Subscription options

You can already set the client to automatically skip commercials with no user interaction. Or are you wanting the recorded files themselves to have the commercials removed? If you’re looking for the latter I don’t think that is being planned.

Automatically remove commercials. Somewhat like the DVR in Plex does. I end up removing using MCEbuddy and moving to Plex manually since there is no Roku app.

I'm brand new here, and just evaluating Channels.

I have Plex installed and use its DVR feature with an HDHomeRun tuner (so I obviously have a Plex Pass, their paid option). For Plex the fee is a more modest $5/month. I mainly use Plex as a media server, and the DVR is a backup to our Cable service DVR. I was looking at Channels as something that could better integrate channel content from our Cable service and DVR streams, etc., with a possible offload of those files to Plex, since we are already comfortable with that interface. For that usage, $8/month (net $13/month) is too steep, IMHO. I don't see Channels Plus providing the Media Server features, so going Channels Plus without Plex is not an option. And, well, I can't figure out what Channels (no Plus) is. Since I've already decided I won't pay $8/month, I've stopped my evaluation cold before starting the free month.

Tell me what I'm missing. Please?

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Channels Plus is a DVR. Its for recording OTA, cable, and TVE streams. It has great transcoded web/remote viewing. It has a good UI and makes things easy. For its use-case it is better than Plex. But this is not a media server. It's a versatile DVR. If this is not what you are looking for, you should move on.

Outstanding support... You get what you pay for.

I agree. Channels is hands down the best solution for Live TV and DVR, but that also seems to be a problem. They seem to have taken the “Apple approach” when it comes to what’s offered for the pricing. They’re slow-rolling even the most basic of features. Besides spreading themselves thin and supporting 10,000 devices, what have they added to this software in the last year? Can’t play 4K content, can’t stream music, can’t do anything besides live tv and DVR, which admittedly they do well. Does it justify the pricing, depends on who you ask. I love this software, but can’t justify the pricing anymore now that I see their approach to the expansion of the software. Once my cable’s pricing increases after our 2yr agreement is up, I’m giving up on the whole cable card/DVR thing. I honestly got this service for Live TV, rarely record anything, so they do need to either make the software more robust by offering more features, or offer tiered pricing depending on the user’s needs. The whole Apple approach of charging a premium just because you feel/know your software is the best at the moment won’t last long. As eventually someone will come along and do better. Plex does everything better than channels except Live TV. Once this cable subscription ends, so does my subscription here end. Back to lifetime Plex pass with my local content and purchased music and movies. YTTV or another streaming services will do. If this software was more robust, I would have been willing to negotiate with cable to extend our services with them, but paying all these fees is getting redundant. Especially when you need to have 3 servers running with three different softwares for your multi-media needs when you know one software should be able to do it all. This software company remind me of Apple and why people jailbroke iPhones to begin with. So much power, but greed causing slow rolling of the most basic of features and denying users the most basic features never works. I wouldn’t even own an iPhone if I couldn’t jailbreak it, and that’s because Apple wants to control too much and slowly release “features” that have been available on other platforms for years. It’s a business stance that has worked great for Apple, and others want to do the same.

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You’re not missing anything. Basically, Channels knows they’re the best Live TV/DVR software so they charge a premium for it although it lacks basic features. There’s nothing more to it honestly. Lol Another thing, they do have OUTSTANDING support. You won’t get that w/Plex. I know cause I have a lifetime subscription to Plex. If you want an all-in-one solution, this isn’t it, stay with Plex. If you want the BEST live TV/DVR software and don’t need ANYTHING else, then Channels is the way to go hands down. You won’t find a better live tv/DVR solution.

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You can already automatically remove commercials from recordings with Channels. It does it pretty well actually. All you have to do is select the option to remove commercials on your DVR’s settings.

That would be awesome! I see detect commercials but not remove. Do you happen to have a screenshot?

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Ahhhhhh, I think I misunderstood your dilemma! You actually want the commercial data completely removed? If that’s the case, then Channels doesn’t do that at the moment. It simply “detects” the commercials, and if you have your client setup to automatically skip commercials it’ll do that for you. But, Channels doesn’t completely remove the commercial data. That would be awesome as it would save users a ton of space.

I think part of the problem is with differing expectations. From your description of missing features, it sounds like you want a media-center application like Kodi or Plex. Unfortunately for your situation, Channels is not a media-center application.

Channels is first and foremost a live TV viewer. Second to that, Channels offers a subscription service to also provide excellent DVR software. Since many other media-center applications offer DVR service, you're expecting the converse to be true: that DVR software should behave like media-center applications. But Channels is not a media-center, it is simply a DVR and live TV application.

In the future, this may change. But presently, that's what Channels is. To judge software based upon what it doesn't do instead of its current features seems a little odd.

It would only seem odd to a fanboy. Like I clearly stated in my last message, for what they’re charging, it simply isn’t worth it for me or many others. Plex offers Live TV/DVR, so what are they classified as? Offering Live TV/DVR is Media no? Am I missing something here? Channels is a DVR/ Live TV player, that’s MEDIA no? So like the poster, I agree they’re overpriced for what they offer. Not here to debate what the software does or supposed to do, we were talking about pricing and what this software offers when compared to others that do the same. Fanboys like you jump on these posts to offer your opinions on how everyone else’s opinion is wrong. We know what Channels is and we know what their competitors are. If you’re ok with the pricing of their software GREAT, but Your opinion means the same to me as my opinion to you. Take that for what it is. I’ve always said this software was good at what it does. Just doesn’t do enough for the pricing. That opinion isn’t going to change because of fanboys or other’s opinions. And I call you a fanboy because many of your posts are debating other people’s opinions, as if yours carries more weight or something. No matter how you cut it, this is MEDIA SOFTWARE...MEDIA SERVER! It isn’t doing anything else that I know of. Correct me if I’m wrong.

I apologize if my response seemed to saying: "That's your opinion, but your opinion is wrong." That wasn't my intention.

However, I was trying to make the case for adjusting expectations. The OP seemed to be looking for a full function media-center application, and was dissatisfied that the price was too high because of missing features. I simply wanted to point out that if one were looking for a media-center application, Channels does seem feature-deficient.

But, since Channels is not a full media-center application, it's not really fair to say it's missing features. Channels was originally for viewing the live TV streams from HDHomeRun tuners. Eventually, a DVR component was added. Along with DVR functionality came increased guide data, top-notch remote access, and commercial detection for recordings.

Taken in that view, it's a bit difficult to see how it's fair to compare a full media-center experience like WMC, Kodi or Plex to Channels. While Channels may someday become such an application, it currently isn't. Conflating Channels as a TV-orientated application as a generic media player is a false equivalency. While TV is media, not all media is TV; just as all squares are rectangles, not all rectangles are squares.

Channels is indeed a niche application. But, it should be evaluated on those qualities it has, not on what it doesn't. If Channels doesn't have a feature that one needs (such as full personal media library support), then it probably isn't the right fit.

I'm not saying that Channels is a perfect application. There are several shortcomings and "papercuts" remaining; but each is a tradeoff. I started using Channels because it offered superior remote DVR functionality; in turn I lost my preferred UI/frontend, more sophisticated recording rules, better integration with my existing media, etc. While some of those features may come later, they aren't here now.

If one feels that $8/mo or $80/yr is too much to pay for the offered features, that's fully understandable. There are less expensive options that offer most or all of the same features, and they are valid choices; I personally feel that Channels does better, and is worth the cost. But to claim that Channels isn't worth its cost because of features it never had, and may never actually gain, is the wrong comparison to make.

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I whole-heartedly agree with the fact that there’s no better software for Live TV/DVR. When I made the switch from Plex there were already talks about the personal media offering so I made a CAUTIOUS switch; meaning I didn’t pay for a yearly plan in case things didn’t pan out. I wanted to see how the software progressed. If you look at some of my previous posts, I was also a staunch defender of Channels when people complained about the pricing. For what was offered, and SOON to be offered, I thought it was a great deal. But, then I noticed how things were slowly progressing the Apple way. And as someone who’s owned Apple devices for many many years, I can tell you that this slow progression isn’t a mistake or happenstance. It’s a business model. One that I honestly don’t agree with. You might disagree, but that’s how I see it. Just the other day I went to a friend’s house to setup his network, adblocking, etc etc, and I recommended this software to him! I have nothing negative to say about this software other than, if they’re only going to offer live tv/DVR, then their pricing is a bit high. They need to do tier pricing, or make it a solution that’s worth the extra money when compared to others. My friend isn’t tech savvy, so I told him that Channel’s support is TOP NOTCH, and if he wants a set-it and forget-it solution, Channels was it. But, he immediately asked about his personal media, and if he would have to keep Kodi. I told him he would, and he was immediately put off by that. And I understand why, although Kodi is free, there’s no point in adding complexities and more software for every little use case. I have a Plex lifetime pass, so I can handle my personal media that way, but why? Why have two servers? Two Apps? Two softwares for the wife and kids to complain about instead of one. At the end of the day, all most users want as a all in one media solution. I understand what you’re saying, Channels was introduced and still is basically just a Live TV/DVR application, but at the end of the day, it’s a Media Server just like Plex and Emby. I would never criticize this sodtware’s quality or their support, as I haven’t experienced anything like their support in my 20+ years of tinkering with tech. Great support and great software, just a tad bit overpriced in my humble opinion.

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This is the disconnect. Channels is not a media server, it is a TV server. Media servers may offer TV, but TV servers don't offer full media.

  • Channels:TV::Plex/Kodi:media
  • TV:media::square:rectangle

Things ought to be evaluated by what is, not what might be. While support for user-supplied media may become a full feature, it presently isn't. (Imported media is clearly stated as unsupported pre-alpha status; fine to tinker with, but not something you'd probably count on for general household use.)

At the end of the day my friend, you can try to surgically define TV, movies, and music as different somehow, but they’re all media. Channels is a media player no matter how you cut it. You’re basically saying that watching a Live Movie and the same recorded Movie, makes it a totally different Movie or that the platforms used to play the movie are different. They might be different in the way they play the movie, under the hood, but at the end of the day, they BOTH play media.A movie is a movie and media is media. If your server plays media, it’s a media server no matter how you cut it my friend. Channels is a media application just like Plex and Emby. You can’t change that no matter how you cut it. The fact that you tried to even differentiate a “TV server”, whatever that is, as something different than a media server clearly stated that there is a disconnect. A disconnect in logic on YOUR behalf. I’ll kindly have to refer this disconnect of logic as fanboy behavior. Sorry, but it is what it is.

Edit: I would certainly love to hear some clarification on the differences between a “TV Server” and a Media Server. I don’t have software or servers that serve “TV’s” per se, I do have servers that offer media though. Music, Movies, TV Shows....it’s all media. Never heard of TV Servers. Your disconnect in logic is beyond irrational and just made this discussion null. Have a good day sir.

Wow this thread seriously went off the rails :joy:

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Indeed it did. I’m just now learning that there are “TV Servers” out there in the wild. Wondering if these servers offer 75” Samsung QLED TV’s, as I’m on the market for one.

I genuinely do not understand the point of contention here. You may consider Channels and Plex as the same thing, and compare them as such, but ultimately they are not trying to do the same thing. It's like comparing a car and a truck. You can argue they are both automobiles, but a car is not designed to do the things a truck does, and vice versa.

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At the end of the day, they’re both media players and media servers. They’re not doing the same? More disconnect in logic? :joy::joy::joy::joy::joy: That doesn’t change no matter how the fanboys cut it. Let me guess “ClubChannels”, one is a “TV Server”, and one is a “Media Server”?!? Ok! Gotcha!!!

Edit: Not gonna continue this convo with fanboys. Sorry, but there’s an OBVIOUS disconnect on what Media Applications and Media servers are. Have a good day guys!!