Channels DVR as PLEX tuner

You can code a proxy application to make it work.

Guys I got this working, I can now view my channels that are in channels in plex using the Live TV/DVR function.

To set this up:

1: Configure channels however you want to, make sure you have every source you intend to use in Plex configured in channels. (including at least one HD Homerun if you use OTA)

1.1: Enable Bonjour

1.2 Disable Adaptive Streaming: this may not be strictly required but it worked for me

2: install xTeVe

3: Add channels as a source to xTeVe

3.1: Under M3U playlist add a source, name it whatever you wish

3.2: For the M3U file enter the following URL: http://(ip of channels):(port of channels)/devices//channels.m3u

3.2.1: You will need to add a playlist for every source to want to expose to plex

3.2.2: To find the device name browse to http://(ip of channels):(port of channels)/devices. You are looking for the item called "DeviceID", this will be right above the friendly name for the device

3.2.3: For example a complete URL would look like http://(ip of channels):(port of channels)/devices/TVE-Philo/channels.m3u.

3.3: Under settings enable the stream buffer; I used FFMpeg

3.4: Also under settings set the number of tuners to something sane for you setup; I used 2

4: Configure the tuner in Plex

4.1: Before you get started here if you have a DVR configured already you will have to remove it. This is required because plex will only allow one guide data source, regardless of the number of tuners you plan to use

4.2: Under DVR click add device and follow the prompts, pick any device you wish to start. You will see xTeVe in the list as well as any HD Homeruns you may have.

4.3: After plex shows you the list of channels click next. Then plex will prompt you to map the channels to guide data, there is a yellow link near the top of the channel list that prompts you for a XMLTV data source, click that link. For the guide source enter http://(ip of channels):(port of channels)/devices/ANY/guide

4.4: Add any other tuners you may have and map channels in plex as normal. If you are using HD Homerun devices I'd recommend adding them directly into plex for use

4.5: When you map the channels for the xTeVe tuner only add the channels that are not available using another direct source (such as a HD Homerun)

5: Watch TV


Get your m3u files from Channels and use this method to basically add CDVR's TVE like a tuner to Plex. I just did it with Emby, but they support m3u natively.

You get your m3u files from CDVR by simply downloading them from your server.
http://{your CDVR servers IP}:{8089, or whatever port you're using}/devices/{tuner name}/channels.m3u

The easy way to get the tuner name is go to your CDVR setting page, and click the number of channels under the tuner you want. A box will pop up. The first part at the top will be the friendly name of your tuner. At the end is a name or code in parentheses. THAT is the tuner name you want to use in the URL to get the m3u file. You still need to keep running CDVR for it to work, but you'll never have to access it on the front end again. That's how you get around Plex's refusal to implement TVE.

I'm with you on this one. Channels is the best DVR/Live TV solution right now. But they really need to address improving the clients and addressing the feature requests there.


If you use ANY for the {tuner name}, then it will give you all of the sources you have configured in Channels in a single M3U playlist.

1 Like

I know, but unless you're using the Channels epg it produces issues.

No one is using Emby or OSMC?

Is there away to get xTeVe to auto map channels to the guide data?

If Channels can natively output its streams with a M3U playlist, and give you its guide data with a native XMLTV endpoint, what purpose does xTeVe serve other than an unnecessary middleware layer that's difficult to setup?

1 Like

But xTeVe provides the "glue" to allow Plex to recognize ChannelsDVR as a turner? I can't add the Channels M3U or XMLTV Guide directly into plex. It does add some overhead, but until I can add ChannelsDVR as a Plex Tuner I think I would have to use this type of solution right now.

You're right. I gave up on Plex as a DVR because of its limitations and lack of live TV support on client devices I used, so didn't fully investigate it. I thought Plex's tuner support was more full-featured and varied; I stand corrected.

I can't seem to get this to work successfully for more than one stream. When playing one stream, in Channels activity status it says "Watching ch6035 from [IP address of my Plex and ChannelsDVR] (Remux Running: 0s)". So when I try to start a second stream, I get an image from xTeVe saying no more streams available, even though I have it set to 3 tuners. The xTeVe did not initially show up as a device for me to add to Plex, so I had to manually input the IP address and port for xTeVe, so I'm not sure if that is affecting it. Has anyone else had this issue?

EDIT: Nevermind, I figured out that the individual playlist was limited to 1 tuner. I changed that to 3 as well and now it is working great! There is just a 6-7 sec delay in actually starting a channel through Plex, and it buffers for 2-3 seconds once the image first comes up. But then it plays smoothly.

This is the correct answer :wink: What we need isn't Channels to somehow 'help' plex get live tv right - we need channels to bring the same thoughtful ingenuity they used to get live tv so perfect to the movie/tv library part of things (and - just guessing here - I suspect that's slightly easier than what they've already accomplished with Live TV) Then we can all dump plex. THAT SAID - if we're going all in one service, it would be nice to have a Lifetime subscription option.


I've not found one, but I'm not saying there isnt a way

Plex cannot consume a M3U stream directly, xteve provides the glue that makes them work together

Yes, I have that same behavior on mine, I imagine its the buffer in xTeVe that is the cause of some of that, but like you said, once it gets going it works fine

Supposedly Plex backend has the ability to import m3u

Emby import .m3u directly as a tuner source. works perfectly for years.

I tried xteve with Plex ... and Plex constantly locks up the tuners even after exiting the Show. I hope they just allow M3U input.

As posted above, it's already in Plex. It is just not exposed in the UI at the moment. (And if you follow the link, it looks like Plex may not expose it in the UI, but rely upon a third-party to implement a UI for it.)