Android TV Live Channels OTA DVR Usage and Review

Android TV Live Channels DVRIn the previous post I went over how to setup the Android TV 7 Live Channels DVR functionality. How that we have it up and running let me fill you in on what it can and cannot do.

Scheduling recordings:

You can record from live TV play controls by using the record button or from the EPG guide. Android TV Live Channels OTA DVR - Over The Air Antenna

Once selected you will be presented with the option to either record a single program or to start series recordingAndroid TV Live Channels OTA DVR - Over The Air Antenna

Selecting “This single program” will start or schedule recording right away.

Selecting “Entire series” will take you through few additional options where you can select the priority of this series in relation to other recordings you have scheduled as well as recording this program on all channels or only the one you selected. Android TV Live Channels OTA DVR - Over The Air AntennaAndroid TV Live Channels OTA DVR - Over The Air Antenna

If you select all channels it seems to be showing “conflicts” with itself. It does not affect the operation.

Here is what the empty DVR section looks like without any recordingsAndroid TV Live Channels OTA DVR - Over The Air Antenna

This screen shows one episode of “Shark Tank” recorded and scheduled “Saturday Night Live” Android TV Live Channels OTA DVR - Over The Air Antenna

From here you can play and delete your recordings and find them by series and genre.Android TV Live Channels OTA DVR - Over The Air Antenna

Here are some more scheduled recordings added to the DVR. You can also see how you can filter what you want to see by the type of program.

Android TV Live Channels OTA DVR - Over The Air Antenna

Android TV Live Channels OTA DVR - Over The Air Antenna

Here you can see the full schedule for all of your DVR recordings where you can adjust them as necessary.Android TV Live Channels OTA DVR - Over The Air Antenna

Let’s go over the functionality.

EPG guide only shows 48 hours of data and there is no search either. You will have to browse through the EPG guide to find what you want to record. This is a major pain and since only 48 hours are shown you have to wait until your desired program is available through EPG so you can schedule it. Once you start series recording it’s automated from there on. Sports are also considered as series and you can choose what you want to record by type/league such as NFL, NHL, NBA, Soccer and others. This was one of the major reasons I wanted to record live TV.

Application is very fast and there is hardly any wait while switching channels, selecting functions, scheduling, playing recorded content, etc. This is a nice change compared to Tablo which was slow pretty much everywhere. I will record the video of functionality and post on Youtube in the next couple of days.

There are a few pain points which I would like to discuss:

  1. EPG guide only shows 48 hours as previously mentioned
  2. There is no search so you have to browse through EPG to find what you want to record
  3. Only what is currently airing is shown when filtering via EPG
  4. Once recording is started you have to wait until it is finished to watch it. You cannot go back to the beginning and watch while it is recording. This is the biggest problem for me for sports. I hate watching football live due to the outrageous number of commercials. On other DVR solutions I was able to start watching the game at any point this allowed me to fast forward through commercials. No such luck here. It would be great if it allowed this functionality.
  5. All approved USB tuners are single tuner only which results in a lot of conflicts. It would be nice if dual tuners or HD Homerun tuners (Connect, Extend or Prime) devices were allowed. Maybe it’s possible to connect two USB tuners… I’ll try once I get my hands on one.
Summary:

Overall I am very satisfied with this solution. Granted there are limitations which I hope will be resolved soon but it works great and while you are connecting couple of hardware pieces together it requires minimum tinkering to get it working. Hopefully Nvidia Shield TV will enable this support soon so more of you can take advantage of this.

It doesn’t hurt that I had all the pieces of this setup laying around the house so my cost was very minimal (USB adapter cable and USB hub as discussed here)



7 thoughts on “Android TV Live Channels OTA DVR Usage and Review”

  1. Hello,

    Thanks for this review, very helpful.

    I just set up Live Channels DVR on an Nvidia Shield, with the Hauppauge XBox USB tuner, and recorded the Olypmpic opening ceremony. The recording worked fine, but the playback exhibits ghost imaging during movement. It looks almost like interlaced video artifacts. The problem was not apparent while watching the live broadcast through the same tuner, so I don’t believe that is the issue – it looks like a problem with the recording format.

    Have you come across this issue? Live Channels doesn’t provide many (or any) options in terms of setting up the recording. I like the interface better than Plex, and scheduling seems much more reliable, but the recording quality is a serious problem.

    Thanks,
    ccb

    1. I haven’t seen it with the Asus Nexus Player and the same Hauppauge Xbox Tuner. There is some pixelation very occasionally but it’s been solid otherwise. Do you see the same artifacts when recording with Plex DVR?

  2. Just found your OTA DVR guides… and found them very useful. I work for Technicolor and are a Google partner on Android TV (certified and AOSP) for more than 4 years now.

    Also to note we sell a variety of Android TV boxes with different RF tuners. Dish’s 4K Air TV settop is made by Technicolor and uses a USB based ATSC tuner. Next gen will have the ATSC tuner on board. You can purchase the Air TV directly from Dish at http://www.airtv.net.

    Another company called Channel Master is using another Technicolor 4K Android TV settop (internally named Skipper) that ships with 2x ATSC tuners and works great with Live Channels and OTA/DVR. You can preorder them from Channel Master right now.

    Technicolor Connected Home division focuses mostly on the service provider market (ATT, Comcast, Charter, Verizon, etc…) but not retail. As such the information on our products for consumers is often absent from the different online blogs, CNET, tech journals etc…

    I just setup OTA DVR on the Channel Master version of Skipper and it works great. It supports recording management (ie if you are recording two channels and try to tune a third you will get a pop up telling you all tuners are in use). I have been in the video business for more than a decade. Android TVs Live Channels app is solid… it may not win any design awards as graphically it is a little spartan… but it does the job and continues to assist us cut cords daily.

    Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *