Play current channel while on grid


@gregr I agree. There needs to be a way to release tuners. The current menu system works well for that. Although having a translucent guide with channel in the background would be cool, it kind of would be redundant with the favorites menu accessible with a swipe down. Especially for people using antennas, who are getting ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CW, and PBS. All of the channels fit nicely in the favorites menu, which is available while the current channel is playing. The guide is only useful for planning future programming.


I would love to see this. It’s the feature that I miss most having switched from Verizon Fios boxes to the HDHomeRun Prime with AppleTV. Other than that great app, hope to see this feature soon.



Would love to see this!


I’d like this feature too. Actually the was Directv Now does it is the guide gets superimposed over the currently viewed channel. You still get a full screen of guide but you can see the currently viewed channel (and audio) as well.


I read that tvOS 11 may include a PIP feature, which might make doing a guide/video combo a bit easier. Though I assume you would need to use the built-in video player in order to take advantage of it.

It’s a shame that hardware decoding is limited on the ATV to H.264 progressive, because having to decode most video in software is probably the main reason why there aren’t enough resources left to do other interesting things like a guide overlay, etc.


Any updates on this feature request?

I’m a new channels ATV user and would love to be able to to pull up the full epg grid while continuing to view the channel I’m watching.


I also want this feature. Does not seem to be a difficult ask, the favorites are shown by sliding down and the stream continues unless you choose a new channel. .


slightly transparent guide with audio +1


agree. essentially any option to browse the epg grid (and select a new channel to change) while the current channel still playing.

same behavior as swiping down and showing the favorite channels, except showing he guide grid and allowing the user to select which channel to change.

Feature Request - PIP & Background Audio Stream

Another vote for this feature (on Android TV however)…

After dumping cable boxes which had a PIP/audio stream, and going to the Channels app, my wife immediately called out that she much preferred having the audio stream continue playing. She found it jarring to have audio and then go to none (especially if she had fallen asleep and I was still watching TV, the abrupt volume change would wake her up, whereas a constant volume didn’t disturb).

I also prefer at minimum the audio feed as then you can “monitor” whats going on in the current channel and decide whether you really want to change or not when surfing.


Please implement this feature. This is huge!!! +1


Just curious for some that have posed this new feature question. Are we talking the ability to keep playing the current channel while viewing the guide (which is what I vote for), or are we talking the ability to see the content of the channel that is currently highlighted in the guide?

What I think would be cool, is if the playing channel continues without leaving the current screen and some action (I am sure this might be one of the challenges) brings up the guide. The action that brings up the guide either minimizes the playing video or superimposes (I don’t think I would be a fan of this option) on top of the playing video with translucent guide (hard to see but kinda cool), or the video you are watching shrinking down to size in one (less viewed) corner of the guide.


I think if we can at least get sound playing in the background to start many would be very very happy. I am coming from Nvidia Shield and the built in google channels app keeps the channel playing while you view the guide. When the sound cuts off while viewing the guide in channels it is very jarring.


Just wanted to bump this thread up and see if there was any progress in getting a transparent guide that would overlay live tv?


If this is NEVER going to happen, can the devs make a sticky saying so and let's move on? :sleeping:


Just trying Channels DVR as a potential replacement for my old Windows 7 Media Center + extenders. So far, so good.

My wife’s biggest complaint is that there is no audio from whatever we are watching (live tv or DVR) when browsing through the Guide.

It looks like users have been asking for this for years. @tmm1, any chance of it ever happening?


We’re going to take a stab at it this year. There are a ton of technical challenges with how the app works that make it complicated. It’s not as trivial as “make the video show on the guide”

For those that request this, what are you actually after?

Do you just want it because that’s how traditional cable boxes worked? Or is there a more specific thing you’re after?

“Make the video play on the guide” is a result, not a problem solving feature. If we knew more about the problems you were trying to solve, we could possibly solve it another way.

Your feedback would be really useful!


For me the use case would be watching one show and being not completely into it and looking to see if anything better is on but not wanting to miss anything of the first show in case I don’t find something better to watch.


This is basically it for me too. It's more the option to look around with the guide similar to putting something in PIP on my iPad and then checking out the Channels forums...


Thanks for the quick reply. For me, if the audio just continued in the background, that would be a great start and would definitely improve the WAF in my home.

When watching a live show, and a commercial comes on, we often surf the guide to see if anything else is on. Just hearing the original station’s audio provides a clue as to when it is time to stop checking out the guide and return to the show (if nothing better was found! :wink:)

I would imagine that keeping just the audio feed without trying to make the guide transparent, or shrinking the video into a small window, would be fairly simple. But as a developer, I realize that what appears simple may also be much more challenging depending on how the app was designed.

Again, thank you for your consideration of this enhancement. We are really enjoying Channels DVR. I am amazed at how quickly Channels is able to tune a station and begin displaying video. Incredibly smooth on our Apple TVs.