Android TV Feature Request (keymaps)

Hi, now that the Android TV app has gone public, thought I’d capture some of the features I think would enhance the experience. Apologies to the Devs as most of this surfaced in the Beta threads, but they were not public, so I wanted to resurface for comment from others.

Control Expansion (using keyboard inputs for example which can be simulated with a FLIRC) using examples to characterize desired behavior. Actual keyboard button I’m open to, although ones described below would mimic Kodi Keymap in many cases.

  1. “m” keypress would take you from LiveTV (or DVR playback) directly to the slide out left menu. Better than having to hit back twice. Another “m” keypress would return you to LiveTV where you left off.
  2. Direct input of channel numbers both on guide and when viewing a channel
  3. “Page up / Page Down” keypresses on guide skips up or down full page. In Live TV Playback, changes channel up or down
  4. “ctrl+0” – Toggle to previous tuned channel (different than Kodi keymap which has this just as number 0, but didn’t know if that would complicate direct keying of channel numbers.
  5. “e” - Bring up guide
  6. “k” - Shortcut to DVR Recordings (when added to Android TV)
  7. “b” - Shortcut to DVR schedule and passes (when added to Android TV)
  8. “ctrl+r” - Record current playing channel or selected item in Guide (when added to Android TV)
  9. “ctrl+shift+t” – Take you back to Live TV last tuned channel, current timeline (similar to Play.

Reading over various other sites over the last couple of years, it seems that the implementation of the android remote codesets at least for the shield is limited to the commands available on the packaged remote. Using standardized keyboard inputs eliminates that limitation.

We are working on full flirc support.

Both of these should work already.

This is currently mapped to the backspace key.

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Some things that would be nice, have no idea the feasibility of any of them since I don’t know the limitations of the Android OS vs. iOS.

  • Ability to schedule recordings from within the guide on the app instead of having to use a browser. This is huge for Wife Acceptance Factor. I have to think this is on the roadmap somewhere?

  • Comskip on Android in the same way it’s done on IOS?

Yes all DVR features will be coming to the new Android TV app. See Channels for Android TV & Fire TV Now Available

I still have the alpha DVR program installed on my shield as well as the paid app. I am using a Harmony Hub remote to control the shield tv. It’s connected as a Bluetooth device. This exposes a few more buttons than what are available on the shield remote.

Anyway, a feature that existed in the alpha that doesn’t exist (yet?) is the ability to use the skip forward button to jump to the end of a commercial break. I think that this is similar to how the Apple TV app works. Can this be implemented in the paid app?

This is a screenshot showing all the buttons that are available to me in the Harmony app.

The button I have highlighted above is actually called “Nexttrack” in the Harmony software.

I’d advocate for a more generalized approach of adding the “extra” commands through keyboard key press recognition. That opens up far more options for folks with universal remotes and would probably be more transferable across platforms.

This approach would work for FLIRC users, those with Bluetooth keyboards and Harmony users (since there is a Windows keyboard device that can be added to an harmony activity).

One feature I would like to see is the grid guide being able to “loop” back to the top after scrolling to the bottom of the guide. Having to scroll all the way back to the top of the guide when you reach the bottom is a PITA. I second adding functionality for FLIRC. Nice work guys!


Hey guys, you can ignore my request above. I figured out a simple workaround on the Harmony Hub. I’ve got the one button commercial skip working again.
In case anyone is interested I just defined a new sequence which consists of two presses of the right direction arrow on the shield saved as double click right. I assigned this to the blue button. Voila, commercial skipping bliss.

At least for me, getting a double click to register properly on the Harmony was a little hit or miss.

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Oops, this is a bug. I’ll push an update today with the fix.

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Is it working again the latest beta?

Btw do the Page up/down buttons work for scrolling on the Guide and for changing channels in the player?

Well, I got back home and got a chance to look at this. Now the nexttrack button and the previous track button both jump to the beginning of the commercial break. Double tapping the right arrow key does still work correctly to skip the commercial break.

The page up and page down buttons are both grayed out on my iPad and aren’t selectable in the Harmony software when assigning commands to the buttons of the remote.

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Oops, copy/pasted the wrong thing for the “next” button. I’ve just uploaded a new beta with a fix.

Something seems wrong with the latest beta update. This seems to have created a new problem with recordings playback Now when I hit the right navigation button playback skips ahead but gets locked in to fast forward (high speed) playback. I can press the left button and playback speed returns to normal. I am even seeing this behavior using the shield remote. The next button will skip to the end of a commercial break now, but this also locks the shield into super fast playback.

Thanks for the report. This appears to be an issue with the new surround sound passthrough code, and only happens when Surround Sound is enabled in the Player settings.

indeed…i saw the same bug. Turned off surround sound in player settings and problem stopped.

So I finally got around to programming these last night to one of my universal remotes, and Channel up/down, Last Channel and Commercial Skip all work as intended. Thank you! Hopefully future upgrades will add in direct number keying and some of the shortcuts suggested in the first post.

However, I did detect a minor bug:

If Page Up or Page Down is pressed while in playing back a DVR recording, the Channels app immediately crashes. These buttons aren’t used in this context, but I’m sure you don’t want the app to crash if someone presses them by mistake…

I’ve submitted logs (last night) after the crash.

Are you sure this still happens with v1.0.6 from yesterday?

I programmed my remote around 9pm Eastern time and tried it. I hadn’t checked what version I was running, but will do when I get home. I have my shield set to autoupdate apps, so should have been whatever was current in playstore as of that time (and I’m a beta tester)…