OTA | Reviews

Early Access: Channel Master Stream+ 4K HDR DVR for $99

At just $99 and available for pre-orders today, we take a first look at the tiny over-the-air DVR that looks to delight cord cutters to tame live TV

We first introduced you to the Channel Master Stream+ in November. Now we can take the wraps off of it to reveal some key details and visuals. For starters, you can pre-order one now for just $99 before they go on sale at an expected $150. We have confirmed from Channel Master that devices are set to ship before the end of January 2018.

The Stream+ sports some nice hardware specs. You’ll get a dual tuner DVR, 4K HDR compatibility for streaming content from 4K apps, an included free 14 day programming guide for live locals & DVR scheduling and onboard Chromecast. For DVR recordings, you’ll need to add storage in the form of a microSD card – there is a USB 3.0 port but its not yet compatible with storage and playback of recordings. Channel Master representatives have indicated that support for external storage is in the works.

Stream+ is the culmination of customer requests, market research and engineering, rolled up into an advanced solution from creative companies, we are a consumer-first company focused on delivering value to our customers with Android TV and Google’s Live Channels app.  – Joe Bingochea, EVP Product Development – Channel Master

According to information obtained via Jared Newman of Cordcutter Confidential, one potential hiccup in the road for the Stream+ is that it currently lacks Netflix support, despite the fact that the Netflix app is available on Android TV devices through the Google Play Store, it won’t run on the Steam+ until (or unless) Netflix offers its blessing.

We also understand, as first reported by Jeff Baumgartner of Multichannel News that Amazon Prime Video will join Netflix as major holdouts on the Stream+ until the device meets the respective requirements as determined by those companies. This double whammy is a potential big hurdle that could dampen an otherwise noteworthy and potentially game changing device.

“They have yet to give us authorization, but we’re dying to have it,” Bingochea says.  Until then, it appears that Channel Master is banking on wooing Netflix and Amazon with the positive press and supportive reviews they expect to garner leading up to the product’s launch at January’s CES in Vegas. That may explain, to some extent, the $99 price tag, which Bingochea says is “introductory.”

“We want to see how that moves the needle, and then go from there,” he says.

We are anxious to get our hands on a review unit to test. Until then, check the video and the screens below for a first look at this device that will be rolled out at January’s CES in Las Vegas:

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From the Product Description

The Stream+ is a media player that integrates streaming services and games with live broadcast TV and includes an on-screen channel guide with DVR capability to pause, rewind and record live TV.

Consumers can add their favorite streaming services and games from the Google Play™ store to combine with the free local broadcast channels provided through a connected TV antenna, all within a single graphical user interface and a single HDMI connection to the TV. Stream+ also includes advanced Google features such as built in Chromecast™ functionality and integration with Google Home™.

The Live Channels app installs automatically during the Stream+ setup process to add over-the-air broadcast TV channels into a graphical guide, and installing a MicroSD storage card activates the Live Channels DVR setup process. The dual internal TV tuners allow the user to record one live program while watching another, or record two live programs at the same time while watching a recorded program or using a streaming service.

For detailed product specifications or to place an order for a Channel Master distribution amplifier, please visit: http://www.channelmaster.com

  • No word yet on the exact date when these will be open for pre-order but I’ll update as soon as I get word from the folks at Channel Master.

  • The Stream+ boots up into Android OS which is compatible with a wide variety of apps including YouTube TV, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and others. The possibility of pairing a streaming TV subscription along with the Stream+ DVR would be a compelling cord cutting solution.

    In particular, a service that does not include local channels, like Philo TV, once they get a proper Android app, would be a match made in heaven for a device like the Stream+

    If the Google Live Channels app can take some cues from Apple TV’s “TV App” and integrate the various content sources into a single curated stream, it will be game changing.