FreetuxTV lets you watch and record hundreds of free-to-air TV channels
FreetuxTV, in essence, is a simple app that plays any TV or radio stream from around the Web. It comes bundled with lots of different channel groups, each one containing channels from a specific country, or broadcast by a single company. There's a lot more French channels than any other (presumably because the main developer is French) but it's easy enough to add your own channels if they're not listed.
Once you've added some channel groups, pick a channel and start watching! Not every channel works, and sometimes it takes an awfully long time for an image to appear -- but can you really complain about free TV? The video quality is generally OK, but highly variable -- FreetuxTV is just a go-between, simply displaying whatever stream the broadcaster pumps out.
In fact, despite being a great tool that collates hundreds of TV channels, the only feature of FreetuxTV is that you can record TV shows. Just hit the red circle and whatever you're watching is recorded. By default it saves the raw stream, but you can configure it to transcode to either Theora and Ogg Vorbis, or H.264 and MPGA. Again, most of the streams are such low quality that you'd be better off finding a recording elsewhere, but it's still a nice option to have.
[via Ubuntu Vibes]