Virtual Channels - How is everyone using this feature?

This is a perfect use case and why I hope one day Channels can have "tv guide Block programming" of shows.

So instead of a Seinfeld channel and an Office channel and a Friends channel you can just have a "Sitcom Classics" channel and have all the shows in the same channel. But instead of randomly flipping between each show, it will show (as an example) 4 episodes in a "programming block" before moving on to another show. This as opposed to a 24/7 channel or a completely random channel (which works best for movies)

You can create a Sitcom Classics channel yourself today, and set it to Sort: Mini Marathon which will show 3 episodes of a show at a time then switch to a different show/season.

Oh wow! At one point it used to play the same thing when I tried that. So your saying that's been fixed? Or do I need to schedule it differently?

Yep. Just take a virtual channel with rules, and use the duplicate button to make another one and Channels will ensure the randomness is different.

Awesome thanks! Virtual channels are the best!

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Inspired by this post... Youtube Subscription , I used @Maddox suggestion of using TubeSync to auto download YouTube playlists and import them into Channels and use those imports in Virtual Channels.

The NFL and NBA have playlists on their YouTube channels with full game highlights. I created a virtual channel for both. The NFL Highlight channel shows each game highlight from the week and the NBA channel shows the previous night's highlights.

I have TubeSync downloading directly to the Channels Video folder within the Imports folder. Channels automatically added the downloads to the library and virtual channel. TubeSync has an option to delete downloads after a specified period of time so I set the NFL to delete weekly and the NBA to delete two days after download.

@Texasyeti This setup might work for you.

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This is a great idea!

Careful as Channels will not know these have been deleted since they were deleted outside of the system. This will create airings on your virtual channels with content that does not exist.

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I see. Probably best to delete from Channels client.

Interesting! Inspiring too, I'll be experimenting with this soon.

It'd be cool if Channels DVR could do something similar. Is that a feature request I smell brewing...?

100% a useful feature request.

May be easier to integrate Odysee Content as they allow direct downloads?

thanks nschaffner

How did you get tubesync to download to the channels folder? I got tubesync to work but could only see the videos in the tubesync interface. Used Putty to install the Tubesync container.

You have to direct the downloads volume for TubeSync to your Channels/Imports/Videos directory.

-v /your channels drive/Channels/Imports/Videos:/downloads

You can have it download anywhere and then add the tubesync videos folder to your Videos imports in Channels.

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I’m enjoying TubeSync, what a great addition to the mix!

In addition to setting up subscriptions to a few YouTube channels I already enjoy, I also created a YouTube playlist of my own, called “Channels DVR.” Then I set up TubeSync to monitor that playlist, for any new additions. Now, whenever I come across a YouTube video on any device I would rather watch sometime later via Channels, I just add it to that playlist, and TubeSync handles the rest. It’s kind of like a “watch later” queue, only now I can watch this content via the vastly improved interface of Channels, rather than the awful mess that is the YouTube app. Great for long videos I come across on my phone during the day but don’t have time to watch at the moment,

This idea might be obvious to others already using TubeSync, but it wasn’t to me before I dove in. I’m impressed by how well it works and how useful this is proving to be for me, so I figured i’d share!

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Thank you so much @Fofer this is a really cool trick. I'm new to this YT content creation thing so I have a question. Is there a good way to easily add a YT video that you come across to your personal Channels DVR channel? Currently I'm copying the URL of the video I want to add, then navigating over to my channels DVR playlist and clicking the buttons to add the URL? It is a lot of clicks and fiddling. I'd really like to automate the process so I can hit a key while looking at a YT video and it would grab the URL then add it to my playlist automatically.

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yes, from the original page where the YouTube video is, just click the “Save” button and your list of playlists will appear. Check the checkbox next to any playlist you’d like this video to be included in.

Thanks that works! I knew there must be an easier way. :slightly_smiling_face:

After you are done watching a video, can you just delete it from your YT playlist and eventually TubeSync will rescan your playlist and update your Channels DVR directory and delete the source video? Then does channels automatically rescan and update the virtual channel programming? Or is it more complicated than that?

No, TubeSync goes in one direction only, it is not a bi-directional sync. And Channels would get confused if you deleted the content via some method other than Channels itself. This is what maddox was referring to above:

So I add the content on YouTube via the "Save to Channels DVR playlist" tip I mentioned above, and then I delete it after I watch it, via the Channels app.

P.S. If anyone wants a much simpler app, for automated downloads of content from YouTube — and an few other sites too —but with a regular GUI and no need for Docker, etc. I can vouch for this one from MediaHuman. It's pretty straightforward its tracker works similarly to TubeSync. It has a one-time cost of $20 though, with a free trial that allows 20 downloads.

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Thanks, that makes sense. Now I have to figure out why the files that are written by TubeSync do not have the proper group privileges so that Channels can successfully delete the source files. My grasp of Linux privs is pretty tenuous so I need to do some reading. Doing this on a Synology NAS.