Siri’s Initial Eight-Country Limitation on New Apple TV Due to Pronunciation Training

appletvremoteinhandDespite Siri's availability on iOS in over fifteen different languages and over thirty countries, the voice assistant's support on the new Apple TV has remained limited to eight countries: Australia, Canada, Great Britain, United States, Germany, France, Spain, and Japan.

In a new report by MacPrime [Google Translate], the importance of "film and television content" -- including altering the phonetic pronunciation of movie titles and actor names -- was given as the main reason behind this initially small Siri support on the new Apple TV.

The explanation: Siri on Apple TV is different in large parts of Siri on iOS. The voice control of the set-top box Apple had to put a special focus on television and film content. These include in particular film titles and names of actors, directors, producers and the like. Apart from the various translations of movie titles, the pronunciation of titles or name differs depending on the country or region.

Specifically, examples for film titles like "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and the actor Matthew McConaughey were given as the most different from the way Americans tend to say them. Since the new Apple TV is fueled by an extensive Siri voice search functionality, Apple feared that releasing the feature to a more global audience, who may run into problems and become frustrated, would dilute its overall appeal.

The project managers that MacPrime spoke to noted incoming support for more countries and languages, although the company has yet to give an exact date to the expanded regions that will gain Siri functionality on the Apple TV. Those areas that still received the fourth generation set-top box at launch, but are without Siri, were given a remote that looks identical to the Siri Remote but has been dubbed the "Apple TV Remote" due to its lack of full voice control capabilities.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

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Top Rated Comments

oneMadRssn Avatar
112 months ago
Your home database isn't maintained by Apple. Why do you want their server based voice recognition reaching into your locally stored self-titled database?
Yup, this. Siri does not have access to your database, nor can it index it. It's server side. That would be invasion of privacy to allow that. Imagine if Apple could remotely link in to the information on your machine and index it. Yeah, no. I love Apple but it's good they don't do that. It would be a huge welcome sign for the likes of the NSA and other users who wish to exploit such a vast door of fun.
No, the Siri server does not need to reach into my database at all, the two can be kept wholly seperate. I say "modern family" into the Siri remote, my voice is sent to a server and processed, and the server returns "Modern Family, tv show category, itunes id, etc etc." back to my AppleTV. Then the AppleTV can query my HomeSharing database (without reaching externally or sending anything externally) to see if there are any tv shows called "modern family" or any tv shows that match the same itunes id stored in my HomeSharing server. Thus, the Siri server never knows, nor need to know, what is in my database. No need to invade any privacy, at all.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AbSoluTc Avatar
112 months ago
Your home database isn't maintained by Apple. Why do you want their server based voice recognition reaching into your locally stored self-titled database?
Yup, this. Siri does not have access to your database, nor can it index it. It's server side. That would be invasion of privacy to allow that. Imagine if Apple could remotely link in to the information on your machine and index it. Yeah, no. I love Apple but it's good they don't do that. It would be a huge welcome sign for the likes of the NSA and other users who wish to exploit such a vast door of fun.

What a wordy way of saying "unprepared".
Let's see you encode a voice recognition database that can fluently understand 30+ languages. :rolleyes:

It's not unprepared, it's a lot of work and they are rolling it out quite nicely.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Otaviano Avatar
112 months ago
Siri not being available for me was a huge huge disappointment. I am an American living outside the US and I thought surely that by having my Apple TV set to English that it would be available.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
G-News Avatar
112 months ago
It IS identical. If you were to purchase an Apple TV in a country that doesn't currently support Siri, and chose American English, or one of the other supported languages, Siri works. It only doesn't currently work in the native language of the countries that have the "Apple Remote"
Sadly it's not that easy. Your Apple-ID has to be set to one of thr supported countries to be available. That is a poor decision by Apple imo. I speak both German and English fluently, as well as French and have no problems talking to Siri on my phone (I am Swiss). Yet on the AppleTV I can not turn it on in either of the three languages because my Apple ID is Swiss. So unless I want to start paying my things in Euros, Dollars or Pounds and loose all my previous purchases, I can technically not use Siri despite being perfectly capable of talking to it. It's just bad judgment by Apple to tie Siri to the ID and not just the language setting.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
112 months ago
So what's Apple's excuse for not having Siri be able to search local Home Sharing content?
Your home database isn't maintained by Apple. Why do you want their server based voice recognition reaching into your locally stored self-titled database?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
salohcin Avatar
112 months ago
Your home database isn't maintained by Apple. Why do you want their server based voice recognition reaching into your locally stored self-titled database?

Because they didn't improve the interface to access the Home Sharing content at all and in a large library Siri would make finding things a lot easier than scrolling through all the content (especially since the remote app doesn't work with the new ATV). It's all tagged in the iTunes metadata format and the ATV pulls all that information in when accessing the library, so it's not like the ATV is completely blind to the data.

As for as privacy, we already allow Siri access to our location and contacts (among other things) on our phones, is allowing it access to our media any worse? I mean, people with iTunes match already let Apple view their music library, right? I can understand people wanting to keep their information private, but it would be a nice option to be able to "turn on" for people who would prefer to be able to search their whole collection.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)