Android TV Live Channels OTA DVR functionality was announced in October of 2016. It is now standard on the Android TV 7 and up. Unfortunately at the time of this writing there is only one device that supports it (Asus Nexus Player) and it is now discontinued.
Few weeks ago Nvidia announced the new Nvidia Shield TV which by default comes with the Android 7 operating system. System update will also be rolled out to original Shield TV owners. I don’t have the Shield myself but early reports suggested that Live Channels app is still old but according to Nvidia this will be updated shortly.
I was able to pickup Asus Nexus Player when they were on the clearance at Target some time ago but I haven’t really used it much since I found it pretty clunky compared to the original Fire TV which is our primary streamer. It was collecting dust until the Live Channels DVR was announced. Right before I purchased Tablo but I was not happy with it and I ended up returning it but that is another story. Back to Live Channels DVR.
If you are one of the happy owners of the Asus Nexus Player with Android TV 7 all you will need is:
- USB tuner – I had the Xbox One (made by Hauppage) laying around but you can use of the following:
- USB hub – so you can connect both USB tuner and external hard drive at the same time. I am using this one.
- USB adapter cable – Micro USB B Male to USB 2.0 A Female adapter – apparently Asus didn’t think that full size USB port is needed. This will allow you to connect the USB hub. I am using this one.
- Any external USB hard drive – I’m just using 320GB I pulled from the old laptop inside the USB case
Here is the quick overview of the setup process (step-by-step is right below):
- Plug in the USB hub and start with attaching the external USB hard drive. Format it as internal storage and move all apps to it. Both of those steps are necessary for the DVR to work.
- Plug in the USB tuner into the hub. It will be recognized by the Android and it will ask you to scan for channels.
- Aaaaaand…… that’s it!
Here is step by step setup with screenshots:
- Plug in USB hub and external USB hard drive. You will be presented with the following popup. Select “Setup as device storage“
- Next screen will ask you to confirm that you want to format as device storage. Select “Format“
- Now we wait
- Once format is complete you will need to move data to the external drive. This is necessary for DVR to work.
- And we wait again.
- Once data is moved let’s plug in the USB tuner. I am using Xbox One USB tuner. After few seconds “Live Channels” will be added to your apps on the home screens and you will have the option to “Scan for TV Channels“.
- This is the next screen. Verify that coax cable from your antenna is plugged into the USB tuner and hit “Continue“
- Now we choose “Antenna“
- And the scan starts. This step will take couple of minutes
- As you can see it found 52 channels at my house. Lots of them in HD and all of them FREE! I am 37 miles away from the transmitter using RCA ANT751 antenna mounted in my attic.
- Next you can add some more IPTV sources from Google Store. I didn’t bother.
- Some welcome screens and we are all set.
Now you can go into the Live Channels. You can view all channels or narrow down your selection by different categories. Programs that can be recorded are marked DVR Recordable. It shows approximately 48 hours of programming. I was forced to take the pictures with my phone since Asus Nexus Player no longer takes screenshots once you have the TV channel playing in the background (probably due to copyrights). Here they are.
In the next post I am going over the Live Channels OTA DVR usage, functions, strengths and weaknesses. You can find it here.