Library content from other locations on home network

I'm running ChannelsDVR on a 12-year-old HP Z400 PC with 24 GB of RAM and a W3680 Xeon CPU. The service is running on a smallish (160GB) SSD and I've put a 5TB storage drive on board, so it has more processing capacity than it does storage capacity.

I have a very large number of movies and TV shows located all over my home network that I'd like to have in the Channels Library. I've added some here and there with the hope of adding many more, but I'm finding that anything in the Library that resides on a different networked resource shows up just fine in the Library, but cannot be played when I'm away from home. Is there any way around this?

Try playing the file again after it fails; with network storage, often there is a timeout that occurs because accessing the file and getting the transcode started takes longer than 6s (which is the default timeout).

Submit diagnostics from the server when this happens. And mention it here. That will give us more information.

Anything that creates more Jitter and Latency are your enemies.

  • WiFi Network < Wired/Moca Network
  • HDD that goes to sleep < SSD that is always on
  • Attached to server < Somewhere else on network
  • Connected to motherboard < USB

It's mostly not the power of your server at issue; it is the cumulative delay of all of those other factors (although older hardware like that could also contribute some). Any chance you could consolidate all that dispersed content to at least a device attached to your server? Also see this if you are worried about space:

Further, can you make sure your server is hardwired?

I don't have any problem playing files away from home as long as they're local to the PC hosting Channels DVR. Unfortunately, my home server has 6 drives that range from 4TB to 8TB each and my personal PC has 5 drives that range from 3TB to 8TB in size.

On at least one drive of each of the other computers I've created a Channels->TV and Channels->Movies structure and have begun moving files into those folders for Channels DVR to display in its Library. While it works quite well within the home, we can only watch files that are located on local drives of the Channels DVR host computer when away from home.

I tried playing several from work today during lunch, so when I get home I'll see what's in the log that corresponds to its behavior of showing a playing window for a second, then going back to the Watch Now window and saying "reconnecting" for about 5 seconds before displaying the movie description and replacing "Watch Now" with a "Stop" button.

Chances are the timeout is being exceeded. Within the home there is no need for transcoding; remotely you need the additional overhead of transcoding/remuxing on top of the time needed to access the content, which can take a considerable amount of time if it is a network share or the harddrive has gone into a suspend/sleep mode.

If you immediately try to access the same item after it fails, does it then succeed? If so, that will give credence to the timeout scenario I posited.

(I believe the initial timeout for Channels is 6s, and anything beyond that will fail.)

I'm not discounting the timeout theory, but the drives that are being accessed for these files have been set to never go to sleep. Nonetheless, I've tried using the Watch Now button to start the video up to 6 times in a row and Channels DVR stops trying to reconnect or buffer for about 5 seconds each time before just leaving the description box open with a Stop button available where it used to say Watch Now.

In that case, it sounds like your (DVR) server is having issues, likely with its transcoder. If repeated and sequential attempts have yielded no improvement, try setting a comparable setting in the Settings > Web Player portion of the DVR web UI, and accessing the content locally via web browser; that will approximate the situation you are experiencing locally.

Additionally, after a failure to stream you can submit diagnostics so the developers can have a more detailed view of the situation and give you more directed support.

I guess the log only goes back 12 hours and I missed the errors that occurred while I tried to play home network files remotely. I'll check again tomorrow.

However, I DID see a lot of errors such as the following:

Scanner error walking \\Share1\Channels\Movies: CreateFile \\Share1\Channels\Movies: The user name or password is incorrect.

I do have unique usernames and passwords on each network resource. Is there a way to resolve this that I may have missed?

You can see more of your log file: Channels Support - Subscription FAQ

How can I view more of the Channels DVR Server Log?

By default the Channels DVR Server log only shows the last 1500 lines. To see more of the log, change the url from




where x.x.x.x is the IP address of your Channels DVR Server and n=10000 is the number of lines to display

I found out it works fine once I've entered the password to each of the network sources. After a reboot (like for a Windows Update) I'm not asked for one until I open Windows Explorer and navigate to the sources used. Is there a way to make logging in to the other sources automatic without having to disable passwords?