Apple TV Universal Search Gains Support for 9 New Channels Including Food Network and HGTV

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Apple today added nine new channels to the universal search function on the fourth-generation Apple TV, introducing support for A&E, Cooking Channel, DIY, Food Network, FYI, HGTV, History, Lifetime, and Travel Channel.

For those unfamiliar with universal search, it's a feature that allows users to conduct Siri voice searches or text-based searches to find TV and movie content across a wide range of channels. At launch, universal search only supported a few channels, but Apple has been rapidly expanding the feature to encompass additional channels.

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Apple maintains a dedicated support document providing Apple TV owners with a full list of content that can be found via Siri using universal search. Unfortunately, universal search is an option largely limited to the United States. In most other countries, only iTunes content is currently supported, while Netflix is also supported in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

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Top Rated Comments

bondjw07 Avatar
60 months ago
Sure, but where is the Search API that was promised last year ('https://www.macrumors.com/2015/10/03/apple-tv-universal-search-api/')? Smaller 3rd party apps want to use search too but need the search API to develop it. I want siri search for PLEX already!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chupa Chupa Avatar
60 months ago

It's nice that Apple is adding this feature, but really... content is what it needs.

Give me an easy way to just access the channels I want without paying for dozens of channels that I don't want.

I think if Apple could do that they would. But so many channels are basically controlled by:

1. Time Warner
2. 21st Century Fox
3. Disney (with Hearst in some instances)
4. Comcast
5. Scripts Network Interactive
6. Discovery Communications

All of of these companies insist on bundling in the crap for the rights to broadcast the channels people actually want to watch. However, Disney has said it would consider letting people subscribe to ESPN a la carte. That's the most expensive property in cable TV so if that happens expect the damn to break. But my guess is that the sum of the individual channels would be more expensive than current bundling regime and going to an a la carte system will not be less expensive. Kind of like how airlines started charging for checked luggage to "lower fares."
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
60 months ago

There needs to be a workaround to skip commercial

That depends entirely on the content provider - the network who wrote the app and supplied the programming. If they don't want you to be able to skip commercials, then you can't - take this up with the network, not Apple.

(Likewise for purchasing channels à la carte - Apple would love to offer this, has tried to work out deals, but it's entirely up to the networks, and at least some of them are scared of "the bad things that iTunes did to the music industry" - when in reality iTunes gave the record companies a way to keep making lots of money, instead of having Napster/etc. bring them down entirely - sure, they want a return to the good old days, of being completely in control of all music and skiing down enormous piles of cash, but that simply isn't an option any more. iTunes didn't start the change, the fad of looting music on the Internet did, and then Steve Jobs looked at the music executives and said, "Come with me if you want to live!")

I'd be more interested in the long-rumored "Apple bundle of channels", which would make the Apple TV even that much more compelling, but I gave up waiting a while back, cut the cord, and now just use Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube (and occasionally iTunes) for my TV watching needs (also got an HDTV antenna, that gets used perhaps once a week) - pretty happy with this setup.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2010mini Avatar
60 months ago

It's nice that Apple is adding this feature, but really... content is what it needs.

Give me an easy way to just access the channels I want without paying for dozens of channels that I don't want.

Apple can't do that. Only the content owners can.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2010mini Avatar
60 months ago
Good. Keep improving this box and it will be able to replace cable boxes
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BMcCoy Avatar
60 months ago
Why is there seemingly no interest in a decent EPG on the Apple TV?
That is the hub of any TV watching in the UK... a complete EPG of all available channels integrated with one-click recording functionality.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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