There are lots of TV listing fetchers out there, but OnTV is certainly different. OnTV is not a stand-alone program. It’s a GNOME applet, which means that you can put it anywhere on your GNOME panels.

OnTVs Now/Next window

When setting up OnTV, you can choose which channels you want to be shown. This little applet supports over 25 countries including the USA, the United Kingdom and most countries in Western Europe.

OnTV also allows you to set up reminders for upcoming programs. Right-click the OnTV icon, click ‘Search Program’, type in the name of the program you want to set a reminder for, right-click it and finally choose ‘Add reminder’. When your program is about to begin, something like this will pop up:

OnTV Reminder popup
Note that this reminder window even displays a countdown clock (bottom right).

How to install OnTV on Ubuntu systems:
1) Enter sudo apt-get install ontv in a terminal
2) Right-click one of your GNOME panels
3) Click ‘Add to panel’
4) Drag the OnTV applet to one of your panels

If you’re not satisfied with the default logo of a certain channel, you can change it in Preferences. OnTV has the tendency to stretch channel logos if they are not square. You can do away with this little annoyance by opening the logo in an image editor, making it square and finally reloading the channel image. Here’s how you can do this using The GIMP:

Canvas Size window

  1. Locate the logo you want to edit and open it using The GIMP. OnTV’s logo database can be found in /home/username/.gnome2/ontv/logos.
  2. Go to Image > Canvas Size.
  3. Click the chain (near Width and Height) to unlink it.
  4. Have a look at Width and Height. Change the lowest value to the highest one. In my case, the width and height values were 56 and 41, so I had to change the height value to 56.
  5. Click the Center button.Canvas Size window
  6. Press OK and save the image.
  7. Right-click the OnTV icon and click Preferences.
  8. Go to the second tab.
  9. Right-click the TV channel you edited the logo for and select Properties from the menu.
  10. Click the logo and re-select the same logo. The logo should be displayed correctly now.

If you prefer full listings instead of the Now/Next-style listings that OnTV offers, you should take a look at gTVlistings. Unfortunately, it cannot be installed from the Ubuntu repositories.