Request: Picture in Picture

Request: In the iPad version of Channels, could you add picture in picture so that if I leave the app, I can still watch the video? Thanks.

Unfortunately the video format used by the HDHomeRun is not compatible with the PiP player built into iOS.

If you really want this, one way to do it is by playing a channel or recording via the DVR web UI, and then the Safari player will let you enter PiP mode.

Interesting. Thanks.

Interesting question: Can the DVR possibly handle the proper format to enable a PiP?

I just logged on to request this exact item! Can the format be changed to be compatible with the iOS PiP player?

We don’t use the system player in our app. We have a custom player built for the hdhomerun stream. Switching to the system player is not possible, and doing PiP without the system player is also not possible.

If you want PiP then the best way to use it is via the DVR web UI in Safari.

Don’t know about Apple, but Android and Windows can put apps side by side. I watch a DVR program with channels and Hdhomerun app for live with my PC.

Excuse my perhaps naive question, but how does an app like Firecore implement picture in picture on iOS? I can’t see them using native players as they are all about direct play of many different file types.

They do a handoff from their player to Apple's player and then picks it back up when it switches back. It's why there's a black screen when you initially push the PiP button. How they do it is pretty nice.

Thanks. That makes sense. Seems like a bit of a fudge, but works well.

That's a terrific UI improvement suggestion. Either a handoff as you describe OR...a one-click option that fires up Safari pointed to the right episode so I can launch PIP myself.

Obviously the Firecore approach would be the smoothest UX, but the one-click open-in-Safari should be very easy to implement and provide something...

I’m wanting this as well. I’m wondering if this thread is outdated. Looks like Apple supports custom players now:

Custom player on that page means custom UI on top of Apple's player. We don't use Apple's player because it doesn't support hdhomerun formats or codecs.

I like to use PIP on my iPad, and understand that keeping the Channels DVR more responsive than other solutions is a priority for me.

Plex has a delay when switching to PIP and I suspect it might be switching video formats as well that causes the blank screen/delay.

I use AirVideoHD on the same server as my ChannelsDVR server. AirVideoHD is pretty basic, but supports the Channels video format and will run PIP.

I often take videos on my device when I travel. To get similar commercial skip functionality, I run MCEBuddy which post-transcodes the video to a smaller file format in another directory and cuts out commercials. I've been using MCEBuddy since Windows Media Center and then with Plex, and it works well. Same for AirVideoHD.

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With Android and using the HDHomerun app you can now do PiP. Maybe Channels can add this feature now.

This is a neccessary feature. Tivo really had the UI down but became a resource hog by trying to inject pretty much everything. Plex is simply too slow. With PIP and some UI tweaks nobody will every catch up to Channels.