Channels app arrives on the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick for HDHomeRun viewing — UPDATE: Experimental app mistakenly made public

The Channels app by Fancy Bits has just been released for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. This app allows you to view live TV through an HDHomeRun tuner. It features a program guide as well as a nice content view with cover art for shows and movies. The Channels app is known as the best way to watch HDHomeRun content on the Apple TV. The developer has recently released DVR software that runs on a PC or NAS to record content and make it available through the Channels app. The DVR service will cost $8 per month, but the Channels app is free for Fire TV devices. That’s particularly unusual considering the Apple TV version of the app costs a staggering $24.99.

Read on for an important update from the app’s developer.

Update

The Channels app developer just contacted me to inform me that this app was mistakenly made public. It is not functional and is just a very early experiment. There are no near plans to release a Fire TV version of the app. You can follow the development of the app and contribute feedback at https://community.getchannels.com/. The app linked above in the Fire TV appstore will be removed as soon as Amazon fulfils the deletion request, which can take several days.

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16 comments
  1. Craig says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s $25.00 on Apple TV because the Apple TV doesn’t support MPEG-2 natively and the dev (Aman) probably had to license the software codec for the A8 to use it natively…along with the licensing cost for the Rovi guide patent, which I’m assuming he paid for. For Fire TV (and Roku)? Since the Fire TV sucks when it comes to deinterlacing OTA content? He’s using the Channels DVR transcoding engine (installed on PC or Nvidia Shield) to do that and then stream it to the Fire TV (and even Roku since it doesn’t support MPEG-2) and MAY BE considering changing things up and just charging the subscription fee for the DVR server while giving the client apps (which DO require the servers DVR engine) away for free. But he’s still not sure what’s he’s going to do yet.

  2. John B says:

    Anyone get this working? Installed the DVR on my PC but the app on my AFTV (1st gen) never gets past the “searching for channels dvr” screen.

    • Eric Young says:

      Same problem here. I upgraded to the latest firmware (20161117) and it did not help either. I’d love to get this working if anyone has any tips

    • Jon says:

      If you have to install software on a PC and pay a monthly service fee, why not just install NextPVR and Kodi. I use my HDHomerun that way, and it works fantastic for free.

      Its super easy to setup.

  3. Steve says:

    Same Problem here…. just keeps ” searching for channels dvr”

    I have a hd homerun on my network so I thought this should work.

    No luck so far :(

  4. Steve says:

    Just got this reply direct from “channels” app rep.

    “The app is experimental and was released by accident. It only works with our DVR engine.”

    What a bummer!!!!!!

  5. Rhayader says:

    For what it’s worth, I was able to “push” the actual HDHomeRun app to my FireTV stick by installing HDHomeRun on my Android device, then using the Apps2Fire app to get it over to the FireTV.

    I’ve had middling luck using this approach for other apps, but in this case it’s been working great.

    • Redeye says:

      There’s an HDHomerun app for FireTv. On SiliconDust website. Works great! It’s free too.

      • Rhayader says:

        I wasn’t able to find it in the Amazon store from a FireTV stick though. I think it may only be available for FireTV boxes, not the stick.

  6. Kevin Wyman says:

    I am currently using the InstaTV Pro ($15 I believe for the audio codec) or the HDHomeRun app (I was a DVR Kickstarter supporter) and both are working fine. I usually go with the InstaTV Pro app to watch OTA because I don’t have that many channels to choose from and I only need to see what is playing and what is coming on next most of the time. I like the grid setup of Channels (call me old fashioned) but have learned to live with the more “icon” based approach of InstaTV and the slide-out approach of the HDHomeRun (although if I had the cable version going I am not sure that user interface would hold up.)

  7. Ricky D. says:

    Yeah, thought something was wrong with it. It’s an Android TV app, an unfinished one at that. It works OK on Fire TV. The server transcodes the stream so it at least gets rid of the interlacing issue Fire TV has with HDHomerun.

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