Feature Request: Ability to set a buffer size

Have you sent the diagnostics from the app after experiencing this?

No, I assumed it was the same for everyone since its the same on all 8 of my FireSticks. I wasnt aware that if transcoding is enabled that the buffer stays on the server. If that were available as a setting but without transcoding, that would be a great solution. Since the functionality is already there...

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The "larger buffer on the server" I believe refers to the brief intermediary buffer that the server keeps for all streams it serves to clients.

It is my understanding that the live buffer is exclusively on the client, regardless of your streaming quality settings.

In short, if you want a larger live buffer, you have two options:

  1. use a device with more internal storage (or add additional storage that can be adopted by your device), or
  2. reduce the streaming quality so that the incoming streams are reduced in size. (This won't actually increase the space the buffer can use, but it will allow more content to fit in the same space.)

I would've figured 2.5 gigs free would get me more than three minutes. It actually does if I keep hitting pause every three minutes, I can get all the way up to 40 minutes of buffer by doing that, but Channels unpausing itself every three minutes even tho theres plenty of room left kind of sucks.

I also dont see the need for the buffer to be local, it hangs up on 3/4 of the 30 second skips anyway, so how is having it local helping? Plex 30 second skip is seemless and that buffer is stored on tbe server.

The diagnostics from your living room device on 5/12 shows the following:

Filesystem                                            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/fuse                                             5.2G  3.9G  1.2G  76% /storage/emulated

The OS is showing 1.2GB available. On FireOS if we try to use all this space, warnings start appearing on the screen and the OS will start killing apps. So we have to reserve atleast 750MB for the OS itself, which leaves about 350MB for your live TV buffer.

If you're watching OTA, its mpeg2 using about 18mbps (= 2.2MB/s). 350MB / 2.2MB/s = ~2.65 minutes

So yes, you only have a ~3 minute buffer before the player has to unpause.

What makes no sense to me is if you have tuner sharing on it goes to the server first then streams to your device but the buffer is kept on your device...

Why not if you have tuner sharing on since you are already going to the server to stream to devices why not keep the buffer at the server.... and Use available disk space.

Emby gives you the option to play livetv directly or go through the server

Right now if you are using tuner sharing i have seen the small buffer at the server get filled up and lockup the stream. It must be a real small memory buffer allocated at the server.

A one hour show in MPEG2 take up 8 gigs. That means 2 gigs is 15 minutes worth of buffer; 1 gig is 7.5 minutes. Even on MEG5 shows, it unpauses after 3 minutes with 2+ gigs free. I used to be able to pause of very very long periods of time, but something changed about 2 or 3 months ago.

Either way, as far as watching live TV and using Channels as a DVR where you pause, and then fast forward, it's pretty much useless. Again, it's the reason we still have a TiVo, if these littles things could get fixed, TiVo would be gone, and I would brag up ChannelsDVR to all my my friends and family.

You don't have 2GB free, only 350MB is free. FireOS may claim that much is free, but it is not available for Channels to use.

We can look into making it easier to use the remote server buffering mode when at home.

Well, I successfully added 16 gigs to my Fire TV 4K Max and got the buffer space I was looking for. As it turns out, none of my other devices will get FireOS 7 (needed for USB storage expansion), so I guess Ill be buying 7 more 4K Max sticks in order to get my my buffer space. Kinda sucks.

The thumb drive solution is not working well. I keep having to replace and/or reformat the Thumb Drives (SanDisk good drives). Now the living room Channels App doesn't work at all, even when not placed on the USB Drive. When I choose a channel to watch from the guide, it never plays and the FireStick becomes so slow you can hardly even get it to do anything until it's rebooted. I submitted many many diagnostics.

At this point I'm ready to give up and look for another DVR solution. Little to no buffer really sucks for live TV.

In my personal experience the only reliable solution I had with thumb drives and Channels on Android was with the CCGTV, and using an external powered USB3 hub with PD; every time I've tried it with USB-OTG adapters on Fire TV devices, or plugged directly into the USB-C port of the TS4K, the drives are unreliable, and frequently require reinsertion or rebooting the device.

(The cost of the CCGTV, hub, thumb drive, and additional/more powerful AC adapter makes the cost nearly the same as an Apple TV ... Android makes for decent cheap streamers, but for anything else you'd most likely be better served by something else.)

In the beta app, can you try changing Settings > Debug > Always use HLS: On

That setting should move the buffer to the server

Its not channels that sucks, its firesticks. I have 3 TV's and there are 3 firesticks in the trash now... Switched to AppleTV's and I feel foolish for waiting for so long. Its not that Channels only works reliably on AppleTV, its that AppleTV is a far superior streaming device and EVERYTHING works better.

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If you’re highly invested in Channels, it’s worth investing in hardware.

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You tell me one thing that is so great about the Channels DVR LiveTV buffer besides channel change? So asking folks to invest on devices does not address the shortcomings of the LiveTV buffer.

Sorry but that doesnt make sense. The OP is saying that they want a larger buffer. They arent asking about how relavent that feature is. I personally dont use the livetv buffer but the appletv is a better overall streaming device that would fix this issue for the OP.

8 TVs

I have never used an Apple product and I don't plan to start now. Not that I don't think Apple makes fine products, but I don't want to become part of the Apple cult. I am mainly using FireTV 4k stick Max devices and I really like the remote. They really work perfect for me, maybe I am just lucky. I have a greater than 3 hour Channels buffer and I can start viewing a tuner channel in about half a second. I really don't see how the AppleTV could be much better, but I will probably never know for sure.

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Did you try this? Did it work?