Channels DVR integration with TiVo Stream 4K

Discussion in 'TiVo Stream 4K' started by NashGuy, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    TechHive article, 7/16/20:
    The best cheap Android TV streamer for cord-cutters: A TiVo Stream 4K with its TiVo features removed

    Quote:

    To take things to another level, Channels DVR has released its own integration with the TiVo Stream 4K remote.
    ...
    Once you’ve set up Channels and installed the Android TV app, head to Settings > Device Preferences > Accessibility and turn on “Channels Button Detector,” just like with Button Mapper above. You’ll now be able to control the app using the TiVo remote:

    • The TiVo button opens Channels DVR.
    • ”Guide” takes you to the grid guide.
    • Channel up/down flips through live channels.
    • ”Skip” jumps through commercials (unless you’ve turned on automatic skipping).
    • ”Live” takes you to live TV.
    • The number keys let you tune to specific channels.
    The irony here is that TiVo has yet to deliver its own DVR integration on the TiVo Stream 4K. By removing all TiVo functionality from the TiVo Stream 4K, Channels DVR provides the next-best thing.
     
  2. mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

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    Does this channels dvr work with any proveders? ie- is it cablecard ready?
     
  3. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I did check that thread before creating this one and didn't see anything about the info I posted.

    Note that what I'm talking about isn't running the Channels DVR server software on the TiVo Stream 4K itself (which is what that thread is about). This thread is talking about using the TiVo Stream 4K as a front-end viewing device for Channels DVR with the benefit of a TiVo remote control that is customized for use with Channels DVR.

    I'm not aware of any other streaming device on the market that has a remote control that's really customized for channel-based TV and DVR functionality. You can now use the TS4K remote's channel up/down, guide, skip, live, and 0-9 buttons with Channels DVR.

    You know how everyone on this forum seems to want the TS4K to act like a full-fledged TiVo Mini? Well, that's still not available. But instead, you can get that same kind of full-fledged DVR+streamer functionality if you use the TS4K in conjunction with a Channels DVR server as opposed to using it in conjunction with a TiVo DVR.
     
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  4. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    If you can get your hands on a used HDHomeRun tuner that accepts CableCARDs, then yes, you can use Channels DVRs that way. Currently, the only tuner models still being sold by HDHomeRun are OTA-only (which also work with Channels DVR).

    But another option that Channels DVR gives to cable TV subscribers is to use your cable TV credentials in the Channels DVR server (running on a PC, Mac or NAS) to log into most cable channels' online streams from their websites and then record those streams.

    They've lumped their subscription DVR service in with a few other features and branded it as "Channels Plus". It's $8/mo or $80/yr. You can read about it here:
    Channels — Channels Plus
     
  5. kiadontknow

    kiadontknow New Member

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    /sigh.

    When HDHomeRun first announced their 6 tuner Cablecard tuners a bunch of people sold their 3card tuners in anticipation of buying the 6 card ones. I had the option of buying a 3 card tuner for ~$60! Instead, I chose to wait for the 6 tuner version, and here it is 2 years later with no 6-card and used 3-tuners for ~150.
     
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  6. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I don't think HDHomeRun is ever going to come out with that new CableCARD tuner. Apparently there's a big financial cost/risk associated with producing CableCARD-compliant hardware. And the market for CableCARD equipment keeps shrinking as folks either cut the cord or just use their provider's hardware. Xfinity is slowly edging away from QAM, toward IPTV, and no one knows when their channels might begin disappearing from QAM devices and only be accessible via X1 and the Xfinity Stream app.

    But all that said, you could try out Channels Plus without any kind of tuner and just rely on its ability to access live online streams and see how that works for you. (Or you could get an HDHomeRun OTA tuner for your locals and use online streams for your cable channels.) I think they give you a free trial to start, so you could check it out.
     
  7. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Channels DVR is just software. As others have noted above, it requires an HD Homerun tuner for OTA or CableCARD, and/or an account with a "TV Everywhere" (TVE) provider. TVE providers include cable companies and OTT services like Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV. Also it supports Locast.

    Below, with a TiVo Roamio for size comparison, is my Channels DVR server (a Synology NAS) and my HD HomeRun Prime containing the CableCARD that used to be in our buggy Bolt. I got the Prime on eBay. Elsewhere I also have an HD HomeRun Connect Quatro OTA tuner on the local network.

    If you subscribe to premium channels like HBO, this system won't pull those in via CableCARD, but if compatible TVE streams are available that may work.

    Channels and Roamio cr.jpg
     
  8. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    Funny. After our previous discussion in the Te4 thread, I'm actually contemplating going the Channels route for my OTA with the TS4k as my front end everywhere but my android tv in the living room. Can get a quatro for about $90. Have my laptop I can setup, but I think it'd be easier to get a cheap NAS.

    Then I'd sell off my tivo setup which would be a bolt, roamio pro, two mini vox and an old mini. Think that would put me ahead of the game for a few years and can revisit then.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
     
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  9. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    It's definitely worth a try! Channels DVR will run on any old PC, and a laptop will make a fine server while you evaluate it. In fact, here's a recent video that shows it installed on a 2012 laptop and demonstrates the setup steps. An NAS is a better choice the long run though, and I notice in the second half of the video it's clear his laptop install is just for that demo and is not his normal server.

     
  10. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    Was thinking of getting a qnap ts230. Uses a decent Realtek chip, and I don't care about remote viewing and transcoding. That's what the streaming apps are for. Actually keep a chromecast ultra in the car now that I have the stream 4k's.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
     
  11. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    QNAP is fine I'm sure. QTS 4.2.0 or higher required: [getchannels.com/dvr-server/#qnap]

    Transcoding is handled by the client apps as needed. They offer a setting for hardware or software.

    Casting can be done via the web UI player if you ever want to try using it with the Chromecast.

    You'll find lots of support on all that and more at [community.getchannels.com]
     
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  12. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    Thanks. Was poking around there looking for Nas suggestions. Hence I thought the one might be a cheap option so I don't have to keep my laptop on.

    Funny reading about what tivo licenses out to cable companies, and it seems like it's exactly what we want our tivo dvr to be. Shame.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
     
  13. convergent

    convergent Member

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    A NAS isn’t necessarily better than an old PC. Channels leverages some hardware acceleration in Intel processors which you need to get to high end NAS boxes to get. I have a 2 bay and 6 bay QNAP boxes and chose to run Channels DVR on an old 2012 Mac Mini I wasn’t using. I threw an external 10TB USB3 Drive on it and its a beast. I’ve seen it doing 12 simultaneous recordings while processing commercials on recordings and serving up live tv without any lag and not even stressing the i5 CPU. I’ve got 2 HDHR Quatros and the rest is TV Everywhere streaming.
     
  14. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    Now I'm thinking I have an OG Dell XPS 13 laptop. Been a while. Kept meaning to replaced the top lid, but it's such a process it's just been sitting. Core i5, 8gb with USB 3.0. Maybe I'll just get a USB enclosure and throw in my spare tivo drive. My Connect Quatro will be here Thursday.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
     
  15. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    I wasn't saying an NAS is better than any PC, but I do think it's better than a laptop. Laptops tend to run hotter and noisier. When it comes to other PCs, results depend on your choice of OS and your level of patience that's all. But anyway paddler you don't even know if you like Channels yet, so for you that Dell sounds like the perfect way to get started!
     
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  16. mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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    I use a Synology NAS but I've also set this up and it works perfect with ChannelsDVR
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076D1QDP2/ref=twister_B0891ZW7BC?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
     
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  17. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    It'll sit in the cool basement so I'm not too worried. But as mentioned, not knowing if I'll like it, my only investment up front is Connect Quatro and a USB drive enclosure. And one more TS4k for the bedroom.

    As far as liking it, if the live guide is pretty front and center on the TS4k, I'm hoping it shouldn't be much different than using a Mini.

    I also have my mom's fios login info, so I'm wondering if the TV everywhere will be a plus as well since I'm streaming some AMC, History and a couple others.

    Regardless, it seems like a fun experiment. And if all goes well, I'll look into a NAS and finally fix up the Xps to sell.

    Appreciate all the feedback from everyone.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
     
  18. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    Guessing that uses the same Realtek quad core in the Qnap TS-128. Which I believe means no transcoding (at least at the moment) and commercial skip would be a little slow.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
     
  19. mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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    Don't know what it has but it runs a fast as my NAS with Channels. It's on Channels list of supported servers.
     

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