Setting it all up
Assuming that you have your TV card drivers installed, you can start off with:
sudo apt-get install dvb-utils vlc
That installs VLC and the DVB programs needed to scan for your channels.
Now, find the digital transmitter nearest to you by visiting DigitalUK. Enter in your postcode, and the result you get back will tell you which transmitter you’re feeding off of. If you’re not in the UK, I’m not sure how you can find your closest one–Google is your friend.
You can see a list of the UK transmitters by doing:
ls /usr/share/doc/dvb-utils/examples/scan/dvb-t/ | grep uk-
Now find the filename that matches your transmitter, and substitute uk-CrystalPalace for it.
scan /usr/share/doc/dvb-utils/examples/scan/dvb-t/uk-CrystalPalace -o zap | tee ~/channels.conf
The above command will scan for channels that your TV card can pick-up, and store the configuration in a file. This file VLC then uses to tune in.
Now open up VLC. File > Quick Open File. Browse to channels.conf and open. Live TV should now start playing. To see a list of channels to switch between, go to View > Playlist.
To speed things up when wanting to launch the TV each time, you can create a launcher. I’ll create it on the Desktop for examples sake. Right click, and select Create Launcher. Give it a name, like TV, and in the Command text box, enter vlc /path/to/channels.conf. Hit ok, and you’re done. Now double click on the launcher and VLC will launch, and you’ll have the TV back on.