I usually dont do how to's since i dont have the patience to take screenshots, make it look nice and type in proper grammar or punctuation, but here is what i did in order to create my own 24/7 channels or any type of linear channel right in Channels. Hopefully i dont miss something.
Ive been searching for this holy grail for more than 10 years and no one did it right, it was a pain to get everything working (looking at you pseudotv for kodi) and it never worked.
Channels DVR sub (obviously)
Plex server and your media scanned by plex for metadata
Install DizqueTV on your preferred system. I settled on Docker Desktop for Windows 10 on an old dell pc that is not my Channels or Plex server.
follow the directions on their github to setup ffmpeg and plex. the reason you need plex is because this was made to connect to plex and use the plex metadata database in order to provide guide data to the emulated dizquetv hdhr in which plex uses. We will not be using the hdhr, DizqueTV creates and provides an m3u and xml of your data that Channels will ingest.
the docker image has ffmpeg already installed and setup, you will need to do this on your own if you use the other methods.
Once Dizquetv is installed and setup with ffmpeg and connectd to plex, you can now create your own tv cahnnels with many options.
Here is what i have done so far, Channel 100 - Top Gear:
Put in the channel number that will appear in Channels, name the channel and add an icon if you want
Add your files with the plus sign in what ever order you want. You can see all the options you can do to this channel. I simply just added the show in order without any commercials, etc.
I didn't change anything in the flex, epg and ffmpeg tabs.
Now that you have your channel setup, now its time to add it to Channels. A very easy thing to do.
DizqueTV provides the xml and m3u via http on the top right. simply copy the link and add it to channels;
the channel now appears with the channel number you provided in diquetv, with proper artwork and metadata
Now here are the limitations and gotchas i encountered:
dizquetv will always transcode with ffmpeg because, from what i understand, dizquetv will only direct play the files if they are compatible with Plex's live tv constraints. plex live tv apparently only supports whatever the tuner sends to plex live tv. So it looks at the file and transcodes it to play nicely with plex.
after testing the windows, mac installs, it kept crashing on me every so often. i moved it to docker on synology but it was not powerfull enough for some of the files i have in some of the channels so it would crash or pause.
i settled on an old dell pc with docker desktop. the cpu hoovers around 50 - 90% without any issues for one stream. i encounter problems if i try two streams, hopefully that wont happen when the mac mini m1 arrives in a few weeks.
i was experiencing missing guide data in channels after a while, so you can simply change the xml settings in dizquetv so channels will always ingest the xml with more guide data. i set it to 48 hours with a 1 hour refresh.
any who, it works great without any (major) issues. give it a try and hopefully something like this is integrated natively in channels soon.