Live Channels Update Adds HDHomeRun DVR Support

Google’s Live Channels app has allowed users to stream from a variety of networked sources, although users are probably more excited about the DVR feature. As the name implies, third-party channel apps can respond to user requests for recording and playing back of media. At this moment, the app needs to support it, limiting the overall impact.

However, Google has gotten a pretty big partner to integrate with their DVR: HDHomeRun. The news was announced yesterday on SiliconDust’s message board. It is a collaboration with Google to build the feature natively into the app.

Your HDHomeRun will show up as a “Network TV Tuner” and sync channel data. EPG data is pulled by Google into the app, not using the guide data provided by the HDHomeRun. It’s important to note that it does not “yet” support more than one of these devices. One can still use HDHomeRun’s app to access other Live Channels.

The experience will work as seamlessly as we demonstrated in our DVR post. You can schedule recordings and they will show up in a centralized collection. Recordings will be saved to the local storage, so it’s advisable to connect additional external storage. The feature will work even if the device is inactive since it can wake up based on a schedule. This also adds time-shifting support to HDHomeRun channels.

In order for this to work, a user will need an HDHomeRun (obviously) and the latest update to Live Channels. That last update, published yesterday to coincide with the news, only lists the changelog as “Performance and stability improvements”.

This will only work on devices that support the DVR feature, so just the Nexus Player and NVIDIA Shield TV, as well as any device running Android 7.0 or above.

Live Channels
Live Channels
Developer: Google Inc.
Price: Free

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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  • Thomas Paulsen

    Sweet. I think we are very close to cut the cord and try either the HDHR native app, Plex beta or now Live Channels. That’s probably until Google will present their streaming TV offer this year. Bottom line it needs to be wife approved. Internet-only prices are still $59 here. Actually too much if you think about it.

  • Daniel Rodiguez

    wife approved needs to be top priority.

  • nmwhit06

    Can you confirm it works on the Nvidia Shield TV? It doesn’t currently support USB tuners so I assumed this wouldn’t work. I’ll have to try tonight when I get home.

    • Nick Felker

      The original source confirms support for Nexus Player and Shield. USB tuners are a firmware component where DVRs just use the internal APIs that have arrived via Nougat.

  • Mike

    This is mission critical for me. With all the other great rock solid streaming attributes of the NVIDIA Shield, Live TV and recording over the air TV via my HD Homerun Extend OTA tuner has been so frustrating it has prevented me from dropping cable TV completely.

    I have tried TV Headend/Backend on Linux and Windows Media Center on Win 7 and the WMC is the winner as long as I don’t care about leaving my laptop running 24/7 but I do.

    Missed recording, intermittent sound, picture tearing, only audio no video, an hour long show with nothing but the very first video image, vertical image stretched out 3x normal made Live TV and Recorded OTA TV impossible to watch. All this even though I have 98%+ quality signals from 3 towers less than 10 miles away.

    If Silicon Dust and Nvidia can make this work it is a game changer and Live Channel is just the cherry on top.

  • Mike

    Must the external storage be connected directly to the Nvidia Shield as right now it can play from my NAS? Not a game changer but need to know.

    • Nick Felker

      At the moment the recordings are saved to the device’s local storage, so a directly connected storage device with expandable storage would qualify.

  • Mike

    Well now Live Channel will not play any audio from my HD Homerun Tuner. I get a message that it cannot play the audio and to try another TV????????????????

    Seriously??

    Other channels on Live Channel like Pluto or Haystack have no audio problems other than all are at a very low level requiring increasing the volume control.

    • Nick Felker

      Pluto and Haystack are streaming everything from a central Internet location. Perhaps there’s some local networking issues preventing your HD HomeRun from streaming fully to your TV.

      • Mike

        A valid point Nick and thanks for the reply.

        It should be noted that prior to today, Live Channels worked very well as advertised and on my Nvidia Shield, the native HD app continues to work as does the HD app in KODI.

        Ironically, prior to losing audio, the local OTA channels in Live Channel played better that either of the other two apps.

        The only thing changed seem to have been the Live Channels with DVR support.

        NOTE: Just to be sure other server applications were not interfering I shut off Windows Media Center and ServerWMC on my laptop but that did not fix this problem.

  • Craig

    I like using it with my hd homerun and my shield but recently got a nas hoping I could use it for dvr purposes but the app won’t let me use my Qnap as the storage devise it demands a usb storage device not network device like my Qnap!