What is Channels Plus?

Channels Plus is our flexible subscription that provides you with a whole home DVR the ability to stream while away from home.

Note: Learn More about Channels Plus.

How much does it cost?

Channels Plus is available in two plans: $8/month or $80/year.

Additionally, Channels Plus subscribers get access to all Channels apps for free while having an active subscription.

How do I cancel my subscription?

You can manage or cancel your Channels Plus subscription at any time with a simple click on your account page at https://getchannels.com/account/.

Once you cancel, your service will continue until the end of your current period.

How do I fix missing guide data?

On the Channels DVR Server web admin, click the circle icon under your HDHomeRun to reload guide data. This will fetch any missing channel mappings based on the data in the official SiliconDust HDHR app.

If the official HDHomeRun app is also missing data for some channels, you can contact support@silicondust.com with your HDHomeRun device ID and the list of channel numbers that are missing data.

Alternatively, you can click the pencil icon under your HDHomeRun on the Channels DVR Server web admin and add/change guide mappings per channel.

How does the DVR pick which tuner to use to make a recording?

On the Channels DVR Server web admin, you can adjust the priority of your tuners to set the order in which they will be used for recording.

The DVR will always prefer favorited and HD channels first when multiple channels are available to record the same program. If the first tuner in the DVR’s list has a favorited channel, it will always be used for recording. If a matching HD channel is available on the first tuner, it will always be preferred for recording.

If no matching channel is on the first tuner, the same process is repeated for each subsequent tuner in the list.

How do I update to the pre-release version of Channels DVR Server?

Open the Channels DVR Server web admin. Click and hold the Check for Updates button. The latest pre-release will download and the server will upgrade automatically as soon as any recordings or playback sessions are complete.

When a new stable release is published, Channels DVR Server server will upgrade to it automatically. If a new pre-release is published, you will need to repeat the steps above if you want to upgrade to it.

How do I migrate Channels DVR Server to a different computer?

This article helps explain how to do it.

What is Transcoding and why would I need it?

Video is transmitted in different codecs, which define how the video frames are compressed. Common codecs include MPEG2, H264, and HEVC. Each codec also has an associated resolution (like 480p, 720p, 1080p, etc), and a bitrate (2mbps, 4mbps, 8mbps). The resolution defines how many pixels are in the picture, and the bitrate is how much bandwidth or disk storage is used per second of video.

To watch a video, you have to decode using the codec to uncompress the data and turn it into a picture.

Transcoding is when you decode and then re-encode. For example, you may take a MPEG2 1080p 16mbps video stream and transcode it to a H264 720p 4mbps stream.

Channels and Channels DVR Server do not require transcoding, transcoding is disabled while you are at home.

However, when you’re away from home transcoding can be helpful because your data plan is usually limited and you don’t want to send large mpeg2 files over the internet and use up all your data. In these cases, you can control the bitrate and resolution in the app and Channels DVR Server will transcode the videos in real-time to a smaller size and resolution to limit the bandwidth usage.

One exception is the web player. Since browsers do not support MPEG2, any time you use the web player Channels DVR Server has to transcode the video into H264 so the browser can play it.

What is the difference between Software and Hardware transcoding?

Software transcoding uses the CPU to decode and re-encode video. This is an expensive task. This will typically max out your CPU usage and limit the number of frames that can be encoded per second.

With video decoding and encoding becoming so popular with consumers, many manufacturers have started including dedicated video chips on their CPUs and GPUs that can perform transcoding much more quickly. This is known as Hardware transcoding. Support for hardware transcoding depends on your cpu and graphics card model, but typically Channels DVR Server will support modern Intel CPUs, Nvidia GPUs, AMD GPUs (on Windows), and some specialized systems like the Nvidia SHIELD for hardware transcoding.

Why is my DVR not showing a Hardware transcoding option?

You can run a test on Channels DVR Server which will attempt to use all the different hardware transcoders to find one that works.

On Mac/Linux, open a terminal and paste: curl -XPOST http://127.0.0.1:8089/hls/hwaccel

On Windows, open powershell and paste: curl.exe -XPOST http://127.0.0.1:8089/hls/hwaccel

Then open the Channels DVR Server web admin to the Log tab, and copy all the messages that start with [HWE]. Send these to support@getchannels.com and we can take a look at why hardware transcoding is not getting enabled.

My Channels DVR Server is running on Windows and recordings are sometimes slow to seek or start.

Some users have found that disabling Windows’ auto-tune can fix a lot of issues watching recordings.

Read more about it on our Community.

What hardware can Channels DVR Server run on?

Read here for a list of platforms and their installers.

How can I view more of the Channels DVR Server Log?

By default the Channels DVR Server log only shows the last 1500 lines. To see more of the log, change the url from

http://x.x.x.x:8089/admin/log

to

http://x.x.x.x:8089/log?n=10000

where x.x.x.x is the IP address of your Channels DVR Server and n=10000 is the number of lines to display