@Ogiewon since you're a new user, have you discovered/used the quick favorites guide built into the player yet? You can access it by swiping down or clicking down, and browse what's on other favorited channels
That’s awesome! I had not noticed that yet. I did figure out how to switch back to a previous channel by double clicking the play button.
I’ll share this swipe/click down feature with my wife. I am sure it will make her happy.
In the most general sense, simply allowing the current stream to play in a smaller window on the guide would be good. A better option would be a mini-grid guide (perhaps 3-5 lines/channels) displayed at the bottom of the screen, and maybe with some transparency to aid in viewing of the program playing behind the guide. (Yes, I am aware of the favorites mini-guide from pulling down, but that is limited to channels marked as favorites.)
Ultimately, I would love to see something similar to DirecTV's "Double Play" feature. For those unaware, on DirecTV DVRs, if you press DOWN twice on the remote, it opens a second tuner and presents that to the viewer while keeping the original program playing in the background. This means that the timeshift buffer of the original program is kept intact, allowing you to pause on one channel, switch to the other tuner to watch until a commerical, pause the 2nd tuner and switch back to the first and fastfoward through the commercials you paused at. (Yes, I'm aware that description is a bit awkward, but hopefully the gist is there.) Also, the second tuner for the "Double Play" feature is also used if you choose to do PIP.
For Channels, the dual tuner feature would depend upon a Channels DVR server and Tuner Sharing being enabled. Also, bandwidth from the server to the client shouldn't really be an issue, as only the currently viewed stream would be sent to the client while the other "hidden" stream would buffer to the server. For a PIP implementation, the server could reduce the resolution and bandwidth of the smaller stream (the inner picture) and deliver the full-res stream for the larger stream (the encapsulating picture).
This is what I do, and is perfect for me. I just wish this and the guide looped on channel list.
When you are watching a channel (on ATV), you swipe down to bring up the favorite channels banner which covers roughly 20 - 25% of the screen while the channel continues to play. Why not add a third option tab at the top of that banner; in addition to "Favorites Guide", "Language", that says "Grid Guide". When selected, instead of the Favorite Channels banner covering 20-25% of the screen while the channel continues to play, you get a grid guide that covers more of the screen while the channel continues to play in the background. Just my two cents.
I also have Directv Now and this is one feature they have that I miss when using Channels. But overall prefer Channels UI. For me if I am watching a show live but it is on commercial and want to see other channels it is nice that the show keeps playing while I review what else is on. I thought your problem with this feature and others like having multiple news channels showing on the screen at the same time was not using the Apple Video Player.
I'm curious if THIS would seem sufficient for most of those in this discussion? There's at least one other thread that asks for a different solution (mini-guide) to the same problem. As far as I can tell, most just want to be able to browse what's on while still having TV playing because the alternative is frustrating and boring. Quite often one will be watching something and they're just curious what might be on later. I personally prefer the mini-guide solution and I think (though the devs can better speak to this) that this solution would be the easier of the two.
Please weigh in, as the sooner we all get on the same page with this the sooner the devs can determine if it's a useful feature to work on immediately.
YES. Exactly this! Great mock up!
This is exaclyly what I’ve been hoping for. The frustrating part about using the grid guide is you lose the tuner and the buffer as soon as you hit the menu button. This makes It difficult to get back to the channel you were just watching. There is something about using a grid guide and the layout, it just works. Since the beginning of cable some sort of grid guide has been around. It’s a hard habit to break, while I like the favorites option, the wife does not. I love the mock option listed above. Love the app, we have it on all of our TVs. Keep up the awesome work!
This is an interesting thread, as much of it revolves around patterns of behavior. I am not a 'grid browser'. When I want to find something it is far easier for me to pick up my phone and do a search. For me, I'd rather the Channels devs focus on other things. I'm glad I'm not them, having to figure out the priority of what to work on
Indeed, most of the UI/UX issues are because of users' patterns of use. For instance, while many like the Discover type of panels that show current programs based upon a category, I prefer a grid because I can more easily see the progress into a currently airing program, as well as the next aired program, for multiple channels at once. This will aid in deciding whether to tune to an in progress airing using information such ad how much of the show is left and what will follow it; both criteria are used when selecting a channel to watch.