Watching live TV with a USB DVB tuner or network TV tuner

To watch broadcast (OTA or cable) TV on your OSMC device you need these:

  • a TV tuner attached via USB or a networked TV box
  • software ‘server’ to handle the tuning, retrieve OTA EPG and act as a PVR
  • an addon for Kodi which interfaces Kodi to the server

OSMC provides a USB tuner in the online Store, the TVHeadend server and the TVHeadend HTSP client to do all this. Here’s how to set it up.

Plug the tuner into a USB port and attach a good aerial or cable connection.

Make sure your device is connected to the internet and install TVHeadend from the AppStore by selecting MyOSMC->AppStore (the shopping trolley icon). Click on TVHeadend Server, then Install. Click Apply in the bottom right corner and you should get a message ‘Operations successfully completed’.

Now you have to configure TVHeadend to tell it which frequencies to listen to. From the Home screen, select Settings->System info->Network and make a note of the IP address. As an example we will assume it is

From any other machine on your network, open a browser and navigate to Use osmc as both the username and password to log on. If this is the first time you have installed TVHeadend, a wizard should start and you will see the following screens in turn:

Choose your language

Specify the client machines which will have access to the server (read the notes) and accept the admin username and password. No need for other users at this stage.

Specify the type of networks you are going to use. If you don’t see a list of TV adapters in the main screen then your adapter has not been recognised. Important: the OSMC dongle has two DVB-T tuners. You should use one or the other, but not both. The Realtek tuner does not support DVB-T2 so leave the Network type empty for that tuner and just select DVB-T Network for the other tuner (Panasonic, or Sony in later versions of the OSMC dongle). If you select the Realtek tuner you may have to resort to the commandline to change it later - so be careful. See post 3 below.


For OTA TV, pick your local transmitter from the drop-down list.


The wizard now tells TVHeadend to scan for channels.


Then you have to map the channels you want to watch. It is easiest to map them all at first, then you can disable the channels you don’t want later.


When you click Save & Next you are all done with the wizard. To remove channels you don’t want to watch, go to Configuration->Channel/EPG->Channels.

You may like to look at the tab EPG Grabber Modules to enable suitable EPG grabbers. In order to see it, you have to enable Advanced or Expert View. This can be set for all users in Configuration->General.

The final step is to enable the TVHeadend HTSP Client in Kodi. Click Settings->Add-on Browser->My add-ons->PVR clients->Tvheadend HTSP Client->Configure. Fill in the information like this (using the example IP here but will also work).

Click OK and Enable and you are all set.


“If you select the Realtek tuner you may have to resort to the command line to change it later - so be careful.”

I think I have just done that…
I had DVB-C (what I need for cable TV) now I lost is, only Realtek DVB-T remained…

Please, please, how to get DVB-C tuner back??

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sudo systemctl stop tvheadend
rm ~/.hts/tvheadend/input/linuxdvb/adapters/*
sudo systemctl start tvheadend

Then enable just the DVB-C tuner in the tvh webui.

It worked, I got DVB-C back. Thanks a lot, indeed!

I see 3 tuners for same OSMC dongle: Sony (DVB-T/T2), Sony (DVB-C) and Realtek (DVB-T).
What do I need to select to receive 2 DVB-T channels at same time?
(Purpose: Watching TV while recording another channel, for example)

Tried all steps and no channel is tuned. I don’t find any TVHeadend action to force re-scan.

The Sony (DVB-T/T2) one. Ignore the rest.

The OSMC tuner is a single tuner - which means it can tune into one multiplex frequency at a time. However TVheadend will allow it to play/record different channels if those channels are on the same multiplex frequency.

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I don’t think there is one. It just re-scans automatically from time to time.

Unlike a TV, TVheadend doesn’t check all frequencies, only those on the ‘network’ associated with a tuner. ‘network’ actually means transmitter, so you have to be sure to pick the right one.

If you go to DVB inputs->Muxes you can force a re-load of the services (channels) on each mux by changing the Scan status to PEND, and hitting Save.

With OSMC TV dongle, only selected Sony DVB-T tuner.
Scan does not produce any result.
Captura de pantalla de 2021-09-11 20-12-08
Same hardware (Raspberry Pi 4) with Raspbian Buster tunes near 40 channels by using Kaffeine or w_scan2 for VDR-VNSI.

Oh, I see now that at step “Assign predefined muxes to networks” you MUST select some predefined mux profile. It can’t be left empty. If no profile matches your region, do select: –Generic–: auto-Default

I followed instruccions, but I only can use 1 TV channel at once with Kodi. When I record what I’m watching, then I press stop (TVHeadend remains recording) and I try to play another TV channel; then Kodi message is: “No adapter available”.

I must stop recording to be able to watch another TV channel.
How can I solve this?

That’s expected. Each tuner can receive only one ‘mux’ at a time. There will be a number of channels on each mux (up to about 12) and you can watch one while recording another on the same mux.

To do more than that, you need more tuners. But of course you can record on TVHeadend and watch any other live TV channel on your TV if you have an aerial splitter.

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Current OSMC TV dongle has 3 TV tuners:

  • Sony DVB-C
  • Sony DVB-T/T2
  • Realtek DVB-T

How can I configure TVHeadend to be capable of watching one DVB-T channel while recording another DVB-T channel?

You can’t use more than one of those chips at one time. Just use the Sony if you want to receive DVB-T2 and DVB-T.

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