Open VLC player
Media -> Open Capture Device -> PVR (from pull down menu) -> Play.
Then you can do (in terminal)
ivtv-tune -c25 (25 is channel number)
Which changes the channel. (this is for people that have cable coming into their computer directly, and NOT coming from the cable box)
If your signal is coming from a cable or satellite box, do ivtv-tune -c3 and change the channel on the box.
To see the options which control the card. (not necessary though)
For a cool desktop tv remote,(so you dont have to use terminal to change channels, or to start tv) go to: CSMonkey TV Remote Highly recommended. (only works on ubuntu)
Remember to have Java installed first. Then you can right click>properties> open with> java. After that, just click normally to launch.
I might add, if your distribution does not have the ivtv firmware in the kernel, (all newer kernels do) just get the firmware here and extract the file and put it in /lib/firmware. Then do: (as root)
To record tv while you're watching, in VLC, go to Views and check off advanced contols. You will then see a record button in vlc's interface. All recordings will be saved to your home folder.
To schedule a tv for future viewing, we are going to use cron for the job.
We need to make sure you are a member of the crontab group first. Go to System>Administration>Users and Groups and unlock the window by clicking the keys button, or the "unlock" button. Enter password. Then click on Manage Groups button. Scroll down until you see the crontab entry. Highlight it, and then click on Properties. Check your name if it is not already. Log out and then back in.
First, select which channel you want to record by: (we will use channel 25 as an example)
Then, in the same terminal window, do:
Delete everything you see in there.
Then as an example of a recording you want done on Dec. 31 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM, you would enter in crontab: (see below for an explanation of how cron works)
# start recording
00 16 31 12 05 cat /dev/video0 > /home/user_name/name_of_show.mpg
# stop recording
30 17 31 12 05 killall cat
To save the job, do Ctrl-X then Y then Enter.
Remember to put your user name in after /home. You can also save the file wherever you want, I just used /home as an example. You can name the show whatever you want, just make sure you have .mpg after the name.
For those not familiar with cron, in the line 00 16 31 12 05 cat /dev/video0 > /home/user_name/name_of_show.mpg
00 represents the minutes of the hour (4:00), 16 is the hour (4:00 a 24 hour clock is used, 12 midnight would be 00, 1 AM would be 01, etc.), 31 is the date, 12 is the month, 05 is the day of the week -Thurs. in this case. (Sunday is 00, Monday is 01, etc)
You may also find the following link useful. Thanks to MeKino for this. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=758845
Hopefully I have helped some people get their all important TV fix.