With Amazon's planned changes, is there any alternative to the Fire Sticks we use plugged in to TV HDMI ports and running the Channels client app? I'm wondering about something like a Raspberry Pi connected to the TV through an HDMI cable. Any ideas or pointers?
I have used the TiVo Stream in the past. Not quite as compact as the firestick but nice unit.
The 4K Onn TV boxes are good Android TV clients and are small, and pretty inexpensive.
Another option is the latest 4K Chromecast with Google TV, which is a dongle that works similarly. Slightly more expensive.
Isn't an Apple TV device cheaper and better than a Raspberry Pi as a client? Seems to be the general recommendation around here. Personally, I am going to keep using Firesticks unless they don't work for the apps I use. I may be in the minority, but I really like my Firesticks.
I agree I see no reason why the firesticks will not work regardless of what Amazon Does with new Vega Fire Devices. Heck my original Firestick still works.
I really like they added AC4 support to the latest Sticks. you can get them Cheap now.
FYI, this is the news that motivated me to ask about other Channels clients:
This article refers to Fire TVs, but perhaps Sticks are next...? I'm wondering about some other Channels client, preferably running on hardware not from the "TV industry" or any corporation looking for advertising revenue.
There's Tivo Stream and obviously the Onn 4k (which is cheap)
OSMC is essentially a fork of Kodi ... it's more of a replacement for Channels than a Fire TV client device.
id love a linux channel client so that a Channels Only solution could exist on a device like a pi.
i wouldnt hold my breath. If you want to use linux you can emulate android apps but its not a great solution. You could also try to integrate channels into Kodi but its going to not work as well.
Onn (a walmart brand) makes cheap TV sticks. TiVo likely isnt going to stick with their stream stick for much longer as they have their own OS coming too and they had activation issues recently.
My plan B has been running Channels on a Chromecast. It runs well there is just a personal bias for the Fire stick remotes over the oddly designed Chromecast remote
As my Fire Stick pendants are beginning to fail with the reboot loop, I plan on transitioning 100% to the Chromecast units and repurposing the Fire tick remotes on the Chromecast. At $20.00 this Black Friday, the cost can't be beat.
Chromecast with GGTV is not an option as they do not support XFINITY Stream. Which is what I use to watch Cable no desktop boxes. I do have a 4K GGTV attached to my main system but rarely use it.
Still duckduckgo-ing to find an alternative Channels client for a Pi. I'm thinking about putting Android on a Pi4 using:
and then installing the Channels Android client, same as on my tablets.
Has anybody tried this? Or know some reason why it won't work?
Why would you? You can buy an Onn tv streamer from Walmart for less than $20 that will perform android better than a pi with a hacky android installed. I tried android on a pi awhile back and it was a terrible experience that lasted about 15min before it was wiped clean.
Yeah, an Onn would work similar to the Fire Sticks I'm using now. I have several Roku sticks sitting in a drawer since I discovered Channels won't run on them. For now, Fire Sticks work fine, but I'm trying to plan ahead for a time when the attraction of advertising revenue makes Amazon (or Apple, Google, Walmart, etc.) change things so the Channels client is less useful on their devices. If the Fire devices become unusable, I'll see what can replace them.
Feeling a little dumb right now... I realized that there's another way to use a Pi as a client for Channels, simply by using the built-in web browser to access the Channels DVR and watch using the browser. I just tried this, on an old Pi3B+ that is connected by HDMI to a TV port (runs the model railroad usually). Only tried for a few seconds but it seems to work OK.
Running an app on an OS emulator running on some other OS is IMHO always a hacky solution. A native Channels client for Linux/Pi would likely be much better. From reading the news, it seems that the big tech companies are all enamored of us users, specifically our eyeballs, which they can sell to the highest bidder. We may think we're the customers, but we're actually the products, and the low cost of "sticks" lures us in.
For now, I'll stick with my Fire Sticks and see what happens, and play around some more with the browser client.
Thanks everyone for the advice!
I use the 4K Chromecast with Google TV, and have been using them for a few years. They just work. No fiddling, plug in, load channels client from the google store and you are good to go.
I ran Fire TV side by side with Google TV. Returned the Fire TV as Amazon locks too much down. Google blocks a little yet much more limited set of apps are blocked.
I wouldn't even bother. Just install LibreElec and the kodi addon and be done with it if you're going the pi route
OSMC is not a fork of Kodi but rather a Linux distribution that ships Kodi as the main application.
Yes, a curated JEOS using Kodi as their foundation.
Whether you want to call it a "fork" or something else, the point remains: Kodi (and by extension, OSMC, MrMC, LibreELEC, etc.) are all full media center replacements. Their purpose is to replace everything, whereas the OP is looking for a client to replace Fire TV devices.
If you were truly industrious, you could use a Channels DVR server as a PVR backend for Kodi, and then install the (sort-of) supported and updated Kodi PVR client for Channels DVR that they make available.
(However, I will say the quiet part out loud: if your concern is about Fire TV devices, chances are you are not going to find mini PCs to run an appliance OS with sub-optimal support for a DVR. Can you use Kodi as a DVR and media frontend with a shared media library backend and third-party DVR, absolutely—I did for years with MythTV and Tvheadend! If you are trying to replace bargain basement, loss-leading streaming devices whose sole purpose is to sell Amazon content, then perhaps that is not an endeavor you ought to partake ...)
Seen no mention of Nvidia Shield so far on this topic. But many mentions elsewhere on this forum.
Yes, I've noticed that the Shield is not a Channels supported device/platform - but, again, it seems there are, in fact, Channels users running on the Shield.
Maybe I missed it, but I've been unable to find a definitive answer to my question: Can I replace my Fire TV (software, not the TV device) by disconnecting it from wifi and connecting a Nvidia Shield Pro via HDMI - and run the Channels client app ??