How to use the TV app for Apple TV

Apple TV has a content organization app called, simply, TV. This app will be the central location for TV and movie content on your Apple TV, not just from your iTunes library, but also from several of your video apps, such as Hulu, Starz, HBO Now, and CBS.

With this guide, you'll learn how to use the TV app, link it to video sources, watch your purchased videos, and even change how Apple TV's Siri Remote works.

How to watch a show or movie in the TV app

Watching is what the TV app is for, after all, and getting started is actually very simple.

  1. Open the TV app, either from the Home screen or by pressing the Home button on the Apple TV.
  2. Select a show or movie from Up Next to continue watching it immediately.

    Open TV, select show or movie

  3. Alternatively, scroll down to What to Watch or one of the other TV and movie sections.

  4. Click on your chosen show or movie.

    Scroll down to other section, choose a show or movie

  5. Click Play.

    Click Play

How to connect apps to the TV app

While it doesn't work with every video app (Netflix is notably absent, for instance), the TV app will automatically connect with apps like Hulu to provide access to their content in a unified location.

  1. Open the TV app, either from the Home screen or by pressing the Home button on the Apple TV.
  2. Click Continue on the message that pops up asking if you would like to connect content apps like Hulu, HBO Now, and Showtime to the TV app.

    Open TV, click Continue

How to remove app connections to the TV app

If you don't like the suggestions provided by one of your video apps, and would rather not see them, you can always remove the connection between that app and the TV app.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Click on Apps.

    Open Settings, click Apps

  3. Click TV.

  4. Click on the app whose connection you wish to remove.

    Click TV, click app

  5. Click Remove [app name] to no longer see TV shows and movies from that app in TV.

  6. Click Remove and Clear Play History to remove the connection and delete all information about what you've watched in the app in question.

    Click Remove app or Remove and Clear Play History

How to add shows and movies to Up Next in the TV App

Up Next should be your first stop when you're looking for something to watch. It offers up the latest episodes of your favorite shows or helps you pick back up with a movie you were watching.

  1. Open the TV app on your Apple TV.
  2. Click on a show or movie that isn't in your Up Next queue. This includes anything you might find in New & Noteworthy, Free Series Premieres, or in the Movie or TV stores.

    Open TV app, click a show or movie

  3. Click Add to Up Next.

    Click Add to Up Next

How to play a video from your library in the TV app

You'll no longer need to head to the separate Movies and TV Shows apps to watch your purchased content on the Apple TV.

  1. Open the TV app.
  2. Navigate to the Library section at the top of the screen.

    Open TV, navigate to Library

  3. Browse your library and click on a show or movie.

  4. Click Play.

    Click show or movie, click Play

How to buy movies in the TV app

  1. Open the TV app on your Apple TV.
  2. Navigate to the Movies section.

    Open TV, navigate to Movies

  3. Click on a movie that you want to purchase or rent.
  4. Click the Buy or Rent button. You may be asked to confirm your purchase.

    Click a moviemakers, click Buy or Rent

How to buy TV shows in the TV app

  1. Open the TV app on your Apple TV.
  2. Navigate to the TV Shows section

    Open TV, navigate to TV Shows

  3. Click on a TV show that you want to purchase.
  4. Scroll down and click on Buy Seasons or Buy Season [Season Number], whichever is available.

    Click on a show, click Buy Season

  5. Click Buy.

    Click Buy

Above is generally how TV shows are presented to you in the new TV app. Apple will push a service or app for watching a show instead of asking you to buy it from iTunes. But if you're not subscribed to a streaming service on which the program in question is available, things work a bit differently when you open a show's page.

  1. Click Buy from $2.99
  2. Click Buy Episode or Buy Season [Season Number].

    Click Buy from $2.99, click Buy Episode or Season

  3. Click Buy.

    Click Buy

How to watch live sports in the TV app on Apple TV

While you've always been able to watch live sports on tvOS thanks to a number of third-party apps, the TV app now has a section dedicated to bringing in the various live games available in those apps into a single place.

  1. Open the TV app on your Apple TV.
  2. Swipe up on your Apple TV remote.
  3. Select the Sports tab.

    Open TV app, select Sports

  4. Scroll through available games to find one you want to watch.

    Pick a game

How to set up the TV app for your favorite teams on Apple TV

You can select your favorite teams and be notified when one of their games is on. Your choices for favorite teams will also sync to the TV app on iPhone and iPad.

  1. Open the TV app on your Apple TV.
  2. Swipe up on your Apple TV remote.
  3. Select the Sports tab.

    Open TV app, select Sports

  4. Scroll down and select the Pick Your Favorite Teams banner.
  5. Select one of the available sports.

    Click Pick Your Favorite Teams, choose a sport

  6. Select teams in the sport you've chosen.
  7. Choose as many teams from as many sports as you want.
  8. Highlight Favorites to see all of the teams that you've chosen in one place.

    Pick a teams, highlight Favorites

How to remove a favorite team from Apple TV

If you want to stop following a team, you can remove it from your favorites.

  1. Open the TV app on your Apple TV.
  2. Swipe up on your Apple TV remote.
  3. Select the Sports tab.

    Open TV app, select Sports

  4. Scroll to the bottom and click on the Pick Your Favorite Teams banner.
  5. Highlight the Favorites section.

    Click on Pick Your Favorite Teams, highlight Favorites

  6. Click on the favorite that you want to remove.
  7. Click on Remove.

    Click the favorite you want to remove, click Remove

How to change the function of the Siri Remote Home button

As of tvOS 10.1, you can decide whether or not the Siri Remote's Home button should open the new TV app, or retain its previous functionality, taking you to the Apple TV Home screen.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Remotes and Devices.

    Open Settings, select Remote and Devices

  3. Click on Home Button to select whether the Home button should take you to the TV app or the Apple TV Home screen.

    Click on Home Button

Accessory options

Whether you've misplaced or damaged your Siri Remote, or you want a serious control upgrade, here are a couple of things you might want to take a look at to use with your Apple TV.

Siri Remote ($60 at Amazon)

If you lost or have broken your Apple TV's included Siri Remote, it's easy enough to replace.

Logitech Harmony 950 ($200 at Amazon)

This remote can control your Apple TV perfectly, as well as your other entertainment devices.

Updated July 2019: Updated for tvOS 12.3 and the tvOS 13 beta.

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