Channels Double Ship!


#1

It’s a double ship! Channels has been updated for both iOS and Apple TV and it’s a fun one.

Now you can change channels on your Apple TV with your iPhone. When Channels is open on your Apple TV, it will then appear as an optional place to watch an item you have chosen on Channels for iOS.

Channels for iOS 1.0.3

  • NEW: Change the channel on Channels for Apple TV.
  • NEW: Tap-and-hold a channel on the Guide tab to add/remove from Favorites.
  • IMPROVED: Video playback begins more quickly after selecting a channel.

Channels for Apple TV 1.0.3

  • NEW: Change channels via Channels for iOS
  • NEW: Setting to switch between linear and blend deinterlacing modes.
  • IMPROVED: Pick between subtitles when multiple languages are present.
  • IMPROVED: Menu and double-click are disabled while player is paused.

#2

This is great news. Such fast implementation of features and nearly at a daily rate!!

This feature reminds me of capabilities of my Virgin TV app (which connects to a TiVo) and the Plex app where both apps can be selecters/remotes and players.

This only leads me to believe that in the future one will be able to browse, schedule and select Channels DVR recordings. I’m very sure that the DVR development at that stage will be able to playback personal media. Then the game would be a wrap.

From the State of the Union postings: DVR State of the Union - July 2016

There are no plans for the DVR in Europe or UK until early 2017 at the earliest.

With this new added feature I will be less reliant on the Siri Remote and I guess more reliant on my phone. Besides yet more activity use on the smartphone you will be able to browse the smart guide without disturbing playback on the screen.

This has, as always ignited more feature ideas which I will post in the relevant sections.

Here: https://community.getchannels.com/c/channels-app-tv/feature-requests

And here: https://community.getchannels.com/c/channels-app-ios/feature-requests

But one is:

Be able to set notifications that pop up on screen at given show start times asking/reminding you to turnover over or even automatically turning over.

These request notifications could be set for your mobile device or Apple TV.

To facilitate sending requests to the Apple TV or even DVR, there would be an account which would be in sync on all devices to manage auto viewing or recordings. But auto viewing I feel can be implemented sooner and be seperate to the DVR functionality as a function to change channel automatically is a function that says add a set time to what I would do standardly to change a channel.

With regard to remotes there are these:

Apple TV Remote https://appsto.re/gb/rYfybb.i (Newly updated with Siri capabilities)

Or even using an Apple TV 4 Remote to control your Mac

http://eternalstorms.at/freeware/Eternal_Storms_Software_-Freeware_Apps%28SiriMote%29/Eternal_Storms_Software_-Freeware_Apps%28SiriMote%29.html

much like before when Front row existed back in 2005.

I was using better remotes back in 2003 to control my music on my Mac and even control my EyeTV all via Bluetooth from my then Sony Ericsson T68i.

All made possible by this software:

http://www.salling.com/clicker/mac/index.php

A lot can and should of been learnt from apps back then with regard to controllers. Before Wi-Fi was the prevalent local wireless medium Bluetooth was all the rage. It was perfect for remote controlling because it didn’t rely on line of sight like infrared. Bit with any wireless functionality, distance between controller and controlled device plays an important factor.

Infrared: Relies on line of sight for the remote and your eyes. You need to see the device to understand your control.

Bluetooth/Wifi remotes (without screens) will rely on the same principle. You need to see what you are doing/controlling, therefore be close. So infrared is more economical in terms of manufacturing but Bluetooth/wifi remotes (without screens) would win over in a scenario where a device was in the living room but the video output of controlled device ran to another room, so one could be further away, out of line of site, but still see your control commands.

The extension of this is the current Apple TV Remote app which being an app allows you to see your controls on a screen. But these screen controls rely on you being in line of sight of the device. So basically this is a virtual, line of sight remote which you need to see the video output screen to control your device.

The best remotes, which Channels iOS has now implemented are virtual remotes, ie apps, which replicate the menus of the device you are controlling. This way I can be in the garden and change the the tv tuner to say a radio station which I don’t have to be in front of the telly to enjoy.

I do not think that the Apple TV is the one device for your media needs just yet.

I currently use my ATV 4 in my bedroom on a computer monitor with a very good picture spec and a HEOS 1 for audio. I will probably buy and put the ATV 5 in the living room. Buy this time the Channels DVR for macOS or Synology will be out.

At this time, if I want to play Apple Music on my Hi-Fi I would prefer to use AirPlay from my phone to AppleTV. This is because the AppleTV remote requires me to be I front of it to select from the music offered there. Alternatively I can, with the old remote app now called iTunes Remote, can view and select music to play from my Mac to play via Home sharing to my Apple TV. This does now let me select from Apple Music catalogue only my own.

What I really want and need, and what I feel will be implemented in the future with devices based around Apple HomeKit arrive, is a device only for controlling home devices, similar to an iPod touch. So if my phone battery dies or I’m out of the house there is still the same functionality on a device in the home.

With all that setup you would really only need one controller for Channels. A controller that can be used in or out of the house, away or in front of the device that would be the main or complementary remote to the Channels running device.