“In some ways, Channels DVR is tough to recommend,” Jared Newman writes for TechHive. “The subscription cost is greater than other over-the-air DVR options, the hardware requirements are more stringent, and even some basic features — like conflict resolution — are absent.”
“Yet one feature manages to compensate for those weaknesses: With the press of a button, you can skip through entire commercial breaks in any recorded program,” Newman writes. “Only TiVo’s Roamio OTA offers similar ad-skipping powers, and Channels is a much slicker solution that runs on Apple TV and iOS devices rather than a clunky set-top box. Channels also excels at the little things, like loading live channels quickly, and preserving the full video and audio quality of broadcast TV.”
“Channels DVR runs on Apple TV (fourth-generation and higher) and iOS devices, with each app priced at $15. But those apps are only part of the equation,” Newman writes. “To capture live TV, Channels requires one of SiliconDust’s HDHomeRun networked tuners, which connect to a Wi-Fi router via ethernet cable for streaming video throughout the house. Beyond the tuner itself, you also need a device to record the videos, along with a hard drive that has ample storage.”
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“After installing the server software, a browser-based tool lets you scan for channels, specify a DVR storage location, and adjust advanced settings such as transcode quality and tuner priority. You can then manage recordings through iOS, Apple TV, or the web tool,” Newman writes. “After completing a recording, Channels DVR analyzes the video for commercial breaks, which then appear as dark lines in the video progress bar. By double-clicking the Apple TV remote’s fast forward button during a break, Channels jumps directly to the point where programming resumes.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Someday, if it ever comes, services like Sony’s PlayStation Vue will have all of the major networks available live (right now, most are On Demand-only) rendering such, let’s face it, cobbled-together solutions unnecessary for the most part. Almost everyone who inquires about cutting the cord wants to know how they can watch the Big Four networks live while also being able to pause and record them. But, for now, Channels seems promising as there’s no way to know if we’ll ever get to a nice, simple unified solution.
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