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  1. #1
    Apple TV Operations Questions
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Apple TV Operations Questions
    We are thinking about adding an Apple TV 4 to the entertainment arsenal. We have an ATV 3 but my wife finds our current setup annoying, confusing etc. Perhaps because I set it up. She has asked a few questions about the ATV 4 that I cannot seem to find a direct answer to. Any help / comments would be appreciated.

    1. Our cable box allows creation of a "favorites' list which quickly shows the content for a small subset of channels. Can something similar be set up on the ATV 4. I know Siri can be used to reduce the clutter so to speak. That's helpful if you know what you want to see but what if you merely want to quickly find out what's on in a favorite set of apps/networks.?

    2. Assume that one is searching for a program/movie. Theoretically the content in question might be in several places including your iTunes library. How does the search function handle that? Can it even search tour iTunes library? Something I read recently suggests that it doesn't.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
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  2. #2
    Apple TV Operations Questions
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    We are thinking about adding an Apple TV 4 to the entertainment arsenal. We have an ATV 3 but my wife finds our current setup annoying, confusing etc. Perhaps because I set it up. She has asked a few questions about the ATV 4 that I cannot seem to find a direct answer to. Any help / comments would be appreciated.

    1. Our cable box allows creation of a "favorites' list which quickly shows the content for a small subset of channels. Can something similar be set up on the ATV 4. I know Siri can be used to reduce the clutter so to speak. That's helpful if you know what you want to see but what if you merely want to quickly find out what's on in a favorite set of apps/networks.?
    The apps for the various TV networks aren't "live" with a schedule. At least mostly not, so there's no direct comparison here. You generally are streaming episodes of previously-aired shows, sometimes with limitations on how far back they make them available. Basically, the ATV 4 works largely the same as the ATV 3. The App Store brings a LOT more content, but apps still function largely in the same manner. You open the channel's app and review its offerings. Many of these let you set favorites inside themselves, but there's no master "favorites" list across the contents of different apps.

    2. Assume that one is searching for a program/movie. Theoretically the content in question might be in several places including your iTunes library. How does the search function handle that? Can it even search tour iTunes library? Something I read recently suggests that it doesn't.
    I don't use Siri here, but here's an article that reviews what Siri could do on the ATV early on. It works now as you are looking for within each app, and the plan was to eventually make Siri search across multiple apps from the home screen in the same manner as you wan to do. Apple's current support article does indicate that this is now possible:

    "Hold down the Siri button on your Siri Remote, say what you want, then release the Siri button. Siri searches across popular apps, depending on your country, then shows your viewing options or the answer to your question."

    BTW, the most recent update helps settle a HUGE annoyance with authorizing channel apps using your cable TV provider's credentials. You can now store the credentials in your settings for the ATV, and channels that support the new authentication system will simply use the saved credentials. FINALLY!

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  3. #3
    Apple TV Operations Questions
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Thanks LB that gets a bit closer tp figuring out a solution for us.

    I know that steaming means that these programs are not "live" in the typical sense of the word. I am hoping that the TV app introduced in October / November can do what we want to do. Lets assume for a moment that I have several places that I normally look for streamed content such as (Hulu, Netflix, etc). Is there a way to use one app to see what has been added to the various services I use?

    If we can find a way to get content similar to TCM and one or two other things we would love to cut way back on our monthly cable/internet bill. There is a TCM app but you have to also be paying for the cable subscription for it too work? Getting that tier adds a total of about $50.00 per month to our bill.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
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  4. #4
    Apple TV Operations Questions
    chscag's Avatar
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    If we can find a way to get content similar to TCM and one or two other things we would love to cut way back on our monthly cable/internet bill. There is a TCM app but you have to also be paying for the cable subscription for it too work? Getting that tier adds a total of about $50.00 per month to our bill.
    My cable bill which includes high speed internet and TV - Music, etc, is getting more expensive every year. Although there is a lot of competition around here, the average cable bill from any of the providers easily exceeds $100/month. I'm about ready to dump Verizon-Frontier and go with Charter but having had a bad experience with them 10 years ago, I'm not sure I trust them. The best deal currently is with AT&T but I trust them less than Charter. Charter recently bought out Time-Warner so that eliminates them.

  5. #5
    Apple TV Operations Questions
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    If we can find a way to get content similar to TCM and one or two other things we would love to cut way back on our monthly cable/internet bill. There is a TCM app but you have to also be paying for the cable subscription for it too work? Getting that tier adds a total of about $50.00 per month to our bill.
    Man oh man are you in luck. Look into FilmStruck. That is TCM's streaming service, which basically is Warner Brothers' catalogue. FilmStruck is a joint venture with Criterion, though Criterion's content requires an additional subscription. I haven't subscribed myself yet, but plan to trial it soon. I suspect this will prove to be the single best streaming service out there for the volume and quality of movie titles available. Oh, and yes, they do have an app for the ATV 4.

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  6. #6
    Apple TV Operations Questions
    Slydude's Avatar
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    I heard about that venture a few days ago from a promo on TCM. I signed up for the trial to see how well it will work.

    I actually contacted their support department to see if I could get access to the TCM library without having the TCM subscription from our cable company. Their response essentially was that I should keep the TCM subscription. See email quoted below:

    We appreciate your interest in FilmStruck. We enjoy hearing from people who love independent, art-house, and international cinema as much as we do!

    I would recommend keeping your TCM cable package, as it will have more TCM material than we will. We offer more independent, art-house, and international cinema. By keeping your TCM cable package, you can have the best of both worlds!

    I hope this helped clear things up. Should you have any other questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to ask.

    Best Wishes,
    Anthony


    FilmStruck Customer Support
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
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  7. #7
    Apple TV Operations Questions
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    I heard about that venture a few days ago from a promo on TCM. I signed up for the trial to see how well it will work.

    I actually contacted their support department to see if I could get access to the TCM library without having the TCM subscription from our cable company. Their response essentially was that I should keep the TCM subscription. See email quoted below:
    Bah. Sounds like a deliberate attempt to double-dip. I hate these media conglomerates.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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  8. #8
    Apple TV Operations Questions
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Over the last 2-3 days I talked to two or three reps from the cable company. The one last night suggested that if we instead on keeping TCM he could only get our bill down from about $275.00 to $220.00 despite us dropping several things. That made no sense. Given the number of channels we were dropping should have made a bigger difference in the bill.

    With the way they have things arranged in the various tiers and some channel changes made recently there was an entire tier of channels we were getting when we only watched about 4 of them. There were also about 15 sports channels we never watch. (The next time I touch a golf club or watch an entire soccer match will be the first time. lol.

    Last night we decided we were willing to dump TCM. I went into the local office this morning and the agent there was able to cut over $100.00 off the bill. I think she realized we were on the verge of dumping cable TV entirely and be internet only. I got done in 45 minutes what I had spent several hours on the phone trying to do.
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  9. #9
    Apple TV Operations Questions
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    I feel your pain Sly. My TV/Internet provider just got the boot today. Formerly FIOS by Frontier Communications. My bill went from $120.00/month to $180.00 for the same service. I told them we were through as of the end of this billing cycle. Charter Spectrum (same as Time Warner) will give me more channels and faster internet (100/100 unlimited bandwidth) for $129.88/month including phone service (which I don't need). And a three year price freeze. I guess you don't have that many choices where you are. However, I remember up in Bossier City where we used to live we had choices. That was some time ago though.

  10. #10
    Apple TV Operations Questions
    Slydude's Avatar
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    We have a single cable provider within the city and there is another one covering an area a few miles outside of the city. There is a local DSL provider as well if you are in range of one of their stations (we aren't as of the last time I checked). Their cost is comparable to the cable provider when you compare similar packages.

    Of course we could also do Dish or DirectTV but my wife does a bit of online gaming and these services often are not great for that. Besides, when you look carefully at the fine print the cost can be great there as well.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
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  11. #11
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    I had already gone the route of threatening to leave and receiving reduced subscription prices - several times. Every 12 months they're right back up there and you have to do it all over again or change services. I dumped cable/satellite just over a year ago now. Bought the Tivo Roamio (over the air only) with lifetime subscription. $175/mth vs $350 all-in (currently $400). I already had one of those old fashioned jumbo rooftop antennas I installed in the attic. Also, already had Amazon Prime and Netflix and added Hulu's ad free service at $13/mth and Showtime via Amazon for $9/mth. Spent another $200 upgrading the Tivo from a 512 MB to a 3 TB drive.

    Tried Sling TV a year ago and dumped it. After having an on screen channel guide and a DVR for over 20 years, am not doing without either one of them from a TV service. Just signed up yesterday for a trial of Playstation's Vue service. They do (supposedly) have DVR service (in the cloud) for all their content and have tiers with pretty much everything you can get on cable/satellite and pricing maxes out at about half of the others. Vue and SLing are both available on the AppleTV. The controls on the ATV leave some to be desired, so I moved my PS4 to the entertainment center last night and will check that out over the next couple of days.

    When you start having to purchase shows you want instead of getting them for what feels like free when they're included in a monthly bill you've already paid for, you find out which ones you have time for and are really willing to shell out separate money to see. Guesing I spent maybe another $200-$250 purchasing additional TV shows I wanted - ex. The Walking Dead. Savings for last year is between $700-$750. This year, whether I keep Vue or not, I'll save at a minimum $1500-1600 from my previous satellite bill. And since Vue is month to month, I may keep it during basketball season only and then cancel. (After 15+ yrs here in Dallas, I still haven't shaken the Spurs bug.) Once you find out what shows you really are willing to press the buy button for, then you'll discover the true cost vs a monthly service charge.

    I can tell you the Tivo is a great piece of electronics with excellent software. For those in metro areas that have the major networks available ota and find that maybe half your TV watching is from the 3-5 prime networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and the CW), it's worth every penny. I did put my satellite service on pause for several months (6) to see how I would make out instead of canceling. When that time was up, called them up and had it on the bottom rung, lowest price service they offered and after another 3 months found that I had never once turned on their DVR. Don't see as I'll ever go back to cable/satellite as long as I'm in an area with high speed internet and access to a variety of ota TV again. Feel for those in areas without either or both of those, as I'm looking at eventually moving to an area with only 1 ota channel available vs the 80+ here in Dallas. Check what you can receive ota at tvguide.com .
    Last edited by bobtomay; 12-29-2016 at 09:13 AM.
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  12. #12
    Apple TV Operations Questions
    Slydude's Avatar
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    We were essentially in the same boat. The only reason we were not paying more is that some of the premium channels had been grandfathered in for us at a lower price than they go for now. In order to keep TCM and American Hero Channel we ended up paying for a tier of channels we could pretty much do without. We were finally fed up enough to drop TCM and to be honest I'm really not to upset about using most of the History channels becauseDiscovery has really ruined those channels. Their content no longer matches what they were originally set up to be. The Same people who used to give us History and History International have pretty much replaced that with something called Viceland. We've had it for months and I think I have watched 3 episodes of a program.

    For us the closest network affiliates are 50 to 75 miles away or more but I'm thinking of trying an antenna to see how well it would work. It has been years since i was on an antenna. We are no where near the number of OTA channels you have in Dallas so I doubt we go that for but in this area cable really is the best option for high speed internet.

    We have the ATV 3 and I am trying to convince the wife we need an ATV 4. Almost had her convinced until she discovered that she could pick up a cheap, small Vizio set that had Hulu and Netflix built in. We've streamed a few things for a while now but didn't want to blow our bandwidth. A few months ago unlimited data became an option so we are streaming more things now. I'll take a look at Vue.

    Does anyone know if the recent TV app introduced for Apple TV will search across multiple services to see if something is available (say a new episode of something in your watch list)?
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
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  13. #13
    Apple TV Operations Questions
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    I was going to ask if there was a TV Guide app for Apple TV, but then I found this, https://9to5mac.com/2016/08/04/apple...ple-tv-report/, which looks like Apple is going to be creating the app you are looking for.
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  14. #14
    Apple TV Operations Questions
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Thanks. I read about that app and you're right it seems to do what I want. I read somewhere that it was supposed to be available as of November and something implied that it would also run on IOS devices. I was hoping to get a look at the interface by running it on my iPad but cannot find it in the iTunes app Store. That could mean either of two things:

    1. It is not out yet.
    2. It does not also run on the iPhone therefor I cannot see it without the Apple TV 4.
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  15. #15
    Apple TV Operations Questions
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    Thanks. I read about that app and you're right it seems to do what I want. I read somewhere that it was supposed to be available as of November and something implied that it would also run on IOS devices. I was hoping to get a look at the interface by running it on my iPad but cannot find it in the iTunes app Store. That could mean either of two things:

    1. It is not out yet.
    2. It does not also run on the iPhone therefor I cannot see it without the Apple TV 4.
    It actually does appear to be in the recent ATV update. There's a new app called "TV", but at first I thought it was just for iTunes media content. But each of my ATVs here prompted me to allow NBC to use my universal DirecTV login credentials. I'm looking it over more now and the top "Watch Now" category lists a ton of shows on ABC and NBC, all of which are ready to stream directly from that app instead of the NBC or ABC standalone app. I may only be seeing those 2 networks because AMC, USA, and others haven't updated their apps to support the new features of the recent update.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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