Raspberry Pi and ChannelsDVR works!

I am watching Spectrum TV (and soon HDHR and Locast) using the ChannelsDVR server on my Raspberry Pi 4 and the Channels app on my Apple TV.

The Pi connects to a Google Nest router via ethernet, the Nest router connects to AppleTV wirelessly (wifi).

The installation can be outlined with just a few bullet points, but like a maze, the path is simple if you know it, but the opportunities to get lost are many if you don’t. I won’t dwell on the preparation of drives and the loading of software.

The Pi monitor is blinking “server login:” but my Channels user id and password return “incorrect”.

I followed the “My DVR Server won’t log in” thread and found many parallels to my own experience. It suggested fault with the internet connection. I restarted the Pi using the native Pi system software and found that I had a good internet connection, no faulty cables or connectors.

While I was tinkering trying to get something to show on the Pi monitor screen, I noticed that Safari on my iMac (same network) was showing the “Settings” page for the newly established Pi ChannelsDVR server. That iMac already contained my existing ChannelsDVR server and files.

Concerned that two ChannelsDVR servers on the same network could be confusing, I shut down the iMac. But at one point, I could toggle Safari pages on my iMac between the two servers.

The Pi monitor continued to blink “server login:” but it occurred to me that the Pi monitor didn’t really matter, it was the TV set and Apple TV that were important. Turned on the AppleTV and the associated TV set and they worked fine. The ChannelsDVR app was playing the Pi ChannelsDVR server output on my TV set.

That’s good. Likely I will come to grips with the blinking “server login:” at some point, but today the TV works.

You can set up ssh for it.

Channels DVR Server runs headless on your Raspberry Pi. There is no use in plugging it into a monitor.

It's server software and is configured via it's web admin. There's no reason to log in at the terminal prompt, as you're not going to see anything anyways.


Thank you for your enlightening reply.

From a practical point of view I was coming to that conclusion, but I hadn’t brought myself to the view that the system was meant to be headless.

I am migrating from a Mac Mini based Channels server and still felt the need to plug in a keyboard, mouse and monitor.

Headless, control via the Channels app or from a devise connected by wifi! A real “D'oh!” (hand slapping forehead) moment.

Could you please share the performance difference between the Pi and the iMac, especially # of parallel recordings and average times of commercial detection of a one hour show?

For my Nvidia Shield Pro with SSD, I can record 3 parallel shows with no issues and my average commercial detection time is 8 minutes.

BarryJames, I am interested in the comparison also, but it may be a while before I can gather that info.

There is a few threads talking about the Pi and commercial detection.
It depends on the source, OTA MPEG2 or TVE H264.
The latter take much much longer on any system to process.
I posted my times i get on my Pi, vs the Intel i7NUC i was using before, at various thread counts and also with my Pi overclocked.

Raspberry Pi ChannelsDVR server is up and running properly.

After several hours (not the touted 5 minutes) of fumbling around I was able to install the Raspberry Pi ChannelsDVR server at a lady-friend’s home to perform as her main TV source.

The lengthy installation was due largely to my own ineptness. I thank the forum members who suggested guidance. Maddox, thanks for pointing out that the Pi system is meant to be headless. Obvious now, but epiphany at the moment.

The Pi system replaces the Mac Mini, keyboard, mouse and monitor that I used to communicate with the server. Now there is just the small silver box addressed from the ChannelsDVR app on Mac, Apple TV or iPhone/iPad.

This system runs only Locast for local channels as well as the network streaming channels via TVE. While this Is all that is required for this user, I have no doubt that the Raspberry Pi server could handle a full load of inputs.

The change-over was so seamless that the user did not even know that it had happened, but did notice the reduction in clutter. All communication with the server is wireless using the familiar Channels apps.

The Raspberry Pi connects via USB3 to a 2TB spinning (system) hard drive. It connects to a Google Wifi (internet) Router via ethernet. The Google Wifi Router casts to two Apple TV boxes with ChannelsDVR apps installed.

I bought a Raspberry Pi 4 w/1TB HDD and installed Channels yesterday. I was able to record (3) parallel shows from a Prime. The commercial detection for a one hour show took 3 minutes & for a two our show took 7 minutes.

Totally impressed - equal to if not a bit better than Channels on a NVidia Shield Pro w/1TB SSD....

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