New to Channels: Requests & Thoughts!

I was a long time Plex user, but no more. Moved on to Emby. Still use Emby but have been using Channels DVR more and more just recently!


  1. Background Play for the Android app. I love to watch the football or baseball game but sometimes have to shut the screen off and throw my phone in the pocket. I would love to CONTINUE to listen to it (background play). This is available for Youtube, Emby, etc. Please bring it to Channels!

  2. Larger PiP Button or better placement. I would like the PiP/Guide button to be larger or placed in a better position so it's easier to hit it and bring up the guide.

  3. Are You Still Watching? My Dad has a data cap, as I am sure many other people do. Sometimes when I am over there watching something I will walk away or turn the TV off but not stop Channels which continues to play all day or days in the background. I wish there was an option to have the app ask if you are still watching click yes or no or something like that for people that have data caps and/or other reasons. This could be set to a certain time, such as 1 or 2 hours with no activity or even user-selectable. Emby has this and works really well.


  1. What a great app/community. The server and apps are excellent & smooth. Usually everything JUST WORKS! Kudos to some awesome developers and great community!

  2. ATSC 3.0 just went live in my market. Works pretty much flawless with Channels DVR. Can't say the same for Emby.

Bug? I noticed that when viewing a channel on my phone using Channels DVR app & HDHomerun tuner on the local network, it's not listed under "Activity" on the Channels DVR Dashboard. It just says Idle. However if I turn off Wifi on the phone and switch to LTE, and tune a HDHR channel on the Channels DVR app it will be listed in the Dashboard under "Activity".

****Random question: Has anyone been able to get MCEBuddy to work with ATSC 3.0 recordings successfully?

EDIT: Clarified PiP button part.
EDIT: Added "Are You Still Watching?"

With respect to your question about Activity, please see this recent thread: "Activity" reporting when Tuner Sharing is off. (Short answer is, it's by design…)

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This is by design, I've learned. Turn on "Tuner Sharing" and you'll see the activity you expect to be listed. I started a thread about this earlier this week:

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Just know that tuner sharing causes an increased time to tune a channel. This for me is more annoying than not seeing it in activity. I have 8 tuners and don’t have to worry about running out of them

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How do you get coax to each tuner the most efficient way?

I have two 4tuner hdhruns and my antenna has two coax outputs. Before that antenna I used a good quality one to two splitter. Your reception quality will determine if you can use a splitter but I doubt you’ll have a problem unless you use a 1to 4 or more splitter

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Another question:

Is there a reboot server option if things are wacky and you are away (not on the LAN)?

What's a good 1to2? I too have a 4x HDHR and may grab another.

I had good success with BAMF 2 way. Like 10 bucks. No reboot button. The software is very robust and stable. You could setup a vpn and ssh in and run a reboot command if you are really worried about it

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I'll link to a post that I made about this topic. Hope it helps. Happy to help answer questions, I used to be a cable technician back in the day...

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This is already a feature request. Devs don't see a reason to restart server.

You can use this command

systemctl restart channels-dvr

sudo systemctl restart channels-dvr

curl -XPUT

This has been brought up MANY times. In MANY threads. The only "solution" is use PiP. I hate PiP. I often cant exit pip with remote and get frustrated and restart my box. FUCK PiP!

Short answer is its not going to happen. My theory is probably requires a lot of work to do since it wasn't implemented from beginning. That or devs just like crushing dreams.

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You can also use Quick Guide to see a banner of thumbnails of what else is on, while watching something else.

I happen to really like PiP too though. At least on AppleTV, with the new Siri Remote.

Quick guide is a good feature. But it doesn't quiet provide "Channel Surfing" experience.

Growing up (from teens forward) I always had TV guide open surfing channels with a background TV show playing. This is something Channels cannot do.

Ive made my peace not having this feature is. I am just not allowed to watch TV and view guide at same time
Nope i have not made peace. . . @maddox PLEASE!!!!! Figure out how to make TV guide with live playback. Pretty pretty please with cherries on top.


Yes but it satisfies the request as communicated by the OP:

As far as PIP goes:

I'm not sure what difficulty you're having with PIP that's forcing you to restart the box or avoid using it entirely. I use PIP everyday and it works well for me, all things considered. Would a full background player be nice too? Sure. And the developers know this. But I don't think haranguing them about it further will get that type of feature here any faster.

Not the same situation for me, but for some reason I always have to reload the dashboard after initially opening to get activity to show. Win10 server, usually update to the latest beta 3-4 times a week if possible.

Because he once said he would never drink the apple kool aid. You know, people like that don’t fall for expensive garbage.

Us kool aid drinkers just have to suffer with working pip and other things that simply work :man_shrugging:t2:

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If you really want to have a "Quick guide" to see when watching live tv, then you're only option is to do the m3u exports thing, import that as a tuner for Emby and use Emby as your main playback app instead.

Otherwise, just use a secondary device like a phone or tablet with the Channels app, to view the guide while your main tv is playing live.

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I was going to suggest this, too. It took me a long time to realize I could do this, and now I no longer feel like I need to be able to view the guide and a live video at the same time on the same device.

I haven't needed a Reboot server option/button but I do have to use it fairly often with Emby. I seem to get a decent amount of tuner locks with it unfortunately.

I edited my original post. I was speaking specifically about my Android phone. Android TV is great. The PiP option on Android works O.K. but I feel it would be much better if the button for it was larger or placed in a spot that was easier to hit.