USB Tuners Come to Live Channels in Sample App

Live Channels is a way users can triage live channels over-the-air or from a cable box with any third-party app. You can watch Fox right next to Haystack TV, or watch your local public broadcasting in a PiP while you play a game. It’s a beautiful app and a great set of APIs for media apps. Along with hosting a session for developers at I/O, there were more announcements that should be great for cordcutters.

Above, announcement at 28:23

USB Tuner support is coming to Live Channels. This was announced during one of the sessions, and reiterated by PM Sascha in this Google+ post.

We are planning to release USB tuner sample input that supports at least two currently available hardware USB ATSC tuners.

He didn’t specify which devices they were, but regardless this is great news. Cordcutters who want to keep watching TV channels without paying the high cable prices will definitely benefit from this move, turning Android TV into a more capable media player and cable box replacement. Plus, it’s going to be open source, so any developer will be able to see how it works and work on adding support for more USB tuners if necessary.

This, along with DVR APIs coming to Android N, are great additions to the platform. Plus, it’s an open platform, allowing any developer to build their own streaming channel service or game. That includes Comcast, which is working on an Xfinity TV app and has a running build on a Shield TV.

Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub (http://github.com/fleker)Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop.Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

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  • NashGuy

    Nice! Thanks for the info!

  • josuearisty

    Excellent! Thanks for the news!

    A question:

    Will I be able to record my iptv channels with recording function?

    Thanks

    • NashGuy

      From what I read or heard elsewhere, I think Android TV N will allow any app provider who places their live video streams in the Live Channels app to opt into the recording function; if the app provider doesn’t specifically allow it, then users won’t be able to record their live streams. Certainly this will be available with ATSC over-the-air antenna TV streams but I’m doubtful how many online streaming providers will opt into the DVR/recording function…

      • Yes, the TV Input Framework will be adding support for recording APIs.

    • Recording APIs in Live Channels will be coming in Android N.

  • disqus_LvTgdppPho

    This Is good news, hopefully there will be some usb tuners for Android boxes. there are a few select ones like Wetek, etc. but they are a great feature to supplement Tv streaming.