Channel Navigation

Good evening,
I am about to retire our TiVo system over to Channels. We will be using Apple TV4k (3rd gen) throughout the house.

I'm having difficulty visualizing navigating station channels with the ATV siri remote which doesn't have numbers. Could someone describe how this will work? We'll be using a HDHomerun Prime for our cable channels.
Thank you

This video is a little old, but gives you the idea:


I washoping I wouldn't need to discole I am blind.
I appreciate the link.....but when I click on it, it plays about 5-8 seconds then stops. Obvs I am unable to see the video.

Would really appreciate some info on how to enjoy TV withe navigating cable channels (HDHomerunPrime) via Channels app on thte ATV4K (2022 model)
Sincere thanks,


The app uses voiceover to help you navigate the guide and our "On Now" section which shows currently playing programs. There is also an in-player "Quick Guide" which can be accessed by swiping down while watching, which will tell you what's playing on other channels which you have set as favorites.


It is also very easy to set up iOS Shortcuts that wake the AppleTV (which also turns on the TV, if necessary,) open the Channels app, and tune to whatever channel you wish… via customizable voice commands to Siri. I do this often to jump between favorite live channels.

More information about that is here: Channels Support - Siri Shortcuts

For example, this API command embedded into the shortcut, tunes to ABC (channel 7.1) on my AppleTV whose IP address is

Ironically, using Siri on the AppleTV remote itself with these voice commands doesn’t work, because tvOS just tries to launch an app, like the network’s own, DirecTV Stream or Fubo TV or whatever, in order to stream that channel, instead of recognizing your DIY Siri shortcut and actually invoking it within the personalized Channels client. I even experimented with alternate codenames for the same shortcuts. Siri on AppleTV refused to work with any of them.

These voice commands do, however, work very well via my iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and more recently, the HomePod mini too. All "hands-free." This functionality is very powerful and convenient, and certainly easier than having to remember channel numbers to manually type on a remote keypad all the time.


Wow, thank you all so much for your replies. I am so excited to get Channels going throughout the house. Up until now, I haven't had a use for Shortcuts, but now I am super excited about the possibilities.
I have a lot of work still to do, then researching the shortcut side of things, but rest assured, I'll be back when I hit a stumbling block.
Thank you very, very much!


Also, third party Bluetooth remote controls are compatible with the Apple TV 4K. I use a Sofabaton U1, which has channel number buttons. It also has red, green, yellow, and blue buttons that can be assigned to different functions in Channels, like toggle captions off/on, go to last channel, and toggle Picture in Picture mode.


Before getting in too deep on this:
I build the shortcuts on the iPhone
Use Siri on the iPhone (or HomePod) to run the shortcut on the ATV I'm surrently watching.
Using Siri button on Siri remote will not run the shortcut.
Is there a repository of ATV shortcuts?

tvOS does not support Siri Shortcuts.

You can only run shortcuts on iOS and HomePod, and those are able to send commands to the Apple TV. But cannot run on the TV itself via Siri Remote

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When opening the Shortcuts apps on the phone, and tapping the + button, I'm lost. Does the Channels app on the phone need to be open, or the Channels app on the ATV?
Can someone describe the steps to creating a shortcut on the iPhone?


I learned how by following this great guide by Apple.

Yes when setting the shortcut up you should have the Channels app running so it can receive the commands. When it's up and running and you're selecting actions, the Shortcut app will let you choose Channels from a list of apps.

In order to get there though, to first create a new shortcut, tap the plus sign to add an action.
The first step of my shortcut uses the "Apple TV Remote" app, to Wake the TV.
Then I have a "Wait 1 second" command to give the AppleTV and television enough time to respond.
Then, the next command I send, open the Channels app, on that AppleTV.
Then I have another "Wait 1 second" command.
And lastly, I send the API command to tune into a specific channel (as described above.)

When all of this is tested and working fine, I saved it as "Turn on ABC" and now when I say "Hey Siri, Turn on ABC" it does just that on my living room TV. This works with my HomePod, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.


AppleTV 4K with the U1 is almost the perfect replacement for a traditional cable DVR. However the U1 is infuriating at times. It seems to “sleep” intermittently. I will pick up the remote press pause and it will respond right away. I walk to the kitchen to grab something come back a moment later and press play and it won’t respond. I have to press it a second time. Over the course of a few hours this happens multiple times. The Bluetooth indicator is lit up when this happens so it seems to still be paired. Not sure if other U1 users experience this as well or if I just have a faulty remote. If I could resolve this I would set up channels with AppleTV 4K and U1 on every tv in my house.

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Regarding your first step; using the Apple TV Remote app. You said wake the TV, but the closest thing I can see is Wake the Apple TV.
If CEC is enabled on the TV, does your step #1, turn on the TV?

In my case, yes it does. Both of my TV's have CEC enabled. Different manufacturers have different names for this. On Sony it's called "Bravia Sync," and on Samsung it's called "AnyNet+."

Many newer TV's also have HomeKit capabilities baked in, those could be leveraged similarly. I was able to add some of that to my older Sony via Homebridge too. Here's an example: GitHub - seydx/homebridge-bravia-tvos: Homebridge plugin for Sony Bravia Android TVs

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Hope you don't mind spoon feeding me.
Where is the wait 1 second command?

What are you doing with Homekit and your Sony TV? just getting ideas.

In the Shortcuts app, when I search for "Wait," it shows up as an available command under the heading of "Scripting." It's referenced on this page, maybe will help?

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An automation I set up early on, was one that senses when the TV is turned off (usually if I was using a different remote) and in turn, stops any playback happening on the AppleTV. Otherwise there were situation where the AppleTV was left with content still streaming, even though the TV itself was turned off. This automaton fixed that.

Via this HomeKit capability, I also set up some Siri shortcuts for the bedroom TV:

  • Turn only the display off, while still playing the audio of whatever is on (sometimes helpful when I’m falling asleep, otherwise the TV screen can be too bright)
  • TV speaker mute in 30 minutes
  • TV sleep in 15 minutes or 30 minutes. Channels has its own sleep timer, so I use this version with other apps.

I’m sure others have more ideas to share…

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Thanks for your time and patience Fofer, I don't mean to belabor the point, but the blind thing can be a challenge at times. I am certainly sticking with this as it seems to offer quite a bit of potential.
Thank you

It's my pleasure to help. And I'm happy to explain anything else, as best I can at least. I'm also looking forward to your reports of more success. I'm inspired that you've come this far despite your challenges. I assume a screen reader is how you navigate but without the benefit of pictures and screenshots I think I'd feel lost and frustrated if I was trying to learn how to do something on a device like this. I'm impressed by your patience too. This stuff can be complicated even for sighted people! But the reward is oh-so great, when it all works together. And it sounds like you're really close. Channels is a uniquely premiere platform for such customizability and flexibility, in precisely this regard. I know I enjoyed learning how to make these voice commands work and it's great to be able share the excitement. The building blocks are fun to play with. Ah, when things work exactly the way they were programmed! So cool! Enjoy.