Future platforms

I’ve touched on this in the past but the devs had other priorities. However now we have tvOS, iOS, Android, Android TV and Fire TV clients all at parity I wondered if any other platforms are being considered?
In particular I am thinking about WebOS (LG) and Tizen (Samsung).
I know there is a general dislike for using a SmartTV rather than a box in communities like ours but now that Apple have announced iTunes/Airplay support for SmartTVs I’m tempted to ditch my set top box if my SmartTVs DVR support was up to par.

Xbox One would be nice too :smile:

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:sweat_smile: We're definitely at maximum capacity for platforms right now. We don't have plans for adding anything else for a while. We're continuing to make the ones we have as stable and great as possible.

Thanks!

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A year has passed and you've pretty much prefected all of the platform apps you currently are on!

Any plans for Samsung :wink: :joy:

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Samsung? I guess you mean Tizen? If they add another platform this year I expect it will be Roku. Not only have they previously developed a Roku beta app, but Roku is also one of (if not the most) used streaming platforms out there.

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Yes Roku devices are very commonplace. However a lot of people only have a Smart TV. Peronally I've owned pretty much every device out there but have eventually removed all the under-set boxes (who puts them on the set-top anymore??) and rely solely on the apps on my LG Web OS TV. My wife gets on with this much better too.
A report I read said that worldwide smart tvs sold 157 million units last year. Assuming a (probably conservative) lifespan of 3 years then there are 471 million smart TVs in use. 21% are Samsung's Tizen, 12% are LG's WebOS, 10% are official Android TV and 4% are Roku (except in the US where Roku account for 25%). The rest are Chinese Android TV variants without access to the Play Store.
It's a pretty big market to distribute apps to and one which would presumably result in a fair few DVR subscriptions.

Ok so there are 471 million "smart" tv's in use... how many of them have the processing power and a fast enough network connection to make them viable as a channels client? My guess is that 80% of those "smart" tv's are under-powered junk when it comes to the built in apps.

Yes there are some high end TV's that have decent specs and could run a Channels client well, and I can't provide any numbers, but an educated guess tell's me it would be a very low % of the total Smart TV market.

Bottom line, the devs are better off focusing on platforms that provide the best user experience across the board. If you want a cheap device that does a decent job then buy the fire stick 4k when its on sale.

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I bought a high-end LG OLED last year, and I asked the devs if a webOS app was a possibility. But then I thought about it more and remembered that TV manufacturers usually stop offering firmware updates after about a year. Then the apps start dropping support not long after because the older TVs can't keep up.

I plan to keep my TV for ~5 years. I can only imagine how outdated/unusable the apps will be by then. I'd much rather invest £180 in an Apple TV that I know will get regular updates. And once it's eventually end-of-life, it's another £180 to get the latest and greatest instead of £2500 for a new TV.

If I remember correctly, webOS is now Linux-based and uses Qt5 for its primary frameworks. (Quite a change from its Palm origins.)

In fact, the open-source version of webOS just reached version 2.2.0, with the Raspberry Pi 4 as an officially supported platform. So, don't preclude webOS from the realm of possibility; but don't count on it, either.

That's a very interesting point. However I believe the CPU intensive aspect of Channels relates to software de-interlacing and decoding. Set-top boxes such as ATV, Roku and Firestick are originally intended to handle progressively encoded web video streams and support H264 +/- H265 +/- VP8/9. As such the manufacturers have chosen not to implement deinterlacers or mpeg2 decoders in the silicon either deliberately to cut cost or because the decoding of interlaced broadcast medium was never in the original specification for the device.
As such the Channels developers have to use their own software player (derived from mplayer and other OSS libraries) rather than the system player of the device. In the best case scenario mplayer has to deinterlace H264 which can then be handed off to the hardware decoder and in the worst case has to deinterlace and decode mpeg2. I'm not too sure about how the audio pipeline is handled but I suspect CPU demands are much lower than video decoding.
The raison d'etre of a TV is to decode OTA signals. They will include an ATSC or DVB tuner just like the HDHR and will have a hardware decoder that will be specifically designed to handle interlaced streams. As long as the OS allows sending interlaced streams to the decoder any smart TV should have the horsepower to display the video faultlessly as it is the exact same data stream that the TVs own tuner delivers.
All this assumes the deinterlacing is available in the API (and not done on the tuner hardware). I don't know if it is the case for any specific manufacturer.

LG Web OS or Roku wou!d be great

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Search the forum and you will see that they do not plan to support Roku devices. The Roku OS has limited capabilities. I doubt web OS will be supported. I love our LG TVs but LG is the only one that uses web OS.

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Another vote here for WebOS! This app is fantastic on iOS and the ability to add our own SatIP servers is just amazing.

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We have no plans to write any new apps.

Hi, new user here trying this out. Just trying to wrap my head around this... my 2019 Samsung Tizen TV does not have a Fire TV Stick since it already has everything built in (voice remote, Netflix, Youtube, etc). But if I understood this correct, I need to buy a Fire TV Stick, buy HDHomerun, and pay $80/year just to add a DVR using Channels? Seems steep. I also don't want to have to fiddle with a second remote just for Fire TV, not to mention pay another $50 for that device. Anyway, just my long way of voting for support for Samsung Tizen. Thanks.

The advantage is you have a HD Home Run, and a supported NAS, attached to your router, and hidden away.
All the TVs you have with a firestick get TV wirelessly. I have a TV on the wall and I only have to worry about the power cable, and I don’t have to worry about routing areal cables around my house.

Most devices (including the Fire TV ones) support HDMI-CEC, so you can continue to use your TV's remote to navigate your third-party streaming device.

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I actually chuckled reading that as someone maxed out at 15 devices on my hub remote. :wink:

Easy to do I have a Sofabaton that can have 15 devices ... but I set it to to control devices in any room I am in. That Includes TV's FireTV Shields soundbars etc... I got tired of trying to find remotes in other rooms.

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I am maxed out on my Harmony hub at 15. When I get something new, I have to delete a device. First world problems. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Not having native Samsung & LG TV apps is missing a huge part of the market. I realize there is added expense, however 1) this represents a huge number of current & future customers and 2) having anything but a power cord and a network cable attached to a TV is rapidly becoming passé. [Needless expense, complexity, and mess (unless you are a zip tie and bracket ninja).]

[I am apparently going to have to decide in 30 days whether I really want to buy more Apple TV boxes. I (probably) do not, and I do not want to add any other new devices to my home.]

[[Edit: even having the network cable is old school; I like the stability of having video on a wire for fixed viewing locations saving bandwidth for wireless devices.]]