New User Experience

Greetings, I just canceled my Tivo subscription and thought I would share my insight into making the switch to Channels DVR.

I started by puchasing the HDHomeRun 4k tuner. Got it connected and working and decided I wanted Channels DVR as opposed to the other one.

Got Channels server installed on my Windows 10 PC without any trouble at all. Next I used Channels Settings, Local Content, to point to my Tivo recordings and again no problems, Channels recognized them almost immediately.

So I used this setup for about 2 weeks, getting used to the settings and where all the files are located and just basically understanding how everything works.

So after 2 weeks I thought I need a NAS because I have limited storage on my PC and I was hoping to increase the buffer when watching live TV. I choose the Synology DS218play as my NAS.

I will say that my setup only includes OTA broadcast TV, no others like Sling, Hulu or anything like that.

Next up was migrating from my PC to the NAS. I read everything I could find and then started. It was less than smooth and that was probably my fault as I thought I needed to move the whole files structure from PC to NAS. Hindsight tells me that the Channels Server is much smarter and just needs to be shown the latest DVR database and it will figure it all out.

Eventually I got it all setup and it worked beautifully and I didn't lose any recordings.

So now I noticed my buffer on live TV didn't increase at all. This is because I learned on this website that the buffer resides in the client ie Firestick or Tivo Stream or anything else you might use.

So knowing this I knew my Tivo Stream 4k needed more memory. The 4gb or so available was not enough. So I oreded the USB-C to USB-A adapter. Plugged a 32gb memory stick into the adapter and plugged the adapter into the side of the Tivo Stream. Still no improvement in the buffer.

Then I realized in order to take advantage of the new 32gb I needed to move channels DVR app onto the memory stick. It was easy and suddenly I had a gigantic buffer, about 90 minutes.

Now I may be wrong but I swear the quality of the picture on the TV is even better than before.

I also have a Firestick 4k in the bedroom and it works beautifully. I think in some ways it works better than the Tivo Stream.

All in all, my hat is off to Channels DVR for creating a very good product and my transition from Tivo DVR to Channels DVR is Perfect. I took great pleasure in cancelling my Tivo subscription yesterday!

I look forward to future updates.

PS I wanted to add that I tried Channels DVR on my BuzzTv box that runs on android 9.0 and it didn't work well at all. I suspect it's the BuzzTv box because I've had problems with other apps.


I too am a TiVo convert. Sold my Lifetime Roamio while it still had value. Once Channels hit the WAF I was able to make the jump. Even the 4 year old uses it without a hitch.

Another convert from Tivo, but with a detour to Uverse DVRs for a while. As an FYI, you didn't need a NAS to get more storage. You could have simply added an external USB3 drive and pointed Channels DVR at it and you wouldn't have missed a beat.

:heart::heart::heart: this is great. I’m so happy the documentation we’ve been working on was helpful in letting you handle everything yourself. Thanks for utilizing it too!


Yes, your right about that. I just had to have another toy :slight_smile:

Similar journey - been slowing migrating off my Tivo Roamio and cutting the cord. I am using Sling and Philo (not a sports watcher, so those services have the channels I need). Bit obstacle to cutting the cord was inferior DVRs from the streaming services, but with TVE and Channels, I get as good if not better experience with Channels. I've also added an outdoor antenna and HD Homerun. I love the commercial skip on everything!

I've been using an external drive, but am going to install a WD Red drive as soon as I get it and place all of my recordings on it.
I'll probably keep my Roamio running (with OTA) since it's paid for and has lifetime service, and will provide me with the ability to download shows while I'm away from home (on the occasions that I might need it). I also have many hours of shows on it still to watch (If I ever get around to it!).

And, love having gracenote guide data. When Tivo switched to Rovi, their guide data went to crap.
Overall loving Channels - never thought I would find something that could compete with Tivo, but this is it!

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FYI, the recordings for Channels are organized nicely and are just straight MPEG2 files, that you can copy off and watch with VLC or something offline. It just lacks a fancy UI to manage it.

Thanks - that works well if I'm getting the shows before I leave home, but when I'm away I can't access them. I may look at moving my recording to network storage drive that I could access away from home, but have read that isn't recommended.
The good news is out of home streaming works great, and includes commercial skip!

Sounds good. Is there a link to the buffering info?


I too switched from TiVo to Channels DVR on a Wins 10 PC with a dedicated external drive for Channels. Seamless TV ! ! !

I use Apple TV 4K as my client device because I love its "Top Shelf" feature which displays what recently has been recorded on Channels along with what is live now. I also use the Apple TV App, which tracks by streaming watching. Scroll down on this page to see a 2.5 min video of the interface.

BTW: I converted a friend of mine who was at one time the Chief Strategy Officer at TiVo to also switch to Channels DVR.

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so he lacked any strategy. or was his only strategy was to add pre roll adds and ruin it? what a shame to what they did to that company and product.

Oh, he knew the STB business was in a slow declined and gaining share was very costly. That's why they did the TiVo Stream 4K so they could participate in a growth market. Their bumbling that I think was what lead to him leaving. Myself - a former Silicon Valley CEO - know how hard it is to get the engineering department to truly be customer-centric in their UX design.

In fact, I am doing a webinar on that very topic this afternoon. Its all about how to change the culture of a company from being product-centric to being market-centric AND how to truly get a MVP product that is addictive.