Question for UK Apple TV users

Hi folks.

Just got my ATV 4 and love it. Want to ditch my BT YouView box so that I can replicate its functions on Apple TV so I just use the latter for everything. I don’t really want to record live TV, just to watch it and pause it.

Currently I am using the TVPlayer app. Whilst the quality is watchable it is not HF and can sometimes be a little blocky and pixelated.

If I were to invest in HDHomeRun box and Channels app, what kind of quality can I expect? Would BBC1 HD etc look as clear and crisp as on a Freeview Play or YouView box? I have a decent internet connection.

Also, is the EPG as good as on Freeview Play/YouView?

Any help appreciated.


I’m assuming that as you’re a Youview user then you have:

  1. A decent aerial connection and signal from a UK transmitter
  2. A solid Internet Connection
  3. Some method such as powerline adaptors so that a HD Homerun device (which you need) can connect to the ATV.

If that’s the case then you should get exactly the same picture (or better IMHO) as Youview. Note that the ATV doesn’t (yet) have All4 or UKTV. :frowning:

Conversely I think the Youview EPG is better but ATV has superior search facilities. Aslo Channels DVR doesn’t have ‘Accurate Recording’, YMMV depending upon region and personal taste.

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Thanks for the reply Matthew. It is indeed a pain that Channel 4 won’t make an Apple TV app (it seems unclear whether they ever will). A real shame.

It’s a very “first world” problem to find switching inputs between the Youview box (which is actually fine as a box) and the Apple TV. However, I love the idea of one box to do it all (minus All4…I don’t care about UKTV Play).

I’m really debating in my mind whether it’s worth paying £100 for the HDHomeRun box so that I can ditch YouView…just to have ATV for everything.

I switched from a VirginMedia Tivo subscription/box, to just an AppleTV, hdhomerun the Channels app and a mac mini last year.

I initially looked at humax boxes, and then an Nvidia shield Pro with Plex Live TV and DVR, but eventually found the channels app and purchased an AppleTV.

My current setup isn’t perfect, but then what is, but the only slight annoyance with the getchannels app is not being able to view the EPG whilst watching a programme.

Other than that, I have found that the AppleTV/hdhomerun/channels solution to be brilliant.

I use the Apple TV as my complete media device, especially now that the infuse media player now has native Plex integration.

I can stream any media content from my mac mini without having to transcode it, which means it requires very little effort for the mac mini, which also runs the channels DVR and also for downloading content for Plex.

Hope this helps.


I recently started using Channels + HDHomeRun Duo + Apple TV as my main UK TV source. (As Channel 4 HD was removed from Freesat that I used before).

The picture quality is excellent. You will struggle to notice a difference between it and “Freeview”, it’s absolutely good enough to use as your main TV device. Watching the F1 on Channel 4 HD, for example, looks great.

Only when I do a direct comparison, flicking between Channels and the Freeview receiver built into my TV, while sitting very close do I notice that the quality in Channels isn’t quite as sharp, especially when looking at small text. (I used the BBC logo and “ticker” on the BBC News channel for comparisons.) This may be to do with Apple TVs deinterlacing, but I can’t be sure. Although I am being very picky here.

The game changer for me is Channels’ advert detection which allows you to skip an advert break with a double tap! Would struggle to go back to anything that didn’t offer this feature now.


I have a 4K BT Youview box. When my BT TV subscription expired I switched to Channels. I have 2 ATV 4Ks and an ATV 3. The kids have the former and I have the latter in my bedroom. Have to keep at least 1 ATV setup as it is a Homekit hub. In my lounge I run a Fire TV 2 with Channels. This does have All4 and UKTV along with iPlayer and ITV Hub.

Channels picture quality is easily as good as the Youview box on the ATV4K. The FTV2 doesn’t deinterlace H264 (ie HD) channels so is worse with Sports etc. Obviously the source material is the same (aerial digital stream recorded unaltered).

I now have a HDHR Quatro that replaced 2 HDHR Connects. They are in my garage at the moment unused. If you want I can send you one of them for free :grinning: Just send me a message if you’re interested.


Have been using Channels DVR and ATV in the UK as my main TV source for 18 months + now (including original beta test) and quality is identical or better to the many many other solutions I’ve tried in the past (FreeView, YouView, Virgin, Freesat). Also the lack of All4 app is much less of an issue with Channels DVR since I can just set up a bunch of season passes. Once those have built up over a year or so, it will pick up new seasons automatically so that it ‘just works’.

I have finally after 10 years of trying got to the point where I literally just use the ATV remote in the living room. I have got it turning on and off my AV receiver and TV and controlling their volume via HDMI and IR and so the other remotes just live in a cupboard now. I have music, photos, DVDs, BluRays (all ripped into iTunes), recorded and live TV as well as apps all on one simple remote (I actually like the ATV remote though I know some struggle with it). So very happy here and I’d strongly recommend it.


Hi there. Thanks for the info. Your offer of one of your old HD Connects for free is extraordinarily kind and I would love to take you up on your offer. I’d obviously insist on paying the postage. You can contact me on [email protected] and I’d be delighted to discuss further.

Hi jmdraper, may I ask you which AV receiver you are using as it seems to be working very well with the Apple TV HDMI CEC capabilities? Thanks

Sure. It’s this one: Pioneer 7.2 AV Receiver with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth - Black

Great. Thank you so much.

May I also ask you to describe the rest of your setup? Including the software you are using to put your DVD/Blurays on a hardrive? It would be so useful.

Sure. Music and Photos are just using the native iCloud solutions and built-in Apps on Apple TV for me, though there are loads of good 3rd party solutions with Apple TV apps too, I like to keep it simple if I can. For DVDs and BluRays, again there are lots of more involved ways of doing this with extra bells and whistles but I just ripped them into iTunes and then use the 'Computers' app on Apple TV to access my iTunes library (which has Home Sharing switched on).

For ripping DVDs, I use MacDVD Ripper ( This makes it easy in one step to create files that can be imported directly into iTunes complete with nice metadata. For BluRays it's a bit more involved. I use MakeMKV and HandBrake together as described here

The final piece of the BluRay puzzle for me was embedding decent metadata including artwork in the file before importing into iTunes so it appears nicely in the UI. For that I use Subler (

I am so grateful, thank you so much for taking the time.