NEW: Channels for Android TV


Additional bug

I am unable to see non-HD channels. Regardless or whether I have the guide filter set to HD or All. I only see HD Channels. I can see my SD Channels in the HDHR App, so this issue looks to be isolated to Channels.

What should Channels app behavior be when the Shield goes to sleep and then wakes up?

Feature request (again)
Please add keyboard commands such that I can direct tune a channel. Scrolling is pretty annoying when you want to jump through the lineup a good ways.

Usability suggestion
When you exit from the guide to the side menu and select something there (on now, tuner or player, etc), and then go back to the guide, it resets you back to the beginning of the channel list and forgets where you were. It’s slightly annoying now, but I could see it getting really annoying once the DVR menu appears.


If you hit this again, try moving left/right first and see if that helps.

I’m not sure, what are you seeing? The app should not go to sleep while the player is active.

Please be more specific. What keys would you like to use and for what functions? Do you have a keyboard attached to the shield? Or are you using a remote with custom mappings?

SD channels are listed below the HD channels when selecting All. I guess this is different than our tvOS app and a little confusing, so I’ll change it.


Thanks. On Stuck guide cursor, pretty sure I tried that, but will do so explicitly if I run across it again.

For adding keyboard mappings, no I do not use a keyboard, but rather have a FLIRC attached to my shield with a Universal Remote. FLIRC receives an IR signal from my remote, and translates to a standard keyboard press. In the HDHR and Google Live Channels App, I’m able to directly key in a channel (e.g. 5-0-4-enter to directly tune to channel 504). I believe Harmonys can emulate keyboards also, so a standard keyboard mapping approach would work for those use cases and other platforms too.

My suggestions would be to map:

  • 0 to 9 - direct channel keying
  • A key to Bring up guide directly (most universal remotes have a dedicated Guide button)
  • A key to bring bring up menu directly (most universal remotes have a dedicated Menu button) and would be superior to exit to guide, then another keypress to menu
  • A key to bring you directly to DVR recordings
  • A key that would bring you back to LiveTV no matter where you are in the interface (back to last tuned channel)
  • A key to enable previous channel from within the player

I’m less hung up on the which keys those actions are mapped to. Hope that makes sense.

On the “sleep” behavior, what I was referring to is that I shut off my TV with Channels running. A few hours later, I turned the TV back on and once the picture was frozen, another time it seemed to have “paused” because I got an onscreen about being behind the timeline or something. So my question was really trying to understand what the design behavior should be and then could tell whether I was observing that or not.

BTW, news of you guys taking on Android TV in earnest finally gave me confidence to get rid of my FIOS cable boxes and go solely with Channels on my nvidia shields. I’ve been flirting with doing this for the last year +. Bye bye rental charges of ~$50 a month. Your UI has the most promise I’ve seen. I prefaced to my household that DVR access was coming (and recordings could be seen in Plex in meantime). Two days into this experiment, the wife and kids haven’t mutinied yet, so that’s a good sign:)


[quote=“skoal74, post:23, topic:3999”]
On the “sleep” behavior, what I was referring to is that I shut off my TV with Channels running. A few hours later, I turned the TV back on and once the picture was frozen, another time it seemed to have “paused” because I got an onscreen about being behind the timeline or something.[/quote]

This is a bug. Will fix so that the player stops when the TV is turned off, and reconnects to the HDHR when you turn back on.

I reached out to the FLIRC guys and they’re going to send me some test units so I can try this myself.

Ideally we would use common mappings that other apps like Kodi etc use, instead of making up our own. I do see that there are some codes predefined in android, like channel up/down and last channel.

I’d like to know what other apps use for other functions, especially to show the menu inside the player etc.


Sweet thanks for the feedback!!

In regards to the key mapping, like @tmm1 alluded to, should we target common key mappings?

I remember back in the day when I used flirc, it was important that mappings matched the multitude of apps I would be using.

Or…does harmony handle this issue by being able to utilize different activities?


I’ve uploaded a new beta build with a bunch of fixes:

  • Detects when TV is turned off and close HDHR connection.
  • Holding down left/right for more than a second will start rewind/fast-forward.
  • Menu/Guide buttons will toggle the in-player guide.
  • Last Channel button on the remote will jump to the previous channel.
  • All filter will show SD channels first.
  • Page Up/Down buttons will scroll the guide more quickly.
  • Channel Up/Down buttons will let you channel surf in the player.
  • Guide position is remembered when leaving the guide and coming back.
  • Seeking around the buffer is more reliable.
  • Use Menu button on the On Now guide to access channel settings.


Dumb question, what key map or code set are you referring to for each of these actions?


The android key code set. Maybe you can tell me more about how you map things with the harmony/flirc?


I assume you mean the Shield TV code TV IR code set?

For FLIRC simply outputs standard keyboard presses. Within the FLIRC software, you use any random IR codeset from your universal remote and map those codes to the keyboard key you want it to be. That step is transparent to the devices FLIRC actually connects to (ie the Shield) as it only outputs keyboard presses.

To clarify, I don’t use a harmony, but rather a remote made by Universal Remote Control such as the MX-980.

The setup I have going for the Shield is I use the standard Shield IR codeset for d-pad, select, back and home, and then use flirc for number keys and other stuff not present in the SHield IR codeset.

I’m pretty sure ive seen a guide that better describes this type of setup.


If you can link me to any guides or the list of Shield codes that would help.

The android SDK provides many key codes such as KEYCODE_LAST_CHANNEL which I added to our code. I’m not sure how that maps to IR or remotes.


In the SDK, last channel is 229. Maybe that’s what you need?


Dang it. Signed up for the DVR service since the Live TV app seems to be pretty good for FireTV (good enough to maybe replace Plex Live TV/DVR which I am currently using (they been promising a grid guide for months and your app communicates more directly with less overhead so channel changes are much faster)).

Did notice a audio kinda skip 2 secs after tuning to new channel, I will get more information on this if it is actually a thing and post here details on what is happening.

I know I get the first month of DVR free but any idea when the DVR part for FireTV will be developed again? (only ask since I signed up just today to test it with the app)

By the way: how large is the buffer for pausing live tv (on firetv)?


Perhaps I’m not thinking about this right, but I’ll give it a shot:

  1. “Normal” Shield remote commands (e.g. D-Pad, select, back, home, etc) come from either a Shield remote, a Harmony BT Shield Device or via the Shield IR codeset --> I’d think there’s nothing for you to do differently with any of these commands than you are already doing.

  2. Any other commands are provided via standard Keyboard input, which is recognized natively by the Shield (don’t know the api behind that, sorry, I’m not a programmer). I can hook up a BT keyboard or use FLIRC to simulate a standard keyboard input and the Shield will recognize these as normal keyboard keystrokes. Others have used this approach to access Kodi commands, and get access to things that aren’t part of the Shield remote. Independent of using a FLIRC to simulate a keyboard, people have created Harmony Shield Activities by adding 2 devices to the activity (same principle):

Device 1) Shield device profile - gives you basic d-pad stuff, play pause etc as described that’s available for IR or via BT
Device 2) Windows PC Keyboard - gives you the ability to use any keyboard input you want.

So, I’d think what Channels would need to do is just be able to accept standard keyboard input that could trigger some of this additional functionality (e.g accept number key input, etc). This all worked natively in live channels once I paired a BT keyboard or could provide keyboard input (simulated via FLRIC), and works in Kodi too (e.g. I have a button on my remote that is mapped have flirc send an “i” keypress to bring that up). Perhaps I made it sounds more complicated than it is.

Lastly, perhaps the keyboard input approach would function cross platform (e.g. AppleTV) as TVOS allows connection of BT Keyboard as well.


Bug Report:

My tv had been off for about 8 hours. When i started Channels it started with the last channel I was on, however when i hit the back button to go to guide to see what was on the guide data did not populate. I hit back again and choose guide and still dint populate. I hit back again choose On now that populated, so i hit back again choose guide and now it populated.

Bug Report:

When tuning channels (all 5 network ones at least) the app will tune right away however then after .5 to 1.0 seconds it will stutter. On some channels it will repeat this after another .5 to 1.0 sec but not on all. I assume this has to do with the time-shift recording based upon my reading upon why Plex takes 6 seconds to tune channels vs Hdhomerun taking 3 seconds. Plex just says “tuning channels” while it gets the recording going and doesnt show the channel until it is already recording. Again just an assumption since I am unsure how Channels or HDHomerun handles the runing while recording.


This issue is specific to the FireTV and has been fixed in the latest beta.


I currently have 1.0.0-beta how do i get the newest beta release or update my app on firetv?


The app should update automatically. The version number has not been changed.


ok , sorry I assumed that a new beta would have higher version such as 1.0.1 or something - ill test it out sunday afternoon. Any feedback to offer on the guide issue?


I also have observed this, however, the only part of the guide that isn’t populated is the part that is on the screen. if you just scroll down the guide to higher or lower channels, you’ll see that the program data is there for them, and then if you scroll back to the channels that were missing data before, then the data has been filled in. It’s almost like the guide screen doesn’t fetch the latest data automatically and display it and you have to do some other action to trigger that fetch.


Potential bug, but probably need more data to say. During the super bowl last night, I observed brief freezes of the TV feed,. The timeline graphic would pop up and then the image would resume within 1 second, often accompanied with a pixelated image that would clear. This happened a few times during the game and then again while my wife was watching a show right after. I observed this on multiple TVs, so wasn’t limited to one of my nVidia shields.

My entire network is Cat5E connected and I’ve been able to stream everything I can throw at it.

Any suggestions how to diagnose? Does Channels have a log I could review (or send to you guys)?