Analogue TV with RTL-SDR

A user on the SDR# Google Groups forum has posted a program based on ADSB# called TVSharp, which can be used to watch analogue PAL and NTSC TV using the rtl-sdr dongle. Download TVSharp directly here (Mirror 1) (Old Version Mirror 2 (with source)).

The rtl-sdr as a software defined radio actually does not have enough bandwidth to receive a PAL or NTSC signal properly. PAL and NTSC signals require more than double the 2MHz typical bandwidth of the rtl-sdr. But, a decent black and white signal can still be obtained by using some of the luminance part of the signal.  As only part of the signal is sampled, resolution will be lost. Also, as sound is broadcast on a separate frequency, a second rtl-sdr dongle will be required to receive the matching audio.

On YouTube, users Superphish and ek6rc have posted videos showing TVSharp in action.

Analogue PAL TV with RTL SDR (RTL2832) and TVSharp

TVSharp R820T SDR sound via Yaesu VX-7:)


  1. Kididwae

    Hi all,
    I am doing an experiment for rtl-sdr analog tv receiver. But currently the system can only working and received the analog tv for black/white picture or video.
    How about receiving analog color tv?
    is there anyone having the same experience?
    Please your sharing.

    Thanks in advance

    • curloxide

      Unfortunately, receiving color TV is difficult, if not impossible, since the RTL2832U chip was optimized for FM or DAB radio. They didn’t really need that much bandwidth for FM or DAB, but analog TV on the other hand…
      We can (sort of) pick up the luminescence data, but not color.

  2. required

    Wait, wait, wait… today’s common SDR sticks are not capable of receiving analog full bandwidth TV signal ? Pfff…

  3. m0odv

    TVsharp-Same here error.
    “unable to load DLL rtlsdr the specified module could not be found>exception from HRESULT: 0x8007007e.
    Any suggestions?

    • curloxide

      Did you extract the executable (TVsharp.exe) along with the other files? They have to be in the same folder to work.

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