Apple TV is a streaming box that offers access to streaming services and purchased media, but it isn’t limited to those forms of content.
Apple TV, the company’s compact streaming box, is best used with streaming apps and purchased media — but can the device be used to watch live TV? First, it’s important to make the distinction between Apple’s streaming box and its streaming service, Apple TV+. The Apple TV is a streaming box that runs tvOS, a software that’s deeply integrated with the company’s ecosystem. In comparison, Apple TV+ is a service costing $6.99 per month and offering Apple’s original content, like the hit series Ted Lasso.
Although the best (and only) way to watch live TV on an Apple TV is through individual apps, that doesn’t mean the experience has to be painful. Most cable and satellite TV providers do not offer Apple TV apps, so users will need to access each individual channel’s application in order to watch Live TV. This sounds like a hassle, but content from many supported apps can be discovered and accessed through the singular Apple TV app on a user’s Apple TV streaming box. That makes it easier for users to find the live TV they’re looking for, even without cable or satellite service.
Use Siri To Watch Live Content On Apple TV
Some forms of live content can be streamed on an Apple TV via respective apps. For example, a newscast might be found on the CBS app and a sporting event could be broadcast on the ESPN app. In the U.S., the list of live channels on Apple TV includes ABC News, Bloomberg, CBS, CBS News, CNBC, Disney Now, ESPN, Food Network, Fox News, MSNBC, NBA, NBC Sports, and Spectrum TV, among others. The full list of live channels can be found on Apple‘s website. Instead of downloading each app separately and searching through every one to find the right content, users can pick the right live TV with their voice.
Using the included Siri Voice Remote, the voice assistant can interpret a live TV request and open the app that is streaming the content. Press the side button of the Siri Voice Remote to activate Siri, and say the name of the channel that needs to be opened. For example, someone might say “Hey Siri, turn on NBC” in order to watch a show or event on that network. If the channel isn’t immediately known to the user, they can ask for the name of the event and try to get a result. This works especially well with sporting events, where saying something like “Play the Giants game” will open up the ongoing sporting event.
If an app needs to be installed to open the content, an on-screen prompt will appear, and users may be asked to enter their Apple ID password. Beyond that, each individual app may require a subscription to access certain live media. Users that have a TV provider linked in the Settings app might have less trouble with certain apps, since access to those channels is pre-authorized. Regardless, Siri can be a quick and easy way to see what type of Live TV can be streamed from an Apple TV box.