and polarization.

       The  file  remote.conf  contains  the  key  assignments  for all remote
       control units.  Each  line  consists  of  one  key  assignment  in  the
       following format:

       name.key  code

       where  name is the name of the remote control (for instance KBD for the
       PC keyboard, RCU for the home-built "Remote Control Unit", or LIRC  for
       the  "Linux  Infrared Remote Control"), key is the name of the key that
       is defined (like Up, Down, Menu etc.), and code is a  character  string
       that this remote control delivers when the given key is pressed.

       The  file  keymacros.conf  contains  user  defined  macros that will be
       executed whenever the given key is pressed. The format is

       macrokey  [@plugin] key1 key2 key3...

       where macrokey is the key that shall initiate execution of  this  macro
       and  can be one of Up, Down, Ok, Back, Left, Right, Red, Green, Yellow,
       Blue, 0...9 or User1...User9. The rest of the line consists of a set of
       keys,  which  will  be executed just as if they had been pressed in the
       given sequence. The optional  @plugin  can  be  used  to  automatically
       select  the given plugin.  plugin is the name of the plugin, exactly as
       given in the -P option when starting VDR. There can be only one @plugin
       per key macro.  For instance

       User1 @abc Down Down Ok

       would  call  the main menu function of the "abc" plugin and execute two
       "Down" key presses, followed by "Ok".
       Note that the color keys will only  execute  their  macro  function  in
       "normal  viewing"  mode  (i.e. when no other menu or player is active).
       The User1...User9 keys will always execute their macro function.  There
       may be up to 15 keys in such a key sequence.

       The file commands.conf contains the definitions of commands that can be
       executed from  the  vdr  main  menu's  "Commands"  option.   Each  line
       contains one command definition in the following format:

       title : command

       where  title  is  the  string  that will be displayed in the "Commands"
       menu, and command is the actual command string that  will  be  executed
       when  this  option is selected. The delimiting ':' may be surrounded by
       any number of white space characters. If title ends with the  character
       '?',  there will be a confirmation prompt before actually executing the
       command. This can be used for commands that might have serious  results
       (like   deleting  files  etc)  to  make  sure  they  are  not  executed

       Everything following (and including) a '#' character is  considered  to
       be comment.

       By  default  the  menu  entries in the "Commands" menu will be numbered
       '1'...'9' to make them selectable by pressing the corresponding  number
       key.  If  you  want  to  use  your  own numbering scheme (maybe to skip
       certain numbers), just precede the titles  with  the  numbers  of  your
       choice. vdr will suppress its automatic numbering if the first entry in
       commands.conf starts with a digit in the range '1'...'9', followed by a

       In  order  to avoid error messages to the console, every command should
       have stderr redirected to stdout.  Everything  the  command  prints  to
       stdout will be displayed in a result window, with title as its title.


       Check for new mail?: /usr/local/bin/checkmail 2>&1
       CPU status: /usr/local/bin/cpustatus 2>&1
       Disk space: df -h | grep '/video' | awk '{ print 100 - $5 "% free"; }'
       Calendar: date;echo;cal

       Note  that  the commands 'checkmail' and 'cpustatus' are only examples!
       Don't send emails to the author asking where to find these ;-)
       The '?' at the end of the "Check for new mail?" entry will  prompt  the
       user whether this command shall really be executed.

       The  file  reccmds.conf  can  be  used  to  define commands that can be
       applied to the currently  highlighted  recording  in  the  "Recordings"
       menu.  The  syntax  is  exactly  the  same  as  described  for the file
       commands.conf. When executing a command,  the  directory  name  of  the
       recording  will be appended to the command string, separated by a blank
       and enclosed in single quotes.

       The file svdrphosts.conf contains the IP numbers of all hosts that  are
       allowed  to access the SVDRP port.  Each line contains one IP number in
       the format


       where IP-Address is the address of a host or a network in the usual dot
       separated  notation  (as  in If the optional Netmask is
       given only the given number  of  bits  of  IP-Address  are  taken  into
       account.  This  allows  you  to  grant  SVDRP access to all hosts of an
       entire network. Netmask can be any integer from 1 to  32.  The  special
       value  of 0 is only accepted if the IP-Address is, because this
       will give access to any host (USE THIS WITH CARE!).

       Everything following (and including) a '#' character is  considered  to
       be comment.

       Examples:        # always accept localhost # any host on the local net  # a specific host        # any host on any net (USE WITH CARE!)

       The  file  setup.conf contains the basic configuration options for vdr.
       Each line contains one option in the format "Name =  Value".   See  the
       MANUAL file for a description of the available options.

       The  files  themes/<skin>-<theme>.theme in the config directory contain
       the color theme definitions for the various skins. In the  actual  file
       names  <skin>  will  be  replaced  by  the  name if the skin this theme
       belongs to, and <theme> will be the name of this theme.  Each line in a
       theme  file contains one option in the format "Name = Value".  Anything
       after (and including) a '#' character is comment.

       The definitions in a theme file are either colors or a description.
       Colors are in the form

       clrTitle = FF123456

       where the name (clrTitle) is one of the names  defined  in  the  source
       code  of  the skin that uses this theme, through the THEME_CLR() macro.
       The value (FF123456) is an eight digit hex number that consist of  four
       bytes, representing alpha (transparency), red, green and blue component
       of the color.  An alpha value of 00 means the color will be  completely
       transparent,  while  FF means it will be opaque. An RGB value of 000000
       results in black, while FFFFFF is white.

       A description can be given as

       Description = Shades of blue

       and will be used in the Setup/OSD menu to select a theme  for  a  given
       skin.   The  description  should  give the user an idea what this theme
       will be like (for instance, in the given example it would  use  various
       shades  of blue), and shouldn't be too long to make sure it fits on the
       Setup screen.  The  default  description  always  should  be  given  in
       English. If you want, you can provide language specific descriptions as

       Description.eng = Shades of blue
       Description.ger = Blaut"one

       where  the  language  code  is  added  to  the  keyword  "Description",
       separated   by   a  dot.  You  can  enter  as  many  language  specific
       descriptions as you like, but only  those  that  have  a  corresponding
       locale  messages  file  will be actually used.  If a theme file doesn't
       contain a Description, the name of the theme (as given in  the  theme's
       file name) will be used.

       The files 001.vdr...255.vdr are the actual recorded MPEG data files. In
       order to keep the size of an individual file below  a  given  limit,  a
       recording  is  split into several files. The contents of these files is
       Packetized Elementary Stream (PES) and contains  ES  packets  with  ids
       0xE0...0xEF for video (only one of these may actually occur in a file),
       0xC0...0xDF for audio 1...32 (up to 32 audio tracks may occur).   Dolby
       Digital  data  is  stored in packets with ids 0xBD ("Private Stream 1")
       and substream ids 0x80...0x87.  DVB subtitle data is stored in  packets
       with ids 0xBD ("Private Stream 1") and substream ids 0x20...0x27.

       The  file  index.vdr (if present in a recording directory) contains the
       (binary)  index  data  into   each   of   the   the   recording   files
       001.vdr...255.vdr.  It  is  used during replay to determine the current
       position within the recording,  and  to  implement  skipping  and  fast
       forward/back functions.  See the definition of the cIndexFile class for
       details about the actual contents of this file.

       The file info.vdr (if present in  a  recording  directory)  contains  a
       description  of  the  recording, derived from the EPG data at recording
       time (if such data was available). The Aux field of  the  corresponding
       timer  (if given) is copied into this file, using the '@' tag.  This is
       a plain ASCII file and contains tagged lines like  the  EPG  DATA  file
       (see  the  description  of  the file). Note that the lowercase
       tags ('c' and 'e') will not appear in an info.vdr file.   Lines  tagged
       with  '#'  are  ignored  and  can  be  used  by external tools to store
       arbitrary information.

       The file resume.vdr (if present in a recording directory) contains  the
       position  within  the recording where the last replay session left off.
       The data is a four byte (binary) integer value and  defines  an  offset
       into the file index.vdr.

       The  file  marks.vdr (if present in a recording directory) contains the
       editing marks defined for  this  recording.   Each  line  contains  the
       definition of one mark in the following format:

       hh:mm:ss.ff comment

       where  hh:mm:ss.ff  is  a frame position within the recording, given as
       "hours, minutes, seconds and (optional) frame number".  comment can  be
       any  string and may be used to describe this mark.  If present, comment
       must be separated from the frame position by at least one blank.

       The lines in this file need  not  necessarily  appear  in  the  correct
       temporal sequence, they will be automatically sorted by time index.


       - the comment is currently not used by VDR
       - marks  must  have  a  frame number, and that frame MUST be an I-frame
       (this means that only marks generated by VDR itself can be used,  since
       they will always be guaranteed to mark I-frames).

       The  file contains the EPG data in an easily parsable format.
       The first character of each line defines what kind of  data  this  line

       The following tag characters are defined:

       C   <channel id> <channel name>
       E   <event id> <start time> <duration> <table id> <version>
       T   <title>
       S   <short text>

       D   <description>
       X   <stream> <type> <language> <descr>
       V   <vps time>

       Lowercase characters mark the end of a sequence that was started by the
       corresponding uppercase  character.  The  outer  frame  consists  of  a
       sequence  of  one  or  more  C...c  (Channel) entries. Inside these any
       number of E...e (Event)  entries  are  allowed.   All  other  tags  are
       optional  (although every event should at least have a T entry).  There
       may be several X tags, depending on the number of tracks (video,  audio
       etc.)  the event provides.  The special tag character @ is used to mark
       the auxiliary data from a timer definition in the info.vdr file.

       <channel id>      is the "channel ID", made up from the parameters defined in 'channels.conf'
       <channel name>    is the "name" as in 'channels.conf' (for information only, may be left out)
       <event id>        is a 32 bit unsigned int, uniquely identifying this event
       <start time>      is the time (as a time_t integer) in UTC when this event starts
       <duration>        is the time (in seconds) that this event will take
       <table id>        is a hex number that indicates the table this event is contained in (if this is left empty or 0 this event will not be overwritten or modified by data that comes from the DVB stream)
       <version>         is a hex number that indicates the event's version number inside its table (optional, ignored when reading EPG data)
       <title>           is the title of the event
       <short text>      is the short text of the event (typically the name of the episode etc.)
       <description>     is the description of the event (any '|' characters will be interpreted as newlines)
       <stream>          is the stream content (1 = video, 2 = audio, 3 = subtitles)
       <type>            is the stream type according to ETSI EN 300 468
       <language>        is the three letter language code (optionally two codes, separated by '+')
       <descr>           is the description of this stream component
       <vps time>        is the Video Programming Service time of this event

       This file will be read at program  startup  in  order  to  restore  the
       results of previous EPG scans.

       Note  that the event id that comes from the DVB data stream is actually
       just 16 bit wide. The internal representation in VDR allows for 32  bit
       to  be  used,  so  that  external  tools  can generate EPG data that is
       guaranteed not to collide with the ids of existing data.




       Written by Klaus Schmidinger.


       Report bugs to <>.


       Copyright (C) 2008 Klaus Schmidinger.

       This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.  There is
       NO  warranty;  not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR