BETA: Automatic Channels for Channel Collections - Use rules to pull in channels dynamically

When we launched Channel Collections, it was a game changer. We finally had more control over how we browsed what was on. We also got our channels all synced between our clients! But one thing we lost was the cool effect that the old default collections had, dynamic channels based on content.

In the latest pre-release and tvOS/iOS beta, this has been fixed. Channel Collections now support a set of rules you can define to have channels added to your collection that match them based on what they're currently playing.

Not only can you now mimic the old Sports tab by adding in sports content to your list of sport channels, you can build whole collections based on JUST the rules. Do you love Reality shows? Build a collection with just the Reality and Reality Competition genre and you'll always see what's on for your favorite kind of shows. Now we have the best of both worlds.

Screenshot

Automatic Channels are driven by just a few elements. You can choose however many genres you'd like pulled into your collection. You can define what type of content it should be: TV Show, Movie, or Sports. And you can specify if you want only items that are New, Live, HD, or Closed Captioned.

With these rules, we hope you can make any collection of channels you want.

Notes

This is an early beta of this feature available only for tvOS and iOS. Automatic Channels will come to Android soon.

  1. Genres are selected with an OR not an AND. This means anything with any of the genres will show up.
  2. Automatic Channels are added at the end of your manual channels.
  3. Don't forget that Channel Collections update live in the app, so feel free to edit them while you're playing with them on your TV to see if you can get the collection you're looking for.

Please leave feedback on this thread for anything you feel like is not working or is going wrong.

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Already found the first bug! There's a pre-release dvr build going up now to resolve issues with legacy Channel Collections without rules.

Ok, as of the latest pre-release, all is better now.

Note: I removed some of the error posts on this thread to just clean it up since everything is working now.

Thanks for the quick fix, now the new feature is working for me. I'm running it through the paces and exploring the possibilities. Sweet!

I have some Channel Collections already, obviously, and Automatic Channels are adding to them. Very cool! I'm noticing that it's doubling some up though, adding channels with relevant content even if I'd already added that channel manually to the collection previously.

Is this by design or can the feature be smart enough to only add the channels that are matching content playing right now, if those channels aren't already listed in the collection?

This is a great feature, thanks for incorporating it into Channel Collections :slight_smile:

Yeah, it should be de-duping the channels. Could you list some of the channels that are not getting de-duped? Please list:

  1. channel names
  2. channel numbers
  3. device ids

Are you seeing any channels that ARE getting de-duped?

Sure, here are some examples of channels I've noticed aren't getting de-duped. Looks like it's mostly Pluto stuff...

In a "Reality" Channel Collection, I had manually added 10593 (Survivor) and 10594 (Amazing Race) from Pluto TV. And then I added the Automatic Channels as explained in your OP (with the Reality and Reality Competition genres) and I am now seeing both of those channels listed twice.

In a “SciFi” Channel Collection (with Science fiction automatic collection) I have Star Trek 10540 listed twice.

In a "Comedy" Channel Collection (with Comedy automatic collection) I now have these twice too:
Comedy Central Pluto TV (10621)
Comedy Central Animation (11030)
Tosh.0 (10624)

Oddly it has also added 10727 Vevo 70's as well as 10721 Vevo Reggaeton & Trap to the Comedy Channel Collection, but none of the other Vevo music channels. Not sure why only these two would be tagged as comedy...

Sorry but what do you mean by device ID in this context? From my HDHomeRun?

And no, I haven't noticed channels that are getting de-duped yet.

Ok great. I’ll check it all out.

I noticed this with News as well. Unfortunately, Pluto genres are a complete mess. I had Teen Mom showing it had the News genre.

Yikes! And totally understood about Pluto tags, I had low expectations there to begin with...

If there's anything else I can test with regards to this feature and de-duping just let me know.

Love this implementation, although like @Fofer I'm seeing some oddities. I made a "Live Sports" collection almost identical to the screenshot in your first post and noticed these:

  1. The manually added channels at the top aren't de-duped. All of the manual channels are from my DirecTV TVE source.
  2. The automatic channels that show up are seemingly grouped by alphabetical order and not channel number? I see the ACC Network, BIG 10 Network, and CBS Sports Network coming before ESPN even though ESPN has a lower channel number.

A small feature request while I'm messing around with new collections: it would also be nice to be able to limit the automatic channel filters to specific sources. That way weird Pluto tags could be excluded, but I could also more easily create a "Local news" collection by only including live programming from my HDHR!

Yeah, I'm working on improving this.

Weird, it should be the same order as they usually are, I'll confirm.

I've had the same thought today. On my Movies collection, I have specific movie virtual channels added to it, then I used the rules to add all the other available movies. But then, all the movie virtual channels I specifically did not add....got added!

I think being able to exclude certain sources in the rule would be helpful.

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De-duping and channel order have been resolved in the latest TestFlight beta.

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I am having an issue now where it sorts the auto channels by channel number but it separates it in blocks based on the TVE source. For example: channel 680 from TVE source 1 is followed by channels 1, 2, 3 from TVE source 2 and then it goes to channel 672 which is from TVE Source 3. Essentially it’s all in numerical order but in different chunks.

Ha, that makes sense based on how it works. Ok cool, I'll do a final sort after they're all found.

Sorting is as expected now, thanks! I'm still seeing duplicates between manually added channels and automatic channels.

I'm still getting channels added from sources that have been excluded after the latest update.

In the latest pre-release and TestFlight beta, Source exclusion has been added to the rules. Pick which sources you want excluded, and automatic channels will not be pulled from them.

Be sure you have both the updated dvr pre-release and the updated beta client. These are all coming out fast. You posted before the new TestFlight version was even up there, so that's probably why. You need the updated client too.

Man, you are churning these things out fast! I updated the TVos beta not less than 10 minutes ago and was still behind the curve. Just updated again and that did the trick. Thanks!