Channels DVR vs Emby

I’m evaluating Emby, and to be honest it’s pretty slick how it works and how local media is displayed and all the features...

What are the pros to using channels over Emby besides commercial skipping.

The only one that makes a difference to me is advance passes in all other aspects EMBY is better due to user profiles and handling of libraries. I personally use ChannelsDVr as a backend to EMBY.

I use channels with emby as I have no antenna so i need a source for live tv. It works pretty well as i like to stay in 1 app when possible. I use channels to record my media, which I then edit & save, but view through emby. They both work well together. If you dont mind me asking, what stteaming devices do you use?

Mainly android tv units. Main unit is the shield.

I dont have the shield, but I believe channels works on it. They have a free week I think for you to download it so I would say give it a try. I did & was happy with it & kept it. For me, channels does enhance emby live tv. Now if you are looking for live tv only, then channels should be good for you. As I said I use both & am pretty happy with it.

I have used Emby for many years, since it was called something else in its early days.

I find it far better and to my liking than Plex.
Its a excellent home media server, with Live TV/DVR abilities.
But to be clear, it is more a home media software much more so than Channels is.
Channels is focused on the Live TV/DVR part, and local media library is only a in development, secondary feature.

Emby does things far better than Channels does, in some regards, aside from the local media aspect.
the Guide and search features, the mini guide during live tv/playback.
The overall GUI look and feel is more polished and premium feel. (imo)
Emby has apps on nearly every single platform, including full featured, near identical full functional browser web interface, and windows/Mac/Linux desktop computer software.
It also support user profiles, full customizations, and far more tweakable settings overall.

Emby, does not support TVE as a tuner source natively though.
But, does support native .m3u and other IPTV streams very well. (easier setup to get working than Channels)

You can use Channels DVR server as a backend for Emby, if you want to get TVE into Emby. I have never tried this personally.

Channels DVR, to me, comes across as the "cable box" replacement software solution.
As it looks and works very much like typical cable tv or tivo cable box devices, only much better and smoother.
It is EASY, straightforward, interface to use and navigate.
Perfect for my elderly parents or for non techy people that would find the more, complex, design of Embys interface to hard to use.

I also like how Channels has a dedicated custom image for their server for use on the Raspberry Pi4. Emby has no such dedicated image, but i read you can install the arm version of their server on linux os of the Pi.

Emby/Plex are far more mature and feature rich softwares, and have been around much longer. Channels, is newer and not as mature and feature rich, as of yet...still needs some development and polishing up of the UI, a proper web ui, and desktop software.(imo)
But, the devs are very active and continue to move forward with improving existing features, fixing things when they break (TVE :wink:), and slowly adding in new features.

For me, Channels is well suited for my live tv and tv dvr needs, Emby I only use for local home media, tv series, movies, etc.'

So, it really boils down to what YOU (the user) wants or needs or likes better.
Try both and decide for your self.

Awesome responses.

I am a channels dvr user and have been for a couple years. However, there is many features I miss that Plex has, but Plex’s DVR and live TV always crashes on me. Server will lock up etc.

So I discovered Emby, which I’ve known about for several years. This seems so far to deliver on the plex features I am missing plus more. Also,
IPTV and live TV seems to work well. Slow tuning compared to Channels though.... and no commercial skipping.

Big thing is being able to have profiles with parental control and the ability to share live tv with my parents.

Anyways, I’m evaluating...

Timeshifting sucks in Emby. If you don't try to watch while the show is still recording it works OK, but Channels DVR is the only one I've found that is suitable for sports besides the now obsolete WMC.

Emby is awesome for movies and such, however.

I use ChannelsDVR to serve the tuner streams (MRU) to EMBY and PLEX that way they can all share the same stream when tuning the same channel. Channels DVR is well worth it. Also supply TVE access to EMBY.

Right now, channels is not a competitor to.emby, but I'm betting they are morphing that way. Channels is a great live tv/DVR option, but if they look to expand, which I dont know, they will need to expand to.other streaming devices. I've used emby for years, including when it was media browser & at that time I used a tv tuner card. With channels, I am now able to use live tv on emby because I cant use an antenna. Today, for the first time I downloaded the channels app on my ATV & it looks really good, I just hate the ATV remote. Now emby has a big live tv update coming out very shortly, but I do.want channels to succeed because for me.... both work great together. Now if channels is evolving & becomes a competitor, then great because the consumer always wins when there is competition. I dont mention plex because I have never used it, so I know nothing about it. I have read that they are including free streaming shows & would love to see emby & channels try things like that. I know it's not always possible, but I like to stay in 1 app instead of jumping around.

Plex’s free live tv is hot garbage.

But these comments are so appreciated.

1 Like

One's garbage is another man's treasure .... I have found shows that I like on tv/movies in Plex ... Also I like the way it integrates with the FIRETV LiveTV guide.

I have a couple of couple of questions:

  1. When you say that Channels DVR is the back end to EMBY, is Channels DVR doing the recording or EMBY?

  2. Is there any difference in the playback experience?

  3. Do they both support COMSKIP?

You can record in channels or emby. The playback of a recorded file in emby or channels seems to be fine. Not sure a big difference. Comm skip.... I've used it in cdvr & it seems pretty accurate, really accurate with not cutting off media scenes. I believe they customized comm skip specifically for channels. I have not used comm skip with emby, but am pretty sure people have set it up to work with it.

I have the Setup with Channels DVR as a backend from EMBY but I use both to record and playback ... the advantage of doing it this way is that when viewing or recording same channel in EMBY/Channels it only uses 1 tuner stream.

I use EMBY to record full series that I want to keep because it organizes them better ... ChannelsDVR for example puts all the Charmed series in the same folder EMBY separates them by Title and year.

I use Channels for new shows that I watch and delete.

Channels dvr ends up being a tuner source for Emby. There is a thread here on how to set that up. Emby is the one doing the recording. It is just using the Channels DVR server as the stream/tuner source for TVE.

Depends on what device you are using for playback.
You do have far more options available in Emby for adjusting playback.

No. Emby does not natively support COMSKIP or have any commercial detect/skip feature built in. There are a limited number of plugins u can add into the server, as well as options to run post processing on recording files, so there are ways to setup such processing as an add on/external to Emby process. You would need to look in the Emby forms to learn how to set that up.

If you are recording in Channels DVR and playing back in EMBY, the show will never be marked as watched in Channels DVR. Doesn't that mean it will be re-recorded again?

Once channels records an episode, it will not do it again unless you select it or. Same for emby. Now if you view it in 1 app & not the other, that that app you did not view it in will not mark it as watched.

1 Like

Are you talking about deleting the recording in EMBY ? If your passes are set to NEW then it will not re-record it if you delete in EMBY.

I am using an antenna with HDHomeRun tuners, so I am debating if there is an advantage to using Channels DVR as a back end or just letting EMBY do the recordings.

One advantage seems to be Channels DVR uses COMSKIP and EMBY does not. But will EMBY recognize the edl files created by COMSKIP during playback?