Beta - Channel Collections

Channels Collections just landed in beta on Channels DVR Server and tvOS/iOS. It WILL arrive soon for Android.

So what are Channel Collections? They're simple lists of channels that you can create and use to replace in the filter bars on On Now and Guide. Now, you can curate your own sets of channels and surface them easier.

You can add your collections to all of your clients or just a few. You don't even have to add them all. This makes it great for context sensitive times like March Madness.

How does it work?

On your Channels DVR Server web admin, you'll create your collections. Just create one, name it, and add channels to it. You can set their order as well.

Once you've created some collections, you can now apply them to your clients. In the new Clients section, you can choose Channel Collections from the new server side only section of the settings. Add the setting and choose which collections should be used.

As you pick your collections, it will set the order. Add and remove them to get them in just the right order.

Just like all server side settings, you can do this globally or for specific clients.

Do these lists differ from the existing filters?

Yes. The original filters (Movies, Drama, News, etc...) used the metadata of the currently playing show to filter the channels. This is because channels don't actually have this kind of data.

Channel Collections will not filter, they are a static set of channels that you curate, like All Channels and Favorites.

In the future, we may look into a way for you to create this kind of filter so that you can have a dynamic list of channels based on your own query.

What about Favorites and All Channels?

The clients have new settings to hide/show the All and Favorites filter. If you'd like to retain client side local Favorites or the list of all of your channels, you can keep them. Or if you want 100% curated sets of channels, you can just turn them off.

What does this mean for channels sync?

At this time, we're discontinuing work on any kind of lineup sync in lieu of Channel Collections.

With Channel Collections you can curate your sets of channels directly and decide which clients get them. By simply replacing all of the filters, you have complete control over every client from the server. Channels that are set to hidden on the server already propagate down to the clients.

How to get it

Update your Channels DVR Server to the latest pre-release and update your tvOS/iOS clients to the latest beta from TestFlight.

Wrap up

Ok, so give this stuff a try. I spent late last night finally curating my channels sets and it really felt like a game changer in terms of surfacing and finally utilizing all of the great channels you can get with our various sources.

If you run into an issue please leave feedback here on this post. Thanks!!

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FINALLY thank you so much for implementing this! I will be giving this a go tonight.

This is an amazing addition, I can't wait until it comes to Android.

I'd really love to see something similar for the Library view as well. Create your own 'Collections' and then select the programs to show in that collection view. That way I could filter the recordings by my own criteria instead of the defaults. I could create one for my wife's shows, my shows, sports, prime-time, old episodes, etc.

It is very uncommon for us to use the guide, almost everything we watch is recorded first. We use the web UI to search for and setup recordings. Bringing this level of customization to the Library of recorded content would really help sort recordings into more manageable views. The larger my library grows, the more important this is.

I love the thought you put into these new features, keep up the great work.

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I can't seem to get collections to show up on my AppleTV. Would this replace the current sorting/filters or be in the same place?

You should be using the latest TestFlight for your Apple TV app.

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That was it. It's supposed to update automatically. Thanks.

Is favorites like a stickied collection? I can't seem to get rid of it.

As mentioned in the OP, there are now settings to turn All Channels and Favorites off. They are available server side as well.

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My bad. Thanks.

@maddox is there a way to add collections and keep the existing filters? if i add a collection, the filters disappear. ideally, id like to keep movies, sports and news filters with the collections ive created.

thanks.

Maybe a future enhancement could be "advanced filters" where in you could specify certain rules and show types.

There is not.

This was mentioned in the original post.

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Squeeeeeeee. Thank you, Christmas in March!

Updated in tvOS/iOS TestFlight and DVR pre-release:

You can now choose Current Collection as an option to show in the Quick Guide and Channel Surfing. This will use the last collection you were using to source the channels in them.

2 Likes

I am confused about the Quick Guide. Before I had it set to Favorite Channels (or All, HD). But now I want it to be one of my Collections (like Mike). But I can only use the old selections. Do I have to create a Favorite Collection "Named Favorites or ???"? My wife and I may want different Favorites that show up under the Quick Guide. Love this new feature. Thanks.

You posted this exactly when I ask my question. This will probably do what I want.

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