How to add movie trailers

Well, it worked for a few minutes... Then it stopped. I will keep messing with it and once I have it working fully I will update the thread.

1 Like

Using tools to fetch an HLS url from them won't work, as those URLs are ephemeral. You'd have to do it at the time of trying to play it back.

1 Like

@maddox yep that's the case.

So , back to researching how to make them stick :stuck_out_tongue:


Is there a way to point to a local file for the trailer??



I've seen some some creative approaches discussed, one common workflow involves running youtube-dl on your server to download the files locally. This can get a little complicated though. Some other discussion about that here.

There isn't any "pointing to it" via metadata editing. If you have a local trailer file, not on the web, just put that file alongside the movie file in your Channels DVR imports directory. Naming it appropriately is enough to do the trick. This is working for me, at least on tvOS.


1 Like

IMO a better source for movie trailers is hosted by Apple here:

They don't have every movie, but they sure do have a lot of them.
Here is an example page of a trailer page recent film:

Using an extension like "Download HLS Streams" on Chrome or "The Stream Detector" on Firefox, one can easily determine the movie file's URL, In this case it's this .m4v file:

Paste that into the "Trailer URL" field in Channels DVR's web admin's page for this movie in your library, and the tvOS client will show it in the info screen and stream the trailer from Apple's server. Sweet!

I've just noticed a problem with this method though, the Trailer URLs aren't sticking around, so I posted some feedback in the beta thread. I think it might be a bug, hopefully can get fixed because when it works it's really cool!

1 Like

I wanted to say thank you for posting this! I followed your directions and was actually able to get trailers to work in Channels using apple trailers. I really wish i knew how to do it using youtube as there are a ton of trailers missing from apple. I wish Channels would figure out a way to automatically link to the online trailers like Kodi does.

With that said, I can confirm that I am experiencing the same bug as you. The trailers url is disappearing from the Metadata shortly after saving.

1 Like

Thanks! Please report your experience in the BETA thread too, hopefully this can get fixed.

So thanks to @Fofer suggestion, I have found if you download the trailer and use the "XXX-trailer.mp4" (or whatever file extension is applicable, minus the quotes) it works quite well.

I have had family issues to deal with for a bit now, so haven't had a chance mess with this much anymore lately.

Hopefully soon I can try the other suggestions.

#grateful for such an amazing community though. Glad to be a part of it. :slight_smile:


I've gone through and used a scraper to add a trailer in the '-trailer' format for all the movies in my library. This is being picked up in channels with trailers now playing.

I have noticed, however, that the seek bar at the bottom is not behaving as expected during trailer playback - i.e. i'm not able to manually seek to a point in the trailer. If this were a movie, i'd go and select the fix video timestamps option to correct it, but this isn't an option with trailers. Any ideas?

What playback device? What file format? What happens when you try to seek?

Apple TV, trailer in mp4 format. When I try to manually seek across the timeline, it just continues playing from the point it was at. Interestingly, if I hard click the remote to advance 30 seconds, that works fine.

I would be interested to know your workflow for the scraper you mentioned. Could you please share how this is done?

I'm using a 3rd party program called tinymediamanager. I've set it to monitor the same directory as my movie library, it scrapes and downloads metadata, trailers and subtitles, which then appear in channels. It requires a little bit of manual intervention to trigger a scan and in some cases make sure the right movie is selected. Other than that, works a treat!

1 Like

Do your downloaded trailer URLs disappear like the online URLs do?

This is a great utility for precisely this, thanks for mentioning it! I was happy to see they have a Mac version as well as a docker. I'm using the former, was impressed quickly, and ponied up for the Pro license.

They are downloaded files, not URLs (video files with names that end in .mp4, .mov, .mkv,.avi or the like) and in my experience, no they don't. They stick around and work fine with Channels DVR. I've added a bunch of trailer files way and they get recognized by the DVR server and display/stream on our AppleTV's. Only the text entries in the Trailer URL fields are consistently disappearing on me.

I also have noticed an issue with trailers for movies that have been added via .strm files. They don't work. The "Trailer" button appears, but pressing it just plays the movie, not the trailer. Here is an example:

> Test Movie.strm
> Test Movie-trailer.mp4

I was also unable to get a trailer added via .strm file to work. I'm not sure if that functionality has been added to Channels DVR but I figured it was worth a shot.

> Test Movie.strm -or- Test Movie.mp4
> Test Movie-trailer.strm
1 Like

Normal YouTube URLs are now supported in the tvOS and iOS version as of the latest TestFlight beta. You can simply copy and paste a link to a YouTube video into a movie's Trailer URL field, and it will play back.

You will need both the latest tvOS/iOS version and the latest pre-release Channels DVR Server.

1 Like

I've tried a wrapper that does an http redirect to the actual youtube mp4 but it fails with an immediate "Connection Lost (-17)". It works in VLC. Any suggestion?

I get the -17 error even when I put the YouTube video URL directly in the metadata. It should be good for 6 hours but still fails immediately. What am I missing?