With iOS 12.3, Apple is updating its TV app and introducing Apple TV channels, a brand new feature. You can subscribe to third-party streaming services such as HBO or CBS All Access directly from your TV app using channels.
You can watch the content you want in your TV app without having to download anything from Apple.
If you’re looking for information on the services that are currently available as Apple TV channels, how much they cost, and how they work, you’ve come to the right place.
How do I get Apple TV Channels?
You’ll also need to update your iPad or iPhone to iOS 12.3, or your Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD to tvOS 12.3, to get the Apple TV channel.
The Apple TV app is also available on Roku, some new Smart TVs, and, of course, some Fire TV devices in Mac OS Catalina.
How do I subscribe to a Channel?
This is almost the easiest part. Scroll down to the Watch Now tab in the TV app on your iOS device or on your Apple TV, and you should see a list of channels prominently displayed in that area.
The majority of apps will include a button that says, “Try it Free.” When you select this option, an in-app purchase screen appears, displaying the trial period (usually one week) as well as Alsop, which displays the recurring subscription price that must be paid after the trial period has expired.
When you’re browsing a channel’s content, you’ll see a “Try it Free” button on movies and shows.
How does playback work?
After you’ve successfully subscribed to a channel, you’ll see recommended shows and movies in your Watch Now tab.
You’ll notice a horizontal list of channels displayed as circular icons as you scroll down to the Watch Now tab. Choose any of the ones on the screen to see everything that is available on that Channel (whether you have subscribed to it or not).
Choose a show, and you’ll see a card with information about the seasons, episodes, cast and crew, and more, as well as a big Play button. You may notice a different format on Apple TV, such as Play first episode and a separate Add to Up Next button.
What Channels are available, and what do they cost?
Apple promised channels from a number of other partners during the Apple TV Showtime event on March 25th. The following is a list of Channels that we are currently aware of, along with their subscription fees.
All of the subscriptions are month-to-month and include a one-week free trial period. There are no yearly subscription plans available for Channels.
- Acorn TV ($5.99)
- Arrow Video Channel ($4.99)
- Britbox (unknown)
- CBS All Access ($9.99)
- Cinemax ($9.99)
- CollegeHumor Dropout (unknown)
- Comedy Central Now ($3.99)
- CuriosityStream ($2.99)
- Epix ($5.99)
- Eros Now (unknown)
- HBO ($14.99)
- History Vault ($4.99)
- IFC Films Unlimited ($5.99)
- Lifetime Movie Club ($3.99)
- MTV Hits ($5.99)
- Mubi ($10.99)
- NickHits (unknown)
- Noggin (unknown)
- Pantaya (unknown)
- PBS Living ($2.99)
- Showtime ($10.99)
- Shudder ($5.99)
- Smithsonian Channel Plus ($4.99)
- Starz ($8.99)
- Sundance Now ($6.99)
- Tastemade ($4.99)
- Up Faith & Family (unknown)
- Urban Movie Channel ($4.99)
While the new TV app is expected to be available in over 100 countries, the list of channels available and the cost may vary from one region to the next.
You might be wondering how these channels’ prices compare to those found in the service’s native app or on the web. We’ll put together a comparison chart.
What if I already subscribed to one of these services?
You will not be able to use your existing subscription as a Channel in the TV application if you have already subscribed to any of the services.
The good news is that most native apps work well with the TV app, so you’ll see the content you’re looking for in the Watch Now tab, and your movies and shows will appear in Up Next.
However, you’ll need to download the appropriate app, which will then automatically switch to playing the content of your choice. Apple will bill you if you subscribe to the content through an in-app purchase.
If you sign up via the web, however, the content provider will be the one to bill you.
What about Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu?
Netflix may be everyone’s favorite streaming service, but it isn’t compatible with the Apple TV app. Netflix content does not appear in the TV app; instead, you must download and use the Netflix app on your device.
Unfortunately, Hulu is not a channel to which you can subscribe and watch directly from the Apple TV app. However, the TV app’s features are supported by the service.
Hulu content will appear in the TV app’s tabs and search, and Hulu shows will be featured prominently in the Up Next section. In order to watch shows or movies, you’ll need to download the Hulu app.
Amazon Prime Video works in a similar way to Hulu: Although Amazon Prime Video is not a channel, it does integrate with the Amazon TV app if you install the app and have a subscription.
Can I buy bundles of services?
Apple has not stated the availability of any channel bundles since the launch of Apple TV. It would only make reasonable to provide something like that when the Channel library increases.
Please share your ideas and questions in the space provided below.
Should You Buy the Apple TV?
Apple TV is the company’s set-top box. The new Apple TV 4K has a speedier A12 Bionic CPU, high-framerate HDR capability, and a revamped Siri Remote. Apple updates the Apple TV infrequently, with a new model coming out every three years or so.
The second-generation Apple TV 4K, which was announced in April 2021 and is still fairly early in its product cycle, is the newest Apple TV in Apple’s lineup and is still a good time to buy.
There are two different Apple TV models on the market right now. One is the Apple TV HD, which was released in 2015 and includes 1080p capability, an A8 processor, 32GB of storage, HDMI 1.4, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.0, and a $149 price tag.
The second-generation Apple TV 4K outperforms the first-generation Apple TV HD in practically every way and is far more future-proof. It’s difficult to recommend buying an Apple TV HD because of its age and inferior features, especially considering it’s only $30 cheaper than the second-generation Apple TV 4K.
Almost all potential buyers should go for the Apple TV 4K second generation. Customers who are on a tight budget, don’t want to buy a 4K TV, and don’t mind buying a seven-year-old device can consider the Apple TV HD.
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