Kanaler, en app til at se live-tv gennem det nye Apple TV, har modtaget en betydelig opdatering med timeshifting support.
Appen, som først blev lanceret i december, fungerer sammen med SiliconDust HDHomeRun netværks-tv-tunere. Brugere tilslut en antenne til tuneren, og tilslut derefter tuneren til en Wi-Fi-router. Denne opsætning gør det muligt for streaming af levende kanaler til andre enheder rundt om i huset, ved hjælp af ledsagende apps som kanaler til Apple TV.
Channels is the first app for HDHomeRun tuners to support timeshifting without complicated plugins. The app begins storing up video when users first tune into a channel, caching up to 30 minutes of programming. Users can also pause live video for up to 30 minutes. Although the app doesn’t offer full-blown DVR, it’s still useful for rewatching a bit of dialog that you missed, or pausing through the first 15 minutes of a show so you can skip all the commercial breaks.
The Channels app’s timeshifting features do have some limitations. Most notably, switching channels at any time will immediately wipe out all cached video. Channels also isn’t able to implement the “What did he just say?” feature of Siri, which can replay the last 15 seconds of video with closed captioning turned on. Developer Jon Maddox says this feature requires the use of Apple’s built-in video player, whereas Channels uses a custom video player to support MPEG2 playback.
To make room for the new timeshifting features, Channels has also removed the swipe-based shortcuts for cycling through channels. In its place, there’s a new drop-down menu for switching channels, accessed by swiping downward on the Apple TV touchpad. (This is arguably an improvement over the old system, since users get a better view of what’s currently on.)
It’s worth noting that Channels is not an official companion app for HDHomeRun tuners, but rather a third-party offering. Officially, HDHomeRun offers apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV devices, but none of those apps support timeshifting. In essence, Channels has now leapfrogged HDHomeRun’s official apps in terms of functionality.
These features don’t come cheap, however. Channels currently charges $15 for its Apple TV app, and will be raising the price to $25 after February 8. That’s atop the price of the HDHomeRun hardware, which koster $ 100 for den grundlæggende over-the-air model, og $ 150 til en, der understøtter HD-afspilning via trådløse netværk.
Ned ad vejen har Channels til hensigt at støtte fuldt DVR-system, som SiliconDust bygger for sine tunere. Apple TV-brugere kan få samme funktionalitet i dag med en Tablo netværk DVR, though the up-front hardware cost is greater compared to HDHomeRun’s system.