No Activity shown when watching OTA channels on Apple TV

Hello, Running the latest 2020.09.30.1642 version, However, recently when watching local OTA channels via HDHomeRun tuner on my Apple TV I cannot get any activity to show in Channels DVR settings screen?, As soon as I turn the channel to a TVE channel on Apple TV I will get activity to show. I also have FireStick and Android phones on the same network, they both show activity when watching OTA channels? I like to see the activity on the OTA channels to see how well of a signal I am getting. Any thoughts?

You may want to ensure that tuner sharing is enabled in the client. That's the only way the DVR server can know what's going on.

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Bingo! Thank you!!

Where is a good, detailed description of Tuner Sharing in Channels?

I don't know if there's one posted some place. But the gist is: tuner sharing routes live OTA feeds first through the DVR, and then the DVR handles sending the OTA feeds to the clients. In this way, a single tuner is only used, regardless of how many clients and recordings wish to tune that channel.

(By default, tuner sharing is not enabled, as Channels originally did not have a DVR component; all clients established their own connections to the tuners for OTA streams. However, DVR, remote connections, and Locast/TVE always use tuner sharing, as those feeds must pass through the DVR first.)

If you have very few clients in your home, tuner sharing may not be that much of an additional benefit, preserving some bandwidth in your home network and saving an extra hop when tuning a channel. However, if you frequently watch recordings-in-progress, or have multiple clients in your home that may be tuned to the same channel (such as sporting events showing on multiple screens or in multiple rooms) then tuner sharing will only use a single tuner, instead of each client and recording using a separate and discrete tuner for their sole use.

(Live OTA feeds are simply any live feed coming from a HDHomeRun tuner; it can also be a cable feed from a Prime or Expand, a ClearQAM cable feed from an OTA tuner, or a DVB-C feed from an EU model.)

Thank you.

So ... what are the disadvantages to enabling tuner sharing?

Increased bandwidth and additional hops. By default, the client app directly connects to the tuner, and the tuner sends its stream solely to that client. With tuner sharing:

  • The client talks to the DVR to request the stream
  • The DVR server requests the stream from the tuner
  • The tuner sends the stream to the DVR server
  • The DVR server buffers a small portion of the stream
  • The DVR server sends the stream to the client

The only real disadvantage is the additional overhead. If you have multiple clients, or often want to watch live while something is recording, then it is probably in your best interest to enable tuner sharing.

(I also forgot to mention in my previous reply, if you are using something other than Original for your Home streaming, then tuner sharing is used as well, as the DVR server would need to transcode/remux the stream before it gets sent to the client.)

If my internal network is all gigabit to the server, it seems like there would be no disadvantage to enabling tuner sharing. Unless live TVE streams watched remotely are directed by the server, but ultimately stream directly from the primary host, which I assume is not what's happening.

If I set tuner sharing on the server, do all clients honor it?

(I apologize for taking this thread in a different direction, probably should have started another thread.)

Tuner sharing is a per-client setting, disabled by default; there is no server-side setting for tuner sharing. It only affects live streams between HDHomeRun tuners and local clients.

All recordings, remote, Locast, TV Everywhere, transcoded, and remuxed feeds all exhibit tuner sharing, as they must all be handled by the DVR server.

Ah, good point. Any remote client would be forcing the server to transcode unless the server side had some crazy upload bandwidth available. Even if the stream were 2mbps TVE, it would still come through the server, even if the server decides it doesn't need to be transcoded.

Coming from SageTV, where even live TV is treated as a recording, this is a strange situation.

That's because most every other DVR solution was designed as a DVR. Channels began simply as a client for live OTA broadcasts from HDHR tuners. The DVR—and all of the other server-related features—came later. The client-centric decentralized nature of Channels is because of how the software was originally designed.

(That's why certain features are more difficult to implement on Channels; care and consideration must be taken for anything that would drastically change how the client works for those without a DVR, and making the transition as graceful as possible. It's an unenviable situation.)