Channels streaming app updated to version 2.0, brings integrated programming listings to Apple TV

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
The popular cord-cutter app Channels has been upgraded to version 2.0, implementing on-screen television programming guides to ease streaming from a HDHomeRun to the fourth generation Apple TV.









The update makes the app behave similarly to that on iOS. The new version allows for users with an antenna and a HDHomeRun or a CableCARD/HDHomeRun Prime setup to see what's on television in a format close to that of a conventional television set-top box.



Channels 2.0 also gives users up to a 90 minute buffer on live television allowing for rewinding of a live event, provides full closed captioning support, set favorite channels, and use the Siri remote to navigate programming.



Initial AppleInsider testing found the integration between a HDHomeRun with antenna and the Apple TV app to be smooth, with automatic channel discovery and guide loading only taking a very brief period of time.



Channel selection is nearly instantaneous, with a less than a half-second connection delay, presumably needed to buffer the stream buffers from the HDHomeRun hardware.



The Channels app lacks any form of DVR at this time. However, the developers claim to be working on the feature for a future release.



Channels is not a remote viewing solution, and the app only works when connected to the same local area network as the HDHomeRun device. All HDHomeRun devices are supported by the app on both iOS and tvOS.



The iOS and tvOS apps are discrete purchases. The tvOS version must be purchased through the Apple TV App store and retails for $15. The iOS version for iPad and iPhone is also $15 and requires iOS 9.3 or above, as well as an iPhone 5s or newer.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,244member
    This is really cool, and has a lot of potential for growth. The HDHomeRun systems are capable and cool, but seem to be rather niche devices. When those tuners come down in price, or other connectivity is available to the AppleTV, this may really take off.

    My antenna is plugged into my TV, so i need to switch inputs to go between an OTA feed and AppleTV. I don't use a DVR or need an interface with a computer - I'm a passive watcher only, so my inconvenience is minimal. But this channels app is a nice guide, and if I could add a tuner to the Apple TV for...oh, $30, I'd do it.

    Better and better.
    edited October 2016 cali
  • Reply 2 of 18
    MathieuWacowichMathieuWacowich Posts: 10unconfirmed, member
    I am a passive viewer as well and I have to say the channels app and HDHomeRun is the dream setup. Both TV and Receiver are controlled by the Apple TV remote via HDMI-CEC. It actually works and it is glorious. One controller to rule them all - who would of thought that it would be the tiny Apple TV remote?
    edited October 2016 cali
  • Reply 3 of 18
    Does this work with u-verse? I'd love to give it a go.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    $25. No thanks.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    getchannelsgetchannels Posts: 4unconfirmed, member
    supadav03 said:
    Does this work with u-verse? I'd love to give it a go.
    Unfortunately the HDHomeRun devices do not work with U-verse, since AT&T uses an IPTV system which falls outside the CableCARD requirement of the FCC.

    https://www.silicondust.com/support/faq/#can-i-use-the-hdhomerun-with-at-t-u-verse
  • Reply 6 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,005member
    It was that interface that made me cut the chord on cable TV in the first place!  
  • Reply 7 of 18
    I've been thinking about the HDHomeRun hardware for a while. They also integrate with Plex servers with a PlexPass, which I've already bought. I already have an aerial antenna drop in my nerd cabinet where my router, NAS, etc live—a perfect place to place an HDHomeRun device.

    I am having a hard time figuring out which HDHomeRun device is right for me.

    I would be pulling in Over the Air (OTA) broadcast TV.

    Anyone have purchasing advice on the HDHomeRun hardware?
  • Reply 8 of 18
    getchannelsgetchannels Posts: 4unconfirmed, member
    polymnia said:
    I've been thinking about the HDHomeRun hardware for a while. They also integrate with Plex servers with a PlexPass, which I've already bought. I already have an aerial antenna drop in my nerd cabinet where my router, NAS, etc live—a perfect place to place an HDHomeRun device.

    I am having a hard time figuring out which HDHomeRun device is right for me.

    I would be pulling in Over the Air (OTA) broadcast TV.

    Anyone have purchasing advice on the HDHomeRun hardware?
    We recommend the cheaper HDHomeRun CONNECT for most customers. There's more details on our FAQ: https://getchannels.com/faq/#what-is-the-difference-between-the-hdhomerun-connect-and-the-extend
  • Reply 9 of 18
    How does the screenshot show TNT and TBS?  Are those over the air also?  
  • Reply 10 of 18
    What additional hardware will the DVR feature need besides the Apple TV itself?  
  • Reply 11 of 18
    getchannelsgetchannels Posts: 4unconfirmed, member
    How does the screenshot show TNT and TBS?  Are those over the air also?  
    There are two types of HDHomeRuns- one works with OTA channels, and the other uses a CableCARD and your cable subscription.

    What additional hardware will the DVR feature need besides the Apple TV itself?  
    The DVR service will require an always-on device with enough storage to save recordings. The DVR software will support Mac and Linux, but we are also looking into supporting NAS devices. You can read more on our community forums: https://community.getchannels.com
    cali
  • Reply 12 of 18
    polymnia said:
    I've been thinking about the HDHomeRun hardware for a while. They also integrate with Plex servers with a PlexPass, which I've already bought. I already have an aerial antenna drop in my nerd cabinet where my router, NAS, etc live—a perfect place to place an HDHomeRun device.

    I am having a hard time figuring out which HDHomeRun device is right for me.

    I would be pulling in Over the Air (OTA) broadcast TV.

    Anyone have purchasing advice on the HDHomeRun hardware?
    We recommend the cheaper HDHomeRun CONNECT for most customers. There's more details on our FAQ: https://getchannels.com/faq/#what-is-the-difference-between-the-hdhomerun-connect-and-the-extend
    Thanks for the info, that page is super helpful.
  • Reply 13 of 18
    sandorsandor Posts: 501member
    bdkennedy said:
    $25. No thanks.

    i paid $25 for the app, and will gladly pay $25 more when the alpha-DVR-solution is finally released.

    $50 would put it as the same price as SageTV when i originally bought it to cut the cable cord back in 2006.
    $50 for a decade of use, and no cable bill.

    If Channels can duplicate this, and the quality of product stays where it is at, it is a very reasonable price.

    ...i have been all ATSC HD broadcasts, using a 40 year old antenna that was already mounted on the roof of my row home, for the past ten years. a one time investment of less than 1/2 a monthly cable bill is, frankly, dirt cheap.
    polymniacali
  • Reply 14 of 18
    Plex allows one to view HDHomerun recorded programs at any time, anywhere in the world, and it is free. The EyeTV Remote app for $5 allows a view of all programs and the ability to record any. This is too limited for me.
  • Reply 15 of 18
    sandorsandor Posts: 501member
    Plex allows one to view HDHomerun recorded programs at any time, anywhere in the world, and it is free. The EyeTV Remote app for $5 allows a view of all programs and the ability to record any. This is too limited for me.
    how much does the EyeTV DVR software cost?

    Plex is the make-shift system i am using to view my SageTV recordings on the AppleTV4. it is really kludgy, but works. When Channels releases their DVR software, i am expecting the level of ease that SageTV has. And yes, MythTV is free. But easy it is not (installing MySQL & setting up databases for Myth is not normal consumer operations :)

    SIlicondust (makers of the HDHomerun) have a DVR app in non-public beta, and i believe they are actually stopping development of it.
    So, by itself, there is no option to use the HDHomerun as a DVR.
    You need DVR software.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    How does the screenshot show TNT and TBS?  Are those over the air also?  
    There are two types of HDHomeRuns- one works with OTA channels, and the other uses a CableCARD and your cable subscription.

    What additional hardware will the DVR feature need besides the Apple TV itself?  
    The DVR service will require an always-on device with enough storage to save recordings. The DVR software will support Mac and Linux, but we are also looking into supporting NAS devices. You can read more on our community forums: https://community.getchannels.com
    Thanks for the clarification.  Some additional questions:

    1.  Like lots of cord cutters I also get "channels" from Sling.tv.  Do those plug into a unified UI offered by Channels app?
    2.  Is there a picture/post that you can share that lays out the system diagram with Channels DVR (including both NAS device and Mac/Linux use cases)?  I did a bunch of reading in your forums but could not find anything authoritative.
    3.  Does Channels connect to any antenna/system for streaming OTA content over the Internet?  
  • Reply 17 of 18
    getchannelsgetchannels Posts: 4unconfirmed, member
    CHRodriguez said:

    Thanks for the clarification.  Some additional questions:

    1.  Like lots of cord cutters I also get "channels" from Sling.tv.  Do those plug into a unified UI offered by Channels app?
    2.  Is there a picture/post that you can share that lays out the system diagram with Channels DVR (including both NAS device and Mac/Linux use cases)?  I did a bunch of reading in your forums but could not find anything authoritative.
    3.  Does Channels connect to any antenna/system for streaming OTA content over the Internet?  

    1. We are not able to integrate with Sling, as it is a proprietary service. To view Sling channels, you have to use their app.

    2. There is no such information available for the DVR yet, as it is still in heavy alpha development. We hope to publish more details when the beta launches publicly.

    3. Channels does not stream over the internet. It requires a HDHomeRun on your local home network, and receives the video signal from either an antenna (with HDHR CONNECT) or coaxial cable connection (with HDHR PRIME + CableCARD).
  • Reply 18 of 18
    Follow up on the Channels App:

    i bought tye HDHomeRun Connect and both the AppleTV & iOS apps. 

    They work great. The channel guide is awesome. The quality of the stream is great. It streams over my AirPort AC wireless without a hiccup. 

    I am now tuning my TVs using the AppleTV App. This allows me to finally ditch changing inputs on the tv for different activities. Us over-the-air viewers have always had the "changing inputs" problem that cable subscribers can sidestep. Even worse for those of us with a fancy surround sound receiver with its own inputs that needs to be switched as well. Lots of buttons.

    all this is just in time for my Vikings to make what looks like a Super Bowl run
Sign In or Register to comment.