Apple working to fix TV app boxset issues

Best Apple TV of 2021
Best Apple TV of 2021 (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple TV suffers from several boxset issues.
  • Users have been unable to playback previously purchased TV boxsets using search or Siri, and are prompted to purchase single seasons/episodes they already own.
  • One particular issue involves boxsets for popular shows withdrawn from sale to make way for a more up to date box set release.

Apple is reportedly working to fix a number of issues in its Apple TV app, which have been causing trouble for owners of TV shows, especially boxsets, on its platform.

Apple TV aficionado Sigmund Judge noted in a Twitter thread beginning October 4 that there were several issues affecting the Apple TV app, boxsets, and cataloging.

As noted in the thread, boxsets like The Big Bang Theory have review forums full of complaints from users who have bought the boxset but can't seem to get a new episode to play through Up Next Queue. As Judge explains:

Before I get to the fix, here are examples of what was wrong with this particular box set:You would be prompted to pay again for an episode you already owned. The only way to play your purchase was through Library.When you played back an episode, the next episode would prompt playback in the bottom right or in your Up Next Queue through HBO Max, prompting you to subscribe to watch your previously purchased content.

The problem also affects Siri, which would prompt users to either purchase or subscribe to HBO Max, even for owners who had already bought the boxset.

The issue also seems to be affecting users who have bought boxsets of shows that are no longer for sale. For example, if you'd picked up Game of Thrones, Season 1-6, as a boxset, that version is no longer available to buy as the boxset is now 1-8. Users with the 1-6 boxset, for example, may have found similar playback issues through Siri searches and the Up Next playback feature. Titles like Bob's Burgers or Modern Family, where an older boxset has been replaced by a newer one have also been affected.

Some films, likewise, have been affected if they have been withdrawn from sale or the distributor of the title has changed. Again, users would find that their previous purchase would be incompatible with the TV apps search, up next and Siri. In some cases, if the content was available via a streaming partner, customers would be prompted to subscribe to that service to playback the title.

The news of course has accessibility implications, especially for those who rely on voice control through Siri to access their content on their Apple devices.

There is good news, however. Judge has confirmed Thursday that Apple has recognized the fault and is working to remedy the issue. More importantly, Judge notes that where previously, customers may have been told that these cataloging issues were expected behavior, Apple has now identified this as an issue. In an email shared by Judge, Apple confirmed its Engineering Team was aware of the issue and was working to investigate it at their end.

Judge has already worked with Apple Engineers to fix the aforementioned issue with The Big Bang Theory, with the prospect of a more general fix for the issue a whole now seemingly in the works.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9