Dual Buffers


#21

I feel your pain, @Blake_Bishop. Dual buffers is still the feature I miss the most from my old Directv DVR, especially now that it’s football season again. I used to use the “Double Play” feature almost all the time when watching college football on Saturdays and NFL on Sundays.


#22

Have you heard anything from Devs about adding any similar functionality?
Seems crazy to have potentially 6 tuners (or more) available (a Prime 6 if it ever comes out or 2x Primes) but really only be able to easily watch 1 tuner at any given time.


#23

I know they want to conserve tuners. There are plenty of posts that are about people wanting recordings to kick them off of live tv or vice versa, to avoid buying more tuners, but I’m willing to order more tuners to have this capability, in some form.

You can also record all the shows you want to bounce around between, if for example you know you want to check out multiple games. I would love to just start recording a couple channels at 11 am Sunday and stop at 10pm.


#24

I think once people realize that Channels and Channels DVR isn’t a closed/black box system they’ll see that it’s impossible for the DVR software or an app to control their one or more network tuners.

Any other DVR software or app can access the HDHR network tuner device/s and none of those clients (DVR is also a client to the HDHR tuners) can get exclusive control over it.

Think of your HDHR Tuner box as a water diverting device that diverts house water through hoses (individual tuners) and all of your neighborhood (or whomever has access to them) has access to those hoses. How can one hose holder control what every other hose holder does? Maybe a poor analogy, but first thing that came to mind.

All other devices I’m aware of that give you that capability are closed box systems that have total control over its tuners and what they’re used for.


#25

Vote for Manual Recording capability? :grin:
https://community.getchannels.com/t/set-a-manual-recording-of-a-channel-for-specific-date-time-and-duration/7621


#26

Multiple buffers are mostly a feature found on hardware DVRs with local tuners. Channels utilizes tuners over the network. Buffering those tuners locally is a breeze on Tivos and DirectTV boxes, especially when no other software/clients/dvrs even have access to them.

1 large bitrate mpeg2 stream is already hard on people’s networks, expecting 2 to work well would be a disaster. Would it work for us with ethernet and gigabit connections from our tuners to our clients? Totally. But most people are on wifi. Some streaming boxes don’t even have ethernet options.

Shipping features that only work for SOME people because of their home network topology isn’t something we’re interested in right now. We want to make the best TV experience for everyone. Yes for some people the feature would work great, but for most people it would just crash and burn, and that’s not a great way to run product.

We’d love to be able to do something like this, but it’s just not something we’ll be spending time on any time soon at this point in the product.


#27

The channels DVR is what would be doing the buffer for 1 or more tuners correct? And that would likely reside on a NAS or hardware that is connected via Ethernet. So wouldn’t the channels app just access a given single tuner at a time when needed. How are you able to accomplish the pause in one room and resume in another?


#28

The buffers exist on the clients not the server. Pause and resume only works for recorded content.


#29

I guess that’s why when you record a show you are currently watching it doesn’t store in the recording the portion buffered on the device. I was basing my understanding on what I’ve seen from the HDHR Dvr and Emby live TV. Whenever I change channels I can see the recording buffer start on the dvr server drive.

Is there a significant performance hit storing the buffer locally on the client vs. on the server as a recording? Seems like there wouldn’t be any difference if you store recordings that way. Plus the data has to be transferred one way or another.

Additionally, it seems odd to store the buffer on the device. Most streaming devices used some kind of NAND storage or SSD, both of which a finite number of I/O’s over their life span. Personally I’d prefer to have all my recordings (and Live TV buffers) stored to my WD Red NAS drives in RAID 1 (so I can pop in a replacement if a drive fails without loosing my backlog of recordings).

So yeah, based on your response of how this works I don’t see why this feature request wouldn’t be considered.

I feel like the suggested UI tweeks in post 18 above would provide a nice user experience and rival if not beat all other products I’ve tested on the market. Seems like a no brainier to me but maybe people don’t like to watch multiple shows like I do…


#30

Channels works stand alone for regular live TV without DVR service, so the buffer must be on the client. This is how the app first worked, so that’s why it works like that now. We could do it on the server in the future, but it’s a lot of opportunity cost for a small team like us.


#31

I here you and can respect that.

The over tasked pessimistic developer side of me, sitting in weeds with a ton of outstanding requests I can’t currently fulfill, sees the opportunity cost like: “What if we spend all this time and energy building out this new incredible feature, along the way alienating and disregarding the existing requests of our most loyal customers here on the forum, and as a result we don’t expand our user base and the company takes a downturn.”

On the other hand, the optimistic entrepreneurial side of me sees the opportunity cost as “If we build it they will come.” Meaning the current market for cord cutters/shavers consists of thrifty technical people (like most, if not all of us here) who want to get around the excessive fees and the sub par UI implementation the cable industry currently restricts us too. I can’t speak for everyone here, but I see gold in this localized DVR solution. However, it has quite a few short comings based on the way it currently handles tuners locally on the viewing device instead of on the DVR. Changing the way live TV is streamed to clients for DVR subscribers opens up doors for so many feature enhancements that I would want to make that the companies top priority.

Putting the tuner buffers on DVR server would address many if not all of the concerns you brought up. Again, this could be a feature that is unlocked in the settings menu for paid customers. I would envision there being a “TV Buffer Storage” slider in settings that would default to “Client” (so it would work as usual) with “DVR Server” as another option. When the slider is changed to “DVR Server” you could present a warning box with potential issues and a link to a dedicated support page with minimum and recommended hardware requirements. Below the “TV Buffer Storage” slider, you could display a grayed out list of all features people are currently requesting, but can’t be implemented because tuners are currently stored on the clients. Current non paying users could always see these options grayed out and be intrigued to upgrade as well as being able to market this product with all the full features to the masses.

Sorry for the rant, but this is by far the closest implementation I’ve seen for a local DVR for cord cutting/shaving but would really like to see it get to a point were I could recommend it to friends and family.

Thanks for your time, you’ve got a great product thus far.


#32

Added my vote for dual buffers. This is a pretty crucial feature for sports. I have a wired Gigabit to my ATV 4K, however it seems like implementing on the server side would be the best way to do this for max compatibility with all clients.

Thanks for listening.