Need setup info

New to the forum and Channels Plus. I have several Nvidia Shields and an unRAID server as well as multiple HTPCs. I have a SD HDHR Prime and a HDHR Quatro as well as a Ceton InfiniTV6. I just joined the Kickstarter campaign for their new ATSC 3.0 Quatro tuner so hopefully that should be coming in the new few months. I have a 2nd HDHR Prime that is not currently being used, but I could set it up with the cablecard from the Ceton if needed. I have a primary HTPC with Windows 7 and WMC that uses the Quatro tuners and the Ceton for recording OTA and FIOS channels in WMC. I have several 1st generation Intel NUCs with Windows 7 and WMC that use the HDHR Prime for watching live TV on FIOS. I have three 1st generation Shields and one latest generation Shield for streaming content online from Netflix, Amazon, etc., and also content stored on my unRAID server using Plex. I also have a Windows 10 HTPC with JRiver Media Center that I use primarily for 4k video and music playback.

Based on my available hardware, what would be the best way to set this up for use as a DVR and live TV? I would like to set it up so I can use the Shields for live TV in place of the Intel NUCs at the various remote TVs throughout the house. Since I'm on FIOS, all of the Fox network channels are DRM channels. Will I be able to view these channels live? I know I won't be able to record them, but I can still use WMC for that.

Can I configure the unRAID server for use as the DVR server? How about simply designating it as the storage location for the DVR? I could also set up the Windows 10 HTPC or even the primary Win 7 HTPC as the DVR server if that would work better. I don't need more than 1-2 TB of storage as I don't keep a lot of unwatched recordings on the drive. I delete them after viewing to make sure there's enough space for future recordings.

You can use your unRAID server as both the DVR server and storage, or just the storage. However, network volumes are not recommended for acting as your DVR storage; best to keep it local.

Your Fox DRMed networks will not work with Channels—neither live viewing nor recording. You may be able to use your FiOS credentials to receive the Fox streams from Channels' TV Everywhere integration, but there is no guarantee of that. (TVE integration is still at the beta stage, and those streams only deliver lower bitrates and stereo audio compared to what you'd get over cable.)

HDHR tuners are the only hardware tuners supported natively by Channels. You maybe be able to find some work-arounds using an intermediary DVR or proxy to emulate an HDHR device for your InfiniTV, but that's an exercise left up to the user.

Recording TV is really quite modest in terms of resource usage; all that's really needed is a good solid network connection and ample local storage. A NUC makes an excellent DVR server if you decide not to your use unRAID instance. (I use a GB Brix, and despite being 5 years old, it serves quite well.)

Thanks for the reply. I really didn't expect the Fox channels to work and I was aware that the HDHR tuners are the only ones supported. I was really hoping SD would have their 6-tuner Prime available by now, but at least it is listed on their website as still coming. When that will happen is anyone's guess. I just ordered a 1TB portable drive to connect to my Shield for DVR storage so that should suffice for now.

I'm not sure how I would use a NUC as a server since it appears that Windows is not supported. Am I correct in assuming that in order to use my Shield as both the DVR server and also for live TV I would have to install both the DVR server app and the Channels app on my Shield? I also assume that I would only have to install the Channels app on any other Shields for watching live TV. Am I also correct in that in order to configure the Channels app I will have to connect from a separate PC or device using the IP address and port for the Shield? When I tried setting it up previously it told me to connect via the Channels app and showed the IP address and port but when I clicked on it it just sat there endlessly and never connected. I guess it's because I was trying to connect to the same device I was transmitting from.

I'm sure that it's probably a simple task to set this up but the lack of any guide or documentation is ridiculous. I mean, how long would it take for someone to put something together that can either be viewed online or downloaded in a pdf file?

I just checked the main website and saw that I can download a version of DVR server for Windows. I'm going to install it on my Windows 10 HTPC.

That's a better choice than using the Shield as a server, IMHO. The unRaid would be my first choice, if you have the space, but maybe that's just me.

Yes, but I'm happy you're not going there. The Shield has a few quirks and limitations as a Channels server.

I've never had the server app on the same PC as my browser, so maybe someone else can answer about that, but in general just open http://[your server's IP address]:8089/admin/settings from any browser. There are some settings in each client app, but the web app is where you'll do most of your configuration.

It's harder for you just because you know so much. :slight_smile: I just blindly loaded the server app on my Synology, added a few client apps, and was up-and-running. Even the TVE beta was fairly painless until I had the dubious distinction of being first to discover a new bug. It's been rock solid since I switched from TVE to a Prime 3.

I just installed the DVR server on my Windows 10 HTPC and started my Channels Plus subscription. Setup was easy and it stepped me through the process. As it was downloading the guide data I went ahead and installed the Channels DVR app on my Shield. I was watching live TV from both OTA and FIOS in no time, but it did omit any DRM channels from the guide listing as far as I can tell. I scheduled a recording to test it out and it should be recording as I am typing this.

Now if they can set it up so it can record from any of the streaming services I might be tempted to dump FIOS TV and just keep their internet. I believe Hulu has a package that contains about 95% of the channels my wife and I both watch and it would be less than I'm paying Verizon.

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Congratulations @captain_video! And yes, Channels can record from Hulu Live TV among others. See this thread: Provider - Hulu Live TV

Can you give more details on this?

Primarily, no YouTube TV as a TVE source. There are also some limitations because of Android's sandboxing, so accessing some files on the server may be difficult.

In general it's probably not an issue for most users.

I thought no YouTube TV was only if you were using the Shield for both Server and Client.

After resetting my Shield things have been ok for me on that front using my NAS as mounted storage. I am anxious for SMB 3.0 support though.

I haven't seen any other issues using it yet. If I didn't use TVE then I wouldn't need to use is at all. I am thinking about getting an HDHR Prime-3 and cable so I may go back to using my QNAP itself as the server.

No, the YTTV limitation is only when the Shield is the server. Also, remember that the network bandwidth required when using a network share for DVR storage is 2–3x what you may think, because of streams transversing the network to first be cached to the DVR, then back to the DVR, then again back out to clients. As long as you're aware of all of this increased bandwidth and you're willing to deal with the increased fragility, then by all means continue. But, it is a known bottleneck, and will play a role in future troubleshooting.

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The Network has faster I/O speeds than my USB 3.0 HDD. My NAS trasfers at 100+MBps and the USB HDD was 80ishMBps. I tested using the USB HDD as well and had the same issues I was having. So far performing a Full Factory reset on my Shield has done the trick. I dunno it's working great right now.

While streaming TVE my NAS NIC is transferring 0.25 - 0.75 MBps and the Latency between the NAS and the Shield is <1ms.

I just watched my first recording made with Channels DVR. I did notice some motion artifacts in some scenes, but I'm not sure if it's the recording or my Samsung TV. I'll have to try some more recordings and see how they look. I had it set for automatic commercial skipping but it only did that one time and it just hung up. I noticed that my remote can do a 30-second skip so I was just using that all through the show anytime a commercial came on.

I set up Channels DVR on a 2nd Shield upstairs and it worked great for live TV. I was also able to access the recording made on my Windows 10 HTPC just like the other Shield. So far, so good, but the WAF may still be a stumbling block for me. I'm all about technology and trying new things. My wife just wants to be able to turn things on and off and not have to think about anything just to watch TV. I like what I see with Channels DVR so far but I will need to evaluate it further before deciding to take the complete plunge. Being able to record from Hulu Live may just be the one thing that will convince me to drop FIOS TV.

Be aware that Commercial skipping runs after the program finishes the recording and it takes probably maybe 10 minutes or so for a 1hr show I believe. While it is a great feature it does miss and there are time you have to skip yourself or go into the skip because it skipped over some content.

I understand. I started watching the recording while it was still in progress and it didn't try to auto-skip until near the end of the recording. Commercial skipping apps tend to be hit or miss. The one I've been using with WMC has a tendency to skip over content and miss some of the commercial breaks, which is why I prefer to use it manually in conjunction with a 30-second skip function. I have since turned that feature off in Channels DVR.

For some shows commercial skip works perfectly, but it sounds like you're better turning that off. Just for the record, I think that processing takes 20 minutes for a one-hour show.

Note that you can adjust each client app's FF/Rew times separately for sports and all other programs. The default is 7 seconds Rew and 30 seconds FF. You'll find that in the app under settings for Player.

For that TV you may need to adjust the resolution and bandwidth in the client app's settings under DVR, Streaming Quality.

Can't help you there! Here the WAF pivoted on automatic commercial skip, because it gets the indexing right on her favorite show, and also because TiVo doesn't try to index all commercials, plus we're still on TE3 which is manual even when indexed. At this point her use is about 50/50, because when it's live TV she prefers fast-forwarding through the TiVo buffer (which is for me the only point left in TiVo's favor).

Make sure you're reading the units properly. 100Mbps is megabits—1,000,000 bits, or 125,000 bytes—per second; 100MBps is megabytes—1,000,000 bytes, or 8,000,000 megabits—per second.

Units matter. And, remember that the posted bandwidth is the maximum; rarely are regular sustained speeds at that upper maximum.

1B (byte) = 8b (bits)
1MB (megabyte) = 1,000,000B (bytes) = 8,000,000b (bits)
1MiB (mebibyte) = 1,048,576B (bytes) = 8,388,608b (bits)

I know what I'm reading which is why I used the large "B" and not the small "b".
0.5MBps is approximately 4mbps.

My NAS resource manager show current and maximum. I averaged that which is why I gave the range I did.

How can I set up the DVR to record from Hulu Live or any of the other streaming services? Can I record more than one show simultaneously or just one at a time? I don't have a problem recording shows the next day if they're available on demand. Does commercial skipping still work with shows recorded from Hulu Live? What about audio? Does it record from Hulu Live in 5.1 or just stereo?

We're shooting past each other I think. See my reply to most of that in the Hulu thread. Re your additional questions, comskip works (don't know how well), and TVE audio is always 2-channel only (sorry).

You log into the WebUI of the DVR and add a TVE Source. It's self explanatory from there.

You can record multiple shows simultaneously.

The other questions were anwered.