NEW: DVR Server + Tailscale integration, for easier Away from Home access (Experimental)

The latest prerelease server builds have an experimental option for built-in Tailscale integration!

Once enabled, you will see a new option under Remote DVR settings to set it up.

You can open your Tailscale portal using the Manage link, and you will see your DVR listed under Machines:

Normally when you setup Tailscale or other VPN, you install the VPN software on the entire machine.

We have taken a different approach: the Tailscale VPN server is embedded directly into the DVR software. You can still have tailscale installed on your computer, but this new option will let the DVR server itself connect to your private network and get its own IP that's just for the DVR.

We hope this is useful for users who are stuck behind CGNAT (i.e. T-Mobile Home, Starlink, etc), and provides a simpler alternative for those don't want to have to mess with their router settings or expose their computers to the internet.

Note: we hope to bring better integration into our client apps as well, but for now you will need to install and enable Tailscale on your mobile device, copy the IP of the DVR, then go into Channels and select Connect > At Home to enter the private tailscale IP.

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Haven't tried it yet but Im assuming this won't work for the Apple TV as a remote client since tail scale isn't available on it ?

E: Stuck in booting loop with the latest prerelease build

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22 posts were merged into an existing topic: Server Crash with Pre-release v2022.09.17.0035

Does this method solve a dvr issue I’ve had using tailscale with 2 remote channel servers (but not using this integration)? The issue involves all the passes for network programs recording the remote tailscale channel rather than the local network channel. In settings, the tailscale source priority is at the bottom. Only annoying option is to click on each pass to enter the correct channel but there are several and I’m not really sure which network they air.

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Wow! I’m truly amazed by the pace at which useful features like this are being implemented!

Question, should this work over a cellar connection as I’ve been using Tailscale prior to this integration to connect to Channels over WIFI, however I’ve been unsuccessful over cellar…

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Correct but stay tuned as we add support to the clients.

It sounds like you have one dvr talking to another dvr, which is not something that's supported by this new integration.

Others have reported this but then later it started working. I'm not sure if this new method will be any different, but you can try it and let us know.

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This is great! I already had Tailscale running on the computer, but the potential to also include it in the clients for easier remote access is awesome. Thanks!

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This is fantastic news. It also seems very easy to setup as it took no time to put 2 Windows devices and an Android phone on the network as well as the DVR. Unfortunately, using the remote access URL just spins for me and never reaches the page. Anyone else having this experience?

(Remote access test performed on Pixel 5 over Verizon cell network with WiFi on the device turned off so that I don't connect to the local network).

Try connecting via the Tailscale IP. It isn't wired up to my.ChannelsDVR.net yet

This is because while you are on cellular, when you are attached with tailscale you are literally on your home network. If you can’t reach the server using the my.channels it is because your router doesn’t support hairpin nat. To reach your server while using tailscale you need to use the lan ip of the server in a web browser

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Will enabling the tailscale implementation within the DVR modify the DNS server that Channels will use.

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No

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By coincidence, I installed Tailscale on my Channels DVR server the same day this support came out. When I installed Tailscale on my server, the Remote DVR settings changed from my local network to the Tailscale for the manual port forwarding setting. (Was 192.168.x.x and changed to 100.x.x.x)

Is there a use case to keep the port forwarding enabled when direct tailscale integration is enabled? Or should I just turn if off?

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We haven't yet done extensive testing regarding the difference in performance characteristics of using Tailscale vs direct connections (with port forwarding enabled). The port forwarding system is something we have had in place for a long time and have confidence in how it performs when it has been setup and is working.

This Tailscale integration is most interesting right now for situations where port forwarding turns out to be difficult (or impossible to use because of network realities). As we have more experience with it, we'll continue to evaluate the best practices we convey.

We like Tailscale because it also gives access to other services beyond the DVR when we are remote, which has turned out to be helpful for many reasons for more technical users. The direct Tailscale integration inside the DVR will not provide that access to other services and is being created to provide a simple alternative to port forwarding when it doesn't work.

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This is a display bug picking the wrong suggestion for the setting. Please submit diagnostics and we will figure out how to ignore the native Tailscale device

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Eric, thanks for the explanation.

tmm1, before I saw your post, I changed the priority of my network interfaces so that my local network is higher priority than Tailscale. Previously, both networks were set to automatic. When I changed the priority to favor the local network, Channels DVR displayed my local network for the manual port forwarding. I will change it back & submit diagnostics.

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just starting with tailscale myself, i noticed when connected, it doesnt use the server's dns. is that a tailscale thing, or can that be changed in your implementation?

thanks

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Sweet. Thanks!

FYI, I was in touch with a Channel tech over something else and they helped me get the link to work in addition to getting the app to work. You guys are awesome!

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First, let me say this is a big plus for people in my situation. I now have T-Mo and have had issues getting Tailscale (or any VPN solution) to work properly and have failed. I am sitting here...remote from home...and was able to set this up and streaming recordings in maybe two minutes...tops.

Now, I am asking for some advice:
Using Tailscale, you have to use the Home streaming settings...is that correct? I think that I read that and it seems to be the case. If not, please educate me.

When I set a streaming bit rate, on the client (in this case, my phone), is that setting specific to that client? Or does changing the Home streaming quality, at the client, change the setting, at the server, for all clients?

On my phone...where I am currently sitting...is averaging about 175Mbps down and my home computer, where the Channels server lives, is averaging about 50Mbps up. But, connecting through Tailscale, in the Channels client, the speed back to the server is only averaging less than 4Mbps. Does that meet expectations, is there a limitation with Tailscale, or is there something I can change to improve that?

I am not going to lie...without this, I was thinking about dropping Channels, but this has made me rethink, for now.

Thanks guys...great job.

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