Video disk recorder

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EPG What's on now?
OSD with EPG
Basic data

developer Klaus Schmidinger
Current  version 2.4.0
(Apr 15, 2018)
operating system Linux
category software
License GPL
German speaking Yes

Video Disk Recorder (VDR) is free software for the Linux operating system . It offers the possibility of using a computer as a digital video recorder .


The software, first published in 2000, is a collection of programs under Linux that were originally developed for some active DVB cards with video output (full featured, i.e. with hardware MPEG decoding). Graphics cards of that time were too inefficient for software-based MPEG decoding.

A PC from 166 MHz and a digital (full-featured) TV card (DVB card) for terrestrial, satellite or cable reception were required.

The main difference to other programs that allow television reception on the PC was that the possibilities of active DVB cards (full featured) can be used consistently. The image is output directly from the DVB card as a video signal to the television and not, as with other systems, via a graphics card .

The VDR system can be fully controlled via the OSD menu using a normal IR remote control .

The ability to receive television and radio on a VDR system and to save broadcasts on a hard drive results in a hard drive receiver ( PVR ) with the extended capabilities of a PC.

Additional functions such as DVD players , MP3 players , IPTV and web radio can be integrated into the VDR system using a large number of plug-ins .



The entire software of the VDR is designed under Linux according to the client-server model , so that today many other TV cards can be used for TV reception in the VDR server.

A powerful graphics card or TV card with MPEG hardware decoding and, if necessary, video output is required in the client for playback only.

VDR can also broadcast television programs as an IP stream in a network . Alternatively, the program selection and programming of the TV programs can be done via a web browser and the VLC media player can be used for TV reception.

The ReelBox set-top box is also based on the VDR principle.

VDR has been compatible with Sat-over-IP technology since 2014, which requires the vdr-plugin-satip plug-in.


The VDR and its plugins offer the following functions, among others:

  • Use of the OSD function of a FullFeatured DVB card
  • Control via remote control or keyboard
  • Support of multiple DVB cards and some models of analog TV cards (a FullFeatured DVB card is recommended for video output)
  • Different DVB-S / C / T reception systems can be mixed
  • Support of encrypted pay TV channels ( CI-CAM )
  • Electronic Program Guide ( EPG ) (what's on now / next?)
  • Support of all available audio tracks including Dolby Digital
  • Timer, autotimer (creating timers after keyword search in EPG)
  • Sleep mode (standby) and wake-up function via timer control
  • Instant recording, time-shifted television ( timeshift )
  • Cutting and processing of the recordings in the common formats with subsequent burn function
  • Remote control, programming, administration via web browser via HTTP server in the local network or the Internet
  • Streaming (television picture or radio sound can be accessed via the network on streaming clients)
  • Network-compatible: Not every VDR device in the network has to have a TV card
  • Expandable via a plugin interface

Web links

  • VDR portal , German-speaking contact point for everything to do with VDR
  • VDR-Wiki , reference work about the VDR with installation instructions and more
  • VDR project page , main page of the initiator of the VDR project

Individual evidence

  1. vdr-plugin-satip , SAT> IP VDR plugin for DVB-S / S2 / T / T2 / C / C2