WebDL is a set of Python scripts to grab video from online Free To Air Australian channels.



  • Support for Streamlink in addition to Livestreamer.
  • Currently working with iView, SBS and Channel 10.


  • Now requires Python3, use the python2 branch if you need the old version.
  • Recommended installation is now with virtualenv and pip to install dependencies.
  • Removed some custom logic in favour of the requests and requests_cache libraries.
  • autograbber.py can write to multiple directories, previous command line args are still supported.

Updating to the latest version

You must use git to keep up to date. The autograbber-cron.sh script is how I do this. If you'd like to manually update just run these commands.

cd webdl
git pull --ff-only

Installation using pip

Install the following packages using your package manager:

  • Python 3.2+ (including dev package)
  • ffmpeg or libav-tools

Clone the WebDL repository:

git clone https://bitbucket.org/delx/webdl
cd webdl

Set up a Python virtualenv and use pip to install the other dependencies:

virtualenv --python python3 .virtualenv
. .virtualenv/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt

Whenever you want to run WebDL you must source the .virtualenv/bin/activate script from your shell.

Installation on Debian/Ubuntu

Clone the WebDL repository:

git clone https://bitbucket.org/delx/webdl
cd webdl

Install Python 3 and needed libraries:

apt-get install python3 python3-lxml python3-requests python3-requests-cache

You must also install Streamlink, or if it unavailable, the older Livestreamer. Depending on the age of your distro you'll need either:

  • apt-get install streamlink
  • apt-get install livestreamer python-crypto

Install ffmpeg:

apt-get install ffmpeg

Interactive usage (grabber.py)

You can run WebDL interactively to browse categories and episode lists and download TV episodes.

$ ./grabber.py
 1) ABC iView
 2) SBS
 0) Back
Choose> 1
 1) ABC 4 Kids
 2) Arts & Culture
 3) Comedy
 4) Documentary
Choose> 4
 1) ABC Open Series 2012
 2) Art Of Germany
 3) Baby Beauty Queens
 4) Catalyst Series 13
Choose> 4
 1) Catalyst Series 13 Episode 15
 2) Catalyst Series 13 Episode 16
 0) Back
Choose> 1
RTMPDump v2.3
(c) 2010 Andrej Stepanchuk, Howard Chu, The Flvstreamer Team; license: GPL
Connecting ...
INFO: Connected...
Starting download at: 0.000 kB

The bolded parts are what you type. Note that you can go back on any screen by typing “0”. At the list of episodes you can download a single episode by typing one number, or multiple episodes by typing several numbers separated by spaces.

Cron scripted usage (autograbber.py)

You can schedule a regular download of your favourite shows. This example uses chronic from moreutils.

# m    h  dom mon dow   command
  0    1   *   *   *     timeout 6h chronic $HOME/webdl/autograbber-cron.sh /videos/ABC4Kids /videos/Insight

Each of these directories should contain a .patterns.txt with shell-style globs:

ABC iView/By Channel/ABC4Kids/*/*

Whenever an episode is downloaded it is recorded into .downloaded_auto.txt. Even if you move the files somewhere else they will not be redownloaded.

Bug reports

Please raise issues on the Bitbucket project.