Channel Master Stream+

Storage is only to microSD per that article? It seems to me there’s a gap between reasonably priced microSD cards and appropriately sized microSD cards for DVR functionality. says the USB-3 is for ‘future applications’; hard to imagine an external hard drive wouldn’t be the first application.

I love streaming to multiple TVs, but other than the storage question (and the number of tuners), this looks like it might be an interesting product.

What were they thinking? Recording to a microSD card? Anyone who has worked with a Raspberry Pi will tell you to disable immediately any storage use of its microSD card. Writing daily to such a card will destroy it within a year. They are not made for continual writing - not physically robust at all. Good for RO on bootup.

Plus the speed of this card is s.l.o.w. I tested writing an HD stream to one from a variety of DVRs (like my PC, Homeworx and RPI) and it hiccuped terribly having no buffers built-in like a standard drive. The best one can do is an SD stream.

One will be buying yearly a microSD card to pop it in… At least the Tablo Engine makes provision for replacing its internal storage with an external drive.

The SD card format encomapss many different specifications - for capacity as well as speed.

There are four different speed classes — 10, 6, 4, and 2. 10 is the fastest, while 2 is the slowest. Class 2 is suitable for standard definition video recording, while classes 4 and 6 are suitable for high-definition video recording. Class 10 is suitable for “full HD video recording” and “HD still consecutive recording.”

In Tablo terms, the speeds of the various classes are:

CLASS 2 - a guaranteed minimum write speed of 2MB/s or higher
CLASS 4 - a guaranteed minimum write speed of 4MB/s or higher
CLASS 6 - a guaranteed minimum write speed of 6MB/s or higher
CLASS 10 - a guaranteed minimum write speed of 10MB/s or higher

The SDXC capacity standard allows for up to 2TB per card.

I do believe Samsung and several others have recently pushed beyond the “standard” to allow for higher capacity CD cards.

I have not seen or searched for endurance capabilities. Can’t be far off from equivalent SSDs.

More information (in perfectly understandable form (nice schematics as well):

Also found a good review of performance and so forth of SanDisk SD cards

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BTW was using top of the line Class 10 microSD card and it sputtered terribly on HD streams. Real life experience when streaming HD continuously to an SD card. Homeworx forums are replete with warnings to stay away from microSD and any flash drives for sustained HD recording. Speed is not the issue but device buffering. Too many DVR owners have had to walk away from microSD (and any SD cards).

One example - recording sports. Seeing a receiver catch the ball on the 5 yard line and then in the next frame score the touchdown. Five yards covered in a nano-second. Dropped frames are endemic when recording sports events to such storage media (along with pixelation every 3 or 4 minutes on an antenna signal that is 100%). However a plain old USB2 drive was just fine recording fast action sports with several DVRs.

That USB3 port has to be for recording.

This DVR reminds me that several people have turned Kodi boxes into DVRs. So the internal specs for a $99 box like this one (also Android) probably mirrors the SOC Kodi boxes (Android AMLogic and Rockport) internally that sell for approximately the same price. The HDMI output probably comes from the onboard GPU their SOC has. It was just a matter of time until someone took the Kodi box model and added an internal tuner for less than $100. It similarly advertises the Google Play Store as part of its Android environment.

Which means running Kodi on this box as well as having OTA at the same time! Very tempting DVR…when one combines all these environments together in one box…

And recording through USB3! If the drive is made shareable for other than just the tuner app, it could also mean recording Kodi HDMI streams (which some Kodi boxes already have).

Very interesting box in terms of possibilities when one thinks how extensible Android and Kodi apps are. The “+” at the end of the name is significant…

I suspect that one will be able to attach multiple drives to it via a hub attached to the USB3 port. The Homeworx DVR allows this and can write to one or another drive. Android allows for this anyhow.

Good ole Channel Master - used to be my favorite antenna and pre-amp people. Shows what being acquired by the Chinese can do for you. Turn a venerated hardware company into a software (inexpensive) Android box juggernaut… And dontch’ya know it, all those Kodi boxes come from…China…

In fact looking at the specs, which state that this has a Quad Core ARM Processor, this is an SOC Kodi box architecture (and all their Mali GPUs come with 4K HDR capabilities). This is not a closed box DVR for sure…

CM just upped the game on price, capabilities and extensibility!

Can the device stream live TV to various devices on the LAN? Can the device stream recordings to various devices on the LAN? Does the device support remote streaming over the WAN?

If not and you already own a tablo unit maybe it’s a nothing burger.

I suspect it can because Kodi-type boxes (which this one is) support the UPnP protocol and can exchange streams and libraries across a LAN between themselves natively. My Rasperry Pi server which is a Kodi style box has a KWorld USB tuner attached to it and I can view live channels and recordings across all my devices from it.

So even if CM does not enable that feature right away, that capability is there from the start since Android supports UPnP.

A major difference between the Tablo and this box (for me at least) is that people will be able to write Android and Kodi apps for it and thus extend its capabilities independently of Channel Master’s software gurus… For example, I have a two week channel guide for my RP server written by someone else freely available that integrates into my RP for scheduling recording. It is reconfigured by me to use TitanTV’s offerings (which Beastman here has preferred to Tablo’s provider). I expect it will be much easier and much faster to add functionality to this box (like multiple drives). I doubt there will be year long waits for added functions (or 2-3 years) because if CM doesn’t do it, someone else will for that box…

Some people have configured their Rasp Pi TV servers to record to a NAS so I expect this functionality will inevitably be available for the CM box one way or another. Given Android’s flexibility, these boxes can be made to share resources and talk to each other. My two Kodi boxes already recognize each other’s presence on the LAN and exchange stuff between themselves.

However I appreciate my Tablo (my wife loves it and hates Kodi) so its here forever and ever (since we have a lifetime subscription).

If the tuners and demodulators are on the motherboard and cut into the system bus, depending on the driver I’m not sure that qualifies as a UPnP device.

And just because it claims to be Android doesn’t mean that every driver is installed. If you look at the Nvidia Shield forum from a year ago you might find a thread where while the OS level should have supported USB TV tuners, the drivers weren’t installed. So some user grabbed up the drivers from another distro and built his own bootable image to shared with the world.

Yeah – I wouldn’t count on home streaming here (and I certainly wouldn’t describe this as a Kodi box). Until it’s available - can’t say for sure - but I suspect it is going to be a single-connected-set only thing.

Channel Master itself doesn’t build anything. Just like with the DVR+ they take somebody else’s product - make a few modifications - and slap their name on it.

The Stream+ is only the Technicolor Skipper which is already in use in Italy for TIMvision.

Since they’re simply using Live Channels for their DVR, I’m not sure there will be much whole home streaming going on.

all this, and the top looks like it could be used as a coaster for drinks, too. :joy: but the sd card for recording is a no go. i prefer the channel master dvr+ to this new device, which i still use in addition to my tablo.

i think the only use for this new device is to combine live tv viewing with streaming from the various apps…not for recording.

To claim it will function as a whole home/multi-device unit is very presumptuous. Channel Master is not insinuating this & they state it connects to a TV via HDMI. If it has or they intend the kind of functionality you are predicting, wouldn’t they want to promote that?

Perhaps time will prove your assumptions correct, but at this point it is pure speculation.

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It is speculation but not presumptuous at all. Most of what I discuss has already been implemented on boxes such as Raspberry Pi and Kodi boxes turned into TV servers. You’d have to be familiar with those communities of developers and experimenters.

The architecture of the hardware is exactly the same as those boxes with one exception - an internal TV tuner. The software environment is identical.

IF I was able to turn a $35 Raspberry Pi into a DVR that has most of the functionality that a Tablo has, then it won’t be anything remarkable for CM to do the same.

Are you familiar with any of the SOCs being used in the Kodi environment at the hardware level? Are you familiar with any of the software environments in this realm? I mean at the hands-on, practical level. If you were, then you’d see what potential this new box has. As I said before, others have already converted $55 Kodi boxes into TV servers and DVRs with similar functionality to Tablo. My humble Raspberry Pi has BOTH HDMI output and network streaming - done in one week. It outdoes the Tablo Engine on a simple $35 card! How many people have been asking for this dual functionality that Nuyvvo can’t easily deliver but others have done with a simple Raspberry Pi? Oh and it records to multiple drives with the capability of going NAS - when do you expect Nuvyyo to do this? It won’t be hard to implement this on the new CM box!

It is not speculation when examining the capabilities of hardware and software potential of an environment such as Android. Given that others including myself have already done much of this. And we didn’t need year-long road maps LOL. I suspect CM chose this hardware/software architecture for this box because it is popular already in China and as an open box environment has quick development potential. Plus the fact that it will easily integrate with the existing Kodi environment (it took me minutes to integrate all my Kodi and Roku devices with my RPI).

Tablo on the other hand has a closed box mentality and we see the results in terms of pushing out functionality. CM wouldn’t be advertising the Google PlayStore as part of its box if it did not anticipate plugins and addons to become “partners.”

One more bit of speculation. The CM box will effectively kill off Tivo - who would buy this old clunker at three times the price with half the functionality?! RIP Tivo… And if Tivo thinks it will get any royalties out of China :rofl:

I will keep loving my Tablo as much as I love my grandmother. They both have an honorable place in my family…

The problem with these “KODI” boxes is most of them also are enablers for providing illegally obtained content, pirated movies, pirated TV shows, pirated sporting events and such… at best they are very very very legally iffy… These devices make it hard to compete legally and on a fair playing field with people like Nuyvvo … its not that Nuyvvo wouldn’t love to offer all the same pirate features these kodi boxes do with reckless throw legal issues to the wind carefree abandon, they just can’t and it sets them up for a disadvantage with something they can’t easily compete against… please be sure to factor that into your assessment… if you strip out all the pirated content {and/or easy access to it} from these Kodi boxes (be it SOC or RaspberryPi flavors) they don’t offer a whole lot more…

While I agree with the majority of what you are saying, I would disagree that this box will effectively kill off TiVo. TiVo is still the most popular “normal user, non-cable company/TV provider provided” DVR solution. Their pricier service fee and lifetime service plans being for that specific unit are frustrating but they are still one of the best “just works” solutions available right now. While I greatly prefer Android TV (we love our Shield TV!) it’s still not as mature as what I prefer to call the antiquated TiVo UI and I don’t like TiVo’s whole house streaming approach.

Perhaps but I was not commenting on most of what you had discussed. I was only commenting on the whole home functionality you speculated about.

Zippy asked:
“Can the device stream live TV to various devices on the LAN? Can the device stream recordings to various devices on the LAN? Does the device support remote streaming over the WAN?”

To which you replied:
“I suspect it can because Kodi-type boxes (which this one is) support the UPnP protocol and can exchange streams and libraries across a LAN between themselves natively.”

This is presumptuous & speculative. CM’s promotional release statement does not claim this. If this box is capable of such multi-device functionality over a LAN, it is very odd that they would not be promoting it. In fact, if you read what CM is saying it seems as if this is nothing more than their DVR+ in a different package with improved streaming functionality.

Furthermore, CM even states it has built-in chromecast functionality - what would be the need for this if it can stream to multiple devices over a LAN?


Sounds interesting.

Could you provide some links / communities that you use to implement the Raspberry Pi for these functions ?



I just contacted CM about the Stream+. I was interested in it as a OTA DVR for my RV. I currently use a Mediasonic Homeworx box which works fine but is extremely unsophisticated. What kept me from a DVR+ for the RV was the price point, but I figured at $100 it might be worth it for the Stream+. But unfortunately CM told me the Stream+ does not work without the internet.

How hard can it be to have a DVR use the guide data provided with the OTA signal if no internet connection is available?

Remember the guide data with just OTA only has to go 12 hours out (and even then, I find some stations are messed up).

Sort of limited with regards to DVR scheduling.

With that said, I think the idea of a device that saw a long term guide (e.g. Tablo) and just uses what it last “knew” so that without an Internet connection the scheduling would work…

Also, even without the changes to Tablo auth, for playback, I would think things could work without auth and Internet. And if my idea above were implemented, even using the cached data for scheduled recording could work without auth. Nothing would be changeable without auth, but things would at least try to work (this feature would require a bit of work to implement).