This guide assumes that you have a DVB TV tuner that is supported in Linux. Check here to see if your card is supported.
First, visit the freeview site to find your nearest transmitter. Type in your postcode and the transmitter is listed in the panel on the right.
You’ll need to make sure ubuntu-restricted-extras and dvb-utils are installed:
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras dvb-utils
Finally, type the command below to scan your nearest transmitter for channels. Ensure you replace “uk-Oxford” with “uk-” and the location of the transmitter that the freeview website listed:
scan /usr/share/doc/dvb-utils/examples/scan/dvb-t/uk-Oxford > ~/.gstreamer-0.10/dvb-channels.conf
If this process does not complete, try a different transmitter location.
Start Totem, and you should be able to select Movie -> “Watch TV on ‘DVB Adapter 0′” in the top menu to start watching TV. The channels will be listed in your playlist panel.
An alternative to using Totem is a Gnome TV application called “MeTV”, which is more geared for TV viewing. The trade-off is that it is less integrated with the Ubuntu desktop, and some people may also find the mouse-only interface frustrating. I recommend you try both and pick the one that suits you.