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Channel Master Sharpens Its DVR for Cord-Cutters

Channel Master, which makes subscription- free DVRs aimed at the cordcutting crowd, has developed a new “LinearTV” platform that will enable it to aggregate and integrate over-the-top broadcast content on the guide that runs on its DVR+ platform.

Channel Master said it will add the new, free feature through a software upgrade in the early part of this year, stressing that it will provide users with the familiar cable/satellite-style channel lineup grid, but won’t require them to launch and break down individual apps to access content.

While the company is still finalizing its initial lineup of over-the-top linear channels, an official said it demonstrated OTT from the following providers at International CES: Bloomberg, Al Jazeera America, WGN, WeatherNation, Daystar, Almavision, NASA, BBC World News, Sky News, France 24, NHK World, CNN World, QVC, Home Shopping Network, TV Mas, Vevo TV, 360 North, Outdoor Cooking Channel, Deutsche Welle and Jewelry Television.

A screen capture of the LinearTV feature provided by Channel Master also showed other services, including Animal Planet L!ve, BYUtv and CBSN, the new live streaming news channel from CBS News and CBS Interactive.

The demo version doesn’t allow users to pause or record live streams on DVR+, but it’s an element Channel Master is working on, the official said. It also intends to off er more channels when it launches the feature later this year. DVR+ users will also have the ability to add or delete channels from their guide.

Channel Master’s DVR+ platform integrates access to a growing number of OTT content providers, including Pandora, Vudu and YouTube, and has been striving to add Netflix to the mix. Channel Master also supports over-the-air digital TV antennas.

Channel Master expanded its DVR product line last summer with a $399 model that includes 1 terabyte of storage, complementing an original $249.99 model that holds 16 gigabytes and is expandable using an external USB-connected hard drive. Both contain two tuners and an integrated 14-day channel guide.