Channels DVR is Now Available in a Public Beta


#1

It’s with great pleasure to announce that Channels DVR is now available in a Public Beta.

Nine months ago we announced that we were going to build a DVR. With a ton of support from you all, one hell of a summer of code, and an amazing Alpha test period, we’re ready to finally say: Holy crap we built a DVR!

So what does this mean? It means that anyone (in the US or Canada) can now subscribe to and install Channels DVR. Today’s update to Channels for Apple TV has all of the DVR support built into it. All you need to do is go subscribe, install, and setup Channels DVR. Be sure Channels on your Apple TV has been updated or you won’t see any of the DVR features.

Public Beta?

So why is this a Public Beta and not just a normal release. Well, while Channels DVR is really feature rich, there’s still a ton of things we think it needs to do before we think it’s a true 1.0.

We didn’t want to hide it away any longer. It’s working so well that it doesn’t make sense to not release it. We also know that we can’t get it to be as good as we expect, without feedback from early adopters.

Why isn’t it good enough to release?

So what should you expect from this Public Beta that 1.0 might have?

iOS

The first is, iOS support. iOS support will be developed during the Public Beta. We know that Apple TV is where Channels really shines and purposely avoided DVR integration for iOS so that we could move faster. But don’t fret, iOS support will start trickling out throughout the Public Beta, and it’s going to be awesome.

Polish

While we’re really happy with how the DVR integration turned out in Channels for Apple TV, there’s still a lot more we want to do.

Documentation

As of now, there’s no real documentation for Channels DVR. This is one of the things we’ll be working on throughout the Public Beta.

More Regions

We hope to expand our region support outside of US/Canada during the Public Beta.

Awesome Super Secret Features

We’re excited about being so close to laying down the base of Channels DVR. Once we’re happy with that we can start working on the real features we’re excited about. Stay tuned!

Features

So, what does Channels DVR do now? A lot.

  • Series Passes that record all/new episodes for any show.
  • Team Passes that record every game of your favorite teams.
  • Precise retention rules to auto remove recordings.
  • Adjust the padding of recordings to make sure you don’t miss the end of that game.
  • 14 days of guide data.
  • Robust search to find things to record or to create Passes.
  • Fully manageable directly from Channels for Apple TV.
  • Use as many HDHomeRun devices as you want.
  • Prioritize HDHomeRun devices for recording or ignore some completely.
  • Commercial indexing to allow you to quickly skip through commercial breaks.
  • Remote access to your DVR and HDHomeRun devices.
  • Watch live TV or recordings via browser through the Channels DVR web admin.
  • Auto updating. Channels DVR will always be up to date without having to do anything.
  • Tons more!

Hardware support

So how do you run Channels DVR? Channels DVR is a software service that runs in the background on your computer. You can run it on macOS, Linux, or popular NAS devices.

The minimum requirements for the Channels DVR software is a 1GHz CPU and 1GB of RAM. Older NAS models and inexpensive units like the single-drive WDMyCloud are generally too under-powered to run Channels DVR.

Some advanced features like commercial indexing and video transcoding will be unavailable on lower end hardware.

If you’re in the market for a new NAS, we recommend something with a modern Intel CPU. These CPUs have hardware-accelerated video encoders and it is easy to optimize software for them. NAS models like the WD PR4100, QNAP TS-x51+ and Synology DS216+II all use Intel CPUs and offer hardware transcoding.

Current NAS support

Channels DVR supports the most popular NAS devices right now, with hopefully more support in the future.

  • Synology
  • QNAP
  • WDMyCloud
  • Netgear ReadyNAS
  • Seagate/Lacie NAS OS
  • unRaid

Windows support

There is no native Windows support at the moment. We’ll be experimenting with that soon. For now, you can run Channels DVR on a Hyper-V or VirtualBox VM. Within the community, there has been a lot of success doing this.

Windows is now supported on all 64-bit versions of Windows 7, 8 and 10.

Is your device not listed?

If you have something that Channels doesn’t run on or aren’t sure if it runs on it, check out the Hardware Category. Feel free to mention an unsupported device or ask the community how well Channels DVR runs on something you have. There’s lot of activity happening in there already.

Wrap up

We hope you all have fun with Channels DVR and it works great for you. It’s taken a ton of time and effort to get to this point. We couldn’t have done it without our amazing Alpha testers. Thank you so much.

But this is definitely not the end, it’s just the beginning. Keep up with new features added to Channels DVR right here on the Channels Community.

Please feel free to discuss issues or neat things you’ve learned about Channels DVR in the Public Beta category or discuss your hardware setups in the Hardware category here on the Channels Community. Thanks!


Channels DVR is now in Public Beta!
Announcing Channels DVR
DVR State of the Union - December 2016
DVR State of the Union - July 2016
DVR State of the Union - September 2016
#2

#3

Nice!
Does the App Store version have all the same functionality of the alpha/beta?
Will the alpha/beta continue?


#4

Yup. It’s all there. The Alpha will be discontinued and any pre-release testing will be done via the Beta.


#5

Awesome, my wife was just asking me how to get to the recordings last night, and I told her she had to switch to the “grey” app until they are merged… that didn’t go over too well. but this will.


#6

Great news can’t wait until UK release please say its not too long


#7

So how would you go about installing Channels DVR software on a Synololy NAS? The info wasn’t clear enough for me.


#8

U.K. U.K. U.K. U.K. U.K. U.K. U.K. … I better get saving for a Mac Mini the speed at which you guys are moving forward.


#9

So excited! Please please please can I help test for the UK?! I’m sick of my crappy YouView PVR!


#10

Congratulations on reaching Beta. This is major milestone for your DVR initiative and what you have created to this point is very impressive I enjoy being part of the Channels community and was happy to be part of the DVR alpha group. It is refreshing to see folks who care about their customers and are willing to work hard to produce an exceptional product.

Best wishes for well deserved success going forward.


#11

I’ve just installed on my NAS. It is amazing what you have done.

I installed it on a WDMyCloud Mirror Gen2 and it worked fine. The only issue I had is than when it finished downloading the guide data, the FANs on my NAS were running like crazy… I waited for about 10 mins but they kept running at max speed. I decided to reboot my NAS and everything went back to normal.

The changes in the channels App is amazing.

Keep the good work!


#12

Am I the only one who read “What about XXX?” and thought you were referring to porn? I would change that to just X haha.


#13

And I love that you chose “This is Us” in your promo picture because I was thinking it would be nice to use this tonight to record that very show!!!

Also, why make the minimum requirements for the Hard Drive be 512GB? Now I know recording video takes gobs of space but if someone was conservative to only download a few episodes a week and set it up to delete those on a regular basis… then wouldn’t the minimum requirement be much lower? I just say this because Apple has always charged more for Mac Mini internal storage upgrades and a bunch of people might not have that much space and think, dang I can’t use this! I know this can be remedied by using an external HD which I do on my Mac Mini but just saying it might be something to consider!


#14

may I please ask if this can be done in the uk?


#15

Ha! You are completely correct. Thanks.


#16

This could be a sign of CPU or memory exhaustion. Keep an eye on it and If it happens again, start a thread about the WDMyCloud Mirror Gen2 on the hardware section of the forum.


#17

Am I supposed to receive an email confirmation that I’m now subscribed? I’m just a little nervous because I just paid on my laptop but I haven’t received an email. I want to set up the DVR on my mac and now without an email I don’t have a link back to that page easily accessible when I’m on my mac or a record of my subscription.


#18

There is currently no email confirmation.

You can view the current status of your subscription on https://community.getchannels.com/dvr, along with the installation instructions.


#19

Can you watch a program that’s in the process of being recorded?


#20

Yes, of course.