Channels for Windows


Thanks for posting the screenshots. I tend to watch full screen on my laptop, so this works for me.


I left my one WMC computer always all for one very important reason... WAF (wife acceptance factor) :wink:

She did not like having to ever wait for the system to wake back up, and nor did I. Also, it was probably a carryover from the early days of WMC on Windows XP and Vista, where power savings modes didn't always behave as one would hope. It was always simpler to leave them on versus taking a chance that a show might not be recorded. :wink:


Can we please get a response from a developer? @tmm1 was in here earlier, but like every other time I've brought this up, there's never any response. I'd just like to know whether this is something they'll look into, because It's been almost 2 years since the web player was released, and updating it with these fixes would perfect it..... Or if not, I need to know it will never happen.

Again, this is not about making a "Windows app", it's about updating the existing web app which would work for all devices.


Unfortunately I don't have a definitive answer for you. The changes you're requesting are reasonable, but there are only two of us and only so many hours in the day. The web player was originally built only as a debug utility and we never envisioned people actually using it. The fact that it requires transcoding means it doesn't work on many setups, and it sucks to use so many resources just for local playback. There is a long list of things we would like to improve about the web UI but I don't know when we will get to them. The web player code in particular is quite messy and so this is not something that would be a quick fix project.


I know it's probably a lot of work, but I too would love to see a UWP app for Channels. It would open up Channels to a whole other set of subscribers with an Xbox One and at the same time provide a native app for those who want it on Windows.

I travel a lot and mirror my laptop screen to hotel room TVs. Having the full Channels TV interface instead of faffing with the web player would be a real upgrade over the current experience.


I travel with the FireTV 4K Stick, which has a browser to login to hotel portals and is the perfect size for travel.


Thank you, I really appreciate your response @tmm1. Although you say you don't have an actual answer, I'm glad you did recognize the request, including stating there are other features you would like to add, and didn't simply dismiss it. I know it wouldn't be realistic to ask an ETA or to expect you guys to dump work into updating the web player immediately, but I hope one day you can get around to tinkering with it when you have the time. It would be greatly appreciated and make the platform incredibly appealing compared to anything else out there, since there is nothing else that does TV streaming and recording across all platforms in a traditional way everyone is used to.

With that said, without you saying that the code is a mess and the web UI was primarily intended for debugging, you have done quite a great job with it. I think most of the features are there, the guide view, the On Now, the ability to watch DVR'd shows, is all well done.

Also, a question: is transcoding really that much of a problem? I assumed the easy solution would just use QuickSync or other supported hardware encoders, since other streaming solutions using ffmpeg can do around 4-5 simultaneous transcoded 720p streams with just an integrated GPU. If that was the case, it shouldn't be very demanding of resources and should work with any system that has a GPU released in the past 6 years.


I'm using the web player in the chrome browser.

Are there any keyboard shortcuts or hotkeys or keyboard buttons which work with the web player to skip forward and back, skip commercial interval, pause?

I miss the WMC keyboard shortcuts.


I mean no disrespect and everyone has a right to their own opinions but I'm thankful the developers are concentrating on making their existing applications the best in the world in my opinion and not worry about a Web Gui for Windows. And yes transcoding is an issue. That's why I HATE Plex for Live TV and DVR. The transcoding that Plex performs is slow and clunky. Channels and Channels DVR is the best because of them NOT having to worry about transcoding. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. These guys rock !


What he said.


I know you don't mean to be disrespectful, and neither do I, but you really do not seem to have an understanding of how Channels works, how Plex works, or how and why transcoding happens. Transcoding is only for compatibility purposes. It has nothing to do with the Android or iOS clients. For these platforms, they are capable of playing MPEG2-TS streams natively, so they don't need to be transcoded which adds a little latency. A NATIVE Windows client wouldn't require transcoding either. However, web browsers and remote players (similar to how Plex is designed to be used) do require transcoding to minimize bandwidth and maximize device can't reliably play a 15Mbps stream over hotel wifi, but a 2.5Mbps transcoded stream can work fine. Utilizing transcoding for a web UI would have no affect whatsoever on any of the existing clients, as is the case currently which actually DOES do transcoding already if you use the web UI.

And while you do say you don't intend to be disrespectful, which I believe, it does sound extremely rude and selfish to say you want to enjoy the "best in the world" application, but at the same time you are essentially saying "screw you, I've got mine, and I don't care that you can't enjoy it" with your opposition. If the shoe was on the other foot, or let's just say if Channels was for Android TV only and you had an Apple TV, you would be begging for platform support instead, and you probably wouldn't like it if someone gave their opinion saying "I only use Android and I don't care about Apple TV so you shouldn't work on an Apple TV app".


I don't know what he would do, and neither do you, but I know what I would do. I would do exactly what I did when Silicon Dust declined to offer what I wanted: I switched to a different solution. (Ironically: No support for Apple TV was one of the reasons.)

That's what I do when a product or service is insufficient to my needs: I find another. Unless the current product or service is otherwise so good I can overlook its lacks. Then I just live with it. Channels is a good example. I currently have not less than three (3) outstanding issues. But its pros outweigh its cons, so I keep using it and don't badger them about them.

I particularly don't badger devs when they're not offering support for me and I know I'm a corner case. Part of the reason for that is sheer practicality. You see: I have been a developer in the past and I know what happens to people who disrespect and badger devs.


On iOS and Apple TV, Plex always forces transcoding for live tv playback. Compared to Channels, it can take 5-10x longer to start playback on Plex compared to Channels. (This may change in the future as Plex is currently working on an "enhanced player" in beta).


Wow, and from your Fire TV 4k stick, you can remotely access your Channel DVR at home via ???

I had assumed remote access was just for IOS or android or laptops using web browser UI. I was thinking of using my chromebook to cast to a chromecast to hotel TV.

Didn't realize Fire TV could be used for remote access. That's very cool.



How does PS Vue work with Channels DVR? Are you able to record and play PS Vue channels in Channels DVR? If not, does PS Vue have it's own DVR solution?

I thought Channels DVR only worked with HDHomeRun tuners.


PS Vue has its own app for access to their service. It is completely separate from Channels and does not integrate with it at all.


@charredwater - :point_up: this, exactly.

I use Channels DVR for all OTA television. I use PS Vue for all remaining traditional cable stations, like AMC, BBC, Food Network, HGTV, Discovery, etc...

For the family, this means they can stay within the Apple TV ecosystem for all content. Both Channels and PS Vue have their own DVR capabilities, so everyone can record and watch what they want. This is better than having to switch between the old Windows Media Center (for OTA TV/DVR) and the Apple TV (for PS Vue.) It's not perfect, but it passes the family test for usability. I just never want to give another dollar to traditional cable TV monopolies.