Virtual Channels - How is everyone using this feature?

I started exploring the Virtual Channels feature recently. So far I have only created 2 channels. One featuring old videos from the 2000's of my band performing at the Bitter End in NYC, and another featuring all the videos of my partners comedy YouTube channel - Harvard Sailing Team.

I'm curious how others are using the virtual channels feature. I would love to hear about others experiences.

Also, should I be concerned about my video hard drive? I imagine the constant replaying of these files would cause my drive to be under additional stress. (I'm currently using a 4 TB non-ssd drive to for my DVR). Would it make sense to eventually transition to an SSD drive? Or are these videos being stored in ram, and this is a non-issue?

Im curious about this too.
@maddox , @tmm1 .

I use traditional hdd for nas. Price per TB is much cheaper. Is Channela reading from drive 24/7 for virtual channels. Or does it only time to file when in playback (someone watching)

For my virtual channels. I setup 24/7 stations of content i like.

  1. Sitcoms (friends, king of queens, office, etc)
  2. A 247 news station that plays most recent recordings of news stations
  3. A disney princess channel
  4. DBZ ALL DAY (Dragonball, dragonball z, dragonball gt, dragonball super, TFS parodies. Movies)

If you have smart rules (apple)you can get really clever

Make a channel that plays stuff from your dvr with rules. Hypothetical. Make a criminal channels that plays anything tagged crime, is tv show, made before certain year. There's lots of cool stuff you canbdo with virtual channels. It's single handidly the coolest feature of channels dvr

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Virtual Channels aren't being "broadcast" at all times. The only time the videos are read and played back is when you tune into them. It's no different than playing back your recordings.


Smart Rules for virtual channels are a server side feature and work on all client platforms.

Thanks for the information!

That's a great idea. I have passes for a dozen news shows on various channels (daily and weekly) and generally set Channels DVR to keep the 3 most recent recordings of each. Then we just watch them manually. I'd love automatic playback, even randomized is fine. So just now I created a Collection of these shows as well as a Virtual Channel. Is there a way to limit either of these to include just the one most recent episode of each? Or does it pull in all recordings regardless? I tried with the Rule editor, basic and advanced, but couldn't figure out if it was possible to limit the available content in this way.


I have my news shows set to keep only 1 recording. Then have it set to random playback. By keepingbit as only 1 recording its always the newest recording

I do GMA, Fox - Orlando evening, ABC morning news, and ET (begrudgingly, my wifevthinks ET is "news")

Edit: upon re-reading. I think I am combining channels collections and smart rules in my head. And these are different features. Disregard.

I made a post about them not working on my shieldv18 days ago. I was told (not by a mod) that channel rules where still only on apple. Has it been introduced since then and i missed memo?

If its supposed to be working on android ill retest when i get home and submit logs.

Those are rules for dynamic Channel Collections. This thread is about Virtual Channels. They are two different things.

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Your right. I only relized that after i posted. I was mixing up/combing multiple features in my head. Ty for clarification @racameron

Hmm, is that the only way to limit which episodes are available to the Virtual Channel? If so, I guess I’ll do the same, limit all of my news show recordings to just 1 episode, and when we do want to watch an older news episode we would just restore it from the Trash. They stick around in there for 10 days…

Another idea, is a Virtual Channel that just plays the previous evening's late night talk shows (Colbert, Fallon, Kimmel, Cordon, Meyers, Noah, etc.)


We just added a limit to virtual channels. You can also now reverse the sort.

So this should allow you to make channels that are just the last 5 recent news programs. Or just the last 10 movies added to your library.

I’ve created 4 channels for my movies using smart rules and included logos to the channels, I’m loving this feature, the only improvement I would recommend is the transition between movies/show episodes, it should be smooth, instead we see the bottom bar of the next program loading.

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In answer to how I am using it...

I made a true crime channel that pulls in specific shows like Snapped, Cold Case Files, City Confidential, Etc... plus an added smart rule for genre [Documentary,Crime] to catch any I missed.

I also made a channel for when my brother visits from out of town for just specific shows like Simpsons, Big Bang Theory, Mysteries of the Abandoned, Etc... Now when he visits there can always be something on to distract him. Lol.

I'm not understanding the limit feature. If I want a virtual channel to just show the latest recording of these late night shows is this how I should set it up?

What I get with this is the same James Corden episode but none of the other shows.

It takes the list that would normally be created by the properties, and then truncates it to your limit.

In your case you limited it to 1, so there is only 1 episode looping over and over. Try using 4 to limit it to 4 episodes, so then it will get the last episode of each.

Use Reverse for the Order, to make it order by newest. Release Date orders by oldest by default.


Perfect! Thanks so much.